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Best day trips from Queenstown

There’s a lot to see and do in Queenstown, however there’s also a lot in the areas surrounding Queenstown too! As locals, we thought we’d share our favourite day trips to help you plan the best Queenstown holiday.


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Historic Arrowtown sits on the outskirts of Queenstown and is the perfect place to wander around browsing shops, learning about the area’s history by visiting the Lakes District Museum or having lunch in one of several top-notch restaurants. Arrowtown also has numerous walking and hiking trails with stunning scenery. During your time in Arrowtown be sure to have a go at gold-panning, just as the first settlers did – to this day there’s still a chance you’ll walk away with a few flecks of real gold from the Arrow River. Fancy a round of golf? There are several beautiful courses to choose from, or for a little more action, book a 4WD tour up to Macetown. Arrowtown is a truly charming area which is especially gorgeous in its autumn colours. It also hosts a couple of Relaxaway’s most stunning holiday homes.

Luxury Arrowtown opulence

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Luxury Arrowtown retreat

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A 45-minute drive from Queenstown, Glenorchy boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in the world – and some of the best day trips from Queenstown. The small township has two cafés ideal for lunch or afternoon tea. There are plenty of walks in the area, from short strolls such as the picturesque Glenorchy Walkway to multi-day hikes including the famous Routeburn Track. Horse trekking, jet boating and funyaking are a few of the more exciting activities on offer in the area. Paradise with its world-famous views is the jewel in the crown of Glenorchy, due to being featured in many films including Academy Award-winning motion pictures such as Lord of the Rings. For movie buffs there’re even guided 4WD film tours in Glenorchy.


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Roughly an hour’s drive from Queenstown over the twists and turns of the Crown Range and through old gold village Cardrona, is the tranquil Wanaka township. If you’re still craving thrills after driving up the zigzags of the Crown Range, there’s skydiving, canyoning, kayaking plus skiing and snowboarding in the colder months. Alternatively, grab a hot chocolate and take a walk to the famously Instagramable Wanaka Tree for a photograph; leaves dipping into the lake before an awe-inspiring backdrop of Mount Aspiring National Park. A visit to Wanaka isn’t complete without a tour of Puzzling World, renowned for its weird and wonderful perplexing rooms, games and maze.


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For something a little different why not visit the ‘Fruit Bowl of the South’, around 45 minutes from Queenstown. Cromwell is well known for its orchards where you can pick your own fruit, or amble around the roadside fruit stalls for locally made jam or pickle. Cycle along Lake Dunstan, then visit some of New Zealand’s finest vineyards for a well-earned break and a sample or two. For a thrilling experience pop into the Highlands Motorsport Park, with events, the opportunity to drive a supercar yourself, go-karts, a museum and restaurant, it’s a day out in itself.

Te Anau and Lake Manapouri

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Approximately two hours drive from Queenstown brings you to two stunning locations, both amazing day trips from Queenstown. Te Anau nestles on the edge of the lake of the same name, with its many options for food, drink, walks, and most notably, the glow worm caves. A short drive from there is Lake Manapouri, feel yourself wind down as you enter a remote wilderness, and the entrance to Fiordland National Park. Much quieter than the above locations, you can explore Fiordland by boat, plane, helicopter or for the intrepid, on foot.

Wherever you decide to go, we’re here to help, and to provide you with the perfect accommodation to come home to after your day out adventuring - whether it’s a bubbling spa on the deck, a super-comfy bed, or a high-spec kitchen for that romantic dinner, Relaxaway Holiday Homes have the perfect place for you after your day trip.