Top 6 Romantic Date Ideas from Queenstown

Date: 8 February 2024

As the adventure-inspiring, adrenaline-inducing, thrill-seeking capital, Queenstown surprises its visitors by still being an incredibly romantic destination. Who wouldn’t be swayed by the picture-perfect views at every corner, promising some of the most romantic dates you’ve ever had?  

There is so much to do as a couple that will rock both your worlds. From incredible dinner reservations in the perfect spot to once-in-a-lifetime experiences to bond with your other half, there’s no wonder we see so many bent knees along the lakefront.  

With so much to experience, we’ve compiled what we believe is the ultimate list of romantic date ideas.  


1. Recreate that Jack and Rose moment (no, not that one) – TSS Earnslaw 

There’s nothing quite like a steamy first date, quite literally, and this vintage vessel does all the heavy lifting for you.  

Introducing the TSS Earnslaw, Queenstown’s Lady of the Lake. A steamship that was made the same year as the Titanic, it has been ferrying passengers across Lake Whakatipu for over 110 years.  

It comes top of the list of romantic date ideas, not only because you can create the Jack and Rose moment at the bow of the vessel, but because of the incredible lake views, the surrounding mountains, and the glass of bubbles you can enjoy as you watch Queenstown roll peacefully by. 

Explore TSS Earnslaw departures for your next date. 

TSS Earnslaw sailing on Lake Whakatipu

2. Enjoy a sticky date - Walter Peak BBQ Dining 

A list of Queenstown’s ultimate romantic dates wouldn’t be complete without a recommendation of our favourite dinner date reservation, and this spot takes the cake! 

Cruise over to Walter Peak High Country Farm, a beautiful and peaceful rural destination that’s nestled against the lakeside, tucked against the mountainside and set among incredible gardens and native trees. Walter Peak offers multiple experiences to get amongst nature, but our most romantic pick? Walter Peak’s Gourmet BBQ Dining. 

Famous throughout Queenstown as the best BBQ you might have ever tasted, this is the ultimate romantic meal. You’ll be dining at The Homestead, a restored building that dates back to Lake Whakatipu’s original European settlers, giving your dinner endless charm.  

The food itself is a help-yourself situation, with something to suit every diet and appetite, so you can fill up to your heart’s desire with tender BBQ-cooked meats, roasted vegetables, salads, cheeses, charcuterie and dessert.  

Depending on the weather, dining can either take place on the veranda, looking out to the lake, or in one of the vintage dining rooms. Winter brings a roaring fire, while summer brings open doors and spectacular sunsets.  

Both dinner and a show, once you’ve polished off your sticky date (the must-try pudding and crowd favourite), you can lazily wander over to watch the farm show, where the working farm dogs show us their perfected skills.  

Tick off the sticky date and book your next romantic dinner.  

Woman eating dinner at Walter Peak

3. Get vocal - Queenstown Jet 

The easiest way to dismiss any awkward silences on a first, or second date is to make sure your date activity is a noisy one.  

Show your date the impressive and stunning scenery of Queenstown aboard a Queenstown Jetboat as the mountain and lake views fly! Hold onto your seat, dispel any nerves, and enjoy the ultimate icebreaker as you get to know each other's vocal ranges.  

Hold on tight – book your 60 or 25 minute ride now! 

Jet boat spinning on Lake

4. Miles high – Milford Sound 

Ever wanted to join the mile-high club? We don’t mean that mile-high club, we’re talking about those lucky few who soak up the life-changing views on a return flight to Milford Sound. 

Unseen by a coach or car commuter, a day trip to Milford Sound by plane is one of those moments you carry with you for life. The flight to Milford Sound is truly spectacular with scenes of mountains stretching as far as the eye can see, lakes sprawling beneath, and the ocean blanketing the horizon. This day trip from Queenstown is the ultimate way to tell your other half you feel something as special as your surroundings.  

When you’re off your flight, you’ll get to cruise the fiord, experiencing all the waterfalls, wildlife, and towering peaks from a fresh perspective. You can choose how you cruise with RealNZ, with the option to upgrade to a Premium Milford Sound Cruise where you’ll be welcomed with a glass of bubbles on arrival, and specially curated canapés throughout your trip.  

Join the highfliers and book your scenic flight. 

Plane approaching runway in Milford Sound

5. Keep the lights on – Te Anau Glowworms  

Let the glowworms turn it on for you with a romantic tour of the Te Anau Glowworm Caves! 

These bioluminescent friends have almost become synonymous with romantic moments, as the starry skies they skilfully recreate offer all who gaze upon them moments of magic. 

On your date, you’ll enjoy a beautiful cruise across Lake Te Anau to the base of the Murchison Mountains, learn about the incredible bugs, and head into the sculpted cave system full of water features, rock formations, and of course, the illuminations of glowworms.  

The Te Anau Glowworm Caves are an easy commute from Queenstown, around a 2.5 hour drive one way through rolling Southland scenery.  

Turn on the light display and book your magic Glowworm Tour. 

Glowworms shining bright inside caves

6. Comfortable silences - Doubtful Sound  

Comfortable silences are signs of relationships reaching a beautiful maturity, and we’ve found a way to fill those silences with even more contentment.  

Doubtful Sound, a few fiords south of the majestic Milford Sound, is the lengthier and more sprawling fiord, full of rich wilderness, undulating mountains, and playful wildlife. 

Take a day trip to the secluded fiord and spend some time refreshing your perspective. The day trip includes a cruise across Lake Manapouri, a coach journey across the spectacular Wilmot Pass, and a cruise through the waterways of Doubtful Sound.  

Our favourite moment of the entire day? The Sound of Silence. A moment where the skipper silences the engines, generators, and man-made noises from the vessel, giving you the ability to simply sit in a piece of untouched wilderness with your loved one. This is a moment that surprises all who cruise in Doubtful Sound and is the moment to remember from the whole journey, where you can reconnect with nature and your environment. 

Drive from Queenstown to Lake Manapouri in approximately 2.5 hours or catch the coach leaving from our visitor centre!  

Enjoy the sound of silence with a loved one and book your Doubtful Sound Cruise. 

Couple on ship looking out at the view


Choose the perfect date