With so many awesome Queenstown restaurants and bars at your fingertips, planning a romantic evening or weekend should be easy. Queenstown, after all, is one of New Zealand’s most romantic cities and a top choice for couples wanting a special weekend away. That said, choosing the best spots to treat your bae can be overwhelming, so we’re here to help set the scene.
From spa days and hot pools to romantic dinners and garden strolls, these are the most romantic things to do in Queenstown.
Take In The Sights
Head for a post-dinner stroll through the serene Queenstown Gardens. Just a few minutes walk from central Queenstown, the tranquil Queenstown Gardens are perfect for a morning stroll or an evening picnic with your love. If you’re visiting during the winter months, be sure to go ice skating at the Queenstown Arena. For views aplenty, hop aboard the iconic steamship, TSS Earnslaw for a 90-minute cruise on Lake Wakatipu. It’s one of the most magical and not to mention, romantic, ways to take in the city.
Unwind At The Hot Pools
Is there anything more romantic than a date in the hot pools? We don’t think so. Topping our list are Onsen Hot Pools, a must visit for anyone looking for the perfect date activity. For the ultimate indulgence, go on and book the “Tandeki” package, which means indulgence in Japanese. The package includes your pool booking and a selection of locally sourced New Zealand treats including Gibbston Valley wines, a glass of bubbly, wine, beer or juice plus ice cream, crisps and a Whittakers chocolate bar to boot.
Test The Limits Of Your Relationship
What’s better than falling in love? Jumping from the Kawarau Bridge together. Thrill seeking couples should book the tandem bungy jumping option at Kawarau Bungy Centre for the most epic date. Or if you’re after something slightly more tame, take things high and go ziplining with Ziptrek. Or experience the Shotover River on the famous Queenstown jet boat ride. Hold your lover’s hand tight and marvel at the jaw dropping scenery as you make your way through the incredibly narrow Shotover River Canyons.
Book A Table For Two
When it comes to dining in Queenstown, the range of romantic date night spots are endless. Why not begin the night at QT’s stylish in-house restaurant, Bazaar Interactive Marketplace? Perfect for the more adventurous foodies, the dishes here will be prepared before your eyes. If you’re celebrating a special occasion or just in search of an incredible meal, feast at Josh Emmet’s Michelin-starred Rātā. We’re also partial to the cosy cottage that is Botswana Butchery, and you won’t leave hungry. Meat lovers need to try Jervois Steakhouse, which is arguably one of the best steakhouses in New Zealand. If you and your significant other are more of the secretive types, head to The Bunker, which is discreet, notoriously hard-to-find and undoubtedly romantic then choose from the extensive cocktail list at No5 Church Lane.
Have A Romantic Night Away
For a romantic night away, why not book yourselves a night at the luxurious QT overlooking Lake Wakatipu. Otherwise, unplug and relax at the always cosy, The Sherwood, which is set on three acres of alpine hillside overlooking Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables range. Head over to Lake Hayes for one of the most stunning locales you're likely to see at the magical Stoneridge Estate. For the most romantic option, why not go big with the Penthouse at Eichardt’s Private Hotel. Need some more ideas? Check our list of Queenstown's best hotels.
Soak In The Views On A Gondola
Be whisked away to 450m above Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu. Our preference is for a sunset gondola ride up to Bob’s Peak to take in the scenic, panoramic views. Then, to liven up your date, choose from any of the fun activities on offer when you get to the top. Take a downhill ride on the Skyline Luge or settle in for dinner at Stratosfare Restaurant. There’s also the Skyline Stargazing experience, where stargazing guides lead you up Bob’s Peak where with telescopes, you’ll take in sights not visible to the naked eye.
Wine And Dine
It’s a well-known fact that Queenstown has some of the best wineries in New Zealand, so why not treat your loved one to a tasting followed by lunch? Everything about Amisfield reflects Central Otago, especially the beautiful stone building that houses its bistro and cellar door. Opt for the signature, “Trust the Chef” degustation menu, so you can linger and enjoy the full experience. Another favourite for a romantic lunch or brunch is the beautiful Akarua Winery and Kitchen.
Hit The Slopes
Cosying up close to your loved one on the chairlift is pretty darn romantic. Ski bunnies should definitely consider heading to one of Queenstown’s nearest ski resorts for an active date idea. Home to three main ski areas, Queenstown’s ski scene offers varied alpine terrain and unrivalled scenery. Not to mention, extensive après ski options. The closest, Coronet Peak, is just a 20 minute drive from town centre. If you’re heading there on either Wednesday, Friday or Saturday, you’ll want to take in the lights which take over the mountain as soon as the sun goes down. For a post-ski meal, head to the cosy Heidi’s Hut at the base of the Rocky Gully T-bar. A local favourite for Italian-style après-ski, gourmet pizzas, pastas and soups are prepared fresh daily and pair nicely with their selection of local Amisfield wine and craft beer.
Relax With A Spa
If you’re muscles are a bit tense after an active day of skiing, book in for the 90-minute “Couples Paradise” at Harmony Spa. Enjoy some relaxing time side by side with full body massages, foot soaks and revival plus bubbles and chocolate complimentary chocolate. They’ve also got an extensive range of facials and other treatments if you want to extend your bliss.
Fancy a stiff drink after all that romance? We've got you covered with our guide to the best bars in Queenstown.
Image credit: Brendan Chiem, Matt Lamers, Mickael Tournier