A town fit for a queen… and my favorite city in New Zealand. Here are the top tips:
1. Visit In Spring (September - November)
There will still be snow on the mountain tops (which melts in summer) the weather is nice and the days are long. Queenstown is also quite touristy, and visiting in the Spring will allow you to take advantage of good weather while avoiding the summer crowds.
2. Combine Skyline Activities and Ben Lomand Walk
The Ben Lomand walk is one of the prettiest (and toughest) hikes, usually estimated at 6-8 hours there and back. The hardest part is the beginning, through which Skyline offers a gondola which cuts out the first 2 hours. If you combine Skyline Luge and Ben Lomand Walk into one day, you can take the gondola, luge for a bit, and then continue on foot from there. Who knows, you might even come back engaged like we did! Best. Moment. Ever.
3. Ferg. Baker.
Everyone raves about Ferg Burger (and there is a line down the block). Tried it, liked it… but not nearly as much as the Ferg Baker next door! Those meat pies were delicious. Personal favorites were the steak pie and the mince & cheese (ground beef and cheese).
4. Stay Close to Town... the Hills Are Steeeeep!
Queenstown puts San Francisco to shame in terms of hills. If you are considering an AirB&B or hotel more than a 5-minute walk from town, you’ll likely be taking a taxi each way. The hills are no joke, you’d end up exhausted and sweaty just getting to dinner!
5. Bungy. Can you Hackett?
Bungy Jumping was invented in Queenstown by A.J. Hackett. There are 3 main places to Bungy: The Luge (150 feet), Kuwaru Bridge (150 feet) and Nevis Bungy (500 feet).
The Luge is smaller and more convenient (at Skyline’s complex).
The Kuwaru is the oldest (where A.J. Hackett began jumping)
The Nevis Bungy is the tallest in the world and less convenient (2 hours outside Queenstown)
They’ve been doing it for over 30 years and no one has died yet! If you feel the urge to jump off something, consider where it all began. I loved the Kuwaru Bridge, both terrifying and amazing!
6. You Can Drink Anywhere.
Providing you are not causing trouble, you can grab a drink and sit by the water or the park and have a drink. We got red wine and enjoyed it in the village green at sunset.
7. Jet Boating
If you don’t like heights but still love adventure, Jet Boating is likely more your speed. This was also invented in New Zealand and is a heart-racing experience. Save this activity for a beautiful day and pay the nominal $19NZ for the “instant replay” to go out twice. So much fun!
8. Relax in Queenstown Gardens
You can rent frisbees in town and play 18-holes of Frisbee golf!