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Queenstown is one of the most popular romantic getaways in New Zealand. With its gigantic snow-covered mountains and bright blue lakes, it’s picture-perfect and one of my favorite towns in the world!
Queenstown really is the perfect honeymoon destination. There are plenty of luxurious hotels with stunning views and excellent restaurants. Plus, there’s so much to do here as a couple! You can take a scenic flight to Milford Sound (aka the 8th wonder of the world), relax in arguably the most scenic hot tub in the world, and take in the views from a hot air balloon.
But there’s just one problem. Planning a honeymoon in Queenstown can be time-consuming – there is just so much to do in this gorgeous lakeside town.
That’s why I’ve written this blog. I’ve taken the stress out of your honeymoon planning and listed the most romantic places to stay, the best restaurants, and the best things to do in Queenstown to ensure your honeymoon is one to remember!
I’ve done all the research for you so that you can easily plan your very own Queenstown honeymoon!
3 Most Romantic Honeymoon Hotels in Queenstown
Let’s face it, one of the most important aspects when planning any honeymoon is choosing where to stay. A hotel can make or break any holiday – especially a honeymoon! Below, I’ve hand-selected the 3 most luxurious and romantic hotels in Queenstown that would be perfect for anybody on their honeymoon. These hotels cater to couples and really have thought of everything! They are each special in their own way but all have spectacular reviews.
Matakauri Lodge (most luxurious hotel)
A favorite hotel of celebrities, Matakauri Lodge is nestled among native bush and is a 7-minute drive from the center of Queenstown. You will be treated to stunning views of the Remarkables, Cecil Peak, and Lake Wakatipu from your suite as well as the common areas.
This truly is a hotel to add to your Queenstown honeymoon bucket list. Onsite there’s a heated outdoor infinity pool, a hot tub, a gym, and a spa offering an array of services. There’s even a nightly turn-down service!
This place is the epitome of luxury! It’s definitely a splurge-worthy hotel but your stay here includes breakfast and cocktail hour. Most suites also feature an oversized bathtub overlooking the lake!
Matakauri is the most expensive hotel on this list but there’s no better excuse to spoil yourselves than on your honeymoon. Am I right?!
Kamana Lakehouse (best value-for-money)
Perched high up on Fernhill a 20-minute walk from the center of town, Kamana Lakehouse is relatively new to the hotel scene in Queenstown (it opened in December 2018). The hotel is modern with an art-deco vibe and the restaurant (The Nest) looks like it belongs in an interiors magazine with floor-to-ceiling windows taking in the epic views of Lake Wakatipu. In fact, the onsite restaurant is one of the top restaurants in Queenstown!
The rooms here are stylish and comfortable and most come with great views. For a real treat, why not book their private hot-tub experience to admire the scenery?
Kamana Lakehouse is great value for money considering the epic views (arguably the best out of all the Queenstown hotels) with rooms here starting at $389 NZD per night.
The Dairy Private Hotel (best hotel in Queenstown CBD)
The Dairy Private Hotel on Brecon Street was formerly a corner store or “dairy store” as they’re known in New Zealand. The building itself dates back to the 1920s. Centrally located it’s just a few steps away from the famed Skyline Gondola. From here, you are within walking distance to all of the best attractions in Queenstown including the Queenstown Gardens and Lake Wakatipu cruises.
Ask for a room with a view of The Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu. The common areas and rooms have a cozy vibe overall and the guest lounge even has a fireplace. There’s also a guest library and an outdoor spa pool.
Seeing as it’s your honeymoon, why not splurge on a Junior Suite which features a large balcony to admire the scenery.
The Dairy Private Hotel is ideal if you’re after a romantic honeymoon stay right in the center of Queenstown. All of the town’s amazing restaurants, bars, and cafes are on your doorstep.
5 Best Things to do in Queenstown on Your Honeymoon
When most people think of Queenstown they think of all of the adventure activities. Sure, Queenstown may be the adventure capital of New Zealand, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a huge range of romantic activities too!
In fact, there are tons of romantic things to do in Queenstown to keep you buys on your Queenstown honeymoon. To keep it easy, in this blog I’ve listed my three favorite activities that are perfect for couples. They are once-in-a-lifetime experiences that are best shared with your loved one.
Take a scenic flight
Whether it’s in a fixed-wing plane or a helicopter, seeing Queenstown from above is the ultimate honeymoon activity. You may opt for a short and reasonably priced 20-minute-long flight around Queenstown and the surrounding areas which include the Shotover River and Remarkables mountains.
Some of the helicopter trips also include an alpine landing – which is a truly unique add-on. Land high on a mountain top, feel the crunch of the snow under your feet, take in the pure silence and cherish the fact you’ve landed where only a small number of people have landed before.
Whichever flight option you choose, a scenic flight high above Queenstown’s epic scenery is sure to make it a honeymoon to remember.
Enjoy a cruise on Lake Wakatipu
Does cruising along Lake Wakatipu with your loved one in hand sound like the perfect honeymoon activity? If so, there is no shortage of cruise companies to choose from in Queenstown where you can enjoy the stunning views from one of New Zealand’s most beautiful lakes.
From historic steamships to more modern luxury catamarans, there are a couple of different ways to enjoy a cruise on Lake Wakatipu. Whichever one you choose, you simply can’t beat the views. And I have to admit, there’s just something so relaxing about seeing the calm blue water underfoot as you peer up at snow-capped mountains.
For a historic twist, take a ride in the mighty TSS Earnslaw, an iconic century-old coal-fired steamship. You can tour the engine room and explore historic displays of the ship’s former life on this 90-minute cruise. Add on a gourmet lunch buffet at the scenic Walter Peak Farm for the ultimate afternoon tour spoiling yourselves.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a cheaper activity in Queenstown, consider the Spirit of Queenstown scenic cruise. This cruise is on board a catamaran and also lasts for 90 minutes – but it starts at only $49 NZD per person! It’s just quick activity that you can easily make time for even if your Queenstown itinerary is already jam-packed.
Go wine tasting in the Gibbston Valley
Wine tours in Queenstown a popular activity for couples. The beautiful Gibbston Valley near Queenstown is the perfect place to explore all of the best wineries near Queenstown. This region is known for amazing views, small boutique wineries, and friendly Kiwi (nickname for New Zealanders) faces. IT should come as no surprise this area is one of the most popular day trips from Queenstown.
From Queenstown, you can reach the Gibbston Valley in around 25 minutes. Once there, you can simply begin visiting cellar doors that include the Gibbston Valley Winery, Kinross Cellar Door, Mt Rosa, and Akurua Wines. Most of the wineries have a small fee for the tasting, but they’re pretty generous with their wine.
If you don’t want the hassle of driving yourself, then you can also join lots of fun wine tours from Queenstown. Some include lunch, others just a snack, and some even visit breweries! Personally, this wine tour is my absolute favorite (I’ve actually done it twice!) You’ll drink the best wine Otago has to offer and just have a blast, believe me!
With lots of options and plenty of wine to drink, I’d say a wine tour in the Gibbston Valley is a must – especially if you’re planning a couple’s getaway!
A pool with a view at Onsen Hot Pools
The Onsen Hot Pools located in Arthurs Point are notoriously popular with both locals and tourists. In fact, they top my list of the best hot pools in Queenstown! So, my top advice for this activity is to book in advance as the spaces fill up very quickly!
Your private cedar-lined hot pool has a stunning view over the Shotover River and is especially pretty in Winter with the snow-capped mountains in the background. It’s an hour-long experience which you can opt to include bubbles and snacks. You can add on spa treatments in the adjoining spa if you wish for a truly relaxing day-out. Worth noting is the spa here won the 2019 World Luxury Spa Awards.
My top tip is to take lots of photos – you will be the envy of all your friends back home. The most photogenic time being sunset when the surrounding mountains are bathed in a pink glow.
Sunrise balloon ride
This is a truly unique experience – rise high above Queenstown (up to 1,829 meters/6,000 feet!!) and spot the Southern Alps, The Remarkables, and more from your hot air balloon. A sunrise hot air balloon ride is an experience not many people will get to try. So, doesn’t that make it the ultimate honeymoon activity (as long as you’re not afraid of heights that is!)
At the end of your flight enjoy some complimentary champagne to toast a morning well-spent.
You will even be given the chance to help the team at Sunrise Balloons inflate the balloon and pack it away afterward, all adding to the uniqueness of this activity.
The company will pick you up from your accommodation and drop you back after. Worth noting is this activity is weather dependent and can be canceled on short notice, as the weather in Queenstown can change very quickly!
Related Read: Want to ensure you have the best weather for your Queenstown honeymoon? Read my blog when it’s the best time to visit Queenstown!
Top 3 Romantic Restaurants in Queenstown
Now that you’ve got somewhere to stay and some of the best things to do on your Queenstown honeymoon, the only thing left is to plan a couple of very special romantic dinners. These next couple of restaurants are the very best of the best, and you’re sure to be impressed should you should to visit any one of them.
Located in Archer’s Cottage overlooking Lake Wakatipu the award-winning Botswana Butchery is a very popular restaurant in Queenstown that’s known for its steak and seafood dishes. If the weather permits, ask for a seat outside for prime lakeside views – there’s even an outdoor fireplace to keep you warm.
The french onion soup from their starter menu is legendary, and for the mains, I highly recommend the Wild Fiordland Red Deer or the High Country Lamb. Botswana Butchery can cater to dietary requirements and there are several vegetarian and gluten-free options on the menu.
Botswana Butchery is located on 17 Marine Parade and is open from 12 pm to 11 pm Wednesday to Sunday.
Headed by celebrity chef Josh Emmett this is one of the best fine dining restaurants in New Zealand. The menu at Rata is exquisite and focuses on the best New Zealand has to offer – their menu is seasonal and changes regularly.
Dining here is a real treat! I personally love their Merino Lamb Shoulder served with eggplant and tamarind chutney. Oh, and you must try the house-made Rata bread to start.
The wine list is extensive and the staff is super-knowledgeable and friendly. In my opinion, Rata is the ideal restaurant in Queenstown for a honeymooning couple.
Rata is located at 43 Ballarat Street and is open Thursday to Monday from 5 pm for dinner.
At the helm of the kitchen at Amisfield is award-winning Chef Vaughn Mabee who won Chef of the Year in 2019 and honed his cooking skills at famed Noma in Copenhagen. At Amisfield his creative dishes attract rave reviews.
Lunch or dinner at Amisfield is degustation style and explores the season’s best local produce. The menu made up of multiple small courses truly offers a taste of the Central Otago region and all courses can be expertly matched with wines from the vineyard next door. Yes, Amisfield is also a famous winery – stop in to the cellar door to sample some of their wines before or after your meal.
Amisfield is open Wednesday to Sunday with lunch service starting at 12 pm and dinner from 6 pm. Prices for a multi-course dinner spread are $270 NZD per person. Sure the prices here are expensive but I promise it’s worth it for this Michelin-worthy dining experience.
Amisfield Restaurant and Winery is located in Lake Hayes – a 15-20 minute drive from the center of Queenstown.
Other Must-Do Activities While in Queenstown
While in Queenstown there are plenty of other activities that will keep you busy… Honestly, there are so many it’ll be hard to choose which ones to do! Below are some of my favorites.
- Queenstown Lakes Lord of the Rings Tour – This tour is fun for both major LOTR fans and those who have some level of interest in seeing and learning about the filming locations. You will be guided around in a 4×4 vehicle that is equipped to cross rivers and rugged terrain. There are 8 different stops over 9 hours, it’s a long day but it will be filled with so many breathtaking views and you’ll learn a ton from your guide.
- Queenstown Canyoning Adventure – This is one of the best adventure tours in Queenstown! Climb and jump off waterfalls, rappel, swim, and trek your way down a part of a Queenstown canyon with a qualified guide. This thrilling full-day activity is perfect for those who love adventure and exploration! As long as you aren’t afraid of heights and have a basic swimming ability you won’t need any other skills.
- Extreme Jet Boating – Looking for a thrill? Jet Boating is one of New Zealand’s most unique activities. On the tour out of Queenstown, you’ll be able to zoom up the Shotover River through narrow canyons at high speeds and make 360-degree spins. Trust, me it’s epic!
Renting a Car, Campervan, or Motorhome in New Zealand
Let’s face it, you’re going to need wheels to get around New Zealand. Although a small country, buses between destinations are infrequent and expensive. Plus, some of the best experiences you can have in NZ are on road trips!
You have three options when it comes to getting wheels in New Zealand; a car, a campervan, or a motorhome. Here’s what you need to know about each and where to get them:
- Car – A normal car is the cheapest rental vehicle you can get in New Zealand. It’ll get you around to all of the best destinations with ease. The only downside to a car is that you will need to stay in hotels or Airbnbs during your travels (no camping.) The easiest place to rent a car in New Zealand is on Discover Cars where you can compare cars, companies, prices, features, and more very easily.
- Campervan – A Campervan is a large van that has a bed and a small kitchen in the back. It is what most budget backpackers get for traveling around New Zealand since it allows you to camp comfortably and for free (most) nights. Campervans are best for couples or solo travelers who are happy to live in a small space. You should also love the outdoors and camping! You can easily compare campervans, prices, and book on the website Motorhome Republic. We also have a 5% discount code (QUEEN5) with Mad Campers, which you can use at checkout.
- Motorhome – A motorhome is larger and more comfortable than a campervan. Many motorhomes will comfortably sleep 6 or more people – perfect for a family visiting New Zealand. Motorhomes are the most expensive option, but with one, you won’t ever need to stay in a hotel and you’ll save money that way. Motorhome Republic is my suggested website for booking a motorhome in New Zealand simply because they are a reliable company and the website is super easy to use! We are also partnered with Kiwi Motorhomes, which is well known as the top motorhome rental company in New Zealand. You can get 5% off using the code Queen5. For more detailed info, read my complete guide to renting a motorhome in New Zealand!
Travel Insurance Has Your Back!
Life can be unpredictable and when you’re traveling abroad the last thing you want to worry about is getting sick or injured and having to pay out of pocket for treatment.
If this concerns you, SafetyWing can help! SafetyWing specializes in very affordable and comprehensive medical and travel insurance that is aimed at digital nomads, remote workers, and long-term travelers. It costs just $45 USD per 4 weeks!
To start coverage you must purchase it after leaving your home country, so we usually purchase it as soon as we land in the airport.
Since using SafetyWing we’ve been reimbursed thousands of dollars when we’ve gotten sick. During the pandemic, they’ve even gone as far as to pay for our last-minute flights back to Canada before the border closed!
Thanks for reading!
Queenstown truly is one of the most beautiful and romantic places in New Zealand. It is undoubtedly an ideal honeymoon destination with its stunning scenery, gorgeous hotels, and bucket-list-worthy activities.
I really hope this blog has helped plan your upcoming honeymoon to Queenstown and has you excited about what this gorgeous area has to offer. Browse around my blog for tons of other articles about visiting Queenstown. As a local, I have endless amounts of info to share, I’ve included a few of my favorites below: