So, you’ve got a long weekend booked in at Kinross Cottages, and you want to make your three nights with us as full of adventure, relaxation, and good food and wine as possible, right?
You’ve come to the right place.
Here’s an example of what you might like to do during a long weekend or three night stay at our Gibbston Valley boutique vineyard accommodation.
This action-packed 72 hour itinerary comes with a warning though… this place casts a spell on you, and there’s an incredible amount to see and do in the area. Three nights may not be enough.
2pm: Arrive at our vineyard cottages to check-in. After settling into your luxury cottage, drag yourself away from the super-soft king sized bed and take a leisurely stroll through the property, wandering through the pretty vineyards and past the ducklings at the willow tree pond. You might want to borrow a set of boules (French bowling balls) from reception and head to our petanque court for a game in the vines!
4pm: When you’ve explored the grounds, adjourn to the gorgeous Wine Garden & Cellar Door for a wine tasting. Sample the five wineries showcased by Kinross at their cellar door, including a Pinot Noir made by 4 times world champion, Grant Taylor, and enjoy a cheese platter from the local cheesery.
5pm: As you sit there, you’ll notice the bar filling up around you. Friday night is what is considered to be a gathering night, where Kinross invites locals and guests alike to mingle in the General Store and spill out into the Wine Garden, eating wood-fired pizza, chatting about life in the valley, and drinking exceptional wine. If the night is cool the huge fire will be lit, and the garden’s a great place for stargazing and breathing in the fresh night air. Friday night's at Kinross is genuine fun and not to be missed!
9:30pm: Wander back to your cottage to relax or just sink into that dreamy bed.
8am: Get your day started right with a Hatha yoga class in the Willow Room, with stunning views across the valley. If the weather’s clear the bi-fold doors will be thrown open to the weather, and on particularly beautiful days the whole class might relocate their mats to the soft green grass by the willow pond.
9am: Follow up with one of the famous Kinross Cottages breakfasts, which are included in your room rate. Unlike most free breakfasts at Queenstown hotels, this one is a beauty, with delicious eggs and bacon, served with spinach and toast. There’s also a breakfast buffet with local yoghurt and cheese, cereal and juice, and even better, it comes with a cappuccino or your choice of espresso coffee.
10am: With your tummies full for the day ahead, it’s time to find some adventure. Kinross Cottages is utterly surrounded by incredible activities, whether you want to go canyoning or river surfing in the gorge that runs through Gibbston Valley, go bungee jumping or white water rafting at nearby Shotover Gorge, or hike the Gibbston River Trail, crossing suspension bridges and looking out for the peregrine falcons that nest in the cliffs. You can organise everything with the team breakfast so that you don't even need to wait in line!
1pm: Return to Kinross for lunch, perhaps enjoying a picnic by the pond, shaded by the drooping willows, dappled sunshine dancing through the leaves. While you’re passing by General Store, don’t forget to book the alfresco hot tub for this evening!
2pm: Rent a bike from reception and cycle through the pretty Gibbston Valley, where you’ll find wineries at every turn. Kinross Cottages sits in the middle of the legendary Queenstown Wine Trail, famous for its cool-climate wines like Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Many happy hours could be spent on the Queenstown Wine Trail, as you cycle past sunny vineyards and along the rushing river that’s hidden in a chasm in the valley floor.
There are eight cellar doors on the Gibbston Wine Trail, and we suggest you take it slow and steady so you can visit as many as possible! You might like to join the fantastic tour at Gibbston Valley Wines, where you’ll enjoy your wine tasting inside a cool, crisp-smelling wine cellar carved into the mountain.
A stop at Peregrine Wines is also a must, with its ultra-modern, architecture-award-winning building soaring into the sky beneath the mountain, and there’s also the Cargo Brewery to sample their craft beers if you feel like a break from wine.
If you’re not in the mood for wine-tasting, we suggest you spend the afternoon in nearby Arrowtown instead, which you can either ride to or drive to. The historic old mining town is extremely pretty, and chock-full of boutiques, art galleries, funky little cafes and traditional tea shops.
6pm: Head back to Kinross to enjoy an early dinner, ordering off the fantastic a la carte menu designed by Head Chef Peter and ex yacht Chef, Part Owner & Manager Adam.
8pm: As the summer sun starts to sink lower in the sky, it’s time to hit the hot tub! Located on a little ridge above the cottages, the hot tub is a top spot at any time, but at sunset it is simply magnificent, as the light dims across the valley and the stars come out across the sky. Grab a bottle of wine from the cellar door to make this moment particularly magical, before heading back to your cottage for a good night’s sleep.
8am: Eat breakfast at the General Store again before jumping in the car for the short drive to Queenstown. The small city has one of the most dramatic settings in the world, set on a snow-melt blue lake and surrounded by forested mountains, and there are so many things to do here.
For a beautiful walk, head to Queenstown Gardens, where the turquoise lake laps at the giant fir pines and rose gardens bloom on soft green lawns.
To get up high and see the landscape in all its staggering glory, take the gondola up the mountain, past the shockingly high bungee jumping ledge and up to the Skyline lookout and restaurant. There are lovely forest trails up here too, as well as a luge and mountain-biking for adventure sport lovers.
Or perhaps you’d prefer to board the historic Earnslaw steamship to cruise across Queenstown Lake to the enchanting Walter Peak High Country Farm, where you might take a horseride trek or enjoy lunch in the homestead.
4pm: Let the busyness of Queenstown fall behind as you return to Kinross, where you might return to your cottage for an afternoon nap, dozing off as you look out the picture window with a view of mountain and sky and vineyards, ducks nestling in the vines.
6:30pm: A great place to finish off the day is at the fabulous Gibbston Tavern. Make sure you check out the Gibbston Art Gallery located in one of the outbuildings, before settling in for a cold glass of local beer and a gourmet burger, pizza, or fish and chips.
Alternatively, if you’d like a relaxing night in your luxury cottage (and who could blame you), Kinross sells restaurant quality pre-prepared meals that you can take back to your cottage and enjoy with a bottle of wine. A last dip in the hot tub is a great way to celebrate your last night at Kinross!
Ah, to sleep in, or get up and make the most of your last morning at Kinross? The choices, the choices. After a long, lingering breakfast, we often see our guests taking a last wander through the vines, or lying on a blanket by the pond.Sometimes we have couples discussing something at length, before arriving at reception, grinning, asking to book ‘just one more day’. We get it. There’s still so much to do after spending 72 hours at Kinross. But that’s ok, if you can’t linger this time, you can always come back!