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Skippers Canyon 4WD Tour from Queenstown

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Queenstown, New Zealand
Skippers Canyon 4WD Tour from Queenstown

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icon4 hours  (approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds

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Leave bustling Queenstown behind for the scenic beauty of Skippers Canyon on a half-day 4WD tour of the historic gorge. An experienced guide traverses Gorge Road and follows an old mining route toward Coronet Peak and into Skippers Canyon for outstanding views over the Wakatipu Basin and the Shotover River. Enjoy short walks and stop for scrumptious morning or afternoon tea including chilled wine, cookies and homemade cheese.
  • Uncover the beauty of Skippers Canyon on this half-day 4WD tour from Queenstown
  • Enjoy morning tea or afternoon tea of homemade cheese and crackers
  • Travel in a comfortable 4WD minivan
  • Plenty of photo opportunities
  • Informative and friendly guide
  • Hotel pickup and drop off from centrally located Queenstown hotels
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Air-conditioned vehicle
Hotel pickup and drop off
Local guide
Coffee, tea, local chilled wine and kiwi biscuits
Homemade cheese served with crackers
GST (Goods and Services Tax)

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Please be ready for pick up at the reception area / entrance. If the pick up time changes, we will advice accordingly before the tour.
This 4WD tour of Skippers Canyon reveals the rugged beauty of the gold country and scenic gorge near Queenstown. After pickup from your centrally located hotel, climb aboard for the 4-hour tour, which includes a stop for morning or afternoon tea.

Traveling along Gorge Road, your driver-guide passes the suburb of Arthur’s Point, crosses the Edith Cavell Bridge over the Shotover River and continues up a miners’ route toward Coronet Peak, a world-class ski area with outstanding views over the Wakatipu Basin.

Shortly after you reach the saddle — the highest point of your trip at an elevation of 3,199 feet (975 meters) — take in views of Mt Aurum and the surrounding valleys and hills. Your guide navigates the 4WD vehicle along the steep and narrow Skippers Road past Hells Gate, stopping at special points of interest such as the Zoo of Rocks and the old Skippers Road once used by gold miners. 

On the descent you’ll pass Castle Rock, Bus Scratch Corner and the remains of Welcome Home Pub. Reaching Bells Hill, get another glimpse of the gold-bearing Shotover River, passing Pinchers Bluff, Devils Elbow and Deep Creek. 

Your guide leads several short walks in Skippers Canyon and stops at a scenic picnic spot for coffee or tea and chilled wine with cookies and homemade cheese served on crackers, all while you enjoy the canyon views. LOTR fans may recognize the movie site from a scene in The Lord of the Rings where Frodo escaped the Black Riders with the help of Arwen and the forces of the river.

On returning to Queenstown, you’re dropped off at your hotel.
Stop At:  
Historic Skippers School
We drive through historic Skippers Canyon and explain the goldrush history of it. Short walks and plenty of photo stops are a feature of the tour. At Skippers School, a picnic is prepared. We spend about 30 min at Skippers School before we head back to Queenstown.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Bring a light jacket, your camera and wear sensible outdoor footwear
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 9 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Queenstown Heritage Tours
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

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59 Reviews
2 stars

Reviews by Viator travelers

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Showing 1-10 of 59 reviews
Thanks a lot Wolfy
, Dec 2021
Wolfy is a very nice guy, he has a great sense of humor. Excellent driving skills and full of experience. Would definitely recommend him to my friends!
Skippers Canyon 4WD Tour
, May 2019
This was a very fun and exciting tour. We had the owner, Woofy, as Our tour guide and he was great! His knowledge and stories were very interesting. He also would make special stops for photos ops that were extremely fun.
icon Response from Host , Feb 2020
Thanks for taking your time to review our unforgettable Skippers Canyon Tour. Wolfy is delighted that you enjoyed the tour.
skippers canyon 4wd
, Apr 2019
Appreciated with tour manager. Name's Worthy so knowledge the canyon and drive us to highest point of Skippers canyon. We enjoy very much. Thank you for service.
icon Response from Host , Feb 2020
and thank you for your kind review.
We learnt so much from Arthur, or...
Stephen O
, Mar 2018
We learnt so much from Arthur, or knowledgeable driver and guide. Good to see the real NZ and its history.
A thrilling ride with a driver with...
Marion S
, Oct 2017
A thrilling ride with a driver with great knowledge of the history of the area. The driver gave us a lovely morning tea to top off our tour. Thank you.
Fabulous half day experience. Our...
Geoff T
, Feb 2017
Fabulous half day experience. Our driver was so passionate about the area and so informative. Money well spent to learn so much and see such breathtaking scenery.
Full marks to the organisers for...
, Jan 2017
Full marks to the organisers for running this tour notwithstanding we were the only two passengers. Some amazing views en route to the restored homestead and restored schoolhouse
This is a tour in Queenstown that...
, Sep 2016
This is a tour in Queenstown that you shouldn't miss. The scenery is spectacular on the tracts. The tour guide Woolfgang is knowledgeable and pleasant. We had a lot of stops at scenic spots for photos and short walks. We enjoyed every moment in this half day tour.
Thoroughly enjoyed the tour to...
Janice M
, Mar 2016
Thoroughly enjoyed the tour to Skippers Canyon. The road was amazing and the driver did a great job. We were lucky to see a falcon resting on a rock. Had plenty of stops to see the sights and were able to walk across the bridge. Enjoyed the morning tea which included New Zealand wine and yummy homemade cheese. Would recommend anyone to do this tour.
Very beautiful tour with spectacular...
Johan K
, Mar 2016
Very beautiful tour with spectacular scenery and a nice picnic
This tour was the best thing we did...
Katie D
, May 2015
This tour was the best thing we did in Queenstown! 5 stars are not enough! Our guide was fantastic, the scenery was mind blowing and the whole trip was lots of fun. Would definitely recommend.
This is one of the most memorable...
Peter C
, Mar 2015
This is one of the most memorable excursions we did in New Zealand. Excellent interpretation from the guide and just fantastic scenery. Interesting history of the place plus a very nice picnic.
Excellent trip - scary road...
Valerie A J
, Feb 2015
Excellent trip - scary road - Fabulous views! A friend suggested we take this tour and we are very glad we did. Lovely homemade biscuits with our tea or cheese and crackers with wine at the half way mark. Highly recommend.
Don't miss this tour. I know there...
, Sep 2013
Don't miss this tour. I know there are many activities in the Queenstown area, but this tour is not to be missed. Wolfie our guide was full of enthusiasm and it showed. He made sure to ask our interests, and tailored the tour to match. He made many photo stops, and knew the best ones and from what angle. Wolfie gave a great history lesson, and made different stops on the way and return, knowing when the sun angle was best for photos. Much better than big bus tours. Great guide in Wolfie.
There were just I and a lady from...
, Feb 2013
There were just I and a lady from Britain. The Guide was a pleasant Guy. Gave us a lot of info, stopped for photo whenever we asked him. Amazing scenery everywhere. The day was warm and sunny. We also had a nice break with wine, coffee, tea and cookies. All in all, a pleasant tour.
The tour was fantastic. Our guide...
Tom E
, Nov 2012
The tour was fantastic. Our guide Wolfe gave us time to take a few short hikes and scramble up some rocks to get amazing pictures. I highly recommend this personal tour vs the bigger buses.
Hi, We did enjoy the tour...
Chiu F
, Jan 2011
Hi, We did enjoy the tour very much! Drove through mountain roads was exciting. Our guide driving skills was really great and we highly appreciated his work and tour in the trip! Thanks. Customer Ms Fu
Wow, this is a must do in Queenstown...
, Oct 2009
Wow, this is a must do in Queenstown! We were collected from our hotel by our driver who gave us an adventure to remember. I have done all the usual "thrill seekers" things there are to do in this piece of paradise but I had my breath taken away a few times on this four hour trip through Skipper's Canyon. The scenery is spectacular and our very skilled driver was very informative about the area and could negotiate the rugged terrain and hairpin bends with ease. I can highly recommend this trip as one not to be missed!
It was our first day at Queenstown and...
, Jun 2009
It was our first day at Queenstown and it really was unforgettable. Skippers Canyon was just amazing. We experienced four seasons in just one afternoon. Perfect scenery for photo. One of the best things to do at Queenstown. Our guide was just excellent. He was very informative and passionate. Overall a very professional tour. Would recommend it for everyone.
I did not get to go on this tour...
Olga Elena B
, Aug 2007
I did not get to go on this tour because of weather conditions, but the tour operator arranged another tour for me, and the staff were very accommodating.

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