Central Otago offers some of the most spectacular scenery in New Zealand, with the alpine town of Queenstown perfectly located for tourists to access the Southland and surrounding towns. Among the more popular day trips are to the local wineries to experience the region's Pinot Noir.
It's not uncommon to see snow covered vineyards in this area- which one would think would be quite a challenge for good wine. However, sunny summer days combine with cool nights preserve the acidity. A rarity in New Zealand, there is no influence from the ocean. Like Germany and in France, Queenstown is a continental climate and can reach extreme temperatures. Late summer is often low in rainfall -which grape vines love.
Pinots from Otago are often pitted against those from the Wairarapa region as to which are the best in the country. The Pinot from Otago is traditionally a juicy wine, with tastes of cherry and nectarine.
To list the number of activities and day tours in the Queenstown and Central Otago region would take pages. This area is focused specifically on tourism and thus has any number of fun and interesting things to fill time, including trips to the Fiordland, golf, fly fishing, shopping, top restaurants, adventure sports, hiking, biking and rafting.