As summer melts into autumn, the Central Otago landscape ignites into vibrant colour, mornings and evenings freshen and a touch of magic scents the air. The region slowly emerges from its summer reverie to embrace the cool caress of Mother Nature.
The changing seasons of Queenstown are a major draw card and none more so than autumn. It’s the perfect time of year to recharge the batteries and soak up the atmosphere – all with a backdrop of red and gold leaf fall against a deep blue sky.
Autumn’s warm sunny days entice visitors to discover the region on foot or by bike. Wakatipu’s extensive trail system of hikes and mountain biking takes in hills, lakes, rivers, coves, mountains, and the area’s rich heritage includes historic bridges and gold mining settlements.
Renowned for its spectacular scenery, there are so many ways to explore this premier four season alpine and lake resort.
Wine tours provide wonderful tastes along with an insight into Central Otago’s many vineyards – alive with activity at this time of year as more than 6,000 tonnes of grapes are harvested before winter frosts set in. Celebrate the grape harvest with the locals at the Gibbston Harvest Festival on March 20. Other tours include trips to the region’s gardens, Lord of the Rings locations and into the eerie ghost towns that remain following the 1860’s gold rush.
A day or two can be wiled away in Glenorchy; only 45 minutes from Queenstown. The sealed road follows the lake westward along what must surely be one of the world’s most spectacular scenic drives.
Only 20 minutes from Queenstown, nestled amongst blazing red and gold hills, Arrowtown welcomes visitors to help celebrate its favourite season during the Arrowtown Autumn Festival – this year it’s held from 16 to 25 April. The sights and sounds of the week-long event will take visitors back in time to the old gold mining days.
While there’s a lot to see and do in the area, there’s always time for some much deserved pampering. Queenstown has a selection of luxury spa resorts offering a variety of international and traditional treatments. Do what the locals do and follow your treatment with a long lazy lunch al fresco style.
This beautiful alpine town and fun, sophisticated resort is home to more than 150 restaurants! The range is extraordinary, from highly salubrious to the truly cheap and cheerful. In autumn, hearty food and cosy seating by wood fires are an inviting proposition after a busy day sightseeing.
The resort is also fast gaining a reputation as an international golf destination, with five fantastic courses to choose from. When it comes to settling in for the night, Queenstown caters for a wide range of accommodation styles and budgets. Visitors can choose to stay in the heart of the downtown action or to retreat into the hills, splash out on five star or choose a budget option.