October 30

5 Things to Do in Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown Hill

There's nothing like a brisk uphill walk to get your blood flowing, your legs warm, and your mind ready for the day. A morning hike up Queenstown Hill is a great way to start the day and if you start before sunrise, you'll get to watch the sun come up over The Remarkables Mountains (Kawarau in the Māori language). Bring your sunnies for this one! 

The hike also offers panoramic views of Lake Wakatipu and the city of Queenstown below. It's a relatively moderate hike that rewards you with breathtaking vistas, making it a fantastic introduction to Queenstown's natural beauty. 


We hope you're hungry! Fergburger is a good spot to visit after you've hiked Queenstown Hill and a fantastic place to eat overall. And yes, they do serve breakfast burgers if you are an early bird and tackle Queenstown Hill by dawn. Or, enjoy your breakfast without breaking a sweat.

Known for gourmet and exotic burgers, Fergburger is an iconic spot in Queenstown among locals and tourists. But don't let the term "gourmet burger" fool you. This isn't the kind of gourmet place with small portions that leaves you unsatisfied. 

It's not often that we make dining recommendations, because everyone's tastes are different, but when personalities like Ed Sheeran, world class rugby athletes, and even Orlando Bloom have dined here, we figured it was a great one to include. 

Everything at Fergburger is homemade. The buns are baked fresh daily, the patties are hand crafted from NZ beef, the sauces are concocted to perfection; what more could you want? The fan favorite at Fergburger is the Ferg Deluxe (Prime NZ beef, streaky bacon, cheddar cheese, sweet dill pickle, lettuce, tomato red onion, aioli and tomato relish), but if that doesn't do it for you, there are 18 other burgers to choose from.

Popular is an understatement and the line to eat here is part of the experience. Be prepared to strike up a conversation with your queue-mates and get ready for the burger of a lifetime.

If burgers aren't your thing, there are several other Ferg food establishments in town including the nextdoor Ferg's Bar and Mrs. Ferg, a bakery and gelateria. 

Lake Wakatipu

If you walked up Queenstown Hill, you've already caught a good aerial look at Lake Wakatipu. The lake is a hallmark of Queenstown and lies south of town, though it stretches much further than the expanse of Queenstown.

Depending on who you ask, the lake has different origin stories. Scientists say the lake was formed by glaciers 15,000 years ago, while Māori legend suggests otherwise advising that Lake Wakatipu is the outcome of two star crossed lovers, Matakauri and Manata. You can decide which you find more fascinating. 

If you want to stay local to Queenstown, a leisurely stroll along the shores of Lake Wakatipu is a tranquil way to spend your afternoon. The crystal-clear waters and the surrounding mountains create a picturesque setting. However, if you have more time and want to explore Lake Wakatipu's 112 square miles of water, consider taking a scenic cruise on the lake to get a unique perspective of the area.

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Photo by Jeff Finley on Unsplash

Skyline Gondola

The Skyline Gondola ride to Bob's Peak is a must-do activity. You can hike up to this scenic area, but we think the gondola is a fun way to shake things up. At the top, there are plenty of panoramic views if you simply want to hang tight by the gondola. Or, you can explore the top and enjoy the hiking trails. FYI, hiking trails are called tracks here in New Zealand.

There are several different hiking routes that you can follow. Several of them are short so that you can get out and stretch your legs. But a few are longer and can allow you to hike all the way to Ben Lomond. The hike from Bob's Peak to Ben Lomond is about an out-and-back hike with a total mileage of 6.7. It's a sizeable commitment and a steep climb to the top of Ben Lomond. It's not a hike you just do on a whim. 

Meanwhile, back at the gondola, you can ride the Skyline gondola back down, or take to the luge and navigate down the mountain in your own luge buggy

Queenstown Gardens

Queenstown Gardens is a peaceful oasis in the heart of the town. At this public park, you can take a leisurely walk through beautifully landscaped gardens, enjoy a picnic by the lake, or even try your hand at frisbee golf.

Designed in 1867, Queenstown Gardens is one of New Zealand's oldest public gardens. The garden's design combines formal and informal elements and is renowned for its landscaped beauty. 

Because it's situated on a small peninsula, the park is surrounded by Lake Wakatupi on three sides. And, like most places in Queenstown, the park offers splendid views of the mountains on all sides.

Bonus Activities

Adventure Activities: Queenstown's reputation as the adventure capital of the world is well-deserved. If you're an adrenaline junkie, don't miss the opportunity to try bungee jumping, jet boating, or skydiving. These thrilling experiences will give you a true taste of the town's adventurous spirit. Plus, where better place to try out these activities than Queenstown!? You're surrounded by mountains on all sides, so if you ever were going to willingly jump out of a plane, this is the place to do it!

Dinner by the Lake: Traveling with your significant other or just a dear friend? Make time for a scenic dinner at one of Queenstown's many lakeside restaurants. The combination of delicious food and the colorful sunset over the lapping lakeshore of Lake Wakatipu creates a memorable evening. Be sure to savor the moment, and dessert, as you watch the sun dip below the mountains.

Nightlife: For those who enjoy nightlife, Queenstown offers a vibrant scene. You can explore various bars and clubs in the town center, making it easy to find a spot that suits your taste. We already mentioned Ferg's Bar which has become a popular place to grab a pint, but there are many other places to wet your whistle. Whether you prefer a cozy pub or a lively nightclub, Queenstown has it all.


Cuisine, Dining, Global Adventures, Local Activities, New Zealand, Sightseeing, Things to Do

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