A broke girl with a bucket list

10 Things to Do in Queenstown

10 Things to Do in Queenstown

That aren’t lining up for Fergburger

Ok maybe doing this on the one month anniversary of my return from New Zealand isn’t the most efficient I’ve ever been, but the fact remains that Queenstown is very close to my heart so it had to get done. As a town to wander around, Queenstown is slightly surreal. Obviously created to cater for the busy ski seasons, and more recently transformed to welcome tourists and backpackers for the kiwi summer, Queenstown doesn’t immediately strike its guests as somewhere one would want to settle down. But if you’re seeking adventure in any form, you’ve found your home. Acting as a base from which you can book anything from bungee jumping to wine tours, Queenstown also plays host to a range of insta-worthy and internationally recognised food. After five days spent in this amazing town (and the surrounding area), its safe to say I’m already planning my return. Here’s my top ten:

 

1: The Routeburn Trek

Ok, so not technically in Queenstown, but I had to include the reason we flew to NZ in the first place. Hands down one of the most beautiful treks I’ve been lucky enough to do, going back to the mountains for the first time since I left Switzerland brought me so much joy. I’ve actually written some details about the trek (including a packing list and my favourite photos) in a separate post so please head over and check that out!

 

2: Fergbaker

Fergburger who? Why line up for an hour when the best pies you’ve ever had in your life are right next door. I’m always a fan of skipping the queue, and when its for amazing baked goods and melt-in-your-mouth pastry you can count me right in. Fergbaker was definitely my favourite place to eat in Queenstown. From their signature pork belly and apple pies to the addictive Boston Cream Donuts (that a lady told us she daydreams about), you absolutely cannot go wrong.

 

3: Frisbee Golf

Maybe not an adventure for the thrill seekers, but frisbee golf in the park by the shores of Lake Wakatipu is the ideal thing to do on a lazy day in Queenstown. At only $5 per frisbee, the course is 18 holes and takes anywhere upwards of a couple of hours to complete (depending, of course, on your skills). I’m a sucker for a cheesy family-friendly activity and this absolutely fits the bill. Plus, you get gorgeous views of the Remarkables around the lake while you do it – what more could you want?

4: Bespoke Kitchen

Recommended to us by a local, Bespoke did not disappoint. With a wide range of vegan and gluten free friendly options, as well as your brekkie classics like bacon and eggs, Bespoke is the ideal place to take a group out to brunch. Which is of course exactly what we did! The only thing that I struggled with at Bespoke was deciding what I would get off the menu (eventually we settled for a ‘Golden Smoothie Bowl’, a raspberry smoothie and poached eggs on toast with bacon). It’s well worth heading up a little earlier in the morning to nab a free spot on the balcony for views over Queenstown as you eat.

5: Around the Basin Bike Tour

Make the most of the wine country right on Queenstown’s doorstep and sign up to bike from Arrowtown along a trail of wineries for the day. On this whole-day trip you get a bit of exercise in while also being able to sample some of NZ’s finest. From Gibbston Valley’s amazing chilli cheese to a beer tasting board for just $15 at Cargo (which also happens to  be a converted church), there’s no way you can’t enjoy this day out and about. Highlights include getting to watch the Bungee at Kawarau bridge and a tipsy woodfired pizza lunch.

 

6: Gibbston Valley Winery

Ok, a slight cheat here as its mentioned in the bike tour, but I just cannot get over what good value Gibbston Valley Winery is. Wine and cheese is my idea of a good time at any time of the day, and when you roll up at 11am after a sweaty bike ride what better way to relax than three cheeses of your choice and a bottle of white wine. Even if bikes aren’t your thing, I would absolutely recommend taking a day trip just to explore the wine region, of which Gibbston Valley is a prime example.

 

7: Muskets and Moonshine

Looking for a nice dinner out? Muskets and Moonshine is your delightfully Cajun-spiced answer. With a range of incredible cocktails, tapas-style entrees and beautifully seasoned mains, this is the place to be when you’re celebrating a birthday. My favourites were by far the jambalaya and deep fried jalapeños (pictured). Despite the fact that the mussels were a little overcooked (I wouldn’t recommend them), the rest of the meal was so good I don’t think anyone spoke at the table until the plates were emptied. What a winner.

8: Luge

The Luge has been somewhat of a family obsession since our last trip to Queenstown, and we agreed that without question we would have to go again. Perched almost precariously alongside the lookout over Lake Wakatipu, its the family alternative to a thrill seeker’s kiwi adventure. Though a little pricey, if you’re lost on things to do in Queenstown its a great way to spend half a day, and no matter your age its pretty clear that once you’re on the track everyone’s a kid again.

 

9: Cargo Wine Bar

If fancy wineries aren’t really your cup of tea (or Pinot Gris), Cargo is right up your street. Located in an airy, plant-filled converted church, Cargo is now exactly where I want to be after a long day at work. Taste four craft beers for just $15, indulge in their house wine or simply enjoy a fizzy drink while you soak up the sun. By far the best thing about this place is its range of entertainment. The field behind the bar plays host to hacky sacks, ring toss and jump rope, which gives this place the air of a backyard barbecue (just with much nicer booze).

 10: Mrs Ferg Gelateria

While this place doesn’t exactly fit the bill of good old-fashioned New Zealand ice cream, it comes pretty damn close. Another place riding the Fergburger hype, Mrs Ferg is an incredible gelateria in its own right. With award winning flavours like mango and lime, and classics like the creamiest hazlenut you’ve ever seen, Mrs Ferg is a must-visit. Grab a scoop (or two) and wander by the shorefront, or indulge in one of their more decadent desserts. Either way, Mrs Ferg is doing everything right.



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