Travel

Ultimate Travel Guide: Queenstown, NZ

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a yogi, or a fine diner, Queenstown should be on the top of your travel list!

Queenstown has been crowned the adventure capital of the world and with the large number of activities on offer in this breathtaking landscape, it’s easy to see why.  This is the place to release your inner Bear Grylls from bungy jumping off the highest point in the Southern Hemisphere to flying over the tree tops on the infamous ziplines. A long day of adventures ensures times for winding down and with the stunning view at the Onsen Hot Pools, your relaxation experience is as breathtaking as launching off the platforms.

Queenstown’s landscape stands as the star of the show with the activities, dining and outstanding accommodation merely supporting acts. Be sure to visit this destination in all it’s magic and wonder.

 

EAT


Rātā – Josh Emett 

Owned and operated by Michelin starred chef, Josh Emett, and regarded local restauranteur Fleur Cualton, Rata is one of Queenstown’s most highly regarded eateries. Paying homage to the native New Zealand rata tree, this restaurant takes inspiration from its natural landscape through it’s earthy tones and and natural woods. This is also reflected in the restaurant’s menu, with the food predominately locally sourced and seasonal – the beef wellington is a reviewer favourite.  Set menus are also available for group dining. The wine menu showcases the best wines of the Otago region and wider New Zealand.

Ferburger

This burger joint has taken Queenstown and the world by storm! STA Travel is among the many who have labelled this restaurant as home to the best burger in the world! Since it’s opening in 2001, Ferburger has become iconic to Queenstown, making its mark amongst both the locals and tourists. Using premium ingredients including New Zealander prime beef and South Coast Blue Cod, Fergburger adds a unique spin to the classics. Vegetarian’s are far from forgotten with a variety of meat-free burgers on offer including tempura tofu and falafel patties on the menu. The restaurant is open 21-hours a day making anytime a perfect time for a gourmet burger.

Bespoke Kitchen

Looking for the perfect brunch spot? Then look no further than award winning Bespoke Kitchen. Voted New Zealand’s Cafe of the Year, this uber cool cafe is your go-to for a refreshing breakfast super bowl or fresh cup of coffee. The seasonal menu means the country’s best produce is always on offer from delicious breakfast and brunch options to seasonal soups for an afternoon lunch. If the food isn’t enough of a selling point, the location of the cafe makes it worth the visit. Overlook and take in the stunning view of the bay and the Remarkables with a glass of local wine in hand.

 

DRINK


Below Zero Ice Bar

This bar may just be the coolest bar you will ever visit. This unique Queenstown bar has been hand sculpted entirely in ice! The walls, bar, furniture and vodka glasses are all ice magic creations. Sculptures and vibrant lights add extra fun to the bar and make it an icy wonderland worth experiencing. The bar’s temperature is around -12 degrees so be sure to rug up in the warm jackets and gloves provided by the bar. Cocktails and vodka ensure a lively night out while family rooms are the perfect place to chill out…

Image via belowzeroicebar.co.nz

Smiths Craft Beer House

This buzzing bar is every craft beer lover’s dream. With 20 creative craft beers on tap there is no wonder this New Zealander beer house is a popular evening hotspot. The expert brewers explore new flavours and mix up the usual with 20 creative beers on tap.  The beer house also offers food and encourages you to choose your own favourite dish to pair with a new favourite beer. Bare concrete floors and industrial decor means the beer is takes centerstage at this quintessential Queenstown beer house.

The Bunker Restaurant and Bar

This self titled ‘Old School Cool’ restaurant and bar is one of Queenstown’s hidden gems. The Bunker lies behind a rustic wooden door that one might miss if not paying close enough attention. The intimate atmosphere is complemented by the roaring fire and distinctly New Zealander menu which specialises in game and red meats. After dinner, head upstairs for a cocktail at the restaurant’s after hours and popular lounge bar. Local musicians contribute to the intimate atmosphere late every Thursday to Saturday. The Bunker also offers private group dining room with group menus catering to all diners.

Image via queenstown.com

STAY


The Spire Hotel Queenstown

The Spire Hotel is an award winning boutique hotel and with its breathtaking location and signature restaurant and bar, No5 Church Lane, it’s easy to see why. Located within walking distance of Queenstown centre, this hotel is the perfect escape for a romantic getaway or even business trip with boardrooms available for hire. The hotel hosts 10 luxury suits with varying outlooks onto the Queenstown landscape.  Suites also include a stone clad fireplace making your stay that extra unique.

Rates per night start from NZD $680

Matakauri Lodge

The Matakauri Lodge is your ideal home for short term luxury accommodation. Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, immersing yourself in the landscape doesn’t get any greater than this. Take in the incredible panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains from the privacy of your own balcony or perhaps breathe it all in from the hotel’s infinity pool. The outstanding views are complimented by outstanding services including a fine dining hotel restaurant serving dishes by executive chef Dale Gartland. The boutique hotel hosts 11 luxurious rooms all with mountain and and lake views and extravagant furnishings by Virginia Fisher.

Rates Per Night start from NZD $665.00

Image via queenstown.com.nz

Aro Ha – Wellness Retreat

A trip to Queenstown doesn’t have to mean thrill-seeking activities. Aro Hā offers visitors a wellness experience for those looking for wellness adventures. This eco accommodation is designed for rejuvenation and mental and physical health. The hotel offers sub alpine hiking, vinyasa yoga, and dynamic movement and programs which include vegetarian cuisine, healing bodywork, and daily mindfulness practice. Only 40 minutes from the town’s centre, this retreat feels like a world away and the ideal location to exercise your body and soul.

Wellness Adventure Retreat  – 6 day / 5 night
Rates start from NZD $5,200.00

Image via aro-ha.com

DO


Bungy Jump

It’s the ultimate thrill-seeking activity and what better place to do it than the adventure capital. Throw yourself head first from the platform located off the famous Kawerau Bridge, a 43m drop which guarantees water touches and scenic views. For those feeling extra adventurous, Queenstown is also home to the highest bungy jump in the Southern Hemisphere, Nevis Bungy Jump, standing at 134m. This 8.5 second free fall requires a 40 minute 4WD through a high country sheep station and ride on a Bungy Pod cable car.

Prices start from NZD $205
For more information and bookings see here 

Zip Lining

Ever dreamt of flying through the mountains? Well, in Queenstown those dreams can come true. Zip trek Ecotours is New Zealand’s Original Zipline tour company and multi award winner for zipline experiences. Operating in the spectacular Remarkables, there seems no better place then to strap in, hold your breath and take the jump. Zip through the alpines and finish with an incredible 21 metre drop. A variety of tours are available including the Kea Tour which holds the world’s steepest zipline and twilight tours for something a little bit more romantic.

Prices start from NZD $95
For more information and bookings see here

Image via everythingqueenstown.com

Onsen Hot Pools
Adventure activities aren’t everybody’s thing, and if you’re anything like me the thought of jumping from a 130m high platform doesn’t exactly scream ‘holiday!’ Luckily for people like us, Queenstown provides equally incredible alternatives that ensure our feet remain firmly on the ground. The Onsen Hot Pools, only a 10 minute drive from Queenstown, has your afternoon of relaxation sorted. Located high on a cliffside with a panoramic view of Shotover River Canyon, the pools are the perfect spot for some wind-down time and a soak in fresh and pure water. For a little something extra, Onsen also offers massages for ultimate relaxation before or after your soak.

Prices start from NZD $75
For more information and bookings see here 

Feature image via spirehotel.com
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