Skippers Canyon Road


Skippers Canyon Road



    Spend the morning or afternoon exploring an icon of Otago’s gold mining past. Starting from your accommodation in or near Queenstown, climbing Coronet Peak Road to Skipper’s Saddle, our first stop gives us spectacular views across the Wakatipu Basin. We pass over the saddle to negotiate the wild and precipitous road through Skippers Canyon, with stops for amazing landforms and the road itself which was cut by hand in the late 1800’s to bring easier access to the remote mining communities along the Shotover River. Further along, we explore the ruins and relics of that frenetic era.

    Our route on the day will be determined by group preferences, weather and light conditions, and the condtion of the road.


    • 5 Hours Approx, Minimum 2, Maximum 4 persons
    • PICK-UP & DROP-OFF. We pick you up from your Queenstown accommodation and drop you back when the tour is over.
    • LIGHT REFRESHMENTS. Coffee, tea and biscuits are offered.
    • FLEXIBLE TOUR. Our itinerary will be determined on the day by group preferences, weather and light conditions and the condition of the road. To discuss options, contact us.
    • ALL WEATHER TOUR. NZ is the land of four seasons in one day. We are equipped to handle all weather and to capture this region in all it's beautiful moods. TOURS CANCELLED only in dangerous conditions.
    • PROFESSIONAL MENTORING. We show you how to find and compose great shots and get more from your camera.

Our Favorites Places, Shared With You

Skippers Canyon is a hidden treasure just half an hour from Queenstown, but it’s not for the faint-hearted. This is wild and inhospitable country dissected by the fast flowing Shotover River which crashes and tumbles through its sheer schist ravines. It was gold that first lured men here in the 1800’s and they came in their hundreds, drawn by the promise of the “richest river in the world”. We follow the narrow road, hand-hewn around through the precipitous canyon that leads us down to the Shotover. Following its course upstream we see the remnants of the technology used to win gold from the river. We pass long-abandoned settlements until we reach the hundred-year-old suspension bridge that takes us to the restored buildings of old Skippers township.

With so many options in this direction, tell us what interests you most. We'll discuss it with the group and take light and weather conditions into account to design a great day's photography.


  • A great range of amazing vistas and photo opportunities
  • Off the beaten track
  • Lots of local knowledge and information
  • Tuition to help you compose and capture great images

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