Couples

The best wedding venues in Queenstown and Wanaka

Queenstown wedding venues are arguably some of the most beautiful venues in the world. I have lived in Queenstown for most of my life which means that I have had the pleasure of photographing hundreds of couples in this beautiful landscape that I call home. I wanted to share with you my personal favourite Queenstown wedding venues in the hope that it helps you to plan your big day. So come with me on a journey to explore some of Queenstown’s best-kept secrets.

Intimate Wedding venues for elopements and weddings with less than 50 guests

I absolutely love the idea of eloping. Setting aside the formalities, the guest list, and the logistics, packing your bags and jetting off somewhere exciting to say I do, just the two of you, will surely provide a beautiful story for the grandkids. If you are planning an elopement then let me help you. Although the thought of running wildly through the hills, husband or wife to be in tow, and not a care in the world sounds whimsically romantic, your elopement still deserves planning to make sure that you capture the essence of what your true love is all about. 

First, you will need to figure out where to do it. Queenstown is a mecca for elopement venues. I’m talking secret lakeside spots to secluded mountain tops with no one around, meaning we can scream and shout about how wonderfully romantic your day is, without disturbing anyone but the local sheep. 

For smaller more intimate weddings you will find options for all, catering for all budgets and ensuring that you get the absolute most out of your wedding day. Below is a list of some of my all-time favourite small wedding venues around Queenstown that would fit the bill perfectly.

(If you would rather tie the knot lakeside or at a helicopter location on top of a mountain check out my ultimate guide to eloping in Queenstown.)

Luxury holiday homes

Relax it’s done are pros when it comes to making everything relaxed and easy. You can book one of their exclusive homes for your intimate wedding or just use it as your base to get ready in beforehand. Imagine having a glass of bubbles on a balcony overlooking the lake as your make up artist gets you ready to say ‘I Do’.

Glenorchy – Paradise

Actual paradise. Think mountains, tussock fields and a gravel road to a beautiful location with no other humans (apart from the ones you wish to invite that is). Expect to drive about an hour from Queenstown, you can also hire out a collection of backcountry huts from the paradise trust if you want to keep your bridal party together after the nuptials. 

Gibbston Valley Winery 

The name says it all, a winery right at the heart of one of the most famous wine regions in NZ, Gibbston Valley. The venue is a 25-minute drive outside of Queenstown. This picturesque venue is surrounded by mountains and has a beautiful garden setting for the ceremony, also, it goes without saying that the wines are divine. The venue has lots of different options depending on the size of your wedding, with on-site catering in the restaurant and a wine cave and vault for the reception. Your photographer will be spoiled for choice for spots for your beautiful couple’s photographs.

Multi Heli destinations

The sky ISN’T the limit if you choose to go for a heli wedding! 

We offer THE best wedding elopement packages here in Queenstown. with Heli- weddings you can opt for a multi-stop ride meaning you can visit more than one mountain peak and take home the best collection of images from your day or you can choose one such as Earnslaw Burn or one of the many alpine lake locations in Fiordland. Although the heli companies we work with have set routes and destinations, custom packages are also available. There’s really no end to the adventure here. Queenstown and Wanaka helicopter flights start from $950nz and I can easily book these in for you.

kinross cottages

Surrounded by mountains and rows of vines, this stunning vineyard is in the heart of Gibbston Valley. It ticks all the boxes as it has on-site catering and even boutique accommodation so your party can all stay together in the beautiful cottages. Kinross not only has its own wine label but also high-end wines from the local boutique wineries around it, everyone is sure to find the perfect flavour for the day.

The orchard garden

Located between Alexandra and Clyde this is a unique venue with a twist, well a maze to be exact. Stunning garden settings, lots of beautiful spots to get lost in, on-site catering, and local wines, this venue has it all. Why not say I Do in the middle of a maze?

Queenstown wedding venues for large weddings

Getting married in Queenstown means that you have the choice to have a big or small wedding without having to sacrifice mountain top views or make compromises on style. Whether you want rustic, elegant or both, Queenstown has something for everyone. Here are some of the best Queenstown wedding venues for larger weddings.

Queenstown is famous for its turquoise blue lakes, its multiple mountain ranges, and its abundance of secret viewpoints overlooking the stunning scenery. Everywhere you turn you will see snow-capped peaks in winter, burnt orange trees in autumn, dazzling blue water in summer, and delicate cherry blossoms in spring. Queenstown is the ultimate wedding location, all you have to do is choose your perfect venue.

Jacks point

Jack’s point golf resort is a popular wedding location as it offers everything from mountain views to on-site catering. The clubhouse is a beautiful mix of old and new style located right under the Remarkable mountain range, the ultimate backdrop for photos. You can say I Do on a beautiful wooden jetty overlooking the water and then run into the tussock filled hills for a private moment and some beautiful photos before having a meal in the gorgeous restaurant.

The Winehouse

Located just 20 minutes from Queenstown at the gateway to Gibbston Valley, this exclusive venue has it all. Surrounded by mountains, this historic homestead boasts romantic gardens and the best of local Central Otago food and wine. They can seat up to 250 guests and have a professional team that will make it easy and enjoyable to plan.

NZ High Country 

Located only 15 minutes from the center of Queenstown NZ High Country feels like your own little slice of heaven. The views are mind-blowing, there are multiple venues to choose from and they can cater for weddings of all shapes and sizes. No need to choose between rustic and elegant here, they can cater for all styles with their choice of outdoor ceremony spots and marquee. 

Mount Nicolas Station

For those looking for a rustic venue filled with history and natural beauty then Mount Nicholas Station is the perfect spot for you. Charter a boat to take your guests for a scenic cruise to the venue across Lake Wakatipu and enter a whole new world. The station itself is the same size as Singapore so there are lots of beautiful spots to explore. A working station, filled with merino sheep, on the shores of Wakatipu and surrounded by mountains, doesn’t get more Kiwi than this. 

Millbrook 

A beautiful golf resort in Queenstown NZ, Millbrook can help with pre-pampering for the bridal party in the onsite spa and perhaps a round of golf for the groomsmen. They cater to rustic and romantic weddings to timeless elegance with a range of luxury accommodation and dedicated wedding coordinators to help you plan your big day.

A word from the venue-

With 650 acres of manicured grounds and multiple venues to choose from, Millbrook has a variety of options to make your wedding day personalised and extra special. Our dedicated and experienced team of professional wedding consultants can assist in making your wedding dreams come true. Our aim is to make your time with us as enjoyable and stress-free as possible, eliminating the fuss and pressure that many couples face when planning their wedding.

Amisfield winery

If you are a fan of Central Otago wines, rows and rows of vines and stunning mountain views then Amisfield winery needs to be on your list of wedding venues to consider. Perfectly located between Queenstown and Arrowtown, and very close to the picturesque Lake Hayes this venue is a haven for stunning food, wine, and photography options. 

Peregrine winery

Peregrine winery is truly one of a kind venue for a wedding. The architecture was designed to look like a falcons wing, the wines are exceptional and the mountain views of Gibbston Valley are stunning. The venue boasts a historic stone 1860’s woolshed that can seat up to 110 people. Located only 20 minutes from Queenstown, this venue is a must-see.  

Trelawn Place

Trelawn Place is a country home and bed & breakfast only 5 minutes’ drive from Queenstown. They have on-site accommodation including a luxury honeymoon cottage as well as stunning views of the Shotover River. The landscaped gardens are surrounded by dramatic mountains and even a private beach just below the property.

 

 

 

 

 

Wanaka wedding venues for larger weddings

The town of Wanaka is only a short drive from Queenstown so if your dream wedding venue is over the hill then your guests have the added bonus of a beautiful scenic drive through the mountains. You only need to drive one hour from Queenstown international airport to get to these stunning Wanaka wedding locations. 

Criffel station

Criffel station is the perfect mix of rustic and elegant. You have the beautiful traditional look of the woolshed with all the modern comforts you want for your special day. The views of Wanaka and the surrounding mountains are the cherry on top of this stunning venue.

A word from the venue-

Criffel Station is a unique venue with incredible Central Otago landscapes to work with, not often do you find such an authentically rustic space to create your dream Wedding. The team at Criffel Station suggest that in order to make the most of the Woolshed don’t forget about the little details that really bring the whole look together. “Touches such as photos of special people who are unable to attend in a wooden photo frame hanging on the wall or adding rugs and smaller items of furniture can really complete the Woolshed look”. The Criffel events team loves working alongside their couples to create stunning Weddings, see our latest Weddings on our Instagram @criffelwoolshed. 

Rippon Hall

Rippon Hall wedding venue looks over Lake Wanaka and can cater for weddings of all sizes with multiple locations to choose from. Get married high up on the hill or sheltered closer to the lake before taking a stroll through the vines.

A word from the Venue-

Rippon is more than just a name; it is a piece of land farmed by four generations of the same family over more than one hundred years. With this guardianship comes an inherent love and respect for the land, shown across all areas of our work, from the biodynamic principles that guide all aspects of our farming to the pride that we take in welcoming people onto the land and to The Rippon Hall.

Thirty years of planning and dreaming gave rise to The Rippon Hall, a building quite literally born of the land upon which it stands. Overlooking our stunning vineyard, Lake Wanaka, Ruby Island, the Southern Aps and beyond, The Rippon Hall is the perfect venue for weddings of all shapes and sizes.

We are a dry hire venue providing a perfectly blank canvas to design. We will connect you to a group of amazing local suppliers who can help bring your vision to life. All packages include professional cleaning before and after your wedding and a dedicated Rippon staff member for the duration of your hire to ensure the smooth running of the venue in all respects. Please get in touch today, we’d love to help bring your dream wedding to life.

Lookout Lodge 

A grand dining hall, tables, chairs, and outdoor furniture,  manicured gardens, and a stunning mountain backdrop for your ceremony, Lookout lodge has it all.  In addition to the magnificent and very private setting, they also have a professional kitchen for your caterers,  accommodation on-site, and a lovely marquee for shade on those hot summer days. Check us out on Instagram, although you will find the view is even better in person. 

A word from the Venue-

Edgewater

This unique wedding venue is right on the shore of Lake Wanaka, being the only wedding and accommodation venue located on the lakefront. Imagine treating your guests to canapés served on the beautiful lawns right by the lake. Accommodation on site and in-house catering along with a wedding coordinator throughout your entire planning process mean that everything will be taken care of for your big day. There is an onsite helipad so you can be whisked away for those magnificent helicopter shots and they can even provide a registered marriage celebrant for your ceremony!

A word from the venue-

When it comes down to the planning of your wedding, people are often at a loss on where to start. The team at Edgewater recommends starting by setting a date, choosing your venue, and sending out your RSVPs. We believe the most important suppliers to consider are your venue, celebrant and photographer. We want you to have a wedding your guests will rave about and you’ll look back on in years to come brimming with joy. Check out our Instagram page for more inspiration @weddings_at_edgewater

 

So there you have it! It may seem intimidating trying to choose a venue when there are so many but remember that this is the fun part, take your time, and enjoy the process. As a wedding photographer in Queenstown and Wanaka I have experience in all these venues so please feel free to ask for help with your choice. Wherever you choose I can guarantee that you will love it because saying I Do to the love of your life will be a moment that you remember forever as one of the best moments of your life.

Kate

XO