Otago: Queenstown, Wanaka & Dunedin

About The Region
Drive Times

About The Region

Visit Otago and you will be met with a mountainous region, glacier-fed rivers, sandy beaches and wide open plains. Rich in history and culture, beautiful landscapes, abundent native wildlife, gastronomic delights, magnificent mountains for skiing, summer hiking, hunting… Otago is a truly a region of contrasts. Known for its diverse climate, this region experiences some very cold snowy winters and hot summers.


The adventure capital of the world. Love it!

Queenstown (Māori: Tahuna) is rated on a par with Vail in North America, Val Gardena in Italy and Bariloche in South America as one of the leading mountain resort towns of the world.

Queenstown is the largest resort town in Otago and is located in the south-west of New Zealand’s South Island. It is beautiful located around an inlet called Queenstown Bay on Lake Wakatipu and has spectacular views of nearby mountains. Queenstown is promoted as the ‘Adventure Capital of the World’ so if the scenery doesn’t take your breath away, the action will!

Exploring awe-inspiring alpine scenery, the search for adventure, a desire for relaxation and rejuvenation, or to simply breathe pure mountain air – the reasons to visit are endless.
– Destination Queenstown

Top Natural Attractions

  • Cruising on Lake Wakatipu with its spectacular mountain backdrop.
  • Skiing at Coronet Peak & The Remarkables.
  • Rafting & jetboating on the Shotover & Kawarau Rivers.
  • Spectacular views over the lake & town from the gondola atop Bob’s Peak.
  • Gold panning and the autumn colours of Arrowtown.
  • 1 Day & multi day walks including the Routeburn & Rees-Dart Tracks.
  • Jetboating and canoeing on the Dart River from Glenorchy.
  • Day trips to Milford & Doubtful Sounds.


  • 19th – 28th June 2015
    American Express Queenstown Winter Festival 2015
  • 3rd – 7th July 2015
    NZ Mountain Film Fesitval
  • 1st August 2015
    Peak to Peak – sporting event
  • 29th – 5th September 2015
    Gay Ski Week
  • 21st November 2015
    Queenstown International Marathon


A destination for all seasons

Translated from Maori, Wanaka means ‘rejuvenation of the soul’ a very apt name for an alpine town in the heart of a spectacular setting. With 4 distinctive seasons there is always something special in and around Lake Wanaka.

Lake Wanaka is New Zealand’s 4th largest lake. It is a beautiful year round destination!

It’s the perfect setting for an relaxing weekend getaway, an adventure packed outdoor venture, a leisurely family holiday and a photographer’s dream. Whether you are into hiking, taking scenic flights, trout fishing, or just enjoy sitting by the lake reading a good book. Wanaka is the place for you. There’s no shortage of activities for all ages, young and old.

The Crown Range road, between Wanaka and Queenstown, is New Zealand’s highest main road, with a peak of 1121 metres. The views are amazing!

Top Attractions

  • Lake Wanaka
  • Hiking in and scenic flights over World Heritage Listed Mt Aspiring National Park. At 3,033m Mt Aspiring has over 100 active glaciers.
  • Trout fishing in the lake and surrounding areas.
  • Winter skiing at Treble Cone, Cardrona, Snow Park and Snow Farm.
  • Award winning vineyards – the Pinot Noir is the region’s specialty.


  • 3rd – 7th July 2015
    NZ Mountain Film Festival
  • 1st October 2015
    Wanakafest – arts food and wine Spring Festival
  • 20th February 2016
    Challenge Wanaka – iron distance triathlon
  • 25th – 27th March 2016
    Warbirds over Wanaka


Edinburgh of the south

An endearing city of classical architecture and Scottish charm, Dunedin prides itself on being New Zealand’s centre for learning, heritage, arts and culture. It is also the commercial hub of the Otago region and the gateway to the diverse wildlife of the Otago Peninsula.

Allow a couple of days to discover the Dunedin region. Explore the rugged scenery and abundant wildlife of the Otago Peninsula including Yelloweyed Penguins (the world’s rarest), Little Blue Penguins, Royal Albatross, Spotted Shags, Cormorants, NZ Fur Seals and Sea Lions.

Dunedin is regarded as having the finest collection of Victorian and Edwardian architecture in the Southern Hemisphere. Visit New Zealand’s only castle! Built in 1871, Larnach Castle on the Otago Peninsula has a fascinating history and beautiful gardens to explore.

The Taieri Gorge – best explored aboard the Taieri Gorge Railway is also a must do attraction in this area.

Guinness World Book of Records officially recognizes Baldwin Street in Dunedin as the world’s steepest street at a 35% grade.

Top Attractions

  • Otago Peninsula
  • Botanic and private gardens
  • Taieri Gorge and Taieri Gorge Railway
  • Cadbury Chocolate Factory – great for families

Architectural Attractions

  • Dunedin Railway Station
  • Jacobean style Olveston House
  • Larnach Castle
  • University of Otago buildings


  • 11th – 17th July 2015
    Dunedin Cadbury Chocolate Factory Carnival
  • 18th November 2015
    Fleetwood Mac Concert
  • 30th January – 7th February 2016
    Masters Games


NZ Map of Otago region

Drive Times

From To Kms Hrs
Queenstown Christchurch 485 kms 7 hrs
Queenstown Wanaka 91 kms 1 hrs
Queenstown Te Anau 175 kms 2 hr 30 mins
Queenstown Milford Sound 290 kms 4 hrs 15 mins
Queenstown Fox Glacier 360 kms 5 hrs 30 mins
Queenstown Invercargill 180 kms 2 hrs 30 mins
Dunedin Christchurch 365 kms 5 hrs
Dunedin Te Anau 290 kms 4 hrs 15 mins
Dunedin Mt Cook 325 kms 4 hrs 30 mins
Dunedin Invercargill (via Gore) 215 kms 2 hr 45 mins
Dunedin Invercargill (via Catlins) 275 kms 5 hrs 30 mins
Dunedin City Larnach Castle 15 kms 30 mins
Dunedin City End of Peninsula 31 kms 45 mins
Wanaka Christchurch 425 kms 6 hrs
Wanaka Fox Glacier 260 kms 3 hrs 15 mins
Wanaka Mount Cook 214 kms 2 hrs 30 mins