Recently I took a couple of days off work and headed down to Queenstown, for an extra-long weekend getaway. This was my second trip down there in the space of year, but before that, I had never ever visited in my 25 years of living in New Zealand.
It’s a two hour flight from Auckland, which is pretty far by New Zealand standards (although it probably seems like nothing to those of you who live in large countries), and flights can be pretty pricey if you don’t grab them during a sale, or months in advance like we did. It’s totally worth it though. Queenstown is easily one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand.
I thought I’d put together a little list of things you might like to do if you ever find yourself in magical Queenstown.
Ride the gondola
For the prettiest views of Queenstown, I would highly recommend taking the gondola up to the top of Bob’s Peak. Once you’re up the top you can take in the views, eat at the restaurant, or ride the luge (which is super fun, so I would strongly recommend you give it a go).
On my most recent trip to Queenstown, we visited a few different wineries for wine tasting. On a beautiful sunny day, there is nothing better than sitting outside, sipping a glass of wine (or three), and admiring the stunning scenery. My favourite vineyard was Gibbston Valley. It was very relaxed, with picnic tables dotted amongst the blossoms – perfect for an afternoon of wine tasting with good company.
Hire electric bikes
If you’ve never ridden an electric bike before, you are in for a treat. These things can get up to 50kms per hour, and are so much fun to zip around on.
We hired electric bikes for a couple of hours and went for a ride around Lake Wakitipu. It’s such a great way to see more of the sights of Queenstown.
Rent a car
Although you could probably do most of the things on my list without a car, renting one makes it a lot easier to get around. The centre of Queenstown itself is very compact, and you could easily walk around the town in less than five minutes. But there is so much to see outside of Queenstown, that really does require a car. You’ve got picturesque Glenorchy in one direction, and Arrowtown and Wanaka in the other. All of these little towns are worth the drive and the scenery along the way is unbeatable.
Note, if you do make the trip to Wanaka (a little over an hour each way), you should definitely stop off at the Cardrona Hotel. This is a fantastic historic pub with a huge outdoor sitting area amongst the garden.
Onsen Hot Pools
The Onsen hot pools are the ultimate in luxury. Located on the edge of a hill, looking over the well-known Shotover River, you will have your own private hot pool for one hour. For a bit extra, you can pay to have wine, ice cream and candles, which makes it all that little bit more special. This is super romantic, but also a fun thing to do with friends.
All the adventure activities
SO MANY ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES. Queenstown is the home to bungy jumping, high speed jet boat rides, paragliding, zip lining and so much more. During our most recent trip, we did a jet boat ride around Lake Wakatipu, which was thrilling and scenic at the same time.
Even with all I have done above, I have only scratched the surface of Queenstown. So much to do, so little time. I think next time I visit, I might have to do a bungy jump.
That’s it for today, I hope you will find my suggestions useful 🙂