Queenstown is a must-visit destination on any South Island trip. It is a lively and charming hotspot strategically situated in a beautiful mountainous surroundings, and there is something there to appeal to everyone. Whether you crave adventure, meeting new people, or indulging in top quality food and drinks, we have you covered. Check out these top 5 things you should do when you visit Queenstown:
1. Indulge in the foodie culture
Queenstown is a traveller’s and a foodie’s haven. One of its biggest drawcards is the variety and quality of food options available in town. You can indulge in almost anything from hearty winter meals to organic summer salads. So, if you are planning to go there, get ready for a journey for your taste buds.
The famous Fergburger is a must-try on many foodie’s bucket lists. But if you aren’t into queuing up, try the just as good Devil Burger instead. For s modern Malaysian-inspired cuisine, head to Madam Woo. Have dinner here and try their delicious roti and laksas. If vegan dishes and fresh smoothies are more your thing, don’t miss Bespoke Kitchen for a wholesome brunch and coffee.
2. Take a nature walk or hike
Queenstown is set within spectacular lakes and picturesque mountain backdrop. There is no shortage of natural beauty to take in when you visit Queenstown, so it’s the perfect opportunity to get outdoors and stretch your legs.
Start your day with a relaxing stroll through the charming rose gardens and pristine lawns in Queenstown Gardens, and grab a take away coffee on the way. In the afternoon, you can walk 1.5 km to the top of Queenstown Hill and be rewarded with the view of the sun setting over the city.
If you are looking for something challenging, Queenstown has to offer as well. The Ben Lomond Track is a demanding climb that offers spectacular panoramic views at the summit. You can choose to take the Gondola Cable Car up the hill at the beginning or take the entire hike, which will be a 6 – 8hr return trek.
3. Be adventurous
Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand, so it is the perfect place to get your heart racing. The city is a must-visit for adrenaline junkies, and you can choose from a variety of extreme adventure activities.
Choose from skydiving, jet boating, white water rafting, bungee jumping, or a combination package of many. We recommend trying the Nevis bungy jump at AJ Hackett. This 134m drop is the longest in New Zealand, and it is definitely not for the faint-hearted!
If you are visiting in the winter months, you’ll surely not want to miss a day or two on the slopes. The nearby mountains are perfect for skiing and snowboarding and offer some of the best experiences in New Zealand for action snow sports.
4. Experience the Nightlife
As well as being the adventure capital of New Zealand, Queenstown also holds the reputation of being the party capital. With the huge number of backpackers and youth travellers visiting Queenstown every year, you’ll be sure to enjoy the bar and club experiences if you are a lover of the nightlife.
Head to Loco Cantina for cheap eats and drinks, and DJs for your party nights. You can also head over to Bungalow for a more sophisticated cocktail bar. For late night dancing with an artsy vibe, head to Vinyl Underground or Zephyr. There are also plenty of craft beer bars and pubs to experience in Queenstown, such as Atlas or The World Bar.
5. Chill out
Although it may seem like Queenstown is all go-go-go, it is also the perfect place to simply relax, unwind, and chill out. Take a book and chill out by the lake where you will be surrounded by people playing instruments and strolling through the park.
In the warmer months, you can go for a dip in the crystal-clear waters of Lake Wakatipu. With the natural beauty and energy of the region, it sure does make a perfect chill out experience. Sore or tired from all your adventures? Treat yourself to a massage and spa package at the tranquil Onsen Hot Pools, where you can relax and take in the beauty of the surroundings.
Bonus Activity: Go to Paradise
Your New Zealand experience will never be complete if you don’t drive to Glenorchy. This town may be little, but it has so many beautiful spots to offer. And about 20 kilometres away from Glenorchy, you will reach a sleepy village called Paradise. Although it does not have lots of souvenir shops and restaurants, the view is simply postcard-perfect. Not everybody makes it to these places, though, which is a shame. However, if you love mountains and nature, you should put this on your bucket list.
In case you don’t know, Glenorchy and Paradise are the towns that have been used as the backdrop for various movies, such as The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
Queenstown is the perfect road trip destination. Located on the southwestern side of the country, it is centrally located to many of the South Island’s must-see locations. About a 6-hour drive from Christchurch, there are plenty of places to stop and see along the way. Check out a campervan hire from Travellers Autobarn New Zealand, and start planning your dream getaway today.
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Bastian is the Sales & Marketing Manager here at Travellers Autobarn. He holds a Master of Commerce in Marketing and International Business Management, and 20+ years experience in campervan hire, road trips and travel.