Day 1 Central Otago (NZ) – Arrow Town, Winery Visit, Bungee Jump

New Zealand Central Otago Wine Trip Day 1 cover photo

Day 1 Central Otago Itinerary

Morning (drive from Queenstown)

  • See: Arrow Town ( A historic gold mine town)

Afternoon

  • Wine Tasting 1: Amisfield Winery and Bistro (great place for lunch & tasting)
  • Wine Tasting 2: Chard Farm (single vineyard Pinot Noirs)
  • Wine Tasting 3: Gibbston Valley  (NZ’s largest wine cave with tour)
  • See: Kawarau Bungee Jump (see people jumping down from this historic suspension bridge) – try not to jump after wine tasting though 🤮

Evening

  • Back to Queenstown

1. Gibbston Central Otago Selfdrive wine trip from Queenstown day 1This map shows the route from Queenstown to 3 wineries and Arrow Town

1. See: Arrow Town

Just 22 minutes drive from Queenstown, Arrow Town is a must visit while you are in Queenstown.

Arrow town was established in 1862 during the height of the Otago gold rush. Today it has become a historic town with many stories to tell.

There is also a small museum in Arrow town called The Lakes District Museum, it is regarded as one of New Zealand’s best small museums.

This place is especially beautiful in April and May when the autumn leaves and mountains change its colour to gold and orange.

Arrowtown is a historic gold mining town in the Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand.
Arrowtown is a historic gold mining town in the Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand.

2. Wine Tasting: Amisfield 

amisfield winery central otago wine tasting
Amisfield Winery in Central Otago

7 minutes drive from Arrow town, Amisfield is known for their wines and restaurant. They produce Pinot Noir and Riesling, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc. No Chardonnay.

What did I like?

  • 2016 Amisfield Dry Riesling ($30) – dry, green apple and citrus, fresh and mineral
  • 2013 Amisfield Pinot Noir ($70) – delicate nose of wild strawberries, almost Burgundian-like, silky tannins with lively acid.

Amisfield Winery & Bistro
  • Open daily – Cellar door 10am-6pm; bistro 11.30am-8pm
  • Tasting fee: NZ$10 for 5 wines of your choice, refundable upon purchase
  • 3 course ‘Trust the Chef’ Lunch – $75

3. Wine Tasting: Chard Farm Winery

Chard Farm is 14 minutes drive from Amisfield winery. The driveway into this winery is scenic and dangerous at the same time. We need to drive through a narrow, clifftop road before seeing the winery at the end of the road.

Chard Farm CEntral OTago wine visit
Chard Farm is located on a spectacular terrace above the Kawarau River Gorge

Among one of the pioneers in Central Otago, first vines were planted here in 1987. Chard Farm is specializing in premium Central Otago Pinot Noir, personally, I find their unoaked Chardonnay very good as well.

What did I like?

  • Closeburn Chardonnay 2017 ($31) – unoaked, bright and mineral, citrus and tropical fruit, good acidity.
  • Mata-Au Pinot Noir 2016 ($45) – dense and silky, lots of succulent red fruit, typical of Central Otago style.
Chard Farm 
  • Cellar door open daily 10am-5pm (Mon-Fri), 11am-5pm (Sat-Sun)
  • Tasting donation fee: $10 (waived upon purchase)

4. Wine Tasting:  Gibbston Valley

7 minutes drive from Chard Farm.

Gibbston Valley Wine and Cave Tour NZ largest wine cave
Gibbston Valley Winery – Tasting in New Zealand’s largest wine cave.

Gibbston Valley is regarded as Central Otago’s first commercial winery. Planted its first vines in 1983 and released Central Otago’s first commercial vintage in 1987.

Gibbston Valley Winery cheese and cellar blog
Gibbston Valley cheese and its wines

Things to do there:

Plenty of activities! If you have time to visit ONLY ONE winery from Queenstown, Gibbston Valley it is. You can join cave and winery tours (from $17.50 per person), winery restaurant (2-course lunch $65), wine tasting, bike hire, cheese shop and many more. All tours and restaurant are very popular, so make sure you make a reservation before visiting this winery. Information about the cave and winery tour can be found here.

Gibbston Valley Winery 
  • Open daily 10am-5pm
  • An extensive list of wines from sthe ingle vineyard, organic to everyday wine. You will surely find a wine that you like.

5. See: Kawarau Bridge Bungee Jump

Kawarau Bridge Bungee jump, Queenstown
Kawarau Bridge Bungee jump, Queenstown

If you still have some time after all the wineries, stopped by Kawarau Bridge Bungee Centre before heading back to Queenstown. This is the ‘World Home of Bungy’ – where it all began! If bungee jumping is not your thing, you can still watch others doing it from the observation deck.

Kawarau Bridge Jumping site queenstown trail
Aside from bungee jumping, Kawarau Bridge is also linked to Queenstown Trail where you can hike or ride your bike.
Watch video

A Day Trip From Queenstown

(For casual wine drinker) If you just want to taste some good wines in New Zealand while you’re in Queenstown, this is probably a good day trip itinerary.

Read more: Top 10 Things To Do In QueenstownTop 10 things to do in Queenstown 5 days

(For serious wine geek) If you are crazy about wines like us, then please keep reading to my another 4 days trip while we exploring the rest of the Central Otago wine subregions.

Read more:

 

 

 

Day 1 Central Otago (NZ) – Arrow Town, Winery Visit, Bungee Jump
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