9 Things To Do For Couples In Queenstown
Kia ora, welcome to Queenstown!
With its breathtaking mountain views, crisp fresh air and a never-ending list of things to do, Queenstown is a perfect holiday destination for couples who love nature, adventure and a cheeky vino or two.
Located on the banks of beautiful Lake Wakatipu in the heart of New Zealand’s South Island, Queenstown offers a spectacular alpine setting for your next baecation, even if you don’t plan on hitting the slopes.
Here are nine of the best and most memorable adventures to share with your significant other in Queenstown.
1. Relax at the Onsen Hot Pools
Photo courtesy of Onsen Retreat & Spa
Escape the crowds and cosy up with your loved one whilst soaking in the beautiful scenery of Queenstown – literally. Located just 10 minutes from the town centre, Onsen Retreat & Day Spa boasts a number of private Japanese-inspired cedar-lined hot pools set high on the mountain-side.
This has to be one of the most romantic ways to spend some time with your loved one, with each private tub serving up panoramic views of the Shotover River canyon below.
Complimentary drinks and refreshments are provided with your 60 minute soak so you can enjoy the views in style – and if you really want to unwind, you can add on a couples massage package as well. Just make sure you plan your visit well ahead of time because the Onsen Hot Pools tend to book out months in advance, especially in the peak ski season!
This vintage steamship is affectionately nicknamed the “Lady of the Lake” and having run smoothly for more than 110 years, she is a dignified lady indeed. The full workings of the boat are all on display from a viewing platform, where you can watch the crew tending to the engine room, or take in the vessel’s rich history from the mini museum on board.
There are plenty of photo opportunities throughout the journey, with the majestic snow-capped mountains putting on a show. Grab a seat near the bow and breathe in the open air as you and your partner enjoy a few drinks from the ship’s bar.
The scenic 90-minute journey takes you to Walter Peak Station where you can include a stopover at the Country Farm for a gourmet all-you-can-eat barbecue lunch or dinner. It’s an absolute feast with a mouth-watering spread of grilled meats, salads and bread – but if you decide to skip the barbecue stopover, you might just be lucky enough to have the boat all to yourselves on the way back.
3. Go deep into the wilderness on a Funyak Safari adventure
Photo courtesy of Dart River
Get away from the hustle and bustle of Queenstown and float downstream with your loved one on a Funyak. Yes, you read that correctly, a Funyak – an inflatable canoe that combines the thrill of a jet boat ride with the serenity of a kayak.
The Dart River Funyak Safari Adventure takes you deep into the heart of Mt. Aspiring National Park, a world-renowned UNESCO site, where you can get up close with nature and paddle your way through hidden side streams, rock pools and ancient chasms.
This is a full day adventure that includes a wilderness picnic lunch and ends with a 4WD coach passing through Middle Earth, aka some of New Zealand's most famous filming locations.
4. Race your partner down the Luge
Photo courtesy of Skyline Queenstown
If you or your partner have a competitive side, why not take them on in a friendly Luge race?
Located 450 metres above Queenstown, the Skyline Luge is an iconic activity with a track that boasts incredible views of the Wakatipu Basin. And rest assured this activity is not just for kids – the track itself is fairly steep and the Luge carts can go pretty fast.
To get there, hop on the Skyline Gondola – just a five minute walk from the town centre – and make your way up to the top of Bob’s Peak. When you reach the top, there’s a small chairlift that will take you to the Luge entrance. It’s a short but peaceful ride that offers more bonus breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
If you and your partner enjoy an active lifestyle, you can skip the gondola and hike your way up the top of Bob’s Peak instead by following the Tiki Trail (about 2.1 kilometres long).
Make sure you book more than one Luge ride – the first lap is always the slowest, where you learn how to navigate your way down. After your practice run, that’s when the competitive fun begins and you can race each other to the bottom.
Win or lose, it’s pretty darn fun.
The Nevis Swing is the world’s biggest swing, launching you into a freefall for 70 metres before hurtling you and your partner towards a rocky cliff face at speeds of 120 kph. This thrill-seeking activity will definitely go down as one of the craziest and most unforgettable things you’ll do with your partner.
The Swing is located about 40 minutes outside of Queenstown, but your entry ticket includes return transfers on The Bungy Bus, so expect about a four-hour return trip all up.
While you’re out there, if you’re looking to take more leaps of faith together, check out the Nevis Bungy and Nevis Catapult as well.
6. Take a day trip to Arrowtown
Buckingham St, Arrowtown. Photo courtesy of Arrowtown Promotion & Business Association
If you have the time, it’s well worth journeying further afield and taking a trip to Arrowtown.
Arrowtown is a quaint little village located 30 minutes drive from Queenstown. Established in 1862, the town is a living historic settlement from the 1800s, and a well-preserved slice of the gold mining era.
Spend some time exploring the picturesque main streets, interesting galleries and Chinese settlement buildings. There are also plenty of photo opportunities to be had amongst the vibrant colourful trees and riverside walk.
Whether you’re there to enjoy a meal at one of the local gastropubs, grab a drink at a hidden bar or stock up on road trip lollies and fudge from the Remarkable Sweet Shop, a trip to Arrowtown is a fantastic way to spend the day with your significant other.
7. Pedal the Gibbston Wine Region
Photo courtesy of Around the Basin
Fun fact: There are over two hundred vineyards within an hour’s drive from Queenstown. That’s right, Queenstown is home to Central Otago wine region, the world’s southernmost wine region – and Gibbston is right in the heart of this wine country.
If you’re keen to combine wine tasting with an adventure, saddle up with your partner and enjoy one of Around the Basin’s half day, three-quarter day or full day biking and winery tours.
The tour includes shuttle pick-up and drop-off, a full bike safety briefing and a trail map with information about the wineries, breweries and even a cheesery. You can go at your pace and taste as many wines as you’d like. (And of course, they’ll pick up all the wine you decide to buy).
Depending on how many wineries you decide to visit, you’ll be biking a distance of between five and 12 kilometres. If biking isn’t really your thing, you can always head out on the Queenstown wine trail tour and enjoy a private or small group sightseeing winery tour by bus instead.
8. Wine & Dine at Amisfield Vineyard
Image via https://amisfield.co.nz/
While Queenstown boasts an excellent range of restaurants and cafes, there’s nothing quite like the dinner degustation experience at Amisfield Vineyard, one of Queenstown’s most popular wineries.
With three hats under its belt, Amisfield was named Restaurant of the Year at the 2022 Cuisine Good Food Awards – all the more reason to put your faith in Executive Chef Vaughan Mabee for an evening of elevated dining.
Each course offers up flavours of the region “inspired by evocative childhood memories that in turn help shape stories of New Zealand”. This is a truly unforgettable culinary experience and the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion, or simply indulge in a spectacular meal while on holiday.
9. Snuggle up by the fire in your Queenstown apartment
Image via https://www.oakshotels.com/en/oaks-shores
After a fun-filled day of exploring everything Queenstown has to offer, it doesn’t get much better than cosying up by the fireplace with a glass of vino and the one you love.
With accommodation to suit couples, Oaks Club Suites and Oaks Shores Resort apartments contain modern, luxurious furnishings, heated floors, and a gas fireplace in most apartments. All you need to do is bring the marshmallows and red wine.