25 Places to Visit Near Queenstown

Places to Visit Near Queenstown
Places to Visit Near Queenstown

Queenstown, with its breathtaking landscapes and thrilling adventure activities, is a world-renowned destination for travelers seeking adrenaline-pumping experiences. However, this vibrant resort town in New Zealand’s South Island has much more to offer than just its bustling streets and iconic attractions. In this article, we will delve into the 25 captivating places to visit near Queenstown that will take you on a journey of awe-inspiring beauty and tranquility.

25 Places to Visit Near Queenstown


Nestled at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu, Glenorchy is a haven for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike. It’s untouched wilderness and dramatic scenery makes it a perfect destination for hiking, horseback riding, and jet boating.


Step back in time as you wander through the charming streets of Arrowtown, a historic gold mining town. Immerse yourself in the rich heritage, explore the Chinese Settlement, and indulge in some retail therapy at the boutique shops.


Located just an hour’s drive from Queenstown, Wanaka boasts a picturesque lake surrounded by towering mountains. Experience the thrill of skydiving, go on a scenic hike, or simply relax and soak in the breathtaking views.

Milford Sound

Embark on an unforgettable journey to Milford Sound, often referred to as the “eighth wonder of the world.” Cruise through the fjord, marvel at the cascading waterfalls and witness the abundant wildlife in their natural habitat.

Fiordland National Park

Immerse yourself in the untouched beauty of Fiordland National Park. Home to rugged mountains, pristine lakes, and ancient forests, this World Heritage Area offers endless opportunities for outdoor exploration.

Mount Cook National Park

Discover the majestic Aoraki/Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak, in Mount Cook National Park. Hike the alpine trails, embark on a glacier expedition, or stargaze under the brilliant night sky.

Te Anau

Surrounded by the grandeur of Fiordland National Park, Te Anau is the gateway to the captivating wonders of the region. Explore the glowworm caves, embark on a scenic flight, or take a leisurely stroll along Lake Te Anau.


Known for its world-class ski fields and stunning alpine scenery, Cardrona is a must-visit destination for winter sports enthusiasts. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, there’s something for everyone on the slopes.


Indulge in the flavors of Central Otago as you explore the vineyards and orchards of Cromwell. Sample award-winning wines, visit fruit stalls, and savor the region’s renowned stone fruit.

The Remarkables

Experience the thrill of skiing or snowboarding in the majestic mountain range of The Remarkables. With its varied terrain and stunning views, this destination is a paradise for snow sports enthusiasts.

Lake Tekapo

Admire the turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo, framed by the stunning backdrop of the Southern Alps. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd and soak in the hot springs.

Mount Aspiring National Park

For those seeking solitude and untouched wilderness, Mount Aspiring National Park is a true paradise. Embark on multi-day hikes, marvel at the glaciers, and camp under the starry skies.

Coronet Peak

Hit the slopes of Coronet Peak, one of New Zealand’s most popular ski resorts. Enjoy thrilling runs, take in the panoramic views, and indulge in après-ski delights.

Doubtful Sound

Escape the crowds and venture into the remote beauty of Doubtful Sound. Cruise through the serene fiord, spot dolphins and seals and revel in the tranquility of this untouched wilderness.

Glenorchy Animal Experience

Get up close and personal with farm animals at the Glenorchy Animal Experience. From cuddling adorable lambs to feeding friendly alpacas, this interactive farm visit is perfect for families.

TSS Earnslaw Cruise

Step aboard the historic TSS Earnslaw, a vintage steamship, and cruise across Lake Wakatipu. Take in the panoramic views, visit Walter Peak High Country Farm, and enjoy a delicious BBQ lunch.

Puzzling World

Unleash your inner child at Puzzling World, located in Wanaka. Solve mind-boggling puzzles, navigate through the maze, and explore the illusion rooms for an entertaining and brain-teasing experience.

Skippers Canyon

Embark on a thrilling adventure through the narrow and winding Skippers Canyon. Whether you choose a jet boat ride or a 4WD tour, be prepared for adrenaline-inducing moments and breathtaking vistas.


Delve into the rich wine heritage of Bannockburn, a renowned wine-growing region in Central Otago. Take a wine tour, savor exquisite Pinot Noir, and enjoy the warm hospitality of the local vineyards.

Lake Hayes

Just a short drive from Queenstown, Lake Hayes is a peaceful oasis surrounded by rolling hills. Enjoy a leisurely walk or bike ride around the lake and admire the stunning reflections on calm days.

Routeburn Track

Lace up your hiking boots and embark on the iconic Routeburn Track. This multi-day hike showcases the best of Fiordland and Mount Aspiring National Parks, with awe-inspiring vistas at every turn.

Kawarau Bridge Bungy

Take a leap of faith and experience the world’s first commercial bungy jump at Kawarau Bridge. Feel the adrenaline rush as you plunge toward the turquoise waters of the Kawarau River.

Gibbston Valley

Explore the picturesque vineyards of Gibbston Valley, renowned for its exquisite Pinot Noir. Enjoy wine tastings, visit underground wine caves, and indulge in gourmet food experiences.


Discover the beauty of Paradise, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of the mountains. Immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes featured in “The Lord of the Rings” and enjoy outdoor activities such as horse trekking.

Bob’s Peak

Take a scenic gondola ride to the summit of Bob’s Peak and be rewarded with panoramic views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu. Indulge in delicious cuisine at the mountaintop restaurant and enjoy thrilling luge rides.


What are the best outdoor activities near Queenstown?

Near Queenstown, you can indulge in a wide range of outdoor activities such as hiking, jet boating, skydiving, and skiing. The Remarkables and Coronet Peak are popular ski destinations, while Glenorchy offers stunning hiking trails.

How far is Milford Sound from Queenstown?

Milford Sound is approximately 290 kilometers (180 miles) away from Queenstown, which translates to a scenic drive of around 4 hours. Alternatively, you can opt for a guided tour or a scenic flight to reach this breathtaking destination.

Can I visit Queenstown during winter?

Absolutely! Queenstown is a fantastic winter destination. With its proximity to ski resorts like Coronet Peak and The Remarkables, you can enjoy world-class skiing and snowboarding. The town also offers a vibrant après-ski scene and cozy accommodation options.

Are there any family-friendly attractions near Queenstown?

Yes, there are several family-friendly attractions near Queenstown. The Glenorchy Animal Experience, Puzzling World in Wanaka, and the TSS Earnslaw Cruise with a visit to Walter Peak High Country Farm are great options for families traveling with children.

What is the best time to visit the 25 places near Queenstown?

The best time to visit the 25 places near Queenstown depends on your preferences. Summer (December to February) offers pleasant weather and longer daylight hours, ideal for outdoor activities. Winter (June to August) is perfect for skiing and snowboarding. Spring and autumn provide milder temperatures and stunning foliage.

How can I reach these places near Queenstown?

The most convenient way to explore the places near Queenstown is by renting a car. This gives you the flexibility to drive at your own pace and discover the hidden gems. Guided tours and shuttle services are also available for specific destinations.

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Queenstown’s charm extends far beyond its city limits, with a myriad of captivating places waiting to be explored. From the tranquility of Glenorchy to the awe-inspiring wonders of Milford Sound and the surrounding national parks, each destination near Queenstown offers a unique experience. Whether you seek adventure, natural beauty, or cultural heritage, these 25 places will leave an indelible mark on your journey through the scenic wonders of Queenstown.

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