Top camping, hiking and wine tasting options near Queenstown, New Zealand

Posted by Beth | May 11, 2016

After we said farewell to our friends and the North Island of New Zealand we caught a flight out of Wellington into Queenstown on the South Island. We had about a week and a half in the South and were pretty torn about how to spend our time. In the end we decided to scrap another big road trip and just focus our time around the Queenstown area. We did still get a rental car, which made it possible to get around easier and be on our own schedule. This leg of our trip was full of camping and hiking, taking in the spectacular scenery in the area. We were there in early April, which was fall in New Zealand and the leaves were just starting to change.

Lots of beautiful views on the drive between Queenstown and Milford Sound

Lots of beautiful views on the drive between Queenstown and Milford Sound

Top Campgrounds 

Near Queenstown:

Twelve Mile Delta-$10/person

Moke Lake-$10/person

Waking up to fog over the lake

Waking up to fog over the lake

Near Wanaka:

Albert Town Campground (Not Department of Conservation site)-$7/person

Near Milford Sound:

Cascade Creek-Lake Gunn $6/person–This is the closest DoC campground to Milford Sound, therefore was pretty crowd but nice to be able to get to the cruise easily in the morning.

Top 10 Holiday Park Te Anau-$20/person–Super nice campground with clean kitchens, bathrooms and laundry facilities.

Top Hikes

Near Queenstown:

Twelve Mile Delta to Bob’s Cove


Mount Crichton-2 hours


Queenstown Hill-3 hours


Moke Lake

IMG_5910Near Milford Sound in Fiordland National Park:

Lake Marian-3 hours. This is the one we did and actually wish we had done Key Summit instead. If you do Lake Marian just go up about 10 minutes to see the falls and then turn around.


Hiking to Marian Lake

Key Summit-3 hours

Gertrude Saddle-4-6 hours

Lake Gunn-45 minutes

Mirror Lakes in Fiordland NP

Mirror Lakes in Fiordland NP

Top Wine Tastings

*Be sure to pick up a Central Otago Wine Map from the airport or an i-Site. Wineries listed below in the order we visited them in. 

Gibbston Valley-largest/most popular in the area-7.50NZD for three tastes. We loved the Pinot Blanc.

Peregrine-loved the Pinot Gris-free tasting, bought a 20NZD bottle of Pinot Gris

Akarua-free, but this was our least favorite of the ones we did

Ceres-free for four tastings, also small art gallery in the same venue.

Space at the Base (Scott Base)-free tasting, probably our favorite. Loved the sparkling, bought a bottle for 27NZD.

Rippon-free tasting with suggested donation for various charities. Most scenic winery we’ve probably ever been to!

We didn’t have a chance to go to Amisfield and Stoneridge, the closest wineries to Queenstown (20 minute drive) because they were so packed when we arrived so we kept going.

We ended up getting stuck in Queenstown two extra days, but had great views when our flight actually made it out. This area is certainly one of the most scenic areas in the world!

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