Ideally located in New Zealand’s South Island and by The Remarkables mountain range, Cecil Peak and Walter Peak, Queenstown is one of New Zealand’s top tourist destinations for adventure, outdoor activities and relaxation. This scenic resort town is one hour 48 minutes flight from Auckland and two hours 55 minutes flight from Sydney Australia.
Not only is Queenstown surrounded by awe-inspiring Alpine mountains, it sits at the shores of Lake Wakatipu, is close to rivers, vineyards and hiking trails. For those who are looking for extreme adrenaline rush, Queenstown and STA Travel recently launched the 5X1NZ where you “Get the blood pumping with five amazing adrenaline activities all in one day – jet boating, skydiving, mountain biking, bungy jumping and snowboarding.”
You wouldn’t run out of things to do in Queenstown. To help you plan your trip, here are Travelmath’s 5 things to do in Queenstown New Zealand:
One: Gondola Ride and Luge
To get a bird’s eye view of Queenstown take the gondola up Bob’s Peak Skyline Queenstown, dine at the Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar with the best views of the city, mountain peaks and lake, attend the Kiwi Haka Maori culture performance and enjoy a fun downhill ride on the Skyline Luge.
To get the best value, combine your gondola ride and lunch for NZ$55 ($41.60) per person. Reservation is highly recommended if you want a seat with the best panoramic view.
Mountain biking is another activity at Bob’s Peak. There are more than 24 world-class mountain biking trails with varying terrain. Take the bike lift to the top and enjoy mountain biking with amazing views amongst the pine trees of the Ben Lomond Reserve.
Two: Visit Arrowtown
Arrowtown was established during the gold rush of the 1860s. This quaint historic town was an important center for the Otago gold rush years. Shops, cottages, hotels, churches and restaurants were established since then. Today there are about 60 original buildings left mainly along Buckingham Street, the main thoroughfare in Arrowtown.
The highlight of Arrowtown is the restored shelters and buildings of the Chinese settlement. The Chinese miners came to Arrowtown at the start of the gold rush and traces of their living space and living conditions are still visible in the restored settlement.
While you are in Arrowtown check out the Lake District Museum and the sticky buns and coffee at Provisions Café on Buckingham Street. The most beautiful time to visit Arrowtown is in April and May, during the fall season when the leaves turn to shades of yellow, red and brown. It’s the best time to visit for photography enthusiasts.
Find out more about the Arrowtown Fall Festival and Photography Competition.
Three: TSS Earnslaw vintage steamship cruise
Go on board the TSS Earnslaw steamship just like Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, President Bill Clinton and the Japanese Emperor and Empress did, cruising Lake Wakatipu.
According to NZ Maritime, The TSS Earnslaw is a twin-screw steamer, the last of a long line of coal burning steamer working on Lake Wakatipu from as early as 1863. This over a 100 year old steamship today is the only remaining ship of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. It takes tourists leisurely around the lake with calming views outside and delicious food and warm setting inside.
Tourists can choose to take a 90-minute leisure cruise and dine on board at the Promenade Café and Bar or combine the cruise with a visit to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a guided farm tour, horse back riding and barbecue lunch or dinner.
Information: History of TSS Earnslaw
If you are looking for the ultimate burger experience you must get to Fergburger in Queenstown. Be prepared to stay in line for over one hour and 30 minutes during lunch and dinnertime at Fergburger.
We recommend getting the Big Al priced at $17.50 per burger. Big Al is described as follows:
Double serving of Prime New Zealand beef (½ pound), lashings of bacon, a whole lotta cheese, 2 eggs, beetroot, lettuce, tomato, red onion, relish and a big wad of aioli.
Fergburger is open 21 hours a day. Be sure to visit their other stores, Ferg Bakery that specializes in pies and Mrs. Ferg ice cream parlor. Both are located next to Fergburger.
Five: Do nothing
One of the best things to do in Queenstown is just do nothing and relax. Walk along the Lake Wakatipu or take a sit by the lake with your favorite book or snack. Or take a short hike on the many hiking or biking trails in the area.
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