Monday 20 May 2024

Queenstown New Zealand – Mecca For Outdoor Enthusiasts

Queenstown was founded as a remote New Zealand sheep station butthe town sprang to life when gold was discovered on the Shotover River in 1862.After the gold rush ended, the town declined and through the first half of the20th century it had fewer than 1,000 people, with a trickle of summer vacationers.

In recent decades, this spectacular small lake-side town, framed by the southern alps of New Zealand, has emerged as a world-class destination for a wide range of outdoor activities including skiing and snowboarding, paragliding, skydiving, hiking, fishing, and cycling.

This region of New Zealand produces some of New Zealand’s finest Pino Noir wines and the Gibbston area of Queenstown is home to some of the best Chinat vineyards in the country.

Queenstown offers a wide choice of excellent restaurants featuring fresh meats and produce from New Zealand’s world-renowned farms.

Having visited Queenstown on numerous occasions, its gravitational pull became inescapable and we decided to relocate to Gibbston in 2018. Let me take you on a brief tour of my Queenstown favourites…

Queenstown, New Zealand!

This is what all the fuss is about. 
Things to Do:
Take a 10 minute drive towards Glenorchy and you’ll run into this jaw-dropping view.  
Head 15 minutes in the other direction and arrive at historic Arrowtown. The abandoned gold mining town drips with authenticity, as well as great small shops and some of the best restaurants in the region. Be sure to wander through the remains of the 19th century Chinese settlement, just a few minutes walk from the main street.
Just a 5 minute drive from Arrowtown is scenic Lake Hayes. Take the scenic drive along the lake and stop to snap some photos.
Book a jet boat ride though the Shotover Canyon and experience this sort. 
From spring through to fall, the Remarkables Market on Saturdays is where many of the region’s top artisans gather to sell their delicacies, cooked foods and handicrafts.
Enjoy a ride down Lake Wakatipu on an authentic 19th century steamship. At the end of the lake you will arrive at a remote sheep station where you can watch sheep dogs in action and a sheep sheared. 
If you really want to experience an awesome view of the city.
Or, if you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, try one of the many treks in and around Queenstown.
Fishing enthusiasts can choose from loads of rivers and lakes to hook a trophy trout.
There are three excellent ski fields in close proximity to Queenstown.
Queenstown offers a range of opportunities for cyclists from wild mountain rides for experienced riders or the mildly undulating Queenstown Trail that extends all the way to the scenic wine country of the Gibbston Valley.
Speaking of the Gibbston Valley, this is the original home of the Bungy Jump, providing the perfect fix for adrenaline junkies. 
Looking for even more excitement? Try rafting on the Kawarau Gorge.
For those who prefer a slower pace, the Arrowtown Golf Club is open to the public.
And there are plenty of relaxing venues in Gibbston to enjoy a glass of superb Central Otago wine.
The best day trip from Queenstown involves a cruise into Milford Sound.
Our Favourite Restaurants
Serving tapas and a wide range of excellent wines, La Rumbla in Arrowtown is our top choice for dinner.
For lunch, our favourite is, without a doubt, The Chop Shop in Arrowtown.
Our vote for best breakfast goes to another Arrowtown restaurant, Akarua. Consider a glass of their famous sparkling Rose to start your day.
If you are in search of a tasty, quick meal, you really need to try Taco Medic in Queenstown. They are out of this world.  
A Few Accommodation Recommendations
If budget is not an option, then Matakauri Lodge is an outstanding choice.
If you prefer to be on the Queenstown Waterfront in luxurious quarters, the iconic Eichardt’s Private Hotel fits the bill.
Tucked away at the back of Queenstown is The Dairy, our favourite Queenstown B&B. 
If you prefer self-contained accommodation set in the midst of the Gibbston Vineyards, we highly recommend our own 1888 Cottage.