Central Otago
Culinary & Nightlife

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Our most recommended Central Otago Culinary & Nightlife

Otago Winery Tour with Gourmet Wine & Food-Paired Lunch

1. Otago Winery Tour with Gourmet Wine & Food-Paired Lunch

Make the most of your stay in Queenstown with this half-day wine and food experience for an unforgettable taste of Central Otago’s wine region. Enjoy a winery lunch consisting of several tasting dishes each perfectly matched by the Chief Winemaker and Head Chef, using estate wines and fresh local produce. Indulge in wine tasting and presentations at 3 wineries, visiting one larger well-known winery and two boutique style wineries. The tour also includes a wine cave tour and tasting, providing you with an insight into the local great wines and the Central Otago wine industry.

From Queenstown: 4-Hour Afternoon Boutique Wine Tour

2. From Queenstown: 4-Hour Afternoon Boutique Wine Tour

On this 4-hour afternoon, boutique wine tour, have the chance to explore the Central Otago region and try its exquisite wines. Meet your guide and depart from the Queenstown Station Building at 2:00 PM. From here you'll visit three boutique wineries in the Central Otago wine region. As a small group, have an intimate experience learning about the wine region. Delish in a delectable cheese platter while trying up to 15 different types of wine. Enjoy a relaxed afternoon among the spectacular scenery of Central Otago.

Glenorchy & Paradise Scenic Half-Day Tour from Queenstown

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

Just 45 minutes from Queenstown, Glenorchy is nestled on the northern shores of Lake Wakatipu 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 luxury 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 and 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.

Boutique Winery Half-Day Tour & Vineyard Platter-Style Lunch

4. Boutique Winery Half-Day Tour & Vineyard Platter-Style Lunch

Discover Central Otago and some of its world-class wines on this small group tour. Accompanied by an experienced and knowledgeable wine guide, you will visit a selection of the region’s premium vineyards, taste a range of fine wines, and enjoy a gourmet platter-style lunch. A maximum group size of ten adults ensures the pace of the tour is relaxed and informative with time to learn about the early history, master the art of wine appreciation, and visit the historic Old Cromwell Town. Central Otago is a remarkable region in New Zealand. It is steeped in early pioneering history, has rugged spectacular scenery, produces some of New Zealand’s tastiest stone fruits, and has now become renowned for its outstanding wines. Pinot Noir is the real star of the region but there are many outstanding examples of Pinot Gris, Riesling, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. Departing at 11:00, you will venture through the rugged Kawarau Gorge to visit 4 of the region’s finest boutique vineyards in the Bannockburn and the Gibbston Valley sub regions. Lunch is provided in the peaceful setting of Carrick Winery, overlooking the Bannockburn Inlet of Lake Dunstan. This tour is a great introduction to the region’s wine, history, culture, and fine cuisine, and makes a great afternoon out from Queenstown. Upgrade your experience by adding a jet boat ride or 9 holes of golf.

Gourmet Food and Wine Tour with Lunch and Wine Tastings

5. Gourmet Food and Wine Tour with Lunch and Wine Tastings

Visit 4 premium vineyards over 2 wine subregions (Gibbston and the Cromwell/Bannockburn basin). Have a wine barrel cooked lunch consisting of 5 tasting dishes matched with wines for a unique tasting in Australasia's largest underground wine cave. Taste local cheeses at a local vineyard. Visit Old Cromwell town and the must-see Arrowtown. Have a taste of locally handcrafted chocolates at your leisure. Then, go on a stunning drive through the Kawarau Gorge whilst learning about the early pioneering history of this rugged region. View the historic Kawarau Bridge and original AJ Hackett Bungy.

From Queenstown: Mount Cook Heli-Hike and Tour Combo

6. 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.

From Queenstown: Mount Cook Skydive & Tour

7. From Queenstown: Mount Cook Skydive & Tour

Meet your guide in Queenstown before setting off for a day of thrills and adventure. Your guide will set the scene and prepare you for your skydive as you head out of the city and towards Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. Admire the views as you pass through Kawarau Gorge, Lindis Pass and the Southern Alps. There will be a few short stops along the way to take in the scenery, and a longer stop in the quaint town of Omarama to get some lunch. After lunch, you will head to your skydive in Pukaki. Boasting some of the country’s most epic scenery and views of the snow-capped mountains, glaciers, lakes of Mount Cook National Park, this is one of the best bits of sky in the country. You will take a 10-minute scenic flight up to 9,000, 13,000, or 15,000 feet where you will get ready to dive. Enjoy a thrilling 30-second freefall before your professional instructor pulls the parachute for 3-5 minutes of incredible views across the South Island and Aoraki National Park. Back on solid ground, you will take a short drive past Lake Pukaki to arrive at Mount Cook village. You will have 2.5 hours to explore the National Park on foot, an ideal amount of time to take the easy hike along the Kea Point track. After a packed day of adventure, you will visit High Country Salmon to taste some of the freshest salmon in New Zealand. During the summer months, you will also stop at Mrs Jones Fruit Stall to try some fresh local fruit before heading back to Queenstown. Alternatively, you can choose to continue heading North from Mount Cook National park and end your day trip in Christchurch. If you would like to choose this, please select the ‘Drop-off in Christchurch’ option.

Queenstown: Full-Day Central Otago Wine Tour

8. Queenstown: Full-Day Central Otago Wine Tour

Built for wine lovers, this full-day tour will take you to five of Central Otago's finest cellar doors across the four biggest wine-growing regions. Travel in style with door-to-door transfers, complimentary WiFi, and bottled water on board. Throughout the day, sample 20+ spectacular cool-climate wines, and if you wish, enjoy a scrumptious lunch at a locally renowned location, which can be bought on the day. Visit a range of well-known and off-the-beaten-track wineries throughout Gibbston, Bannockburn, Bendigo, and Cromwell and meet passionate local characters while you taste the very best wines from the area.

Queenstown: White Water Surfing Along the Kawarau River

9. Queenstown: White Water Surfing Along the Kawarau River

Bodyboard up to 12km down the iconic Kawarau River. You’ll enjoy riding white water rapids and even get a chance to try surfing on standing waves, riding whirlpools as well as catching some underwater currents if you are brave enough. The fast Kawarau River bursts with energy, and this trip will challenge your nerves from start to finish. About 1-1.5 hours will be spent in the river.  The bodyboards are light and highly maneuverable, allowing you to be more active in the water. It's the perfect choice for someone looking for the ultimate adventure. You can even choose your own board depending on how much adrenaline you can handle. River surfing is best suited for people who want the full white water experience. You'll get the opportunity to also enjoy some of New Zealand's spectacular scenery on the more gentle parts of the river, and you can also stop for a jump from the cliffs along the river.

Queenstown: Central Otago Wine Tour by Private Helicopter

10. Queenstown: Central Otago Wine Tour by Private Helicopter

Enjoy a day of luxury on this exclusive helicopter winery tour in Central Otago. Start your day with a pickup from your Queenstown accommodation in a private luxury vehicle. Your first stop is the Gibbston Valley Winery for a private wine tasting, wine cave and winery tour, and light nibbles. Then, embark on a scenic helicopter flight over the Cromwell Basin with an Alpine landing. Next, visit the Scott Base Winery to taste a flight of 5 wines from the whiteboard options. You'll be traveling between the vineyards in a chauffeured, open-top Jeep.  Enjoy a 2-course à la carte lunch at Carrick Winery, with a glass of Bannockburn Estate wine. Next stop is Cloudy Bay Winery for a private wine tasting experience with a Cloudy Bay ambassador. Next is Misha's Vineyard and Tasting Room to taste 5 wines from the 12 wines on offer. Then enjoy a second scenic helicopter flight from the Cromwell Basin through the Kawarau Gorge to Gibbston. Final stop is Mt Rosa Wines, where you will take part in one last wine tasting experience. After a good laugh with the owners, you will be driven back to your accommodation in Queenstown.

Frequently asked questions about Central Otago Culinary & Nightlife

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Other Sightseeing Options in Central Otago

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What people are saying about Central Otago

It’s well worth the 9 am start to experience the beautiful drive to Glenorchy & Paradise. Andy was a very informative guide and I appreciated his personal knowledge of the area. We enjoyed a simple but tasty morning tea before driving home after plenty of photo opportunities. If you are a LOTR movie buff, you’ll enjoy the experience even more.

Awesome Glenorchy tour and our tour guide Andy was marvellous! He knows everything! Thank you so much Altitude! Very cozy van, nice morning tea with a cool and enjoyable background/scenery. 5 stars rating isn’t enough. It should be a 100 stars- rating!

Tour was amazing. The food portion for lunch was a little but the full experience is amazing Recommendable!

Very well organized our guide had excellent knowledge and was engaging throughout exceeded expectations

Great food and great wine - our guide Angus was great