by Destination Wedding Photographer Kate Drennan
Planning a destination wedding to the stunning South Island of New Zealand? A Mountaintop elopement?
Here is a list of some of my favourite and what I think are the best wedding venues in and around the beautiful town of Queenstown, Central Otago, New Zealand.
For an opulent cocktail affair in your very own Penthouse with the best views in Queenstown.
Nestled amidst rugged snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps on the shores of Lake Wakatipu is New Zealand’s finest Lodge – Blanket Bay. Here we celebrate the art of pure relaxation.
SPECTACULAR LAKEFRONT VENUE FOR CEREMONY & CELEBRATIONS
Our Jacks Point ‘VENUE FOR THE DAY AND NIGHT’ wedding package is designed to accommodate a maximum of 40 guests, so you can truly enjoy the special day with your nearest and dearest. With your ceremony on the lawn overlooking the Southern Alps and Lake Wakatipu, followed by an afternoon cocktail hour and reception hosted at the private residence, this is a hard-to-beat combination.
Ideal for an afternoon of games, cocktails and canapés before treating your guests to a delicious dining experience hosted by your own catering team. Helicopter access on the property, fly to a unique remote location for your wedding photos, or simply explore the many gorgeous spots close by.
Situated 19km from the centre of Queenstown, positioned next to the 7th hole of the Jacks Point Golf Course. With panoramic views over Lake Wakatipu & mountain ranges to the West, and equally breathtaking views of the Remarkable mountain range to the East.
A modern architecturally designed studio. 69m2 in size, consisting of living/sleeping, kitchenette & ensuite, plus outdoor terrace area with an open wood fireplace and your own private garden with stunning lake & mountain views.
RECEPTIONS AT BOTSWANA BUTCHERY
By far the best restaurant In Queenstown -Their slow-cooked lamb shoulder is to die for.
You can either hire out the upstairs room for elopements and small weddings or the whole venue for full weddings.
LAKEHOUSE JOELA by Relax It’s Done Queenstown
Our luxury holiday homes provide a private and unique environment for your special day.
We have several properties that are suitable for intimate wedding ceremonies and/or receptions with 25-40 guests maximum (depending on the property). The stunning mountain and lake views offer a picture-perfect backdrop for your special day. Holiday homes also provide ample space and the perfect atmosphere for the bridal party to get ready. Convenient and cost-effective wedding option; family and friends can stay together as each home sleeps 8-10 guests.
Please refer to our website for details on each wonderful option: Papillon, Queenscliff, Lakeside Luxury, Bel Lago and Lakehouse Joela.
PRE/ POST WEDDING VENUE
Perfect for afterparties, hens and stag do’s.
12 MILE BEND BY LAKE WAKATIPU
For elopements with intimate ceremonies where you don’t feel you need an actual venue then there are so many beautiful locations for photos around the lake and in nearby fields. There are a few boats and ferry like the TSS Earslaw and Southern Discoveries which will also take you up and down Lake Wakatipu to explore different views and angles of Queenstown the surrounds.
For an old-world feel visit this gorgeous stone establishment with the cutest stone chapel with the most amazing view.
Remote and rustic, allow Stacey at Colour Me Happy Weddings to transform the barn into a bohemian festival of love! With about a 40minute ferry ride out of town over the gorgeous Lake Wakatipu, Southern Discoveries will take you to this working station. Find more photos of an elopement shoot I did there in the winter here.
Another great spot for either elopement photos or bride and groom shots, Cecil Peak offers a different angle of the view over Queenstown. Get there with Heliworks experienced helicopter tours. View it HERE in winter or HERE in Summer.
A bit more traditional but one of the few options for a large number of Guests.
Venues I haven’t worked at but would love to:
Images courtesy of each venue’s website.
Perfect for Elopements
Old-world broken down structure surrounded by nature
The Winehouse is the perfect romantic location for your special day. This historic homestead nestled among the vines at the gateway to Gibbston offers beautiful gardens, rugged scenery, and the very best of Central Otago food, wine and hospitality.
Our large croquet lawn is the perfect location for a garden ceremony. Your guests enjoy pre-dinner drinks and canapes allowing your guests to socialise and relax before the reception. The gorgeous gardens and grounds provide beautiful backgrounds for your photographer.
This fabulous lovingly restored turn of the century villa invokes a sense of New Zealand pastoral heritage. Gorgeous bay windows look out to the potager garden and French doors make a dramatic entrance to the stunning courtyard pavilion.
Seating up to 150 guests with the opportunity to extend this to a seating number of 250 the pavilion is the perfect space to sit back and relax and enjoy the reception proceedings.
Our various winery venues provide stunning options for hosting your wedding ceremony and reception. The Wine Vault and Winery Restaurant are all available for weddings, offering options for intimate events to grand-scale celebrations.
NZ High Country is on private land sitting just above Queenstown Airport, only a short drive from the centre of town. What makes NZ High Country so magical is the spectacular views showcasing the very best of Queenstown’s natural landscape.
The property has four unique sites now available for hire. Three of the sites are considered land-only which means they are a blank canvas for you to create your ultimate wedding or event. Being a blank canvas again I recommend hiring Stacey at Colour me Happy to create a style that suits your personalities and style. I am in love with the Tipi setup by Gather and Gold Tipis for bohemian festival style weddings too, check them out!
The fourth site is Lake June which has a premium and permanent marquee boasting floor to ceiling glass walls on much of the marquee and absolute privacy.
Luxurious, exclusive and stylish, the Luxury Retreats are situated alongside the championship golf course with stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Say I do under the mountains.
Matakauri Lodge offers a total of 16 bedrooms made up of a combination of Deluxe Suites, Suites, Lodge Room and the Four Bedroom Owner’s Cottage, all offering the choice of twin or king beds to sleep a maximum of 32 guests.
Dining options within the lodge include the Lodge Library, (for four), Main Dining Room (12), Lower Lounge (20), Upper Lounge (20), Owner’s Cottage (12), Remarkables Terrace (60), Marquee.
Set against a breathtaking background, this internationally awarded ‘falcon wing’ winery is a one-of-a-kind location. The unique ‘Under-the-wing’ space is perfect for large-scale functions, with dinner seating for up to 180. Adjustable for more intimate occasions, it can be enclosed or open, letting your guests enjoy the absolute best of Central Otago as your event unfolds.
Just opposite the winery, our 1860s Woolshed offers a historic stone and timber setting for events of up to 110 seated. The Woolshed can be easily styled to suit your occasion, from contemporary conference meet-ups and major functions to intimate wedding dinners or large scale receptions.
This venue only facility, Peregrine provides you with a blank canvas, letting you stage your event precisely as you choose – just 20 minutes from Queenstown.
Everything about Amisfield reflects Central Otago, including the dramatic stone building that houses our acclaimed Bistro and Cellar Door. The two-hatted restaurant experience takes you out of your culinary comfort zone, infusing an element of intrigue into everything they bring to the table.