The Most Romantic Experiences in Queenstown
For the couple who like a balance between adventure and relaxation, Queenstown certainly fits the bill. While the “Adventure Capital” of New Zealand has all the skydives, bungy jumps and jet boats you could ever dream of, the town is also home to a selection of special experiences ideal for couples.
Queenstown is surrounded by vineyards, making a dinner date at a winery an easy option. Helicopter excursions certainly have the “wow” factory to celebrate a special occasion. Or simply enjoy the romantic scenery while strolling hand-in-hand through the town’s gardens. We’ll go through a range of options in this list of romantic things to do in Queenstown for couples.
While you’re here, you might also be interested in The Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to Queenstown or finding a unique place to stay in the 10 Best Romantic Accommodations in Queenstown.
1. Soak in a Private Hot Pool with a View
Leave the adventure for later because you’re not going to want to miss the utterly romantic setting of the Onsen Hot Pools Retreat. The retreat offers a range of private cedar hot tubs with views over the vibrant blue Shotover River. Want to know more? See the Onsen Hot Pools page on Viator, Tripadvisor or Klook to read reviews and book your own couples’ experience. Plus, check out more indulgent activities like this in the 10 Best Luxury Experiences in Queenstown.
Location: Arthurs Point Road, approximately 7km (4.3 miles) from Queenstown town centre.
2. Unwind with a Couples Spa Treatment
On the subject of relaxation, another endearing option is the Body Sanctum Day Spa. Choose from 30 to 90-minute couples massages where you’ll be able to share the experience together in one of the spa’s cosy couples rooms. Learn more about Body Sanctum Day Spa, read reviews and book your experience on Viator and Tripadvisor. Plus, discover more all-weather experiences like this in the 20 Things to Do in Queenstown on a Rainy Day.
Location: Level 1/10 Athol Street.
3. Fly to a Private Picnic Destination by Helicopter
For something utterly private, utterly luxurious and perhaps a little “over the top”, catch a flight with Over the Top Helicopters to a remote location overlooking Lake Wakatipu. After a scenic excursion, you’ll land in a secluded alpine location known as “The Ledge” for a private picnic. Share a platter of meats, cheeses, salad, fruit and a selection of beverages to enjoy away from the world for as long as you desire. Check out Over the Top Helicopters on Viator, Tripadvisor or Klook. Plus, for more ways to experience Queenstown by helicopter, take a look at the 5 Epic Queenstown Helicopter Tours.
Location: 10 Tex Smith Lane, Frankton, approximately 8km (5 miles) from Queenstown town centre.
4. Sample Local Wines Together on a Queenstown Wine Tour
There’s a reason why wine is often associated with romance, and you’ll certainly see why when you’re gazing across the picturesque vineyards from the wineries surrounding Queenstown. There are many ways to experience Central Otago region, from touring the wineries by bike with Around the Basin Bike Tours (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor) to intimate tours with a designated driver with Queenstown Wine Trail (on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook). Tours include plenty of tastings, photo opportunities and time to relax with your loved one.
Location: Around the Basin Bike Tours – Station Building, Duke Street. Queenstown Wine Trail – Offers Queenstown pick-ups.
5. Cruise Around Lake Wakatipu
The glistening waters of Lake Wakatipu are sure to allure you during your stay in Queenstown. There are a couple of romantic cruises to experience the lake, from a historic steamship cruise to onboard a modern catamaran. The TSS Earnslaw is a popular option, offering multiple sailings throughout the day. Watch the stokers feed the coal fire, visit the onboard museum and lap up the surrounding lake scenery. Find out more about the TSS Earnslaw on Viator, Tripadvisor, Klook and KKday.
Alternatively, get around the lake further and faster with Southern Discoveries on their fast catamaran. Get gorgeous views of the lake and beyond while listening in informative commentary and relaxing with a coffee from the onboard cafe. More information on the Southern Discoveries’ cruise can be found on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook.
Location: TSS Earnslaw – 88 Beach Street. Southern Discoveries – 110 Beach Street.
6. Enjoy a Date Night at One of the Fine Dining Restaurants
Celebrate your special occasion with a date night at some of Queenstown’s most romantic eateries. The Bunker is a cosy and rustic restaurant located down an alley and specialising in Kiwi cuisine. Alternatively, get unbeatable views from the Wakatipu Grill, where you can get sundowners from the bar and eat from a seasonal menu with something for just about everyone. Or for a true foodie experience, head to Rata, run in collaboration with a Michelin Chef and Celebrity Masterchef judge, Josh Emett. For more restaurant ideas, check out the 10 Best Fine Dining Restaurants in Queenstown, as well as more recommendations in The Foodie Guide to Queenstown.
Location: The Bunker – Cow Lane. Wakatipu Grill – 79 Peninsula Road, Kelvin Heights, approximately 10km (6 miles) from Queenstown town centre. Rata – 43 Ballarat Street.
7. Walk Hand-in-Hand Through the Queenstown Gardens
Looking for a romantic yet free thing to do in Queenstown? Take a romantic stroll through the Queenstown Gardens. This park is accessible from the city centre and offers gorgeous views of Lake Wakatipu from its network of walking trails through manicured gardens. Pack a picnic or hire a disc/frisbee to challenge each other to frisbee golf at the 18-hole course. For more activities like this, see 20 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Queenstown.
Location: Park Street.
8. Take a Leap of Faith Together in a Tandem Canyon Swing
Looking for something crazy to do together? Well, this is the adventure capital of New Zealand! An awesome option for couples is jumping tandem on the Shotover Canyon Swing. Freefall over the Shotover River in a belly-flipping fall before the harnesses safely swing you across the canyon and back! Check out Shotover Canyon Swing on Viator, Tripadvisor, Klook and KKday. Plus, see more activities like this in the 10 Epic Adventure Activities in Queenstown.
Location: Shuttle departs from 34 Shotover Street.
9. Enjoy an Intimate Scenic Flight to Milford Sound
Milford Sound is on the bucket list of most people travelling to Queenstown, so it’s likely that it needs no introduction here. However, while most take large tour buses to get to the majestic fiord, a more intimate experience for couples is taking a scenic flight. Watch stunning vistas of glacier-carved valleys, mountains, alpine lakes and vast forests as you fly on a 35-minute flight from Queenstown to Milford Sound. Once you arrive in Milford Sound, you can enjoy one of the two-hour cruises through the fiord. Compare flight experiences with our 5 Best Scenic Flights to Milford Sound from Queenstown.
Location: See the link above for the location of each tour operator.
10. Go Horse Riding Together at the Walter Peak High Country Farm
There’s something quite romantic about seeing your loved one riding a majestic steed, right? Put yourselves in the romance novel picture with a horse trek in Queenstown. Walter Peak High Country Farm offers half-day rides through the gorgeous rolling farmlands with views of The Remarkables mountains and Lake Wakatipu ever-present. The experience also includes a scenic cruise across Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown, as well as morning or afternoon tea with freshly-baked scones and cakes. Find out more about Walter Peak High Country Farm on Viator, Tripadvisor, Klook and KKday.
Location: Tours depart from 88 Beach Street.
11. Learn How to Ski
Nothing strengthens the bond quite like learning a new skill together. Make that skill skiing or snowboarding! During winter, Queenstown comes alive with the ski season, with four nearby ski fields to choose from. Lessons are available at Coronet Peak and The Remarkables, or a bit further afield toward Wanaka at Cardrona or Treble Cone. Learn more about the ski season in our guide to The Ultimate Guide to the Queenstown Ski Season.
Location: The Remarkables – Remarkables Ski Field Access Road, approximately 23.5km (14.5 miles) from Queenstown town centre. Coronet Peak – Coronet Peak Road, approximately 16km (10 miles) from Queenstown town centre. Cardrona – Cardrona Valley Road, approximately 58km (36 miles) from Queenstown town centre. Treble Cone – Mt Aspiring Road, approximately 96km (60 miles) from Queenstown town centre.
Bus transport is available to the ski fields, which you can find out more about in the link above.
12. Take a Day Trip to Glenorchy for Horse Trekking, Hiking and More
Enjoy a scenic drive to the picturesque lakeside village of Glenorchy, home to some of the most picturesque horse trekking, hiking and jet boat tours in the area. Join High Country Horses or Lighthouse Adventures for their stunning treks, get a taste of a New Zealand Great Walk on the Routeburn Track, feed adorable farm animals at the Glenorchy Animal Experience and much more! See our 15 Best Things to Do in Glenorchy for information on all of these romantic things to do and more.
Location: Queenstown Glenorchy Road, approximately 46km (28.5 miles) from Queenstown town centre.
13. Tackle White Water Rafting Together on the Shotover River
If you two are a couple of thrill-seekers then rafting the Shotover River with Challenge Rafting should certainly be on your list. Even the journey there on the Skippers Road, considered to be one of the world’s most dangerous roads, is a thrill in itself. Ride the rapids on this grade 3-5 river (grades depend on the water level and can be seasonal) and float through a 170m/558ft long tunnel! Find out more about this experience on Viator, Tripadvisor, Klook and KKday. For more epic white water rafting experiences, check out 7 Places to go White Water Rafting in New Zealand.
Location: Tours depart from 37 Camp Street.
14. Ride Queenstown’s Picturesque Bike Trails
A way to explore Queenstown, just the two of you, is by hitting the bike trails. From easy-going lakeside trails to downhill mountain biking, there’s a trail to suit most tastes in Queenstown. An idyllic ride for couples, however, is the Arrowtown to Queenstown ride encompassing stunning riverside and lakeside trails. Organise transport to Arrowtown and either standard bike or e-bike hire with Going Blue Queenstown, who make the whole trip easy for a reasonable price. Check them out on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook.
Location: Pick-up is offered by the tour operator.
15. Visit Romantic Arrowtown
With its beautifully preserved pioneering architecture and treelined river, Arrowtown is an effortlessly romantic setting for a couples’ day out. Indulge in the quaint cafes and ice cream parlours, walk the Arrow River Walkway, hire a gold pan from the Lakes District Museum and try your luck, see the historic Chinese Settlement and much more. We list it all in the 10 Best Things to Do in Arrowtown, as well as other unmissable day trips in The Best Day Trips from Queenstown.
Location: Arrowtown-Lake Hayes Road, approximately 19km (12 miles) from Queenstown town centre.
16. Share the Thrills of Bungy Jumping with a Tandem Bungy
There are no lack of bungy jumps in Queenstown, but if you want to have this adrenaline-inducing experience together then choose the Kawarau Bungy. Leap from the original bungy jump site that started the extreme sport while harnessed together! The bungy jump is over the Kawarau River, where you’ll be picked up in a dingy after your jump. Compare the jump with the 7 Best Places to Bungy Jump in New Zealand.
Location: 1693 State Highway 6, Gibbston, approximately 23km (14 miles) from Queenstown town centre.
17. Stay in Romantic Luxury Accommodation
Let’s be honest, your accommodation sets the tone for the rest of your romantic getaway or honeymoon in Queenstown. Luckily, Queenstown is home to some lavish stays and even some surprising retreats that don’t cost an arm and a leg. Check out a range of options in the 10 Best Romantic Accommodations in Queenstown, as well as the most luxurious options in the 10 Best Luxury Accommodations in Queenstown.
Location: See locations in the links above.
18. Soar Over Lake Wakatipu on a Tandem Parasailing Flight
Now, this isn’t as extreme as some of the other adventure activities but is a fun thing to do in Queenstown for couples nonetheless. Fly up to 600ft over Lake Wakatipu on a parasailing flight that you can enjoy together thanks to the tandem harness. See how the flight with Queenstown Paraflights compares to others in the 5 Incredible Places to Do Parasailing in New Zealand.
Location: Main Town Pier, 1 Marine Parade.
19. Hit One of the Queenstown Hiking Trails Together
Soak in the scenery (and save some money) by taking one of the many gorgeous Queenstown hiking trails together. Queenstown Hill is a popular option, accessible from the town itself, or enjoy the short drive to the tranquil Moke Lake, which feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of Queenstown. Take your pick from the 15 Best Walks in Queenstown.
Location: Queenstown Hill Walk – Belfast Street. Moke Lake – Moke Lake Road, approximately 14.5km (9 miles) from Queenstown.
More About Queenstown
That’s it for our list of the most romantic things to do in Queenstown for couples but is by no means the end of our Queenstown advice! Check out the following guides for more Queenstown experiences:
- 10 Things to Do in Queenstown at Night
- 10 Non-Touristy Things to Do in Queenstown
- 20 Best Things to Do in Queenstown
Finally, you can find even more couples’ getaway tips in The Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to New Zealand. Plus, plan the rest of your road trip using the South Island Honeymoon & Romance Itinerary: Two Weeks or South Island Honeymoon & Romance Itinerary: One Week.