Our Story

Central Otago and the Queenstown lakes are some of the most beautiful places on Earth. When owners Cole and Natalie lions first saw the towering snowy mountains hanging over the glassy turquoise lakes and rivers, they could not help but fall in love with it.

Natalie Lions, a qualified Sommelier with over a decade in the New Zealand wine industry and husband Cole Lions, a sales and marketing professional with a passion for painting decided that this picturesque region with its world class wines and its pure artistic inspiration is a work of art in it's own right and should be seen by everyone.

Our mission is to provide locals and travelers alike with the best view of our region possible, and to help the local wine producers and artists increase their exposure to a larger audience. 

It is our belief that Central Otago and Queenstown are full of hidden gems, just off the beaten track and we try to shine a light on these for all to see.


 
 

Wine tours

When Cole and Natalie begun conducting wine tours in 2016, they were shocked to see the formulaic trend of their competitors. They saw tour after tour, company after company driving the same routEs and visiting the same wineries and vineyards, often not far from their customers point of pickup. 

So they decided to do something a little different.

Cole and Natalie believe that wine is supposed to be a romantic amalgamation of art, science, and ritual and your experience of it can be altered not just by the taste and aroma of wine but also its location, the company you are with, the person pouring the wine and your overall mood.

For this reason they begun conducting tours to the smallest possible wine producers all across the very large Central Otago wine region. 

These producers and their wines are one in the same, indivisible from one and other. These are the people whose hands show the hard work and stressful toil of years tending vines and crushing grapes, their stories told in every sip of wine 

It is these places you can expect to discover when you do a wine tour with Central Otago Tours.


Art tours

Cole and Natalie have always had a passion for art, from studying it in school to Cole's painting and sketching hobby.

The first time you see the majestic landscape of the Queenstown and Central Otago region you cant help but picture it on a canvas.
The vibrant colours of the defined four seasons, the high clouds that take every possible form, the otherworldly sunrises and sunsets and the lively characters and old stone buildings are more than enough muse to turn anyone into an artist.

Like wine, artworks are a true reflection of a place and time and imagination that can only be appreciated first hand, and this is why Cole and Natalie have teamed up with the regions galleries and artists to expose this unique piece of Central Otago to the world.