Set on the shores of sparkling Lake Wakatipu and against the dramatic Southern Alps, Queenstown is celebrated for its incredible beauty and outdoor adventure, as well as its bustling town centre and world-class regional wineries. Queenstown is an incredible destination to visit at any time of year, including the winter ski season when the region is transformed into a winter wonderland, boasting glorious snow-covered mountains, lush valleys and clear, blue days.
Start the day with a velvety Kiwi-style flat white, and breakfast at one of Queenstown’s many stylish cafés. Vudu Café is a favourite local spot for breakfast or brunch, offering a fabulous breakfast menu, and a range of kiwi favorites for brunch.
If you have a sweet tooth, Koko Black is an unmissable experience – boasting one of the finest selections of chocolaty delights in the region. Warm up with their signature Belgian hot chocolate before you begin the day’s adventures. You’re on holiday, after all… Who says you can’t start the day with an indulgent sugar hit?
What would a winter vacation be without a little skiing or snowboarding? Especially when you have some of the country’s most beautiful scenic fields right on your temporary doorstep. Experience New Zealand’s finest downhill skiing at Coronet Peak or The Remarkables, just 20 and 45 minute drives from downtown Queenstown.
Interested in a winter activity with a difference? Try your hand at cross country skiing at Snow Farm, which is recognised as one of the best cross-country skiing fields in the Southern Hemisphere. Situated along the Cardrona Valley Road, it boasts more than 50km of groomed trails and caters to skiers of all ages and abilities.
There are few spots around the world that combine breath-taking views and adrenaline-pumping thrills quite like Queenstown. And what would a trip to New Zealand’s adventure capital be without a little adventure?
Be sure to make time for a ride up the Skyline Gondola for the best views across Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu and, if you dare, try bungy jumping or luging while you’re there! Offering 800 metres of fast-paced fun, Skyline Luge is a must-do activity for thrill-seeking families, while the uniquely positioned Ledge Bungy & Swing provide some fast and furious fun for even the most daring adrenaline junkies.
After all that fun and excitement you’ll be in serious need of some deep relaxation, and lucky for you, Queenstown has some of the best spas in the country. Unwind and indulge in some much-deserved pampering at Sofitel’s Le Spa – voted the World’s Best Hotel Spa by Travel Leisure magazine.
Offering a unique haven where the mind, body and spirit unite, Sofitel’s LeSpa combines Maori rituals and signature European massage and beauty treatments for an unprecedented sensory and soothing experience.
Carve out a day trip to enjoy the stunning scenery in and around Queenstown. The national parks of Fiordland and Mount Aspiring offer truly unforgettable experiences, while a scenic Lord of The Rings tour in Glenorchy is a must-do for film and nature enthusiasts alike.
Take a leisurely stroll around Queenstown Garden and enjoy the tranquillity of Lake Wakatipu, enjoy an exhilarating hike up Queenstown Hill for some of the best views of the region, or enjoy New Zealand ‘flight-seeing’ at its best with an Air Milford Cessna scenic flight for views of stunning Milford Sound.
Fancy yourself a bit of a wine connoisseur, or simply keen to sample some of the region’s finest vitacultural offerings? Take a winery tour and awaken your tastebuds some of the famous Otago Pinot Noir from wineries such as Gibbston Valley, Amisfield and Chard Farm.
There are a number of fantastic wine tour operators in the area, including New Zealand Wine Tours Queenstown who offer an array of small and intimate group tours, such as their Pinot Country Tour, their Pinot Paparazzi Tour, an their Winemakers Reserve Tour. What better way to warm up during a winter vacation?
Skiing, shopping and sightseeing can certainly help you work up an appetite, so be sure to end your day with a delectable dining experience in any one of Queenstown’s world-class restaurants. Tuck into a flavoursome Waygu Sirloin or Mackenzie Lamb Rack at celebrity chef Simon Gault's Jervois Steak House, or be carried away by the taste sensation of a Harmony Pork Fillet or Roasted Cervena Venison Loin at Josh Emmet's Rata.
If you are up for something a little more casual and truly unique to Queenstown, then you need to try a burger from the world famous Fergburger on Shotover Street. Fergburger has been making the biggest, juiciest burgers since 2001 and they are as popular today as ever…just one warning, be sure to bring your appetite!
Of course, along with a substantial photo record of your Queenstown adventure, you’ll be looking for a little something to remember your vacation. Make room in your luggage and spend a day shopping the many boutiques and art studios in downtown Queenstown, or a short drive away in historic and picturesque Arrowtown.
Grab an epic deal on new snow gear at one of the many well stocked ski outfitters, stock up on a Kiwi classic – chocolate fish – at The Remarkable Sweet Shop, or select a stunning piece of carved New Zealand greenstone at The Jade and Opal Factory.
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