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The Queenstown area is known for its epic views and adventurous activities. It is definitely a can’t-miss stop for anyone touring New Zealand. Want 360-degree views of Queenstown and the surrounding mountains without all the work of hiking all the way up? Coronet Peak is the answer!

This beautiful Queenstown mountain is usually a winter destination for skiing and snowboarding. However, they also open up for the summer with a gondola to take you to the views. We were thrilled to see there is even an option to bring a picnic up with you! It is a unique activity we highly recommend and a great date option with the romantic dining bonus.

picnic basket with mountain views from atop coronet peak

Coronet Peak Gondola & Other Activities

First off, if you aren’t familiar with New Zealand seasons, it is important to note that summer activities at Coronet Peak are available from December to April and skiing season is June to October. This is flip-flopped from what we experience in North America, and can really mess up your trip if you are expecting sunshine in July!

couple with mountain views from atop coronet peak

We visited in early March and, although a bit chilly in the wind, we had absolutely perfect weather and clear skies to take in the stunning views. IT.WAS.REMARKABLE.

Summer activities include a scenic gondola ride, hiking, mountain biking, and even a disc golf course.

gondola to top of coronet peak near queenstown

Winter activities, of course, include skiing, snowboarding, and other snow activities like renting a toboggan. But you can still take the chair lift up to take in the views without doing any skiing. They also have night ski and dance events that look super fun!

There are all-season dining options on the mountain, including getting a picnic to-go from Cafe 120 – as we will share more about soon!

picnic basket and  mountain views from atop coronet peak

The Amazing VIEWS of Queenstown & Mountains!

Its location, just about 20 minutes from central Queenstown, means you’ll be getting gorgeous views of the city atop Coronet Peak. Queenstown Hill is easily visible as well as scenic Lake Wakitipu beyond that. We recommend exploring Queenstown a bit first to really appreciate the area from above.

views of queenstown and mountains from coronet peak
mountain views from atop coronet peak

However, what makes this activity REALLY stand out is the surrounding mountains that you’ll get to take in as well. On a clear day, you can see the dozens of surrounding peaks – including the iconic Remarkables mountain range. Miles of amazing views in every direction!

queenstown views from coronet peak in new zealand

A Mountain-Top Picnic for Two at Coronet Peak

Of course, the views are the highlight for a summer trip to Coronet Peak. However, getting a picnic hamper to take in the gondola and up to the viewing area with you makes it super romantic. (Or a fun and unique lunch option for individuals, families, or friends visiting together.)

on gondola with picnic hamper at coronet peak

We got to choose some tea, a sandwich option, and even dessert! It was really sweet to find a little spot of our own to set up our picnic – something we haven’t done in as long as I can remember!

holding picnic basket at coronet peak near queenstown
picnic basket at coronet peak near queenstown

The team at the cafe thought of everything – with a blanket, cutlery, cups, and even sugar for our tea. It was such a memorable way to spend a day of our visit to Queenstown. We really appreciated that this was an option and that it really wasn’t much more than purchasing lunch in the cafe.

picnic at coronet peak near queenstown

Special thanks to Coronet Peak for hosting us on this fun Queenstown day trip. As always, all opinions are our own.

Coronet Peak FAQ

Ready to plan your trip to Coronet Peak? Here are some answers to common questions:

How far is Coronet Peak from Queenstown?

Coronet Peak is the closest mountain to Queenstown and is only a 20-minute drive! The road up is paved, although it will get twisty and increase in altitude quickly.

Can you take a bus to Coronet Peak?

There is a shuttle bus in the summer from various locations (often used by mountain bikers). During ski season, there is a Coronet Peak ski bus available daily from Queenstown on Duke Street.

How tall is Coronet Peak?

At 1649 meters (more than 5,400 feet), Coronet Peak rises high above Queenstown and offers amazing views!

When is Coronet Peak Open?

Hours and open days at Coronet Peak vary depending on the season. Check the Coronet Peak website for current hours, available activities, road conditions, and more.

For more New Zealand adventures, read our recap of our ten months in this amazing country as well as our individual New Zealand blog posts.

Coronet Peak Picnic Date with the BEST Views of Queenstown