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Unique things to do in Central Otago

Book unforgettable activities hosted by locals on Airbnb.

Top-rated activities

Packrafting Queenstown- License to chill
Our day hiking and paddling through the NZ backcountry starts in Queenstown. After picking you guys up, we'll set off on a gorgeous drive towards the rural town of Glenorchy. After a quick pit stop we'll leave civilisation behind and disappear down a dirt road into the Rees Valley. The road less travelled if you like. Once the road runs out, we'll start hiking. I'll provide you with a backpack and all the gear you'll need for our packrafting adventure. The hike itself is flat, very easy going and jaw dropingly beautiful. We'll hike beneath glacier cover peaks, flanked by waterfalls and through an alluvial river valley where we often see more deer than humans. We're fortunate enough to have exclusive access to this working farm for our trips. We're a long way from the madding crowds. We'll walk for around 2hrs. Expect to get your feet wet as we cross the river a few times. We'll stop for hearty lunch at a small creek where our paddling journey starts. After a inflating our packrafts, we'll spend some time exploring canyons and practicing our paddling before taking to the main river. Packrafting along the Rees river is a relaxing and liberating experience. The river is reasonably flat and extremely beginner friendly. Everyone has their own packraft to explore and drift down stream. After an hour or so we'll be back where we started, ready to roll our boats up and head home. Other things to note No experience is required, you'll be with fully qualified instructors all day who can teach you everything you'll need to know.
Wine Tour with the Wine Doctor
We depart from the Station Building, in the city centre at 2:00 PM. We will set off for the heart of Gibbston on a small group half-day tour to visit three cellar doors and journey into the ‘valley of the vines’ to discover these vineyards nestled amongst the spectacular mountain ranges and dramatic river gorges. In one of the wineries, we will savour a vineyard platter or a cheeseboard to pair with the wines. We will visit boutique wineries that are off the beaten path. There is no set routine, so every day is an adventure. The choice of the wineries visited will vary each day based on your individual group's dynamics. The overall focus is on high-quality wines and friendly and informative staff. As I am also passionate about photography, I will take photos of the whole experience and will send you all the images by email after the tour, at no additional cost. I offer the tours in English, Portuguese and Spanish. Other things to note A minimum of 3 people is required for this activity to take place. If no others book for the day, we will get in touch with you and full refunds will be made or alternative dates offered.
Gibbston Valley Half Day Canyon
Meet downtown Queenstown for your pick up and drive out to the canyon through the Gibbston Valley wine country Get dressed into all the necessary canyoning equipment Walk minutes to the start of the canyon Enjoy multiple slides and abseils down waterfalls, trying your hand at abseiling yourself and learning the sport of canyoning Walk minutes back to our van to get changed Drive back into downtown Queenstown for your drop off Other things to note This experience is suitable for persons 10 years and older only 48 hour cancellation policy applies
Wine Tour & Māori Culture Queenstown
This is a relaxing, educational and entertaining wine tour visiting 3-4 vineyards, that also embraces history (Māori footprint leading into the Gold Rush 1860's), the whenua/land of our beautiful region and and the beautiful wines of our Central Otago region. If you can't see suitable availability, please send me a message and I'll see what I can do to host you. We depart Queenstown where you will be picked up from your accommodation in the WanaHaka® vehicle at 11:00am with the Māori greeting the Hongi establishing the connection with you the guest and the Māori people of New Zealand and the land, then with a 15 minute drive to Gibbston and Lake Hayes where a selection of Pinot Noir, Gris, Sav Blanc and more will be in tasting. The first winery being Mora near Arrowtown, following that we drive via the Gold Rush historic area of Arrowtown and venture a quick stop into the Kawarau bridge where the famous Kawarau AJ Hackett Bungy resides, we then visit the Mt Rosa winery with more beautiful wines and a cheese platter. Moving slowly but surely onto either Cargo or Wet Jacket or Amsfield to see the historic sheep shed before our drive back to Queenstown. Along this tour you will get an insight into the Māori footprint and history from many hundreds of years ago of the beautiful Otago and Queenstown region. In this price all transfers, tastings and food are included.
High Country Discovery Tour Queenstown
Ok this is about what we will do ! We have exclusive access to Mount Earnslaw Station, a working farm set in the spectacular alpine environment of the Paradise Valley at the head of Lake Wakatipu. The High Country Discovery tour is a half day adventure over Mount Earnslaw Station, in the heart of New Zealand’s high country. You will gain real insight into country life in this remote region, LOTR and the Hobbit movie locations can be viewed. 4WD across and up farm trails with incredible photography panoramas. There is the option to visit an operational woolshed where sheep are shorn during the year. We visit Diamond Lake flanked by Mt Alfred and Mt Earnslaw (2830m) the views across the Lake to Mt Chaos, Cosmos and Pluto Peaks are “Postcard shots in Paradise”. Departures 8.30am and 1.30pm • Exclusive access to Mount Earnslaw Station • LOTR and the Hobbit movie location viewing • Kiwi guides • Max capacity 4 pax, no large groups • Toyota Landcruiser or Land Rover 4WD transport • Plenty of photo stops • Binoculars and refreshments • Viewing farm livestock Commentary on historical / cultural and geographic anecdotes Other things to note We can pick up from your accommodation in Queenstown by prior arrangement, please contact us to get confirmation of pick up time and location.

All activities near Central Otago

Ripe – The Wanaka Wine and Food Festival 2023
Join world-class Central Otago Wine and Food producers surrounded by the majestic scenery of Lake Wānaka. Wine Tastings, Live Music, Demonstrations, Great food, Ripe - The Wānaka Wine & Food Festival has all the ingredients for a memorable day out. Central Otago's finest wine and food producers will all be there showcasing their amazing products. Treat yourself to the Maude Wine Lounge or Add on to your ticket with a presentation in the Quartz Reef Masterclass Centre Presentations by Two Raw Sisters, Bob Campbell Master of Wine, Joelle Thomson and Central Otago Wine Legend Rudi Bauer.
Packrafting Queenstown- License to chill
Our day hiking and paddling through the NZ backcountry starts in Queenstown. After picking you guys up, we'll set off on a gorgeous drive towards the rural town of Glenorchy. After a quick pit stop we'll leave civilisation behind and disappear down a dirt road into the Rees Valley. The road less travelled if you like. Once the road runs out, we'll start hiking. I'll provide you with a backpack and all the gear you'll need for our packrafting adventure. The hike itself is flat, very easy going and jaw dropingly beautiful. We'll hike beneath glacier cover peaks, flanked by waterfalls and through an alluvial river valley where we often see more deer than humans. We're fortunate enough to have exclusive access to this working farm for our trips. We're a long way from the madding crowds. We'll walk for around 2hrs. Expect to get your feet wet as we cross the river a few times. We'll stop for hearty lunch at a small creek where our paddling journey starts. After a inflating our packrafts, we'll spend some time exploring canyons and practicing our paddling before taking to the main river. Packrafting along the Rees river is a relaxing and liberating experience. The river is reasonably flat and extremely beginner friendly. Everyone has their own packraft to explore and drift down stream. After an hour or so we'll be back where we started, ready to roll our boats up and head home. Other things to note No experience is required, you'll be with fully qualified instructors all day who can teach you everything you'll need to know.
Winery hop in a vintage V W Kombi - Queenstown
Explore the wineries of the Gibbston wine region in a vintage VW Kombi, with your experienced Queenstown host and driver, Chika. Discover the wine-making traditions of Central Otago and savour the views across the Kawarau Gorge during this wine tasting tour. If you love to travel in style and you love wine, then this is the tour for you! Many people love to visit beautiful Queenstown and there are a lot of tours on offer. Why not take a more inexpensive and nostalgic version? Let’s make your wine tour that little bit more unique and memorable. Central Otago is regarded as the NZ home of Pinot Noir. Queenstown scenery, vintage travel and wine combine for an unforgettable day out with friends and loved ones. Check out Instagram for more photos @queenstownkombi
Māori Welcome Experience
See the Central Otago land first travelled by the Māori people and learn about the customs and traditions that still thrive with a whakataū/welcome. We'll visit an area where the first non-Māori people—European settlers guided by the elders of Tuturau—visited in 1853. You'll connect to Māori culture as you experience the Wero laid down by a Māori warrior and learn the traditional Hongi greeting—where you press your nose and forehead together with another person—and why it is done. I'll teach you the local Haka, a Māori dance specific to the region of Central Otago, and explain what each action means. The Whakataū will take place even in light rain as the Maori of the 1700’s did not have access to rain jackets and neither shall I. Experience the authenticity and originality as it should be. PS I can provide umbrellas. There are 2 different meeting points for this experience and you will be advised of the meeting point the day before your Māori Welcome date is scheduled. Both locations are relatively close together. Other things to note If you can't see suitable availability, send me a message and I'll see what I can do to host you.
Wine Tour with the Wine Doctor
We depart from the Station Building, in the city centre at 2:00 PM. We will set off for the heart of Gibbston on a small group half-day tour to visit three cellar doors and journey into the ‘valley of the vines’ to discover these vineyards nestled amongst the spectacular mountain ranges and dramatic river gorges. In one of the wineries, we will savour a vineyard platter or a cheeseboard to pair with the wines. We will visit boutique wineries that are off the beaten path. There is no set routine, so every day is an adventure. The choice of the wineries visited will vary each day based on your individual group's dynamics. The overall focus is on high-quality wines and friendly and informative staff. As I am also passionate about photography, I will take photos of the whole experience and will send you all the images by email after the tour, at no additional cost. I offer the tours in English, Portuguese and Spanish. Other things to note A minimum of 3 people is required for this activity to take place. If no others book for the day, we will get in touch with you and full refunds will be made or alternative dates offered.
Serenity on Horseback
I can provide a 60min hour horse riding trail walk experience. This is a unique 1:1 lead rein (*depending on rider experience levels) experience with my horse Arizona who will take you on an adventurous walk/trot towards the Shotover river. There are other options for riding and can be customised to the rider - within reason : ) (this can be discussed at time of booking). Riding time is approx 1 hr with 30 mins set up/set down period, which you are more than welcome to be a part of also. In addition, if your spouse, partner, friend, family member etc would like to join in the experience, you can alternate the riding time as one rides and the other walks/hikes with us to make it a together unique experience. This 1:1 trail ride is suitable for all levels and experiences and can be customised to the rider. There is a weight limit of approx. 120 kg for Arizona.
Gibbston Valley Half Day Canyon
Meet downtown Queenstown for your pick up and drive out to the canyon through the Gibbston Valley wine country Get dressed into all the necessary canyoning equipment Walk minutes to the start of the canyon Enjoy multiple slides and abseils down waterfalls, trying your hand at abseiling yourself and learning the sport of canyoning Walk minutes back to our van to get changed Drive back into downtown Queenstown for your drop off Other things to note This experience is suitable for persons 10 years and older only 48 hour cancellation policy applies
Guided E-Bike tour - Ride to the Lake
This tour is a beautiful way to see and learn about our amazing countryside. It is also perfect for a beginner starting out on their eBike adventures. I will show you hidden secrets on the trail and tell you the history of the Queenstown area. You will discover local nature and meet its habitats. The magnificent landscape around Queenstown makes Ride to the Lake Guided eBike Tour comfortable for riding and does not require special skills. It's enough for the experienced rider to keep interested but also great for not-so-experienced riders to push themselves and learn new skills.
Private E-Bike Wine Tour Wānaka
"We depart Wanaka at 12:30pm, (meeting at 12:15pm for E-Bike Set up and safety review with location to be advised) with the Māori greeting the Hongi and the importance in establishing the connection with New Zealand and the land(unfortunately due to contact and safety restrictions the Hongi may be explained only), then with a 20 minute cycle to Rippon Vineyard where we discuss the Māori footprint of the region and you start your first tastings where the view will take your breath away where a selection of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Sav Blanc, Osteiner and more will be in tasting through the day. We then jump back, or slide your choice! on our E-Bikes and cycle to Maude tasting room, then we visit Aitkens Folly vineyard for more tasting with our cycle back to Wanaka CBD arriving approx 3:30/4:00pm. We will cover approximately 20.5km on our E-Bikes and calories out could match calories in! Along this E-Bike tour you will get an insight into the Māori footprint and history from many hundreds of years ago of the beautiful Otago region along with combining the wonderful present being the beautiful wines of this region. To give you the authentic New Zealand experience.
Wine Tour & Māori Culture Queenstown
This is a relaxing, educational and entertaining wine tour visiting 3-4 vineyards, that also embraces history (Māori footprint leading into the Gold Rush 1860's), the whenua/land of our beautiful region and and the beautiful wines of our Central Otago region. If you can't see suitable availability, please send me a message and I'll see what I can do to host you. We depart Queenstown where you will be picked up from your accommodation in the WanaHaka® vehicle at 11:00am with the Māori greeting the Hongi establishing the connection with you the guest and the Māori people of New Zealand and the land, then with a 15 minute drive to Gibbston and Lake Hayes where a selection of Pinot Noir, Gris, Sav Blanc and more will be in tasting. The first winery being Mora near Arrowtown, following that we drive via the Gold Rush historic area of Arrowtown and venture a quick stop into the Kawarau bridge where the famous Kawarau AJ Hackett Bungy resides, we then visit the Mt Rosa winery with more beautiful wines and a cheese platter. Moving slowly but surely onto either Cargo or Wet Jacket or Amsfield to see the historic sheep shed before our drive back to Queenstown. Along this tour you will get an insight into the Māori footprint and history from many hundreds of years ago of the beautiful Otago and Queenstown region. In this price all transfers, tastings and food are included.
Wine Tour & Māori Culture Wānaka
This is a relaxing, educational and entertaining wine tour visiting 3-4 vineyards, that also embraces history (Māori footprint leading into the Gold Rush 1860's), the whenua/land of our beautiful region and and the beautiful wines of our Central Otago region. If you can't see suitable availability, please send me a message and I'll see what I can do to host you. We depart Wānaka with pick up from your Wanaka accommodation at 11:00am in the WanaHaka® vehicle with the Māori greeting the Hongi establishing the connection with you the guest and the Māori people of New Zealand and the land, then with a 5 minute drive to Aitkens Folly, Maude or Rippon where a selection of Pinot Noir, Gris, Sav Blanc and more will be in tasting. The second winery being Māori Point near Tarras, then we visit the Dessert Heart winery. Then onto either Mt Difficulty, Wooing Tree or Akarua before our drive back to Wānaka. Along this tour you will get a insight into the Māori footprint and history from many hundreds of years ago of the beautiful Otago region and the Queenstown and Wanaka region. We aim to get back to your accommodation about 4pm, but to be honest the experiences always go over time because we have so much fun! See the reviews :) In this price all transfers, tastings and food are included.
Pottery Workshop with Shannon Courtenay
Are you itching to try something new? To express your unique vision? To create something that’s not only beautiful, but practical, too? Join my workshops and learn how to make gorgeous, functional ceramics that you can use every day. For beginners and beyond, these art classes are designed to provide a warm and welcoming place for you to unleash your imagination. What you will do: - Slip cast a plate (slip casting is a pottery technique using plaster moulds). - Decorate with underglaze. The plate you will be making is the Tart Plate from Shannon Courtenay's Thrifted Collection. The Studio is located on Kind Farm Animal Sanctuary - a beautiful, relaxing spot surrounded by animals! “[Shannon] is a calm, easygoing teacher and I was immediately inspired by her unique ceramics and the peaceful studio space she has created. If you ever get the opportunity to undertake a ceramics workshop with Shannon, I highly recommend it! I hope Shannon’s space and work inspires you to pursue a creative venture that you have had brewing for a while.” -Josie McGuinness, Sunday Projects
Ride to the Sky Queenstown eBike Tour
Take a ride with me to the top of Grant Peak, 800 meters above sea level overlooking just about all of the Wakatipu Basin. (it may sound hard but remember you're on an eBike and it has a magic button 'TURBO' that flattens hills) and I wil be there to guide you every pedal of the way. What makes this trail so magical is the spectacular scenery showcasing the very best of Queenstown's natural landscape. This is an exclusive location, you'll only be able to get there with me. Learn about the local European and Maori that the Wakatipu basin is steeped in. The gold, the Pounamu, farming and in recent times all played an integral part in what Queenstown looks like today, 360 views only 5 minutes from the airport. Other things to note This eTour is for the confident/intermediate bike rider, not for the novice rider. Be smart, dress for suitable weather.
Mt Aspiring Full Day Canyon
Meet downtown Queenstown for your pick up Drive out to the canyon through Wanaka and out to the Mt Aspiring National park. Get dressed into all the necessary canyoning equipment Walk 25 minutes to the start of the canyon Enjoy multiple slides, jumps and abseils down pumping waterfalls, trying your hand at abseiling Walk minutes back to our van to get changed Enjoy a picnic style lunch - choose a vegetarian or meat option Drive back into downtown Queenstown for your drop off Other things to note This experience is suitable for persons 16 years and older only 48 hour cancellation policy applies
High Country Discovery Tour Queenstown
Ok this is about what we will do ! We have exclusive access to Mount Earnslaw Station, a working farm set in the spectacular alpine environment of the Paradise Valley at the head of Lake Wakatipu. The High Country Discovery tour is a half day adventure over Mount Earnslaw Station, in the heart of New Zealand’s high country. You will gain real insight into country life in this remote region, LOTR and the Hobbit movie locations can be viewed. 4WD across and up farm trails with incredible photography panoramas. There is the option to visit an operational woolshed where sheep are shorn during the year. We visit Diamond Lake flanked by Mt Alfred and Mt Earnslaw (2830m) the views across the Lake to Mt Chaos, Cosmos and Pluto Peaks are “Postcard shots in Paradise”. Departures 8.30am and 1.30pm • Exclusive access to Mount Earnslaw Station • LOTR and the Hobbit movie location viewing • Kiwi guides • Max capacity 4 pax, no large groups • Toyota Landcruiser or Land Rover 4WD transport • Plenty of photo stops • Binoculars and refreshments • Viewing farm livestock Commentary on historical / cultural and geographic anecdotes Other things to note We can pick up from your accommodation in Queenstown by prior arrangement, please contact us to get confirmation of pick up time and location.