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
THE GRILLE AT EICHARDT’S
RECEPTIONS AT BOTSWANA BUTCHERY
For an old world feel visit this gorgeous stone establishment with the cutest stone chapel with the most amazing view.
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.
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.
EKARA HOUSE // PRIVATE RESIDENCE
A bit more traditional but one of the few options for a large number of Guests.
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.
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.
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.
Take your wedding vows against the magnificent backdrop of mountains and the Shotover River Canyons.
Dine and entertain guests on the expansive deck and lawns, with its designated marquee site. Create your own setting and continue into the night.
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.
Glendhu Station is a family owned high country station on the shores of Lake Wanaka in the South Island of New Zealand.
The 1,200 hectares organically certified property farms livestock by organic and biological methods, doing, what we believe, is justice to the surrounding environment.
Weddings at Jack’s Point are available from May to October. They don’t charge fees but have a minimum spend of 20k on weekends and 15k on weekdays.
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.