Uncovering Queenstown: Your Guide to Exploring The Wider Region

People standing on a wharf at a lake on a sunny day.

From the tranquillity of Glenorchy, to the quaint streets of Arrowtown and the lush vineyards of Gibbston, there's plenty on offer throughout the wider region of Queenstown. We've ventured from one end of the region to the other, uncovering the best places to eat, drink, shop, explore and stay. So, put some time aside and dig a little deeper, and you'll discover plenty of pockets deserving of your attention.


A 45 minute drive out of Queenstown, Glenorchy sits in all its glory at the head of Lake Whakatipu. As well as being the gateway to some of the region’s greatest hiking trails, the charming town is home to unique spots to grab a bite, beautiful eco-designed lodges and one-of-a-kind nature experiences.

Eat & Shop

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64 Oban Street, Glenorchy

No trip to Glenorchy is complete without popping into Mrs Woolly’s General Store, a local institution that offers a little bit of everything for both nearby residents and travellers from further afield. Discover an assortment of New Zealand-made goods, including woolly garments, handcrafted pottery, local artwork and so much more. Once you’ve finished browsing the shelves, grab something delicious from the alluring cabinet to enjoy in the Secret Garden (get in early for the famous Fairlie pies or risk serious FOMO). 

A yellow sign outside Base Camp in Queenstown.


Amidst this wild landscape, the accommodation options shine, each inspiring us to disconnect and soak up the great outdoors. Paradise Trust offers a variety of lodging options steeped in history, from rugged backcountry huts to quaint cottages and boutique retreats. Meanwhile, The Headwaters Eco Lodge puts a luxury spin on eco-friendly accommodation, with king-sized beds, walk-in rain showers, private verandas and stunning mountain views in each room. If you’re looking to embrace the mountaineering spirit (without sacrificing comfort) The Great Glenorchy Base Camp offers cosy luxury cabins designed by adventurers for adventurers. Complete with a sauna, wood-fired restaurant, fire pits and more, it’s rustic with a good touch of indulgence.

A llama eating out of a black box.


Travelling with little ones or not, the Glenorchy Animal Experience promises to capture the hearts of all. Against a breathtaking backdrop, the family farm offers fun encounters with friendly animals, including lambs, horses, llamas and more. Not thrilling enough for you? Check out The Great Glenorchy Base Camp’s wilderness adventures, featuring over 20 different excursions to choose from, including guided heli-hikes to remote peaks, overnight alpine camping, and leisurely family-friendly strolls to secret river banks for a picnic complete with hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows.


Whether you’re passing through or staying the night, make the most of the opportunity to stretch your legs in this magnificent setting. The Lagoon Walkway is a short but sweet path that winds through wetlands, teeming with birdlife and boasting mountain views mirrored in the still lagoon. If you’re after a taste of the legendary Routeburn Track without committing to the full 33km stretch, there’s plenty of day trips starting in Glenorchy that range from 3 to 8 hours round-trip.


Affectionately known as the Valley of Vines, Gibbston is an absolute jewel for wine and food enthusiasts. Here, all you need is a hearty appetite. This renowned region is a haven for wine lovers, with a reputation for some of the country’s best pinot noir. Amid dramatic mountain surroundings and Kawarau river views, you’ll find an abundance of cellar doors each with their own unique offering.


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47 Gibbston Back Road, Gibbston

To match the delicious drops filling your wine glass, many of the wineries take advantage of local ingredients to create a menu of first-class dishes. Gather your friends and head to Kinross, where you can indulge in a feast of perfectly executed pizzas with luxurious touches – cue the black truffle mascarpone. Alternatively, make a stop at Mt Rosa for a timeless pairing of wine and cheese, featuring shared platters brimming with local cheeses, meats, Aoraki salmon, garden greens and all the delightful extras.

The red entrance to Gibbston Valley pop up.


Once you get a taste of the Gibbston Valley produce, it can be hard returning to your own fridge. Our advice? Swing by Gibbston Valley Cheesery & Deli, located in the Old Winery. On top of offering immersive cheese and wine tours, you’ll find a fully stocked shop showcasing a generous range of Whitestone Cheeses alongside specialty deli products from local producers.

Huts on on grass in Queenstown.


Time to tick sleeping in a vineyard off your bucket list. Nestled amongst the pinot gris and pinot noir vines at Kinross are 14 boutique cottages straight out of a dream. Great for couples looking for a whimsical getaway or big vino fans after the full winery experience, each room comes with super-king beds, a gourmet breakfast box delivered each morning, a hosted wine tasting, access to outdoor hot tubs and more.

Make the most of the on-site bistro for breakfast, lunch and snacks, as well as a takeaway evening menu to enjoy your dinner in the vines. Another option to consider is Gibbston Valley Lodge and Spa. It's a stylish, memorable experience with personal service and a seasonal food journey in the lodge.

Three people biking on a track on a sunny day.


A popular cycleway trail through historical sites, vineyards, and epic Kawarau River views, The Gibbston River Trail runs 8.7km one way (depending on how many wine stops you make).

Wine being poured into a glass.


So when your hands aren’t full with a wine glass and cheese-loaded cracker, what is there to do? While technically still wine and food related, Brennan Wines has a beautiful expansive garden setting with a petanque court all set for an afternoon of friendly competition. Order a bottle of wine, a platter lunch (or you’re welcome to bring your own picnic) and enjoy stunning views of the Nevis Bluff. During your journey through Gibbston, make sure to stop by the Kawarau suspension bridge to witness the daring feats of bungy jumpers (it’s people-watching taken to new heights).


A historic mining town established during the 1860s, there’s still many gold nuggets to discover down the quaint streets of Arrowtown. Whether you’re here for a few hours or a few nights, a charming neighbourhood of eateries, shops, bars, cinema and lovely walking trails will keep you entertained.
The exterior of Aosta in Queenstown on a sunny day.


Just a 5 minute drive from Arrowtown, Mora Wines & Artisan Kitchen is a must-visit for brunch or lunch. Well known for its enchanting garden setting, sit under willow trees and amongst wildflowers while you enjoy rustic but luxurious dishes or a guided wine tasting. Come dinnertime, book in at Aosta, a one-hatted restaurant offering Northern Italian-inspired dishes paired with Central Otago ingredients. If any rumbles need attending to during the day, pop into Arrowtown Bakery & Café for a hearty pie.

Two men working at a cafe counter.


Stay buzzed all day with the best brew in town from Wolf, a specialty coffee roaster that also supplies some of our other favourite cafés in the region. Make sure you try a fresh donut from the cabinet if they haven’t already been hoovered up by everyone else. A little down the road, The Fork & Tap is a beloved Arrowtown pub with 19 local craft beers on tap to sip in the cosy heritage interior or under the trees in the large garden. Down the laneway next to Aosta, look for the timeworn entrance of Blue Door Bar and step inside for impeccable cocktails in a cosy speakeasy-style space.

Colourful clothes on a rack at Bunnies in Arrowtown.


You’ll be pleased to know, there’s not a chain store in sight here. Instead, a community of locally owned retailers fill the street with their unique offerings. The Winery is a specialty wine store stocking over 1,300 bottles from both renowned and under-the-radar labels (make sure you stick around a while for a tasting experience). Francis Patterson is home to a carefully curated selection of quality goods, including a delightful kids range, and Bunnies is a designer boutique offering both new and pre-loved clothing, shoes and accessories. An alternative to your everyday supermarket shop, Royalburn Farm Store stocks fresh produce, meats, charcuterie, free-range eggs and other small goods straight from their farm just up the road.


This charming village has accommodation options that fit all budgets and preferences. Hampshire Holiday Park has all the classic holiday park options, from tent to studio, and it's only a few minutes walk from town. Stevenson's Cottage offers a rare opportunity to stay in an old miner's Cottage on Buckingham Street, and the New Orleans Hotel brings the country pub vibes alongside 3-star room options. Luxury golf and lifestyle resort Millbrook rounds out the options at the higher end. 

Old houses on an Arrowtown street at sunset.


Easily mistaken for a scene from a fairytale, the Arrow River Trail meanders through a woodland forest alongside a flowing stream. Starting at the bottom of Ford Street, Tobin’s Track is also a great option for a short uphill walk with incredible views over Arrowtown and the Whakatipu basin at the top.

Red chairs in a cinema.


Catch a film at Dorothy Browns, an independent cinema that charms all with its cosy theatre rooms, boutique gin bar and bookshop offering. If you’re in town on a Sunday between Labour Weekend and April, make sure to check out the Arrowtown Farmers Market, bustling with vibrant stalls, selling everything from freshly baked goods, cheese and fruit and vege, to honey, jewellery, skincare, clothing and more.

Arthurs Point

While many pass through Arthurs Point to access Coronet Peak during winter, there’s more to this sub-region than its handy connection to the mountains. It’s got world-class breweries, cute food trucks, spellbinding hikes and of course heart-racing adventures through the Shotover River.
The exterior of Canyon's Brewing in Arthur's Point on a sunny day.


A fresh pint, woodfired sourdough pizza and sharing plates are all things that Canyon Brewing does exceptionally well. Add in a scenic beer garden overlooking the Shotover River and it seems this Arthurs Point brewery can do no wrong. If you’ve got a hankering for carbs, you’re in the right area with Rakau slinging fresh woodfired pizza and Toasted firing out grilled sandwiches from their food truck.


The Canyons B&B provides a beautiful and comfortable place to rest your head for the night, with cosy alpine rooms looking out across the mountains and river. For the ultimate relaxation, there's also an outdoor hot tub available. Bliss. The Queenstown Top 10 Holiday Park boasts a beautiful alpine setting, and the 3-star Swiss-Belresort Coronet Peak has 54 guest rooms and even a bowling alley. 


Starting at either Moke Lake or Arthurs Point, The Moonlight Track is a beautiful and challenging trek that traces a historic remote route into the Moonlight goldfields. This remote track takes about 4-5 hours to complete one way, so make sure you organise transport for the return journey. Another to note is the new Arrowtown to Arthurs Point Wharehuanui Trail, an extension to the Queenstown Trail.

A staff member working behind the bar at Broken Heart Gin in Queenstown.


  • With the mighty Shotover River at your doorstep, seize the opportunity to book an exhilarating jet boat ride or whitewater rafting adventure through the roaring canyon. For a new point of view, venture up at Coronet Peak for skiing in the winter or hiking and mountain biking in the summer. If rapids and slopes just aren’t your thing, we suggest a leisurely gin tasting experience at Broken Heart Gin Garden, home of the World's Best London Dry (and delicious flammkuchen). Alternatively, give in to a full day of indulgence at Onsen’s boutique day spa, with hot pools overlooking the river.