Get a fresh perspective on NZ's holiday playground
FROM white-cloaked peaks to fairytale lakes, Queenstown serves up a scenic smorgasbord.
While the beloved South Island base has long drawn Aussie visitors in their droves, there's always a new view to discover for return travellers.
1. SOAK IN THE SCENERY
Queenstown's adrenaline-fuelled attractions are usually tackled at full tilt, so sometimes it's nice to pause and take it all in.
With private cedar-lined hot pools overlooking the Shotover River, Onsen Hot Pools is your ticket to tranquillity.
Heated to a muscle-melting 38.3 degrees, each tub is in its own pool room with a retractable roof that rolls back so you can appreciate the spectacular views in any weather (if you score snow, it's extra magic).
Visit after sunset to experience Onsen by Lantern Light. Surrounded by the soft glow of Japanese lanterns, look out to a sparkling sky full of stars.
Massages and goodies including Gibbston Valley wines, Kapiti ice cream and Whittakers chocolate can also be built into your package.
Reserve a tub at onsen.co.nz
2. UPGRADE THE VIEW
While a room with a view generally comes with the territory when you're staying in Queenstown, a premium panorama in the heart of town will cost you.
If you're willing to look a little further out, properties along Frankton Rd feature some of the best lake outlooks.
Still within walking distance of important attractions like Fergberger, the attainably priced Oaks Club Resort boasts a seriously jaw-dropping vantage of Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables.
I stayed in a one-bedroom apartment, complete with an enormous balcony that catches the morning sun along with the sweeping water vista.
There's a free shuttle bus that runs into town, but I found the quiet 15-minute stroll part of the appeal.
The track that skirts the lake provides a new photo op around every corner - capture mirror-perfect reflections on a calm day.
Spend any cash you save on a room upgrade. The deluxe two-bedroom apartment has its own balcony spa where you can really soak up the surroundings.
To book go to minorhotels.com/en/oaks/ oaks-club-resort or call 1300 797 515
3. LIFT YOUR GAME
With a wealth of wineries and boutique food producers to fill your hamper, it's always a pleasure to picnic in Queenstown ... but you can up the ante with your very own chopper chauffeur.
The Over The Top helicopter company will sweep you and someone special to a remote view tailor-made for two.
Their Picnic on a Peak package allows you to spread a blanket on a lofty perch, pop a bottle of champagne and see the Southern Alps at eye level.
If your appetite is for action, the company has just created a heli e-bike (so less puff for your pedal) option.
A scenic flight will take you to untouched trails, so you can zip across open plateaus and ridgelines and fly through native beech forests filled with birdlife.
Golfers can also lift their game with a fly, drive and putt package.
Nestled at 4500ft, the par 3-golf hole could well be the world's most picturesque.
Plan your peak picnic at flynz.co.nz/ flight-guide/queenstown/picnic-on-a-peak