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New Zealand

Queenstown, Wanaka & Fiordland

Things to do

FIORDLAND? NO FAFF.

Looking for an action-packed break with a helping of jaw-dropping scenery thrown in for good measure? Book yourself a Queenstown, Wanaka and Fiordland holiday. Set against the striking backdrop of the Southern Alps, Queenstown and Wanaka are delightful resort towns that offer up heaps of activities, while Fiordland delivers spectacular landscapes of epic proportions. So if it’s an outdoor playground you’re after, they don’t come much better than this section of New Zealand’s South Island.

Located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, and surrounded by the towering peaks The Remarkables mountain range, Queenstown reigns supreme as New Zealand’s adventure capital. As the birthplace of the bungee jump, time spent here is all about chasing your next adrenaline rush. You can enjoy everything from skydiving and zip-lining to white-water rafting and jet-boating. Queenstown’s also a renowned cycling destination and, in winter, it’s the place to be for skiing and snowboarding.

Nearby Wanaka was long considered Queenstown’s more sedate younger sibling. Although it shares a picture-perfect lakeside setting and access to New Zealand’s top ski resorts – and also offers a smorgasbord of outdoor activities – these days Wanaka very much asserts its own identity. Less developed than Queenstown, and with a more laidback approach to things, this place packs in loads of cool galleries and stylish shops, as well as a great selection of cafes, restaurants and craft breweries. In fact, if you’re partial to a tipple, a Queenstown, Wanaka and Fiordland holiday is sure to please. The Central Otago region is home to many vineyards, famed for their excellent pinot noir and numerous varieties of white wine.

Besides catering to foodies and thrill-seekers, this part of New Zealand’s also a real paradise for hikers. There’s with everything from gentle waterfront strolls to strenuous mountain treks. Meanwhile Fiordland’s home to three of New Zealand’s 10 Great Walks – multi-day treks that pass through the country’s most magnificent scenery and iconic locations. Of course you can discover the treasures of Fiordland other ways, too. This mammoth national park’s an absolute stunner, and you can check out its mountains, forests and glacier-carved lakes on a boat cruise, from a kayak or even from the air.

If a holiday to Queenstown, Wanaka and Fiordland sounds up your street, give our travel specialists a call. They’ll put together an itinerary that’s right for you.

Queenstown & Wanaka

Fiordland

Glenorchy & Arrowtown

Best time to go

Things to do in Queenstown & Wanaka

New Zealand’s earned itself a reputation as the adventure capital of the world, and Queenstown and Wanaka have played a significant part in that. Queenstown is famously the birthplace of bungee jumping, and visitors here continue to pay good money to throw themselves off the Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge. If bungee jumping’s not for you, though, there are plenty more activities available – skydiving, jet-boating and rafting are also popular in both locations.

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In winter, there are even more thrills to be had as these resort towns are the gateways to New Zealand’s premier ski fields. Book yourself a Queenstown and Wanaka holiday between June and October and you’ll be able to whizz down the slopes at The Remarkables, Coronet Peak, Cardrona, Treble Cone or Snow Farm. In warmer months, hiking and mountain biking are also on offer. There are tonnes of trails to choose from, but Roy’s Peak in Wanaka is especially impressive.

It’s not all about being active and constantly chasing an adrenaline rush, though. Queenstown and Wanaka holidays are also great for foodies. The dining options in these two towns are amongst the best in the country – and if you’re into wine, you should definitely find time to visit the region’s excellent vineyards.

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Show Less

Fiordland & Milford Sound

If you like a bit a drama, you’ll find it on a Fiordland holiday. Packed with cascading waterfalls, towering cliffs and of course mirror-like fjords, the scenery here is guaranteed to leave you picking your jaw up off the floor. Spread across 12,500 square kilometres, it’s New Zealand’s largest national park – and it can be explored in a multitude of ways.

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Show Less

Milford Sound is one of the most popular, and accessible, parts of Fiordland. You can drive there along the picturesque Milford Road from the small town of Te Anau and then head out on the water on a boat cruise or kayak trip. Alternatively, you can catch a scenic flight from Queenstown and view it from the air. The likes of Doubtful Sound and Dusky Sound, meanwhile, are just as spectacular. But because they’re harder to get to than Milford Sound, they receive fewer visitors, which adds to the air of serenity.

Don’t think Fiordland’s only for water babies, though. It also caters to hikers with miles of stunning trails. The Milford, Kepler and Routeburn tracks are much-loved multi-day treks but, if you prefer something a little less challenging, there are plenty of shorter walks, too.

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Show Less

Glenorchy & Arrowtown

Queenstown and Wanaka may be the headline acts in this part of New Zealand, but there are a couple of smaller places nearby that are well worth a visit. Just 20 minutes northeast of Queenstown, on the banks of the Arrow River, you’ll find the historic gold mining town of Arrowtown. Charming and quirky, it’s home to lots of restored buildings, delightful cafes and boutiques where you can pick up all kinds of souvenirs. There’s even a tiny, but fascinating, museum which outlines the local history through a variety of exhibits.

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Another stop to add to your Queenstown and Wanaka holiday itinerary is Glenorchy. A 45-minute drive from Queenstown, at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu, it’s a great place for outdoor enthusiasts. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains and ancient beech forest, it’s a base for horse treks, jet-boat rides, helicopter flights and skydives. It’s also the gateway to the Routeburn Track – one of New Zealand’s Great Walks – and stood in for Middle Earth in both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings films.

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Show Less

Best time to go

The best time of year for a Queenstown or Wanaka holiday depends on what you want to do when you’re there. Those who want to ski or snowboard will need to visit in winter or early spring, so sometime between mid-June and mid-October. July is the coldest month of the year, with average lows around -2°C, but by September – the first month of spring – lows are closer to 2°C while highs are typically about 13°C or 14°C.

The summer months, which run from December to February, are characterised by long, warm days, with daytime temperatures usually in the mid-twenties. However, both towns see a lot of rain throughout the year. Wanaka does tend to be slightly drier than Queenstown, though, and it’s nearly always a degree or two warmer.

Show More
Show Less

The weather in Fiordland’s a little bit different. Things here are localised and highly changeable so, whichever month you visit, you should be prepared for all conditions. High and gusty winds, snow and cold temperatures can occur any time of year – although sunny days are possible too! But one thing that’s almost guaranteed on a Fiordland holiday is rain. This is one of the wettest places not just in New Zealand but anywhere on Earth. But it’s not all bad news. These heavy rains do have a benefit, as they support Fiordland’s abundant vegetation and contribute to its huge number of dramatic waterfalls.

Show More
Show Less

Queenstown & Wanaka

Things to do in Queenstown & Wanaka

New Zealand’s earned itself a reputation as the adventure capital of the world, and Queenstown and Wanaka have played a significant part in that. Queenstown is famously the birthplace of bungee jumping, and visitors here continue to pay good money to throw themselves off the Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge. If bungee jumping’s not for you, though, there are plenty more activities available – skydiving, jet-boating and rafting are also popular in both locations.

Show More
Show Less

In winter, there are even more thrills to be had as these resort towns are the gateways to New Zealand’s premier ski fields. Book yourself a Queenstown and Wanaka holiday between June and October and you’ll be able to whizz down the slopes at The Remarkables, Coronet Peak, Cardrona, Treble Cone or Snow Farm. In warmer months, hiking and mountain biking are also on offer. There are tonnes of trails to choose from, but Roy’s Peak in Wanaka is especially impressive.

It’s not all about being active and constantly chasing an adrenaline rush, though. Queenstown and Wanaka holidays are also great for foodies. The dining options in these two towns are amongst the best in the country – and if you’re into wine, you should definitely find time to visit the region’s excellent vineyards.

Show More
Show Less

Fiordland

Fiordland & Milford Sound

If you like a bit a drama, you’ll find it on a Fiordland holiday. Packed with cascading waterfalls, towering cliffs and of course mirror-like fjords, the scenery here is guaranteed to leave you picking your jaw up off the floor. Spread across 12,500 square kilometres, it’s New Zealand’s largest national park – and it can be explored in a multitude of ways.

Show More
Show Less

Milford Sound is one of the most popular, and accessible, parts of Fiordland. You can drive there along the picturesque Milford Road from the small town of Te Anau and then head out on the water on a boat cruise or kayak trip. Alternatively, you can catch a scenic flight from Queenstown and view it from the air. The likes of Doubtful Sound and Dusky Sound, meanwhile, are just as spectacular. But because they’re harder to get to than Milford Sound, they receive fewer visitors, which adds to the air of serenity.

Don’t think Fiordland’s only for water babies, though. It also caters to hikers with miles of stunning trails. The Milford, Kepler and Routeburn tracks are much-loved multi-day treks but, if you prefer something a little less challenging, there are plenty of shorter walks, too.

Show More
Show Less

Glenorchy & Arrowtown

Glenorchy & Arrowtown

Queenstown and Wanaka may be the headline acts in this part of New Zealand, but there are a couple of smaller places nearby that are well worth a visit. Just 20 minutes northeast of Queenstown, on the banks of the Arrow River, you’ll find the historic gold mining town of Arrowtown. Charming and quirky, it’s home to lots of restored buildings, delightful cafes and boutiques where you can pick up all kinds of souvenirs. There’s even a tiny, but fascinating, museum which outlines the local history through a variety of exhibits.

Show More
Show Less

Another stop to add to your Queenstown and Wanaka holiday itinerary is Glenorchy. A 45-minute drive from Queenstown, at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu, it’s a great place for outdoor enthusiasts. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains and ancient beech forest, it’s a base for horse treks, jet-boat rides, helicopter flights and skydives. It’s also the gateway to the Routeburn Track – one of New Zealand’s Great Walks – and stood in for Middle Earth in both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings films.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go

Best time to go

The best time of year for a Queenstown or Wanaka holiday depends on what you want to do when you’re there. Those who want to ski or snowboard will need to visit in winter or early spring, so sometime between mid-June and mid-October. July is the coldest month of the year, with average lows around -2°C, but by September – the first month of spring – lows are closer to 2°C while highs are typically about 13°C or 14°C.

The summer months, which run from December to February, are characterised by long, warm days, with daytime temperatures usually in the mid-twenties. However, both towns see a lot of rain throughout the year. Wanaka does tend to be slightly drier than Queenstown, though, and it’s nearly always a degree or two warmer.

Show More
Show Less

The weather in Fiordland’s a little bit different. Things here are localised and highly changeable so, whichever month you visit, you should be prepared for all conditions. High and gusty winds, snow and cold temperatures can occur any time of year – although sunny days are possible too! But one thing that’s almost guaranteed on a Fiordland holiday is rain. This is one of the wettest places not just in New Zealand but anywhere on Earth. But it’s not all bad news. These heavy rains do have a benefit, as they support Fiordland’s abundant vegetation and contribute to its huge number of dramatic waterfalls.

Show More
Show Less

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How to do Queenstown, Wanaka & Fiordland

If you’re ready to check out Queenstown, Wanaka and Fiordland, give our travel specialists a call. They can plan a trip that’s right for you.

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Whether you're looking for luxury or simplicity, we've got the perfect holiday for you.

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Travelbag is fully protected by ATOL and ABTA, so your booking is completely secure.

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