Planning our family trip for 2020 made me realise that I never got to blog about our Queenstown trip in New Zealand. That's a shame because Queenstown is absolutely beautiful and perhaps one of the most beautiful places you will ever get to visit. I believe some people visit New Zealand and stay in Queenstown only. Looking around Queenstown and around Lake Wakatipu makes you feel like you're in a postcard come to life. Every angle is picturesque. You could visit Queenstown and fulfil your thirst for adventure for the thrill-seekers, or take a much slower pace for the lovers. As for us, we were here as a family for our annual siblings-trip so this is a family-friendly itinerary. Read on to get some ideas on what to do on your Queenstown trip.
1. Onsen Hot Pools
I put this down as number one because this books out months ahead. And because we couldn't finalise our trip dates until late, we missed out on this one. It was a combination of "what??? noooooo!!! What??? NOOOOOOOOOOO ashljlkjsljdad" reactions for my sister and I when we realised we lost the opportunity. I wish the vocabulary was better but it really was just NOOOOOOOOO....!!!! Oh well, at least our hotel at Mercure Queenstown Resort had an outdoor hot tub. We enjoyed the tub on a winter morning and looked out at the view and pretended we actually got to visit the onsen hot pools...
2. Enjoy the view from above.
If you're ever going to pay for a helicopter ride to watch the views from above, I reckon New Zealand is the place to do it. We weren't willing to shell out the money though. So I instead made sure to sit by the window seat on the plane ride here. I read somewhere that this is the "best plane window seat view you will ever see" and at this rate, for me personally, it probably is (so far). And although winter is such a cold time to visit New Zealand, I feel like it is the most beautiful too.
3. Eat at Fergburger.
I read somewhere that these are the "best burgers in the world". Well, as food lovers ourselves, we probably wouldn't say the best burgers in the WORLD. But it's pretty darn good. You'll spot this place in town easily because of the long line. But the line moved and the food came surprisingly quickly. The wait wasn't bad at all.
4. Go on a TSS Steamboat cruise.
Apparently, the actual steamboat was on repair when we were there. So we got to ride a substitute instead (and saw the steamboat parked). We didn't mind. The view is so beautiful, it really doesn't matter what kind of boat we're riding. Our cruise included a farm tour on the other island where they showed us how sheepdogs work and how they shave sheep and why. Also, our cruise included a lunch buffet which was SOOOO good! Absolutely worth it. Looking back now and realising that ALL of the buffets we ate in New Zealand were so good and worth the money.
5. Nomad Safari 4WD Lord of the Rings Tour
Ok, I'm not actually a real LOTR fan. The tour guide pointed out the spots where they filmed some scenes and I still found it pretty cool. The tour also brought us to Arrowtown where we learned gold panning. Interesting how easy it is to spot gold specks here if you know how to look. Nature is amazing! The 4WD trip itself was pretty cool as the tour guide drove us across the river. What an adventure. We then got to have some tea and snacks.
He also brought us up the hill so we could enjoy the snowy views and have some fun.
6. Ride the Shotover Jet
This one's a fun boat ride through the Shotover River Canyons where the boat speeds and spins, spraying us with water. Even if you're not a thrill-seeker or a little faint-at-heart, this one's an easy one to go to! Even our 6-year-old niece came along.
|Sorry fam, this one's a terrible photo but it's the only one with the jet behind us. We just came from the ride in this shot and our hair's all wet!|
Nevis Bungy is the highest bungy in Queenstown so of course this one's the one my brother chose. This one's expensive and scary. My husband and I came along to watch. To be a spectator you also have to pay a fee because this involves a bus ride and a trip across the highwire platform (even to get to the spot where he jumps is already scary and not for those who are easily scared of heights among other things). To be honest, as scary as it is, my husband and I regretted not doing it. So if you've got the guts and the budget, DO IT!
8. Take a leisurely walk.
Travel can be so fast-paced sometimes. Stop a moment. Breathe in the air. Take in the views. On our last morning in Queenstown, we made sure to have nothing planned. From our hotel, we walked down the hill and enjoyed the view. Maybe you can even go and have some ice cream.
The funny thing about Queenstown is that we soon discovered that there are more tourists and backpackers and people on temporary working visas (while they worked to save money for their thrill-seeking adventures) than there are locals! It's fun to stop and chat to people.
Whatever you decide to do in Queenstown, you're sure to enjoy yourself. It's a very beautiful place to visit.
Have you been to Queenstown before? Check out my other New Zealand Itineraries HERE.