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13 Reasons Why You Must Visit Lake Wakatipu on Your Next Luxury Holiday


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Imagine escaping the hustle and bustle of the urban jungle. All the lights, skyscrapers, and road traffic have vanished. The intoxicating fresh air, gentle sounds of nature, and breathtaking alpine scenery now come into view. You’re soaking up the beauty of the scene with your favourite beverage in hand, as the boat beneath your feet slowly drifts along glassy waters.

This is a real place and you can live this experience. It’s one of the few places on earth where words such as luxurious, beautiful, and extraordinary fall short. This piece of paradise is located in Queenstown, New Zealand. Our prized Lake Wakatipu.

New Zealand’s longest and loveliest lake

Located in the adventure capital of the world, Lake Wakatipu attracts thousands of visitors each year. Shaped like a lightning bolt, it’s New Zealand’s longest and third largest lake. Anyone seeing Lake Wakatipu for the first time is likely to be speechless, marvelling at its raw and surreal beauty.

An inland lake with glaciated mountains bordering it on all sides, Lake Wakatipu offers a slice of rural heaven. It’s beautiful but welcoming, raw but real. It appears still, but in truth hides an array of adventure for anyone who seeks it. This makes it an ideal location not just for an ordinary vacation but a luxury holiday. If this is what you desire in an escape from urban life, then it’s time to book a ticket to Queenstown and pack your bags.

Here are 13 reasons why you should head to Lake Wakatipu on your next luxury trip.

Land Tours

1. Experience Queenstown’s precious gem by foot or on a bike

They say the best way to experience any location is through slow travel. A walking or biking tour gives you just that. There are many different guided and supported luxury walking and biking tours on beautiful routes all around Queenstown.

Throughout the tours, visitors can witness New Zealand’s secret paradise at a pace that allows nature’s beauty to unfold slowly. Simply find a tour that suits your preference, and head off on your Queenstown adventure of a lifetime.

2. Take the path least travelled on an off-road 4x4 tour

A luxury holiday doesn’t always mean you have to be prim and proper, it could involve some adrenaline-fuelled fun too! Off Road 4x4 Queenstown provides a host of adventure tours that promise to let you discover the hidden gems of Queenstown. Their Wakatipu Discovery of the Rings 4X4 Tour is perfect for Lord of the Rings fans. It takes visitors to fantastic scenery and locations made famous by the films.

If you’d like to take a more personalised adventure, you can opt for chartered versions of their tours or design bespoke itineraries to match your taste.

3. Horse riding adventures

If you’re into horse riding, then you’ll enjoy Dart Stables’ The River Wild. A two-hour ride at New Zealand’s longest river, The River Wild is one of the most highly recommended tours by TripAdvisor. The River Wild is suitable for riders of all levels. Exclusive and group rides are also available upon request.

Air adventure

4. Lake Wakatipu from a helicopter

Want to marvel at Lake Wakatipu from above? Join one of the most popular helicopter tours in Queenstown! Heli Tours can take you on a 20-minute scenic flight over the lake and around the Remarkables mountain range. You’ll then experience an alpine landing and a once in a lifetime view of Queenstown, Arrowtown, Lake Hayes, and Jack’s Point.

Another popular helicopter tour, the Fiordlander, is offered by Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters. In this tour, you will be whisked away over paradise for 3 hours. Aside from taking you on an exhilarating flight over Lake Wakatipu, it also lets you fly across Lake Quill and the 1900ft Sutherland Falls. You’ll also get to stop for a gourmet wine or lunch on the breathtaking Mt. Tutoko Glacier. This is the perfect luxury tour for you and your special someone.

5. Freefall at 200kph over Lake Wakatipu

If you can’t wait to tick skydiving off your ultimate travel bucket list, then make sure to book a tandem skydive experience at Skydive Paradise. A skydiving adventure with Skydive Paradise lets you enjoy a spectacular scenic flight over the mesmerizing Lake Wakatipu and the breathtaking alpine scenery of the famous mountains of Glenorchy, New Zealand. This is nature at its best!

You can choose from their two skydive options: the 15-20 minute scenic flight at 15,000ft or the 15-17 minute scenic flight at 12,000ft. Jumping from a plane and free falling at 200kph is an experience of a lifetime. Make sure to purchase a record of your skydive experience as the company also offers photo and HD packages.

6. Take to the skies in a warbird

There are a number of adventure aviation operators in Queenstown. However, not everyone offers an enjoyable and nostalgic flight experience like Double X Aviation. What sets them apart from the rest? They’ll take you to the skies in a military aircraft! Their aircraft include the L29 Jet fighter and the Harvard (T6 Texan).

Hop on the classic Harvard, known in the aviation world as the 'Pilot Maker', and enjoy a splendid ride marvelling at the jewels of Queenstown and surrounding alpine mountains. You can also decide to take your adventure up a notch by including aerobatics and formation flying in your package.

7. Soar over Queenstown with a tandem paraglide

Few things are as thrilling as soaring above Queenstown with nothing but your wanderlust and a foot-launched glider aircraft. If this is the kind of experience you’re after, then Gforce Tandem Paragliding is the company to turn to. The only company with permitted flights over Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu, Gforce promises to give visitors a genuine joy-ride.

Gforce offers two packages: the Skyline Gondola and the Early Bird Special. Whether you prefer a slow and more relaxed flight or an intense and adrenaline-fuelled paragliding experience, they can cater to your needs. Simply inform their experienced international pilots and they will work their magic to ensure you end your flight wearing a big and satisfied grin on your face.

Luxury boat tours

8. A memorable cruise aboard Queenstown’s high-end charter boat

For a personal and luxurious experience, why not travel across the idyllic Lake Wakatipu aboard the Pacific Jemm? The Pacific Jemm is a luxury charter yacht that offers a custom cruise to those who desire to capture the beauty of New Zealand’s longest lake in comfort and style.

The yacht can cater for up to 45 guests and provide overnight accommodation for 8 people. It boasts modern amenities and stylish interiors fit for the most luxurious traveller. Aboard the Pacific Jemm, not only will you be able to feast on the beautiful sights of the lake. You’ll also be served with a delectable range of menu options. From weddings and honeymoons, to fishing charters and corporate meetings, no matter the occasion the Pacific Jemm can cater for you on Lake Wakatipu.

9. Don’t miss the exciting Million Dollar Cruise

A luxury holiday to Lake Wakatipu won’t be complete without joining the Million Dollar Cruise. Ranked by TripAdvisor as one of the premier activities in Queenstown, the Million Dollar Cruise takes visitors to a journey beyond compare. Not only will you get to soak up the enthralling landscape and scenery, but you’ll also be accompanied by guides offering thought-provoking commentary, stories, facts, and history about the lake. For an exquisite, luxurious cruise experience, make sure to book the upper deck as it features a magical 360–view of the area.

Water adventure

10. Enjoy one or two hours of peaceful paddling

Glenorchy is one of the small settlements located at the northern shores of the lake. From there, you can start an exhilarating kayak adventure via Rippled Earth Kayaking. They offer three kayaking tours that begin at Glenorchy’s shores, a 40-minute ride away from Queenstown.

Their ‘Dinner on Sunset’ tour takes visitors on an unforgettable 40-minute quiet paddle across the glassy waters of Lake Wakatipu, past the Rees River and Dart River. Visitors then get to enjoy traditional dinner overlooking the lake and surrounding mountains.

11. Get ready for a good catch

Lake Wakatipu is a haven for fishing enthusiasts. If you’re into spin fishing, jigging, fly fishing, or trolling, then the father and son duo of Queenstown Fishing is your best option. They offer unique and guided fishing experiences on the fresh and blessed waters of Wakatipu, Hawea, and Wanaka.

Queenstown Fishing also offers superior fishing vessels, plus stealth angling machines to give you an outstanding experience. Book a private charter to ensure you get the best catch of the day.

12. Go on a triple thriller adventure

What’s a trip to the adventure capital of the world without enjoying an intense, action-packed triple adventure? Aptly called the KJet Triple Thriller, this jet boat, heli, and rafting combo offered by KJet Queenstown promises a full day of pure adrenalin-fuelled adventure.

The fun starts in an unforgettable 43 kilometre, hour-long jet boat experience where you’ll traverse the crystal waters of Lake Wakatipu and paddle past the tranquillity lent by the Kawarau River. The jet boat then speeds into Shotover River’s narrow yet fast-moving braids.

After an exhilarating tour through Queenstown’s waterways, you will then be transported by bus to a helipad where a scenic helicopter flight over Skippers Canyon awaits you. But don’t get comfortable just yet! After your helicopter tour, it’s back to the waters once more with a rafting journey on the Shotover River.

13. Fly like a superhero, swim like a dolphin

Has it always been your dream to fly like your favourite superhero? Or perhaps have the expert swimming skills of a dolphin? Come to Queenstown and make your dreams come true! Flyboard Queenstown offers the newest and most exciting water activity you can’t afford to miss: flyboarding.

Strapped on the flyboard, or a water jet board connected to a jet ski, you can soar for up to 30 feet in the air, dive into the water and then shoot back out like a dolphin.

Although the waters of Lake Wakatipu can be cold, you won’t feel a thing as you’re sure to heat up in this thrilling activity. Two flyboard flights are available: the 20-minute Hero flight that comes with 5-10 minutes of training by expert flyboard instructors, and the 35-minute Super Hero flight, also with 5-10 minutes of onshore training. You can book a tandem flight, or go solo for the ultimate thrill.

Flyboard Queenstown is closed for the winter, so make sure to check on your calendars and book a flight as soon as the last breath of winter leaves.

If these reasons aren’t enough to stir up your wanderlust, then we don’t know what will. There’s not a doubt that Lake Wakatipu will offer you the experiences you’ve only seen on Instagram.

To fully enjoy what the region has to offer, don’t forget to book your exclusive, luxury accommodation. When it comes to luxury apartments, Queenstown doesn’t disappoint. A host of apartments is ready to welcome you and make your stay even more memorable.

Staysouth offers a few luxury accommodation options that are sure to match your requirements. They offer stylish and modern lakefront apartments that Queenstown visitors are guaranteed to love. The apartments include the LakeRidge condos, Esplanade Queenstown apartments, Commonage Villas, an array of individual apartments strategically located near the town centre of Queenstown in our exclusive Holiday Rentals portfolio. These luxurious and spacious apartments seamlessly weave style and taste, and privacy and comfort, while being located in the beating heart of Queenstown.

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