The Top Places to Visit Near Queenstown
You don’t need us to tell you how much there is to do in Queenstown. However, it’s also what surrounds this alpine paradise that makes Queenstown worth staying around for a while. From short drives to full-day missions, there are plenty of day trips from Queenstown to take your visit to the next level. Check out the self-drive day trips, as well as day tours, in this day-trip guide to Queenstown.
For more trip-planning tips, head to The Complete Guide to Queenstown.
5 Best Day Tours from Queenstown
Before we jump into the self-drive day trips from Queenstown, here is a quick list of alternative day tours. That way, you don’t need to worry about the hassle of organising a day trip or driving with these day tours from Queenstown.
- Milford Sound Experience Full Day with Altitude Tours (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Paradise Valley Full-day Tour with Private Discovery Tours (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Queenstown – Arrowtown Sightseeing with Remarkable Scenic Tours (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Arrowtown and Wanaka Premium Tour from Queenstown with Remarkable Scenic Tours (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- The Wine Trail Tour with Queenstown Winery Tours (on Viator and Tripadvisor).
The Best Day Trip from Queenstown for Couples
Escape the hustle and bustle of Queenstown for a scenic road trip to Glenorchy. The trip takes you along the shores of Lake Wakatipu before reaching the charming little settlement with short walks and the famous photo stop of the red boatshed. Continue further along Paradise Road to access hiking trails like the Routeburn Track and Lake Sylvan Track.
Plan more activities for this day trip with the 10 Things to Do in Glenorchy.
The Best Day Trip from Queenstown for Families
While just a short drive from Queenstown, Arrowtown offers plenty to keep you busy for the whole day. The historical gold mining town has beautifully preserved buildings and stories to tell through the Lake District Museum and Chinese Settlement. You can also stretch your legs along the Arrow River Trail, indulge in fine food and drink, and try your luck panning for gold in the Arrow River.
Check out the 10 Amazing Things to Do in Arrowtown to plan more of your day trip from Queenstown.
The Best Day Trip from Queenstown for Luxury Travellers
Venture over the Cardrona Valley to Queenstown’s neighbour, Wanaka. Bask in the stunning lake and mountain views along the shores of Lake Wanaka or from one of the popular walking trails like Roys Peak. Experience kayaking tours or lake cruises on the lake itself or head to the ski fields of Treble Cone or Cardrona in winter.
Get more inspiration for your day trip from Queenstown in the 10 Things to Do in Wanaka.
The Best Day Trip from Queenstown for Foodies
Follow the dramatic gorge scenery of the Kawarau River and a valley of vineyards on your journey along the Gibbston Valley. At the start of the valley is the historic Kawarau Bridge where you can do New Zealand’s original bungy jump. Travel a little further and you’re in Queenstown’s wine country with plenty of cellar doors open for tastings. Finally, you’ll find the Goldfields Mining Centre with its gold panning and jet boat tours.
The Best Day Trip from Queenstown for Budget Travellers
On the bucket list for many, Milford Sound is a popular day trip from Queenstown. Because it’s a demanding return drive from Queenstown, we strongly recommend one of the many tour options as listed in the 10 Best Milford Sound Tours from Queenstown & Te Anau. Either way, once you arrive in Milford Sound, you have an array of fiord cruises, walks, scenic flights, as well as scuba diving and kayaking to choose from.
Plan more of your day trip using the 10 Amazing Things to Do in Milford Sound.