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Wilson Bay, Queenstown

Wilson Bay, Queenstown

The road to Glenorchy from Queenstown is packed full of interesting places to stop, and one of the more relaxing ones is Wilson Bay. It’s a lovely little beach with stunning mountain views and it’s a decent distance from town, meaning it’ll likely be empty when you visit!

Getting to Wilson Bay

Wilson Bay is around 10 km from downtown Queenstown, along the main road to Glenorchy. There is heaps to do nearby, including Sunshine Bay (which is a bit closer to town), Moke Lake, Bob’s Cove (slightly further towards Glenorchy) and the various viewpoints along the road. There are also other hikes and mountain bike tracks close to Wilson Bay – there’s so much to explore. It’s not known as one of New Zealand’s most scenic roads for nothing!

Wilson Bay

If you’re looking for a relaxing spot near Queenstown, you could do a lot worse than Wilson Bay. The beach is beautiful on a good day, mostly due to the clear waters of Lake Wakatipu and the impressive mountains surrounding it.

READ MORE: Where Are the Best Beaches in Queenstown?

This being a lake beach, sand is substituted by stones. It’s still nice to walk along though and you can still sunbathe if you bring a towel or blanket. I reckon it’d be a good place to swim in summer (we visited in winter, so it wasn’t an option) and it’s also a good place to do some water sports, including kayaking and water skiing.

The Seven Mile Track starts or ends at Wilson Bay and there are heaps of other hikes nearby – if I were in a hurry, I’d stop by either Wilson Bay or Sunshine Bay then head to Bob’s Cove and then Glenorchy and Paradise. That would be a fun day trip from Queenstown.

Other things to do in Queenstown

Queenstown, and the surrounding area, is full of fun things to see and do. Being a mountain town, there are obviously heaps of good hikes (the Queenstown Hill and Ben Lomond tracks give some of the best views), but you can also take the gondola up Cecil Peak, do some adventure sports, eat and drink in town or do a day trip to places like Milford Sound or Central Otago. 

READ MORE: 15 of the Best Things to Do in Queenstown

Are you visiting New Zealand soon? Check out our two-week South Island itinerary!

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Jon Algie

I'm a South Island local -- born in Timaru and raised in Dunedin. I left the island in 2006 and returned 10 years later. Having seen a good chunk of the world I realised how special this place is -- the most beautiful island in the world! Seven years (and almost 400 posts) later I'm still helping locals and tourists alike plan their trips around the South Island.