Queenstown is breathtaking year-round, but we do count ourselves exceptionally fortunate at this time of the year. We are treated to autumn yellows, oranges and reds, a colour palate that works extremely well with those Central Otago tussocks.
It’s three months of camera happy exploring in Queenstown, and here’s a guide to save you some time. Our must-do’s in Queenstown during autumn!
A stroll through historic Arrowtown
This is the spot to capture that ultimate Queenstown photo! Arrowtown has plenty to offer, with gold panning troughs and picnic spots along the Arrow River. Walk around the Chinese Settlement and get a glimpse of the ‘golden’ era. As you roam you’ll be draped in autumn leaves falling from deciduous trees. A truly spectacular experience at this time of year.
Beautiful days and colourful hills – Arrowtown is at its best in Autumn.
See it from the water
Lake Wakatipu is framed by native and exotic trees and a lake cruise is the perfect way to get 360 degree views of the autumn colours around. Not to mention how great a cruise is for seeing more of the region! Spirit of Queenstown Scenic Cruise is the longest lake cruise you will find in town, don’t forget to tick this off your list.
Spirit of Queenstown Scenic Cruise pulling into Mt Nicholas High Country Farm.
Queenstown to Milford Sound
A day trip to Milford Sound is magical on a fresh autumn day. Experience a wide range of scenery in a short space of time, as you journey from bustling Queenstown into classic kiwi Southland farms. With stops along the way, you are guaranteed to be in awe even before reaching your destination. Cruise or kayak in Milford Sound to see as many aspects of this dramatic fiord as possible.
Journey up Queenstown Hill
Experience Queenstown from new heights. The Queenstown Hill trail is just minutes from the town centre, and is a scenic walk to the summit of Te Tapu-nui. Climb through pine forest and enjoy the fresh mountain air.
At the top you are rewarded with vibrant autumn colours and views of The Remarkables, Cecil Peak and the Kawarau River.
Autumn view from Queenstown Hill with the Spirit of Queenstown Scenic Cruise on the way to Mt Nicholas Station.
Bike to the wineries
Take your time and soak up the scenery as you cycle towards renowned Central Otago wineries. The bike trail takes you along rivers, suspension bridges and into the Gibbston wine region. Catch the early morning rays in the golden leaves, and enjoy some beautiful wines. Don’t worry about cycling back to town, there are transfers for that!
Southern Discoveries Bridge on the Arrowtown Cycle Trail on the way to Gibbston Valley.