Queenstown does not disappoint. The first time I visited Queenstown was about 2.5 years ago, when 4 other girls and I took a road trip for our Spring Break and drove all around both the North and South Islands of New Zealand. We had short stoppage time at each place we saw because we were driving, which takes ages to get from one place to another, and we had a number of places to see with only a limited number of days to do it in. When we arrived in Queenstown, we loved it so much that we didn’t want to leave, and ended up staying a couple nights longer than we had originally planned for. Since we extended the stay, we had to cut out one of the planned stops on our way to the airport in order to make our flight in time to the North Island, but we all still agree it was well worth it.
Since moving to New Zealand, I have been dying to go back to Queenstown. I know it is amazing there during the sunnier and warmer days, but having a boyfriend who’s obsessed with skiing, we were definitely going to go in winter. Queenstown and the surrounding cities, have some of the best ski mountains not only in New Zealand, but have been compared with some of the best ski resort areas in the world. So we planned our journey down to Queenstown about a month out, and were so excited to get down there! If you want to read the short version of what we did and what to do, skip to the bottom and read the highlights.
We met up with one of Daniel’s oldest friends, who was coming to ski as well. Daniel and Nick left to go skiing a couple days before I did, since they were doing crazy stuff like hiking up the mountain with their skis, that I was simply not interested in doing. When I arrived, they were skiing, and I had some time to kill. Luckily Queenstown has so much to do and see, that it was not hard to keep me entertained. I wandered from our hotel room and headed toward the downtown area. I ran straight into the pop-up street markets going on, which happen to be my favorite thing ever. I did purchase a few things, but I had to stop myself from buying every little handmade craft out there!
The downtown area is quite small, but it has everything you could possibly imagine. It is surrounded by large mountains that surround a lake, and is located right off the water. The buildings go all along the lake front, in a U-shape. There are plenty of pubs and restaurants right there on the water, that have the most amazing views. The downtown area is right behind the waterfront restaurants, and the streets are in approximately a 5 x 5 block formation. They have everything from gourmet ice cream and chocolate shops, to the world famous Fergburger, which has the biggest burgers you could ever imagine. It is a very popular bar scene as well. We went to this awesome Cowboy bar, and although is was packed, it was still pretty cool equipped with shuffle board and pool tables.
We were only in Queenstown a short while, because we were just taking a weekend trip, and planned to explore and ski a surrounding city as well, called Wanaka. We still were able to do and see so much though. Queenstown is seriously the most beautiful city, in the most amazing location, that I have ever seen. The fact that it is located on a gorgeous lake surrounded by incredible snow covered mountains gives it the WOW factor. I took the camera with us for this trip, and I could not put it down. I’ve attached some of them below, so have a look 🙂
Queenstown, you are beautiful, and this is not the last time I will see you.
If you didn’t want to read my whole post and want the short version of what to do in Queenstown, here it is.
– Visit the downtown markets (every Saturday morning), it is a must do!
– Explore the many cuisine options in downtown, from world famous Fergburger, to authentic Mexican, or the bakeries and sweet shops with amazing chocolates & donuts.
– Enjoy a walk all around the outskirts of the lake and take in the surroundings.
– You can and should explore the waters more, either by kayaking or taking a jet boat tour which run constantly.
– Have a drink from a rooftop bar and enjoy the unbelievably beautiful scenery.
– Stay in a hostel and meet some new people from all over the world, as Queenstown is a very popular tourist destination.
– I’m not an expert, and had a quick stay, but check out this site if you want more ideas!