We won’t be the first and we won’t be the last to say it – one of our favourite places to visit in New Zealand, is Queenstown.
Not only is it heaven for foodies, but also for thrill-seekers, fashionistas, outdoorsy types and those just keen to wind-down and relax. On top of this, it is awe-inspiringly beautiful at all times of the year, during its gloriously hot and dry summers, golden hued autumns, silver winters and vibrant springs.
After visiting recently for a weekend of lots of food and a bit of golf, we thought it was about time we shared some of our “musts” for when you are there.
- Fergburger, for arguably the best burgers in New Zealand. Unless you are particularly lucky there will always be a wait time, but it is well worth it. Next door you will also find the Ferg Bakery and ice-cream shop.
- Bespoke Kitchen, which was voted the best cafe in New Zealand for 2016.
- The Cow, for a traditional experience at a restaurant that has been around since 1976 on “Cow Lane”. Serving hand rolled pizzas, crusty garlic breads and bowls of fresh soup,this has long been a favourite restaurant for our family, especially in the winter after a big day up the mountain.
- Cookie Muncher cookie bar, for when you just need a hot cookie.
- Botswana Butchery, simply put – great steaks.
- Rata, for fine dining at the hands of Michelin Star chef, Josh Emett.
- The Bunker and Eichardts, for elegant cocktails in relatively discreet locations.
- Bonjour Cafe, for crepes and pastries.
- Arrowtown Bakery, for THE BEST custard squares and gourmet pastry pies you will ever eat.
- Patagonia chocolate shop, particularly for their award-winning ice-cream (the Banana Caramel flavour is amazing). There is also one at the Queenstown airport and in Queenstown central.
- The Remarkable Sweet Shop, for old-fashioned sweets and copious amounts of fudge in exciting flavours, which you can sample for free! (and til your heart’s content). There is also one at the Queenstown airport and in Queenstown central.
- Amisfield Winery, for their award-winning wines and consistently high-quality meals and service.
- Our favourite shops in Queenstown (shopping is an activity…right?) are Angel Divine, for an excellently curated selection of designer labels from all over New Zealand the world, and In the Pink, for fun knick-knacks.
- Luging, bungy jumping, gondola rides!
- Jumping on the Shotover Jet down the river. This is best done in summer, as high-speed boats equal high-speed, icy air on your face in winter! (i.e. brain freeze and loss of feeling in the face)
- Onsen Spas in a stunning setting (highly romantic and couples abound).
- Taking the walking track around Lake Hayes, on a bike or on foot! There are also lots of other walking tracks in and around Queenstown and Arrowtown where you can get spectacular views of the countryside.
- Golf at Millbrook Resort near Arrowtown, or alternatively, a visit to their spa for a massage or treatment. They also have several restaurants and a casual cafe where you can enjoy the scenic surroundings.