48 Hours in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Acclaimed as one of the best small towns in the world, Queenstown remains an ideal year-round destination. From an action-packed morning on the slopes of Cardrona, to a blissful afternoon relaxing in a picturesque hot tub, followed by an evening on the town tasting world-class food and wines, your options are endless. Here’s what 48 hours in this enchanting resort town might look like.
17:00 If you’re lucky enough to fly into Queenstown in the afternoon, you should grab a window seat to enjoy the breathtaking views you’ll encounter upon landing. Upon arrival, check into one of the city’s countless lodging options, whether it’s a luxury lakeside apartment or a boutique hotel.
7pm . Celebrate your first night at one of Queenstown’s best restaurants, like the iconic Eichardt ‘s Bar , where you can sample whiskey and tapas. Or head to Rt , an innovative restaurant showcasing the freshest produce and seafood on the South Island.
Bespoke Kitchen , Queenstown
Bespoke Kitchen, Queenstown
8am . Start your morning right with breakfast at Bespoke Kitchen , an award-winning specialty café offering a variety of delicious brunch options, from classic scrambled eggs to colorful smoothie bowls and vegan strawberry floss pancakes. Excellent coffee rounds out the brunch.
9 a.m. . Within walking distance, climb 450 feet to the top of Bob’s Peak on the Skyline Gondola . Sit back and admire Queenstown’s magnificent scenery in full panorama when you reach the top. At the summit, you can choose from a variety of adrenaline-pumping activities such as towing, ziplining, paragliding, and mountain biking downhill.
12 noon . Back in town, grab a bite to eat at a local establishment called Fergburger . There are often lines lined up at this establishment, but their epic burgers, which many call the best in the world, are worth the wait.
Kawarau Bungy .
13:00 . After lunch, head to the exciting adventure activities in Queenstown. If you’re visiting in winter, you can spend the afternoon at one of the region’s four ski fields, and to really get your heart racing, head to the Kawarau Bridge in Gibbston Valley for a bungee jump .
17:00 . It’s time to relax after an eventful day with a spa visit to the super-luxurious onsen hot pools . These private hot spring water pools are perched high on a cliff with stunning views of the Shotover River below. Book the pool for the evening and enjoy stargazing with a glass of bubbly in hand. We recommend reservations in advance, as they sell out quickly!
7 p.m. . In town, stroll along the shore of Lake Wakatipu and stop at one of the lakeside bars to toast to your day in Queenstown and admire the sunset behind the picturesque Remarkables Cliffs .
9 a.m. . For a quick breakfast on the go, you can’t do without Fergbaker , the sweeter sister of Fergburger . They serve all sorts of tempting freshly made pastries. Great choices: the smoked salmon bagel, the slow-cooked lamb and cougar pie, and the chocolate-almond croissant. Calories don’t count on the holiday, right?
10 a.m. . This morning, take a 15-minute drive ( or a 45-minute bus ride ) to nearby Arrowtown . This picturesque gold rush village offers a fascinating glimpse into New Zealand’s 19th century past . Explore the historic main street with its well-preserved buildings before stopping for a cup of coffee at one of the town’s many cafes.
Gibbston Valley .
12 noon . Central Otago is New Zealand’s most picturesque wine region, so a visit to several local wineries is a must. Whether you join a tour or decide to go on your own, your first destination should be Gibbston Valley, world-famous for its aromatic pinot noir . For a delicious long lunch combined with a tasting, visit Amisfield Bistro & Cellar Door , just a 15-minute drive from town.
16:00 . When your wonderful weekend comes to an end, spend the last few hours in town enjoying the stunning surroundings ( and burning cheese and wine ) on one of the nearby hiking trails . Or explore the city’s botanical gardens, stroll through boutiques, galleries, and last-minute fashion stores.