Central Otago Nature & adventure

Our most recommended Central Otago Nature & adventure

Queenstown: Spirit of Queenstown Lake Wakatipu Scenic Cruise

1. Queenstown: Spirit of Queenstown Lake Wakatipu Scenic Cruise

Cruise farther and see more on this 1.5-hour Queenstown scenic cruise. Sit back, relax and enjoy spectacular views of the Remarkables, Bob’s Cove, Cecil Peak and Mt. Earnslaw from the comfort of the Spirit of Queenstown – an environmentally friendly and luxurious cruise boat. Take in panoramic views from the open top deck. Enjoy refreshments, snacks and lunch served in the café on board. Cruise across spectacular Lake Wakatipu as you enjoy entertaining commentary provided by the local skipper.

From Queenstown: Mount Cook and Hooker Valley Day Trip

2. From Queenstown: Mount Cook and Hooker Valley Day Trip

Visit breathtaking locations in Queenstown as you make your way to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. Travel with a reliable tour guide who will share stories and rich background knowledge on Queenstown and the Mount Cook area. Start your tour in the stunning city of Queenstown. Drive through the Kawarau Suspension Bridge and marvel at the scenery the Kawarau Gorge has to offer. Stop at the Roaring Meg Lookout to take photos of your stunning view. Then, enter the region of Cromwell, famous for fruits and wine and where you can see huge fields of vines. Next, traverse the majestic Lindis Pass which lies between two valleys against a backdrop of a bright blue sky. This stretch of highway is one of the only three Alpine roads through the otherwise impassable Southern Alps. After taking photos at the top of the pass, drive through the Mackenzie District and visit the township of Omarama. Turning west, you'll enter Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, and Lake Pukaki will emerge in front of you. Proceed to the start of the Hooker Valley Track and depart on a 3-hour self-guided hike with amazing views of Hooker Lake, Hooker Glacier, and Mount Cook. Finish your tour by visiting High Country Salmon as you make your way back to Queenstown.

From Queenstown: Lord Of The Rings Tour to Glenorchy

3. From Queenstown: Lord Of The Rings Tour to Glenorchy

Enjoy a small-group tour of the most iconic Lord of the Rings filming locations in New Zealand, specially designed for fans of the films. Within minutes of leaving Queenstown, reach the Glenorchy Road, which follows the edges of the Great Lake Wakatipu, and has been voted  one of the top 10 drives in the world. Admire snowcapped mountains that arise around every corner of the journey. Your first stop will be the 12 Mile Delta. Here, enjoy a short nature walk over the 12 Mile canyon footbridge and spot trout and salmon in the crystal-clear water below. Learn about the local flora and fauna and visit the locations, where scenes from the films were shot. Next, refuel with a delicious morning or afternoon tea picnic near the famous Glenorchy red shed and wharf. Once you have eaten enough to satisfy a Hobbit, adventure further into the World Heritage Mt. Aspiring National Park, home of Lothlorien Forest, where you will have the opportunity to snap some photographs dressed as your favorite Lord of the Rings character with replica swords from the trilogy. Next, head up the Dart Valley through "Paradise" to Isengard for some time to enjoy this amazing location in this spectacular glacier-carved valley. Stories and behind-the-scenes secrets will be shared by your passionate local guides on the way back to Queenstown.

From Queenstown: Mount Cook Heli-Hike and Tour Combo

4. From Queenstown: Mount Cook Heli-Hike and Tour Combo

Discover everything the beautiful Mount Cook and Tasman Glacier area has to offer on a guided small-group full-day trip from Queenstown. Meet your small group early in the morning and hop on the minivan which will take you to the Tasman Glacier, stopping at some of the area's most iconic sights along the way. Make your way through the Kawarau Gorge, passing the Kawarau Suspension Bridge and of course the famous Roaring Meg Lookout. Drive past sights such as the beautiful Lake Dunstan, Lindis Pass, and the Cromwell wine region, stopping for photos along the way, before arriving in Omarama. Here, spot Merino sheep and sample New Zealand's creamiest chicken pie before continuing to Lake Pukaki, where you can spot several Lord of the Rings filming locations. Next, get ready for the adventure of a lifetime with a Tasman Glacier Heli Hike. Combine the excitement of walking on New Zealand’s biggest glacier with the stunning scenic helicopter fly-bys of New Zealand’s largest mountain, Aoraki/Mt Cook. After flying to a remote part of the glacier, follow your guide as they cut steps in the glacier, using skills handed down from New Zealand's mountain pioneers. Finish your hike with another spectacular scenic flight back to the base. After your flight, stop for a quick photo stop in Mount Cook village before continuing to High Country Salmon, a local salmon farm, where you can feed the fish and taste some of the freshest salmon in New Zealand. Stop at Mrs. Jones Suncrest Orchard to try or buy her delicious local fruit or real fruit ice cream before returning to Queenstown with your group.

Glenorchy & Paradise Scenic Half-Day Tour from Queenstown

5. Glenorchy & Paradise Scenic Half-Day Tour from Queenstown

Just 45 minutes from Queenstown, Glenorchy is nestled on the northern shores of Lake Whakatipu and is home to what many say is New Zealand's best scenery and a slice of Middle-Earth magic. View stunning scenery and alpine vistas as you are guided in style aboard a premium Mercedes van. Enjoy an overload of sightseeing and views packed into a fun half-day adventure to Glenorchy and beyond. Upon arrival in Glenorchy, you will be awe struck as you gaze at the mountain ranges and native beech forest which set the backdrop for this rustic town. You will have some time to check out the town's local sites and hidden gems, while also learning about Glenorchy and its fascinating Maori history. After Glenorchy, visit Paradise, view Diamond Lake, and explore the surrounding areas. There’s endless natural beauty and scenic stops along the way, ensuring you’ll go home with some postcard-worthy photos. View multiple Lord of the Rings movie locations, such as Twelve Mile Delta, where the first fight between Faramir's Rangers and the Giant Oliphaunts took place. In a location called "Paradise," you will also get to see the famous locations of Isengard and Saruman's Tower. Costumes are available, so you can re-create scenes and dress as a character from the movie. Whether you are a Lord of the Ring’s fan or not, you will be impressed with the stunning scenery surrounding these locations. Taste a kiwi-style morning or afternoon tea with a spectacular back drop. Your guide will set up the ultimate picnic in one of a number of picturesque locations, consisting of classic, kiwi delights. With a stunning natural backdrop comprised of majestic mountain ranges and native beech forest, Glenorchy is sure to leave you speechless.

From Wellington: 11-Day South Island Tour with Accommodation

6. From Wellington: 11-Day South Island Tour with Accommodation

Set off on an adventure-filled 11-day tour to discover and explore New Zealand's South Island. Hike the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway, explore Queenstown, and create your own Greenstone jewelry. Day 1: Wellington to Kaikoura Meet your driver in Wellington and begin your adventure across the South Island. Board a ferry to travel across the Cook Strait. After disembarking, go for a wine tasting in the Marlborough region and visit the Kaikoura Seal colony. Day 2: Kaikoura to Christchurch Begin your day with a hike along the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway. Enjoy panoramic views of Kaikoura before heading to Christchurch to discover hidden gems on a city street art trail. Day 3: Christchurch to Lake Tekapo Drive to Lake Tekapo to marvel at the stars in the Dark Sky Project. Visit The Church of the Good Shepherd, one of the most-photographed places in New Zealand. Finish the day with a hike up Mount John for panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and lakes. Day 4: Mount Cook Spend the day at Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park under the shadow of Mt. Cook, the country's highest mountain. Hike the Hooker Valley Track to Hooker Lake, enjoying the scenery, before returning to Lake Tekapo. Day 5: Lake Tekapo to Queenstown Travel to Queenstown to enjoy a delicious buffet dinner with panoramic views of Queenstown at the Skyline Stratosphere Restaurant (not included). Day 6: Queenstown Spend the day exploring Queenstown on your own. Visit the sights, go shopping, or relax at a cafe. Day 7: Glenorchy Head out to Glenorchy on a day trip from Queenstown. Cruise past the late, soaking up the views, and onto Glenorchy. Enjoy several short walks, taking in the scenery, before returning to Queenstown. Day 8: Queenstown to Wanaka Head to Wanaka to enjoy panoramic hikes. From November to May, hike Roys Peak, a 6-hour roundtrip trek, for breathtaking views over Lake Wānaka. For the rest of the year, enjoy the Mt. Iron hike with 360-degree views of The Pisa range. After your hike, visit the famous Wanaka tree. Day 9: Wanaka to Franz Josef Visit Thunder Creek Falls in Mt. Aspiring National Park. Next, head to Lake Matheson to enjoy its famous mirror views of Aoraki/Mount Cook. Spend the night in Franz Josef. Day 10: Franz Josef Design and carve your own Greenstone jewelry in a West Coast workshop (included) before enjoying the Glacier Valley Walk in Franz Josef. Day 11: Franz Josef to Christchurch Take a scenic hike across Arthurs Pass, and enjoy stunning views. Walk the Castle Hill track and admire the Devil's Punchbowl waterfalls before finishing your tour in Christchurch.

From Wellington: 7-Day South Island Tour with Wine Tasting

7. From Wellington: 7-Day South Island Tour with Wine Tasting

Unlock the beauty of the South Island with the convenience of a multi-day guided tour. All activities are included unless states otherwise. Day 1 - Wellington to Kaikoura Kick off the adventure with one of the most beautiful inter-island crossings in the world, the Cook Straight. Arrive at the top of the South Island and journey through the Marlborough region, home to endless rolling vineyards. Stop for a tasting along the way to sample some local Kiwi cuisine. Day 2 - Kaikoura to Christchurch Choose between a lie-in, or, for the more adventurous, an ocean excursion (extra cost) to try your luck spotting dolphins, whales, albatrosses, and more. Around mid-morning, head up the Kaikoura Peninsula to walk among a large seal colony. Next up is the diverse city of Christchurch. Here, take a walking tour of the city to learn about its street art, see the blooming botanical gardens, and learn about the city's recent history. Day 3 - Christchurch to Lake Tekapo Hit the road and cruise into Mackenzie Country, home to Lake Tekapo. Visit the stone Church of the Good Shepherd and admire Lake Tekapo's blue waters framed with colorful lupins. As night falls, visit the Dark Sky Project to learn about the importance of preserving dark skies and take a peek at all that lies above. Day 4 - Lake Tekapo to Wanaka via Mount Cook Cruise past Lake Pukaki (you'll know how it got its nickname The Powerade Factory when you see it) and head for Mount Cook village. Take some scenic hikes in the National Park with stops to soak up the mountain views. Here choose to view the Tasman Glacier by helicopter or take a scenic flight through the Mt. Cook National Park. From mid-morning, continue to traverse through the National Park through Lindis Pass and on to Wanaka. Day 5 - Wanaka to Queenstown Have the morning to hike Wanaka's famous Roys Peak, snap "That Wanaka Tree," or climb Mount Iron. For the more daring in the group, there’s the option to experience a via Ferrata Wild Wire or hit up the lakeside trails on a mountain bike. Later, sit back and relax on the bus while viewing the scenery of the Crown ranges on the way to the adrenaline-fuelled Queenstown. End the day with a trip up the Gondola for a dinner overlooking Queenstown. Day 6 - Queenstown free dayTake a day to explore the city with lunch and activities on your own. Day 7 - Queenstown to Glenorchy Day Trip Head out into the heartlands of Otago to the picturesque town of Glenorchy to experience a scenic landscape.

  • Guided tours
  • Water activities
  • Multi-day trips
  • Adventures
  • Day trips

Other Sightseeing Options in Central Otago

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What people are saying about Central Otago

This tour with Altitude was amazing and we were very lucky with the weather too so we were able to see the whole beauty of Glenorchy and surroundings. Ethan, our tour guide was incredible, very kind, super happy, gave us lots of information of the area, great vibe and chats, he made us feel very comfortable. The tour was made in a nice Mercedes Benz Van, super clean, new, comfy and stylish and also the tour was made with a small group which is even nicer. I definitely recommend to get this tour while you stay in Queenstown, you won’t regret it. My advice is to be aware of motion sickness, I got pretty sick in our way back due to move in the road, the good thing was that the tour guide was very helpful and empathetic, so don’t forget to take some motion sickness tablets if you are prone to suffer from it. Thanks Altitude, this tour was awesome and I’ll definitely take more tours with you in the future

Very knowledgeable and friendly tour guide, stunning sights and it was great fun dressing up. Even catered for my gluten intolerance. Will be recommending to friends

It was a fantastic trip and our guide Rosie was amazing! She took such good care of us and her commentary was fun and informative.

If you are a Lord of the Ring Fan this tour is a must trip. I cannot explain it in just a few words all I can say is WOW.

가이드님이 매우 친절하며 긴 시간임에도 지루하지 않고 재밌는 하루였습니다. 다시한번 감사드립니다