Food and Wine Explorers
Queenstown / Wanaka / Cromwell
Duration: 4 Days
For wine lovers this journey takes you into the heart of wine country and exploring all this area has to offer including wine experiences, culinary delights and short walks to recharge the palate.
Start your discovery of New Zealands’s most southern wine region by visiting a range of tasting rooms in Queenstown, Central Otago, Arrowtown and Gibbston.
Indulge in a guided wine tour from central Queenstown or enjoy a leisurely bike ride through Gibbston's vineyards, with the option of a shuttle ride back. For a truly unique experience, consider a helicopter wine tour or visit the largest wine cave in New Zealand at Gibbston Valley, where winemaking began in the 1980s. You will have time to revisit your favourites or pick up any you have missed on your return journey to Queenstown.
Head to historic Arrowtown and explore its captivating heritage buildings transformed into boutique shops, cafes, restaurants, galleries, wine stores and tasting rooms. Lose yourself in the charm of this town as you leisurely stroll along the main street and take in the serene beauty of the Arrow River on its edges.
Before the day ends, take a scenic drive over the Crown Range towards Wanaka. Along the way, you'll encounter the charming village of Cardrona, home to one of New Zealand's most photographed pubs. Don't miss the opportunity to capture a memorable photo and enjoy a glass of Central Otago Pinot. If you prefer gin, make a visit to Cardrona Distillery.
Continue on towards Wanaka for your accommodation for the night.
Begin your day with a walk along the Millennium track, the lakeside track that starts on the waterfront, or up the locals favourite, Mt Iron before choosing your breakfast location for the day.
The Wanaka wine sub region is boutique and is the most northern of the Central Otago wine regions. Explore the Wanaka wineries with a wine tour , delight in the flavors and immerse yourself in the breathtaking surroundings. If you are planning to visit independently please ensure you check opening hours.
Head to Hook for lunch, you can catch it yourself in the Salmon fishing pond and they will either cook it to your liking or prepare it for you to take on your travels.
For dinner, you can have your pick of cuisines, or for something a little different, head along to the food trucks at the Brownston Street Food Truck Market . Afterward, unwind at the local bars, where you can choose from an impressive selection of world-class Central Otago wines, craft beers, and spirits.
Enjoy your morning drive to the heart of Central Otago’s wine region, home to 80% of all vineyards in this world acclaimed wine region.
The easy 45-minute drive to Cromwell allows plenty of stops. Enjoy walking tracks, lakeside photos, roadside orchard fruit stalls, visiting a craft Meadery or tasting olive oils in a grove. Taste locally grown food in cafés, winery restaurants and taverns in and around Cromwell.
Bannockburn is a haven for wine lovers offering a mix of established wineries and relaxed cellar doors. Hire an e-bike and cycle-meander following the Lake Dunstan Trail to truly soak up the continental-like climate and landscape most often compared to the South of France. With more than 50 tasting room experiences available in the two basins alone, this is a haven for wine enthusiasts - we suspect this may become your new happy place.
Circumnavigating Lake Dunstan offers a wide range of vineyard and tasting experiences. Delight all your senses by discovering the wines grown on organic vineyards and make time for the 25-minute side trip to Alexandra and Clyde to discover a captivating sub-region with more than 25 cellar doors.
Add the heritage precincts in Cromwell and Clyde to experience the charm of beautifully restored historic buildings now home to artists in galleries, cafés, boutique shops, restaurants and Boutique Lodge B&Bs. Perhaps stay an extra night to truly unwind.
Its time to return to Queenstown with satisfied palates, treasured bottles of wine from cellar doors, and a refreshed spirit from invigorating nature walks.
If it’s adrenaline you’re after, on your last day then a stop at Highland’s Motorsport Park is a must. Choose from a self-drive option or experience the thrill from the passenger seat and visit the National Motorsport Museum. The Goldfields Jet operates from here offering an exhilarating ride down the Kawarau Gorge.
Take your time through the Kawarau Gorge and you will make your way into Gibbston. The valley is famous for making some of the regions best wines but is also the home to craft breweries and cheese.
As you conclude your wine lovers' trip in Queenstown, it is our hope that you have savored the full range of offerings from the Central Otago wine region.
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