7 Photogenic Views in the Queenstown and Wanaka Area

Known as the “Adventure Capital of the World,” Queenstown, New Zealand definitely has some of the best activities for travelers and locals who enjoy a good adrenaline rush. From bungee jumping, sky-diving, and jet boating through narrow ravines to skiing and luging down mountains, it is difficult to find oneself bored in Queenstown. However, in addition to the many adventurous activities, one can experience in and near this tourist hotspot, there are also multiple locations where one can take in breathtaking views. Picturesque points can be found whether you have just an hour or two to spare or if you are down for a full-day trip. So here are 7 prime spots that can be enjoyed by all and captured by both pro-camera as well as iPhone.


Queenstown City Park and Welch Kern.

Quick Facts:

  • A 10-minute walk from the town center.
  • Easy, flat walk.


Lake Wakatipu.

If there’s one thing I know for sure, you will never get bored driving alongside the beautiful Wakatipu.

Quick Facts:

  • Multiple viewpoints, 5-45min drive from Queenstown.
  • Road-side lookouts.



Glenorchy is one of the sweetest towns at the very northern point of Lake Wakatipu. Enjoy walking the pier, taking photos in front of the iconic red shed or strolling on the local trails.

Quick Facts:

  • 45min drive from Queenstown.
  • A small town on the edge of Lake Wakatipu.



On the drive from Glenorchy to Paradise, you will drive through what is known as the “Middle Earth Forest.” Surrounded by nothing but mountains, forest, and the occasional cow, you feel as though you’re the only one on the planet.

Quick Facts:

  • 1hr 20min drive from Queenstown. 
  • Past Glenorchy.
  • Dirt roads.



Just a 1.5hr drive from Queenstown, Wanaka is most famously known for its most photographed tree. While still a tourist attraction, Wanaka is not nearly as bustling as Queenstown and offers a quiet, small-town vibe. 

That Wanaka Tree.

With its convenient location being so close to town, we found ourselves wandering that way multiple times during our weekend stay.  There are some walking tracks that start from the same area that walk alongside the beautiful Lake Wanaka.

Quick Facts:

  • 10min walk from central Wanaka


Roys Peak.

Going at a steady incline for a solid 3-4 hours, this track is no walk in the park. Now I’m not the fittest climber, but I definitely had to take more mini-breaks than I’d care to admit. However, I would do every step again in heart-beat to see that view again.

Quick Facts:

  • 10min drive + 3hr. Hike
  • Difficult, steep hike
  • 6-7hr round trip



Lake Hāwea.

We stumbled across a little piece of heaven when I made the last-minute call to stop over at Lake Hāwea.  We took some turns on some gravel roads and found this rocky beach with no other humans around.

Quick Facts:

  • 20-30min drive from Wanaka.

Frankie Persons is a student at Bethel University and an ISA Photo Blogger. She is currently studying with ISA in Dunedin, New Zealand.

The world awaits…discover it.




Leave a Reply