Top 7 Romantic Things To Do In Queenstown

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Our guide to the best romantic activities in Queenstown for couples

Beyond the skiing and huge variety of adventure activites, it might come as surprise that there are a number of romantic activities in Queenstown for couples.

Our guide to the 'top romantic things to do in Queenstown' features our pick of the seven best activites to consider.

1. Hot Pools

With a breath-taking view of the Shotover River and Canyon, Onsen Hot Pools offers a truly unique experience for couples.  Nestled into the hillside of Arthur’s Point, private and rustic wooden spa pools look out to the canyon below.

Book the romantic ‘Onsen by Lantern Light’ package and gaze at the stars under the light of lanterns.  The pools are a short (and very scenic) 15 minute drive from Queenstown.  Or, book the Onsen Hot Pools shuttle bus to collect and drop-off service from the town centre.

2. Dinner Cruise

Cruise Lake Wakatipu on the iconic TSS Earnslaw steamship and enjoy a freshly made BBQ dinner at the Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant at Walter Peak High Country Farm.  After dinner, enjoy an entertaining demonstration that will give you a glimpse of life in the high country. 

On the way, take time to explore the 100+ years old vessel which features photographs and historical information to explain its history.  On your return, enjoy a drink or two listening to the ships’ pianist or, savour the night air on the moonlit decks as the twinkling lights of Queenstown draw closer.

3. Sipping Cocktails

Queenstown has a number of stylish and intimate bars to enjoy cocktails.  As evening descends, choose from waterfront, rooftop, jazz or backstreet bars to help create a special night out.  Check our recommendations on the ones to head to in our ‘Top 5 Cocktails Bars’ article.  

4. Gondola Buffet

Hop aboard the gondola and travel up to the Stratosfare Restaurant for a buffet dinner (or lunch) perched 450 metres above Queenstown.  With tiered seating and floor to ceiling windows, take in the incredible views of Lake Wakatipu, Coronet Peak and the Remarkables mountain scenery.  The menu is inspired by iconic New Zealand cuisine and complemented with international influences.  There’s also a bar to enjoy a pre or post dinner drink while you soak up the views.
 
  • Lunch is available from 11:30 AM to 2:00 PM
  • Dinner is from 6:30 PM until late with set sitting times
  • Dining time is limited to 90-minutes

5. Queenstown Trail

Hire some bikes and ride a section of the Queenstown Trail which spans over 100 kilometres of varying terrain.  There are opportunities for tastings at award-winning wineries, visiting art galleries and of course non-stop beautiful views.  You could even stop off for a quick bungy jump if you’re feeling the moment.  Tailor your own itinerary and do as much or as little as you like.

We’d recommend the Arrow River Ride which starts from Arrowtown and ends up 16km later in the Gibbston wine region.  Ride by the river, cross over swing bridges, pass historic landmarks and finish with a well-deserved lunch at Gibbston Valley Winery.

Bike operators include The Gibbston Valley Bike Centre and Bikes and Barbers which specialise in affordable electric bike hire for riders that want to go further and see more.   
 
6. Wine Tasting

Central Otago is one of the country's premier wine-growing regions.  A 30 minute drive from Queenstown along State Highway 6 is a chance to do a spot of wine tasting.  Dotted either side of the highway, there are plenty of cellar doors to sample award-winning wines and get educated directly from the winemakers.  Gibbston Valley Winery is the place to go to if you also want some lunch.

Travel further along the highway and you can tour the wineries at Bannockburn, Cromwell and Bendigo.  We’d recommend lunch at the Mt Difficulty Winery in Bannockburn and The Wooing Tree in Cromwell. 
 
  • Our ‘Wineries Guide’ gives more information on wineries where you can get lunch 
  • Our ‘Wine Regions Guide’ offers an overview on each nearby wine region.  

7. Short Walk

It’s free and there’s no booking required, so all you need to do is pick a day with decent weather.  Rather than embark on an all-day walk and wear yourself out, pick from one of the many short walks in the area that will let you appreciate the scenery.  

If you’ve a car, the short walk in Glenorchy or, the Moke Lake and Mt Crichton walks (on the way to Glenorchy) are our picks.  However, from the town centre you can take the Queenstown Hill Walk from Belfast Street.  Check our guide to ‘Queenstown Walks’ for details on all the best short walks in the area.