Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand, and is also a stunning location for landscape photographers. There are countless locations in the area where you can take amazing photos, but here are my top 7.
1. One Mile Carpark
You can’t get a much easier to access location than this. Just before you get to the Glenorchy-Queenstown road, there’s a nice spot along Lake Wakatipu that’s a 5 minute walk from the town centre. While it’s not too different than the rest of the lakeside, there are some pretty interesting rocks and pebbles here which make for great foreground interest. With the Remarkables mountain range in the background, it’s a pretty easy spot to get some great photos.
2. Coronet Peak
Coronet Peak is a 25 minute drive from central Queenstown, and is one of the main ski fields in the area. On the drive up to the top there are several ‘chain bays’ where you can park and check out the surroundings. There are spectacular views in all directions.
3. Lake Hayes
Lake Hayes is a tranquil and beautiful lake that’s just 15 minutes drive from downtown Queenstown. On a calm day you can get some magnificent reflections. There are various entrances to the lake, and there’s a track that goes right around (though it’s quite a long walk). During autumn, the trees around the lake put on a beautiful display of gold.
4. Bennetts Bluff
This is a very famous and popular lookout on the road to Glenorchy, about 25 minutes from Queenstown. From here you can get beautiful views towards Glenorchy where you can take in the magnificent views of the Humboldt Ranges, Mt Earnslaw and the top end of Lake Wakatipu. You can include some of the road in the shot too, which I think adds something special. It’s been said that this drive is the most scenic in New Zealand, and I can’t really argue with that.
5. Lake Kirkpatrick
This is a nice little lake on the way to its bigger brother, Moke Lake. You can get some really nice reflection shots here, and if you’re lucky you might be able to catch some early morning mist and frost during autumn and winter.
Arrowtown is a must-visit location during autumn. One of the most picturesque settlements in New Zealand, Arrowtown sits alongside the gold-bearing Arrow River and is just 20 minutes from Queenstown. The town was established in 1862, during the height of the Otago gold rush. In late April, Arrowtown ignites with stunning gold and yellow colours.
7. Peninsula Track
This track is in the suburb of Kelvin Heights, a 20 minute drive from the town centre. The track goes around the Queenstown Golf Club and offers a view in a slightly different direction than from the main centre.
I hope you find these locations useful. Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg. Queenstown is a landscape photographer’s paradise and there are many more spots where you can get stunning photos.