You can either drive up along the gravel road, or choose a more thrilling option and fly up in a helicopter. Regardless of how you get there, the views are spectacular!
In summer, you’ll get a true sense of how vast the landscape is in Queenstown – and in winter, you’ll simply be blown away by the sheer beauty of the snow-covered peaks.
Skyline Gondola #thatqueenstownview
Arguably the most famous view in Queenstown, the balcony at the Skyline Complex offers panoramic views out over Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables. You’ll be able to spot Coronet Peak to the far left and Cecil & Walter Peaks to the right.
Whether you visit during the day, or at night, you’ll be welcomed to a breathtaking view.
My advice is to be there for the ‘magic hour’ as the sun starts to set and lights up The Remarkables with a golden glow!
Road to Glenorchy
If you’ve hired a car on your visit to Queenstown, you’ll want to make the trip along one of the most scenic drives in the country – the Queenstown-Glenorchy Road.
There are plenty of scenic stops along the way, where you’ll be able to discover a new perspective looking out over Lake Wakatipu.
This is a moderate fitness walk through beautiful forest that then opens up to a panoramic view over Queenstown. You’ll come across the ‘Basket of Dreams’ which is a stunning point to stop and admire the views. Then there is the option of continuing up the next peak (a bit more challenging) but provides an even more amazing, open view.
The walk should take between 2-3 hours and begins/ends on Belfast Street.
The Crowne Range Road links Queenstown and Wanaka, via the Cardrona Valley. This is a picturesque drive yet one that requires plenty of concentration. There are a few great pull-in bays that provide the best place for photo opportunities. If you’re looking for a great place to watch the sun go down, this won’t disappoint!
Stargazing & the Southern Lights
The clear, unpolluted skies of Queenstown are the perfect setting for stargazing. Escape the bright city lights of Queenstown and head up the Skyline Gondola for a guided tour of our galaxy using top-of-the-line telescopes.
Occasionally throughout the year, the Southern Lights have been spotted in Queenstown – so keep your eyes peeled and have your cameras ready!
Flying over Lake Wakatipu
The lake looks beautiful from the shores, although seeing it from the skies above is even more astounding!
The brilliant blue colour really comes to life when seen from a plane or helicopter and you are able to get a true sense of the scale of New Zealand’s third largest lake.
This scenic drive offers a completely difference perspective of Queenstown’s landscapes. Filled with sunburnt hills and rocky outcrops, this drive isn’t one for the faint-hearted. The road is lined with a sheer drop off along most of the journey, and it’s for this very reason that insurance does not cover you if you take your rental car on this route.
My advice is to leave it to the experts and experience the region by raft or jet boat. Challenge Rafting and the Skippers Canyon Jet both take this route to get to the start of their operation and will give you a safe and scenic perspective of the canyon.
There are plenty of other amazing sights in and around Queenstown. What are some of your favourite places? Comment below 🙂