New Zealand is a photographer’s playground, with stunning landscapes and unique activities that are absolutely photo-worthy. Queenstown draws millions of visitors every year, each of which is bound to take at least a picture or two for Instagram. This photo-sharing social media platform has made it easy for visitors to see highlights and popular places to add to their holiday itineraries. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular photo spots in the Queenstown area on Instagram to add to your list of places to visit in New Zealand.
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Queenstown is located along the shores of Lake Whakatipu, a stunning alpine lake that is shaped like a lightning bolt. It’s impossible to visit Queenstown without seeing the lake, so there’s no wonder why Lake Whakatipu, and the rugged peaks that surround it, is one of the most Instagrammed spots in the Queenstown area. The lake is host to a number of water activities like kayaking, parasailing and jetboating. Perhaps the most iconic vessel to cruise the lake is the TSS Earnslaw, a vintage steamship that is a symbol of Queenstown’s history.
Nestled between Queenstown and Wanaka is Cardrona Alpine Resort, a world-class ski field and home to some of the best stargazing in New Zealand. In the summers, it’s a fabulous destination for mountain biking, mountain carting, hiking and stargazing. In the winters, it plays host to several Queenstown Winter Festival events as well as the Winter Games. Located just a 45 minute drive away from Queenstown, Cardrona is one of the best places to ski on the South Island.
Situated just outside of Queenstown, Glenorchy is a charming little settlement at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu that is surrounded by stunning mountains and pristine rivers. It’s well known for being a filming location for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, and offers incredible hiking, fishing, water activities, stargazing and more. The drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy in particular is incredibly Instagrammable, with gorgeous views of the lake against the mountains at every turn. The sunsets along this road are truly mesmerizing.
Arrowtown is a charming little town located just 20 minutes outside of Queenstown and is perhaps the most picturesque town in the country. Situated along the Arrow River, Arrowtown has a rich gold mining history that can be seen and felt as you walk around the town centre. Its location also makes it one of the most beautiful places to visit in Autumn, especially during the Arrowtown Autumn Festival. The trees surrounding Arrowtown turn to gorgeous shades of golden yellow and orange, making it the ideal place for Instagram photos.
If you’ve visited Queenstown or searched for things to do in Queenstown, you already know that eating at Fergburger is a must-do activity. These world-famous burgers draw large queues of hungry people throughout the day, so it’s no wonder that it’s one of the most popular photo spots in Queenstown.
The Remarkables Skifield is just 40 minutes from town and offers big mountain terrain with untouched snow, making it one of the most popular places to visit in winter. The varied terrain makes it a great for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels, from beginners to seasoned experts. Of course, it’s not just a playground for snow sports – you can try your hand at skydiving, golfing, mountain biking and more.
Lake Hayes is well known for its beautifully reflective water and gorgeous scenic walks. It’s a popular place for events and weddings and is a lovely area to spend an afternoon walking around the lake. It’s a short 15 minute drive from town and is close to Arrowtown and the Gibbston Valley wine region, so you can check out all these great Queenstown photo spots in an afternoon.
Wanaka is a lovely alpine town on the other side of the Crown Range and is fondly referred to as Queenstown’s little sister. While there are many Insta-worthy places in Wanaka, #ThatWanakaTree is such a popular photo spot that it even has its own hashtag. Floating in the lake all by itself, this famous tree often has a queue of people hoping to get that perfect shot.
Jack’s Point is a golf course overlooking Lake Wakatipu and is truly a golfer’s paradise. Situated along the shores of Lake Wakatipu with dramatic bluffs and mountain scenery, it’s no wonder that golfers flock to Jack’s Point and share their experiences on social media. Beyond world-class golfing, Jack’s Point also has a fantastic restaurant and clubhouse and access to great walking and biking trails.
One of the most accessible day hikes in Queenstown is Queenstown Hill. A steep but relatively short incline from the town centre leads you up to rewarding sweeping views of the lake and Queenstown, making it one of the most popular day walks in the area. Naturally, it is also one of the best photo spots in Queenstown – especially for sunset!
What are your favourite photo spots in Queenstown? Tag us in your Instagram posts with #realnz for a chance to be featured!