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18 FUN Things To Do in Cromwell, New Zealand

18 FUN Things To Do in Cromwell, New Zealand

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Is Cromwell on your radar, and you’re interested in learning more about this hidden gem? It’s time to end that search, you’re in the right place!

I’m constantly touring across the country in search of new and exciting things to do, but I still remember the first time I visited Cromwell like it was yesterday. I think I can sum up this town in two words – pure adventure.

Whether you’re planning on a road trip to Cromwell from Queenstown (one of my favorite things to do!), or even fancy staying here to relax, I’ve put together this complete guide of my all-time favorite things to do here, to help you put together the ultimately Cromwell itinerary.

Let’s dive right in!

Cromwell, New Zealand FAQs

Views from a lookout in Cromwell over Lake Dunstan
Views over Lake Dunstan near Cromwell!

Fun Things to do in Cromwell

1. Take aim at Paintball Central

A person plays paintball at Paintball Central
Looking tactical!

Do you enjoy a good afternoon adrenaline rush?

If you’re up for a bit of thrill (and don’t mind getting hit occasionally), grab a paintball gun and go on the hunt! Paintball Central is Cromwell’s outdoor paintball palace, offering 10 acres (4 hectares) of open grounds and fun for folks of all ages.

They provide everything you need for a fun and action-packed day, including safety gear and appropriate clothing – so you can get covered in color without smudging your clothes. All in all, this is easily one of the most fun activities in Cromwell!

With their motto being “10 acres of pure adrenaline!” you know you’re in for some excitement. Paintball Central hosts groups of up to 50 (advance booking required) – so you can bring the whole gang! Because there’s nothing that brings people together like a bit of stiff competition out there in the field. Test your aim and have some good (and not so clean) fun.

A basic game with 100 paintballs costs $60 NZD, but there are bigger packages available. Remember to always wear appropriate safety gear and footwear, and to adhere to the rules of the game to avoid any injuries. Safety first!

2. Go-karts at Highlands Motorsport Park

Drive a Ferrari at Highlands Motorsport Park in Wanaka, New Zealand
Photo credit: Highlands – Experience the Exceptional

What better way to have some awesome afternoon fun than a few laps in a speedy go-kart? Bring your friends and have a drive around one of New Zealand’s most famous go-kart race tracks at Highlands Motorsport Park.

Only 45 minutes from Queenstown, Highlands is a tourist favorite and definitely has played a part in boosting Cromwell’s local economy for almost a decade! Providing speedy thrills to locals since 2013, Highlands is where people of all ages can jump into high-speed go-karts and race around a challenging but fun track of twists and turns.

On any given day, you can even take a few exhilarating laps around their world-class race track in the hallmark Highlands Taxi, a Porsche Cayenne Turbo! You’ll feel some serious g-force as you reach speeds of up to 180 kph (112 mph) in this heart-racing thrill ride to remember. Of course, in this experience you’ll be driven by a professional, but if anything, that makes the thrills even better!

If you want to drive yourself, then you’re in luck! This u-drive experience allows you to race around the track in a Formula 1 racecar! With a professional next to you giving instructions, you’ll get to drive seven exhilarating laps around the track.

Also featured on the grounds are a world-class full-speed racing track, a café, a sculpture park, and a museum. You can easily spend half a day here, plus it’s also a great place to check out professional races and get a show-stopping view of Cromwell’s magnificent desert landscape. 

The friendly guys running the show here also host special events, including business functions and birthday parties for any size group. So if you’re visiting town as part of a celebration, why not take it up a gear (or two), with an adventure here?

3. Bike the Cromwell trails

Craft beer trail tour in Nelson, New Zealand
Photo credit: The Gentle Cycling Company

When the sun’s shining in Cromwell, you’ll want to maximize out your time spent outside! Of course, one of the most popular ways to explore the countryside of Cromwell is by bike, with plenty of scenic trails you can get lost in.

If you haven’t brought yours with you, you can rent a bike from town, which also includes helmet rental, pumps, and repair kits in case you need them! One of the reasons I like this bike rental place so much is that they give you the choice between e-bikes and regular bikes, plus they can arrange a shuttle for you if you want to be picked up part-way!

A popular place to take your bike is the Lake Dunstan Trail, which flashes views of the teal-colored water of the lake that connects to both the Kawarau and Clutha Rivers. It stretches for 55 kilometers (34.2 mi) but it is divided into several different sections rated from grades 1-3 (moderate-challenging) so you choose where to start based on your experience level. You can find all the different trail maps here.

4. Miniature golf with a view

A putter and ball on a mini golf course
I’m much better at mini-golf than regular golf!

Did you know that you can have a putt right in the center of Cromwell? That’s right, Cromwell has its very own miniature golf course complete with mountain views and vineyard backdrops.

I don’t think anything says family-friendly fun or lighthearted date any more than having a blast at a mini golf course, and at Cromwell Mini Golf you’ll encounter 18 holes of tricky angles, head-scratching curves, and skill-testing slopes.

After your game, you can walk right across the road for ice cream or a bite to eat in the local shops. And since miniature golf is suitable for all ages, you can even bring the family along. Just make sure not to lose your ball over the fence!

A round of golf costs $10 NZD for adults, $7 NZD for children, and there are also family discounts available. They’re open from 10 am to 4 pm daily, and you can check their Facebook page for price drops and more info.

5. Visit the Big Fruit

The big fruit in Cromwell, New Zealand
The big fruit!

No trip to Cromwell would be complete without a visit to its famous Big Fruit sculpture. The hard-to-miss, well-lit sculpture proudly adorns the very center of town with a giant apple, apricot, peach, and pear! Taking a photo here is one of the most iconic things to do in Cromwell.

A nod to the days of old, the must-see sculpture points back to a time when certain fruit crops were the most abundant part of Cromwell’s local economy. Stretching for miles, there were apple, pear, and apricot orchards that provided much of New Zealand’s fruit supply countrywide.

Nowadays, apples and apricots have been replaced by grapevines and cherry trees. In the viticulture community, Cromwell and greater Central Otago are known for boasting the country’s second-largest number of grapevines, with 137 regional vineyards and growing.

New Zealand is also known for its big, juicy cherries – most of which come from Cromwell. Each year, hundreds of hectares of cherry trees are added to the region. Cromwell is home to New Zealand’s largest cherry producer, 45 South, which by itself accounts for 30% of the country’s overall cherry export yield. That’s a massive operation!

In keeping up with the times, there’s been talk in the local media about adding cherries and grapes to the Big Fruit sculpture. Either way, you’ll definitely want to grab some fruity photos at Cromwell’s iconic landmark.

6. Wine tasting

A vineyard in Cromwell, New Zealand
In Autumn, the vines turn orange and it’s so beautiful!

There’s no doubt that sampling some amazing wine is one of the best things to do in New Zealand. And if you’re a wine connoisseur of any measure, Cromwell is definitely the place for you. After all, you’re right in the heart of Central Otago, one of the best wine regions in the country.

In any season, it’s easy to walk from winery to winery in Cromwell. You and your best mates can have a “wine crawl” along the 4 Barrels Wine Trail, which leads you through some of the best and brightest that Cromwell has to offer.

Boasting a vibrant spectrum of organic, biodynamic, and conventional wines, the region is known in particular for its Pinot Noir. Because of Cromwell’s dry, arid landscape, the pinot noir vine does particularly well, and wines from this area are quite distinctive.

Whether it’s a fruity and aromatic wine you’re after, or if you prefer earthy undertones and notes of dark fruit – you can capture it all inside your glass in Cromwell. After reading this, you may or may not have discovered one of my (not-so-secret) reasons for coming back to Cromwell in summertime!

Dotted all around Lake Dunstan is a series of unique boutique wineries. And in between are a series of lush vineyards stretching as far as the eye can see. All in one afternoon, you can visit Wooing Tree, Misha’s Vineyard, Georgetown, Aurum Wines, Scott Base, Domaine-Thompson, and more.

View over the wineries in the Marlborough wine region near Blenheim
Nothing beats a wine tasting on a sunny day!

Of course, if visiting on your own sounds like more stress than fun, you can also join a tour like this wine tasting experience from Cromwell. Visiting no less than 5 vineyards, it’s safe to say that you’ll be an expert by the time the tour draws to a close! It includes round-trip transport, as well as an à la carte lunch, so you can really let your hair down and enjoy this one.

Lasting around 6 to 7 hours in total, this wine tasting experience is the perfect way to spend the day before relaxing at your accommodation in Cromwell. Tickets cost $500 NZD per person – you can check availability for this tour online and book your experience in advance here.

While I do highly recommend coming to stay the night in Cromwell and exploring while you’re here, if you’re based in Queenstown and interested solely in exploring Cromwell’s wine culture, then this half-day wine tour from Queenstown might just be perfect for you!

Not only does it include round-trip transport from your hotel, but it’s limited to a small group of just 12 people – something I always look out for whenever I’m trying out a new wine tasting experience. I’ve found this to be a pretty good number, and by the end of the day I’m sure you’ll know the group super well! Tickets for this experience cost just $239 NZD per person and can be booked online here.

7. Have a BBQ on Lake Dunstan

The views of Lake Dunstan from a BBQ area on the lake
BBQ with a view? Yes, please!

There’s nothing more enjoyable than a home-cooked meal with a fantastic view. So, why not breathe in the scent of fresh food sizzling on the barbie while you take in a gorgeous lake?

Lake Dunstan has plenty of outdoor barbecue facilities that are available for public use. No booking ahead either – just show up, take out your hamburger buns, and get started!

Another perk? Each BBQ area is situated near its own wharf, so you can easily jump or dive off right into the water before your smokey feast. Time to fire up those yummy summer treats!

And while you do, you’re never far off from Cromwell’s historic precinct, an area boasting Cromwell’s rich gold mining history, charming 19th-century architecture, and cultural relics of the town. That brings us to the next best thing to do in Cromwell…

8. Visit Old Cromwell (the Historic Precinct)

Bailey at the Cromwell Heritage Precinct, New Zealand
Cromwell Heritage Precinct, New Zealand

If picturesque, historic architecture sounds like your thing, you won’t want to miss the beautiful Old Cromwell. Sitting right beside Lake Dunstan, it’s the perfect place to have a stroll as you take a look back into centuries gone by.

With Mt. Nevis and the Remarkables as your backdrop, you can walk down what used to be Cromwell’s bustling main street back in the late 1800s. You’ll find old stone buildings, barns, stables, and shops that have been preserved in their original condition. It really is a blast from the past! 

Cromwell’s Historic Precinct is open all year round. What once was the center of the town’s trading, blacksmithing, and gold mining is now brimming with chic cafés, taverns, and boutique restaurants.

The serene landscape of Old Cromwell also makes it a popular spot for walks and picnics. Keen for a hike or a place to walk your pup? You can even enjoy a hearty stretch of trail around Lake Dunstan, as the Cromwell-Bannockburn Walkway runs right through the heart of the Heritage Precinct. There’s no denying this is one of the best things to do while you’re visiting Cromwell!

If you’re into your history, or simply like the idea of hunting for your own gold, then this half-day gold trail tour might be just what you’re looking for! Starting from Queenstown, this is a great experience if you haven’t figured out your transport to Cromwell yet, as it ends up by visiting the Historic Precinct, as well as the Jones Family Fruit Orchard (also appearing later on this list!).

Tickets for this experience cost just $194 NZD per person. You can check availability and book your slot on the tour online here.

banner asking people to click to join the Queenstown Diary Facebook Group

9. Sunday Farmers & Craft Market (October through April)

Market stall with a variety of fresh vegetables
All kinds of fresh fruit and veg!

No trip to Cromwell would be complete without a proper sampling of its fine local food. Every Sunday between October and April, the Old Cromwell area boasts a top-shelf selection of local merchants, farmers, and bespoke gourmet treats to try out.

Hungry for some samples? As you walk around the Sunday Farmers & Craft Market, try out some honey, olive oils, artisanal cheeses, jams, and a whole host of other local favorites. There’s even fresh produce, organic herbs, homemade candles, jewelry, clothing, and handmade woven goods up for grabs.

Each week, the market runs from 9 am to 1 pm, featuring live music from local artists. And if variety is your thing, the market’s vendors continuously change, so there’s always a great rotation of fresh foods to try. Even if you’re keen to sample the staples of Cromwell, there is always a core group of local vendors who never miss the Sunday market.

It truly is one of New Zealand’s most coveted farmer’s markets! Offering a casual atmosphere, you can have a stroll, enjoy some coffee and live music, and peruse a wide selection of locally sourced favorites.

10. Try Horseback Riding

a horse on a hill overlooking Lake Wakatipu
Photo Credit: Golden Hills Horse Trek

Another super fun outdoor activity is horseback riding! This time, it won’t be you putting in all that exercise, instead you’ll be sitting back at a leisurely pace taking in all the incredible views. And Cromwell has those and some to spare.

This 2-hour horse trek experience ticks all the boxes when it comes to a fun day out. Not only is it a small-group tour with a maximum of 5 people per group, but the guides do such an excellent job of helping you to feel comfortable on the horses. That said, they’re super well-trained and a ton of fun to ride on once you’ve got the hang of it!

Before heading out onto the farmland trails, you’ll get to meet the different horses and learn their personalities. By the end of it, you might just have made a new best friend. This tour costs $110 NZD per person and can be booked online here.

11. Slip and slide at the brand-new Kiwi Water Park

The Kiwi Water Park in Cromwell
On a warm summer day, the kids will love this! Photo credit: Kiwi Water Park

As New Zealand’s largest water park and Cromwell’s newest addition, this hot attraction is all the buzz. That’s right – it’s a massive slip-and-slide water park!

We’ve all imagined it: cooling off on a hot summer day by zipping down a giant inflatable slide as we get sprayed with cool water. That’ll get you in touch with your inner summer-loving child in no time!

Situated right on Lake Dunstan, just a short drive from the town center, Kiwi Water Park is the place where folks of all ages can enjoy a bounce, slide, jump, and swim on an array of inflatable rafts and slides. What better way to spend a sunny summer afternoon?

And since Cromwell is one of the sunniest towns in all of New Zealand (it also holds the highest record temperatures in the whole country!), it made all too much sense to place a water park right on the outskirts of town.

For a full-day pass at the water park (11 am to 5:30 pm), it costs $60 NZD per person, while you can also choose to go for a 2-hour time slot for $40 NZD per person. You can check online and book in advance here.

Take a break from the summer heat and cool off with the whole family!

12. Go on a farm tour

a baby valais blacknose sheet in Cromwell
This is the cutest sheep in the world! Photo Credit: Rose Creek Valais Black Nose Sheep

For one of the most unique activities in Cromwell, you can’t miss this farm tour! It’s a super special experience because you will actually be guided around the farm by the farmer himself!

You’ll also meet “the cutest sheep in the world”, a Valais Black Nose Sheep who is not only cute, but friendly too! You’ll explore sheep paddocks, walk amongst the horses, and even visit the farm’s beehive where you’ll learn about the honey-making process.

One of the things I love so much about this tour is that it is an authentic local farm tour. You can even purchase the goods made from the farm, too!

The farm tour is suitable for all ages (kids love it!) and lasts for about 1.5 hours. You’ll have to make your own way to farm, which is located about a ten-minute drive from central Cromwell. The tour costs $95 NZD per person. You also must book your tour online in advance here.

13. Enjoy a short hike with a view

Views from Old Reservoir trail Cromwell NZ
Get out and enjoy those views on the Old Reservoir Trail!

Want to get your hiking boots dirty? Then saddle up – Cromwell and its surrounding Central Otago area are full of some incredible walking trails that are suitable for any skill or fitness level.

Having walked many of these, I can definitely say that each trail is unique in its own way. Whether you’d like to lay tracks on a relaxed day hike or a longer path, Cromwell’s got you covered.

One of the shortest hikes in Cromwell is the Old Reservoir Trail. Just a short walk from the town center, it’ll take you only 20 minutes to get to the summit. And while it’s a reasonably steep climb on rocky paths, it is short, and the views are incredibly rewarding. At the top, you’ll catch a glimpse of the whole town with a backdrop of the stunning Pisa Range.

A bit north of Cromwell is Bendigo, an abandoned 19th-century gold-mining town set in amongst the dry, arid landscape of the Central Otago desert. Here you can hike along a series of spiderwebbed trails as you come across old gold mining shafts, battery terminals, and the remains of old stone homes of settlers in the area.

For a bit of a workout, check out the 45th Parallel Trail, named for its close proximity to the line of 45 degrees south latitude. You can make your ascent up the giant staircase along the state highway side, or choose a more gradual approach by walking up from the Lowburn end of the track. Either way, the views from the top are absolutely breathtaking.

14. Enjoy a Scenic Flight

The views on a scenic flight above Cromwell, NZ
Check out them views! Photo credit: Heliview Cromwell

Have you ever wanted to fly over one of the most scenic parts of the world? Well, now you can!

Over the last decade, a number of helicopter companies have popped up in Cromwell to offer flights over the Cromwell basin and the surrounding region. One such business, Heliview Flights, is a family-run boutique helicopter company located right in the heart of Cromwell, and it has been operating scenic helicopter flights since 2014. 

Their basin helicopter fight with alpine landing tour looks absolutely amazing – imagine sipping wine at a remote alpine location where you were dropped off by helicopter!

Or for the more daring among us, Cromwell even features hang gliding and paragliding flights! Even the boldest of adrenaline junkies can enjoy breathtaking views of the South Island’s dramatic snow-capped mountains, crystal-clear rivers, and pristine lakes.

Sky Trek Hang Gliding offers exciting hang gliding and paragliding experiences to the bold and daring! They’re based in Queenstown and will also take you on the scenic drive to Cromwell through the world-famous Gibbston Valley and Kawarau Gorge. You may even see a Lord of the Rings filming location or two on the way! You can learn more about their flights over on their website.

15. Attend the Cromwell Classic Car & Hot Rod Festival

In Cromwell, warm summer nights remind me of one thing – vintage car shows!

Everyone loves a good blast from the past, especially when it comes to classic and vintage cars from over the decades! In this old-world Cromwell relic, you’ll get to see everything from exotic sports cars to retro classics dating all the way back to the early 1900s.

Every summer, Cromwell hosts a massive car show that attracts onlookers and families from across the area. In 2021, over 740 cars were on display! And at the conclusion of the show, many of the car owners hit the roads for a drive through town, waving to bystanders as they show off their wheels.

It’s a nostalgic and special event if you can attend while you’re in town. The Cromwell Classic Car & Hot Rod Festival typically happens in late January or early February each year. For 2024, it’s currently planned for the 20th of January, more updates here!

16. Stroll through a dreamy rose garden at Anderson Park

As if New Zealand weren’t already full of incredible sights to see, now you’ve got one more fantastic option – a walk through an enchanting rose garden!

Situated right in the middle of Cromwell in the 36-acre Anderson Park, the commemorative rose garden boasts over 40 varieties of roses from around the world. Constructed around a giant sundial, this round-shaped rose garden features peaceful footpaths to have a stroll at any time of day. It’s a popular place for dog walkers, joggers, cyclists, and locals.

Each variety and type of rose is marked by its own placard. But don’t worry- once you’re done with all that education on the different types of roses, you can have a relaxing lounge on one of the nearby benches that overlook the gardens!

Anderson Park was constructed in the 1980s as a focal point of the town. Also featured in the park are a fountain, playground, squash court, walking paths, and sporting facilities.

17. Visit the famous Jones Family Fruit Stall

Bailey stands in front of a selection of fruit at Jones Fruit Stand
I love this place!

By far the most popular fruit stall in and around Cromwell is the Jones Family Fruit Stall! It draws crowds from around the world with its locally grown fruits and veggies, so this is the place to stop by and pick up some for yourself.

The store at Jones Family Fruit Stall is truly a sight to behold. I remember stopping by for the first time and being more than a little dazzled by all the colors! From trying out local treats at the complimentary tasting table to a comprehensive assortment of groceries, local culinary treats, sweets, dried fruits, honey, nuts, gift sets, and other novelties, there’s something for everyone.

You can sample local honey and fruits to pick your favorites right there in the shop. I also highly recommend picking up a bag of dried fruits or candies, and you can choose from an array of festive holiday decor at select times of the year.

The Jones Family Fruit Stall is open daily from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, and don’t forget to go for a walk in their lovely English-style garden, which is open year-round, and depending on what time of year it is, the roses may be in bloom!

Local Tip: Try the nectarines! Also, don’t miss out on a giant bag of seasonal apples at a great deal. Jones is known as a great local spot for these.

18. Stargaze and catch a view of the Southern Lights (Aurora Australis)

Moke Lake at night with reflections and the stars
Look at those stars!

One of the great things about Cromwell is that it’s situated far enough south on the globe to see the Southern Lights. It’s also renowned for its dark skies, which make a perfect setting for stargazing. Trust me, there’s nothing like looking up at the night sky and just blinking it all in.

Best viewed in the cold winter months, the Southern Lights (or Aurora Australis, as it’s referred to by the astronomical community), is a breathtaking natural display like no other. When you catch it at just the right time, you’ll be able to see the nighttime sky shimmer with purple, pink, and green hues. While it is a tricky thing to time out just right, you can use an online tool to help you.

Some popular viewing spots around Cromwell include Butcher Dam (just outside the nearby town of Alexandra), Mount Nevis, and Bendigo. Make sure to catch a view on a cold, clear night, preferably during a new moon for the darkest skies possible.

How to Get to Cromwell

Bailey poses with her rental car while road tripping around New Zealand
Renting out a car means you can enjoy a road trip before you even arrive!

If you’re planning on visiting Cromwell from Queenstown, the first thought you may have is how exactly you’re going to get there! In my experience, there are three main ways, either by car, by shuttle, or going as part of a guided tour.

The most flexible option, in my opinion, has to be driving. The drive from Queenstown to Cromwell might be pretty short at around 45 minutes, but there are still plenty of fun things to explore along the way, and driving yourself means you can stop off wherever you like. With the gorgeous Lake Hayes and some epic lookouts like Roaring Meg Lookout along the way, you can easily turn this drive into a mini adventure.

If you don’t have your own car, you can easily rent a car in Queenstown. That way, if you fancy extending your trip and visiting other local treasures like Arrowtown and Wanaka, you can do so at your own pace!

Another straightforward way to visit Cromwell from Queenstown is to book an Intercity bus that runs in the mornings and evenings. On average, a one-way ticket costs around $20 to $30 NZD, with the journey taking a little over an hour. Just make sure to be on time for the evening bus back from Cromwell!

Lastly, you also have the option of visiting Cromwell as part of a guided tour, which is a great option if you prefer pre-planned itineraries which take out all the hassle of arranging transport yourself.

You’ll find lots of great wine tours that visit Cromwell and area from Queenstown, with one of my favorites being this full-day gourmet food and wine tour – a must-do for my fellow foodies! It includes round-trip transport to Queenstown, as well as wine tastings at four vineyards, and a fantastic lunch experience at The Stoaker Room Cromwell.

Tickets for this experience cost $289 NZD per person, which if you factor in the wine tastings, lunch, and cost of transport, I think is pretty reasonable! This is a popular tour, though, so make sure to check availability and book your spot in advance to avoid missing out.

Where to Stay in Cromwell

Cromwell may not be a tourist hub like Queenstown, but there are still plenty of great places to stay. In fact, I highly recommend you stay the night to get the most out of your visit here. Plus, if you’re planning on tasting at a few different wineries, then it never hurts to have your accommodation right on your doorstep!

Central Gateway Motel – $$

When it comes to value for what you pay, one of my favorite places to stay in Cromwell is the Central Gateway Motel. This hotel is located right in the heart of Cromwell, just a 5-minute walk from the Old Cromwell Precinct, and with outstanding reviews, it’s one of the best options in town.

That said, despite being so close to town, it’s still very quiet. Plus, all rooms come with a kitchen, which is perfect for making up some lunches for the next day, or cooking a nice meal in if you fancy staying indoors! Rooms here at the Central Gateway Motel start at around $203 NZD per night and can be booked online here.

The Lake Resort – $$

In a similar price range but offering fantastic multi-room apartments, you have Central Park Apartments. There’s a pretty wide selection of rooms on offer here, with studio apartments all the way up to 2-bedroom apartments that are fully kitted out with kitchenette facilities, plus you can also hire out bikes straight from the hotel here.

Rooms here at Central Park Apartments start from $231 NZD per night, and I have to say my favorite part about staying here is getting to know the amazing staff! They love to go above and beyond to ensure you have a fantastic stay, which is always lovely to see. You can check out available rooms and book your stay online here.

Aside from your classic hotel stay, Cromwell is filled with affordable Airbnbs. In New Zealand, Airbnbs are a great option for a more unique stay or for those in larger groups. You can view all the Airbnb’s in Cromwell here. Alternatively, there are tons of amazing Airbnbs in Queenstown and you could stay there and visit Cromwell on a day trip.

Renting a Car, Campervan, or Motorhome in New Zealand

Bailey stands in front of a right green JUCY campervan
JUCY is one of my favorite campervan rental companies (read below for a discount code!)
Bailey stands behind her Mad Campers campervan cooking in the kitchen at Piha Beach
I also really like Mad Campers!

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’s what most budget travelers use 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…and be prepared for an adventure of a lifetime! My favorite campervan rental company is JUCY because they have a huge selection of campervans to choose from, plus multiple pick-up/drop-off locations. You can browse JUCY’s campervan selection online here. Alternatively, you can easily compare all campervans available in NZ on Motorhome Republic here.

EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT CODE: I’ve managed to snag a discount code for 5% off for my readers if you book your campervan or motorhome through JUCY or Star RV! Simply click here to select your JUCY campervan, or click here to select your Star RV motorhome, and then use the code DTRAVEL24 at checkout to get 5% off – it’s that easy!

Thanks for reading!

A photo of Bailey from My Queenstown Diary at a winery in Queenstown
Thanks for reading!

I hope you enjoyed my guide of 18 things to do in Cromwell, New Zealand! Cromwell truly is a magical town with a phenomenal amount to offer, from daytime activities to nighttime wonders, so it’s safe to say you won’t get bored in Cromwell.

I really hope you found this blog helpful. If you did, be sure to browse around for more! I have tons of information about many areas of New Zealand and for your convenience, I’ve listed a few of my most popular guides below. As always, Happy Travels! 

75 EPIC Things to do in Queenstown, NZ (2023 Guide!)

25 FREE and CHEAP Things to do in Wanaka

19 Places to Stop Between Queenstown and Franz Josef


Wednesday 19th of May 2021

You must go to the historical place in the centre of the shopping centre and watch the films of how they rushed to get the alluvial gold out of Old Cromwell before it was flooded. No one has ever told us about it. Make it sweet 16 things to do in Cromwell.


Wednesday 10th of March 2021