zip logo experience now, pay laterlearn more
Feefo Rating

Feefo is working hard to be the world's most trusted supplier of ratings and reviews to registered merchants and to consumers. This means generating genuine feedback that businesses and consumers can rely on.

Users rate Experience Oz

4.5/ 5
Visit Feefo.com
7 Day Support Cancellation Guarantee No Booking Fees

7 Day Support
363 Days a Year

Our reservations team are dedicated to helping you have the best experience in all stages of your holiday, from planning and booking to arriving and touring. The helpful team is on hand 7 days a week, 363 days a year (closed Christmas & ANZAC Day).

Our staff are there to provide helpful knowledge about the tour you are enquiring about thanks to their extensive knowledge as your enquiry is about their backyard.

Cancellation Guarantee

Life can sometimes get in the way of living, so Experience Oz offers cancellation guarantees for certain circumstances.

Cancelling a booking with Experience Oz can result in cancellation fees being applied by Experience Oz depending on the cirumstances. When cancelling any booking you will be notified via email, fax or telephone of the total cancellation fees, if any.

No Booking Fees

There are zero booking fees - no hidden fees or charges - during any stage of the buying process on Experience Oz, meaning you can save that money and use it to experience more.

Experience Oz uses secured payment methods so you can rest assured knowing your payment details are safe, with secure payment options for all major credit cards and PayPal accounts, with no credit card fees whatsoever.

The Top Things to do in Queenstown

Looking for things to do in Queenstown? View and book all your Queenstown activities and tours online here. There are few places in New Zealand like Queenstown that offer a wide variety of activities such as skydiving, bungee jumping & jet boating - and encapsulate the energy and raw nature of NZ. Queenstown is not just for the thrill seekers, however, with various opportunities for tours and excursions to wineries, 4WD tours and scenic flights offering a relaxing alternative. There are numerous ways to see Queenstown - find your ideal experience and book online here today!

Buy an experience.
Earn Points.
Experience More!

Experience Points rewards you with immediate savings on your next experience. For every purchase you make on Experience Oz, you will automatically receive points direct to your Experience Oz account.

You can redeem those points for real cash value on things like skydiving, reef trips, hot air ballooning, wine tours and much more all over Australia and New Zealand!

The Top Things to do in Queenstown

Looking for things to do in Queenstown? View and book all your Queenstown activities and tours online here. There are few places in New Zealand like Queenstown that offer a wide variety of activities such as skydiving, bungee jumping & jet boating - and encapsulate the energy and raw nature of NZ. Queenstown is not just for the thrill seekers, however, with various opportunities for tours and excursions to wineries, 4WD tours and scenic flights offering a relaxing alternative. There are numerous ways to see Queenstown - find your ideal experience and book online here today!

All Experiences
Home » Queenstown
Showing results
Filter clear all
$0 $400+
Skyline Queenstown Gondola and Luge Packages
  • Best Seller
Hot Deal
Skyline Queenstown Gondola and Luge Packages
by Skyline New Zealand
From
Save
Includes levy
Queenstown Jet Boat Ride
  • Likely to Sell Out
Hot Deal
Queenstown Jet Boat Ride
by Shotover Jet
From
Save
Includes levy
The Ledge Bungy Jump and Swing in Queenstown
  • Likely to Sell Out
Hot Deal
The Ledge Bungy Jump and Swing in Queenstown
by AJ Hackett
From
Save
Includes levy
Onsen Hot Pools Spa Session Tickets
  • Likely to Sell Out
Hot Deal
Onsen Hot Pools Spa Session Tickets
by Onsen Hot Pools
From
Save
Includes levy
Queenstown Rafting Tours
  • Likely to Sell Out
Hot Deal
Queenstown Rafting Tours
by Go Orange
From
Save
Includes levy
Nzone Skydive Queenstown
  • Likely to Sell Out
Hot Deal
Nzone Skydive Queenstown
by NZONE Skydive Queenstown
From
Save
Includes levy
Skyline Queenstown Gondola and Restaurant Packages
  • Likely to Sell Out
Hot Deal
Skyline Queenstown Gondola and Restaurant Packages
by Skyline New Zealand
From
Save
Includes levy
KJet One Hour Jet Boat Ride in Queenstown
Hot Deal
KJet One Hour Jet Boat Ride in Queenstown
by KJet Queenstown
From
Save
Includes levy
Milford Sound Fly and Cruise Combo from Queenstown
Hot Deal
Milford Sound Fly and Cruise Combo from Queenstown
by Real Journeys
From
Save
Includes levy
Canyoning Trips Departing Queenstown
Hot Deal
Canyoning Trips Departing Queenstown
by Canyoning New Zealand
From
Save
Includes levy
Shotover Canyon Swing Queenstown
  • Likely to Sell Out
Hot Deal
Shotover Canyon Swing Queenstown
by Shotover Canyon Swing
From
Save
Includes levy
Milford Sound Nature Cruises from Queenstown, Milford or Te Anau
  • Best Seller
Hot Deal
Milford Sound Nature Cruises from Queenstown, Milford or Te Anau
by Real Journeys
From
Save
Includes levy
Budget Milford Sound Cruise with Optional Transfers
Hot Deal
Budget Milford Sound Cruise with Optional Transfers
by Go Orange
From
Save
Includes levy
Nevis Bungy and Swing Queenstown
  • Likely to Sell Out
  • Best Seller
Hot Deal
Nevis Bungy and Swing Queenstown
by AJ Hackett
From
Save
Includes levy
Nomad Quad Bike Safaris
  • Likely to Sell Out
Hot Deal
Nomad Quad Bike Safaris
by Nomad Safaris
From
Save
Includes levy
Ziptrek EcoTours Queenstown
  • Likely to Sell Out
Hot Deal
Ziptrek EcoTours Queenstown
by Ziptrek Ecotours
From
Save
Includes levy
Te Anau Glowworm Caves Tour
Hot Deal
Te Anau Glowworm Caves Tour
by Real Journeys
From
Save
Includes levy
The Original  Kawarau Bridge Bungy Jump in Queenstown
  • Likely to Sell Out
Hot Deal
The Original Kawarau Bridge Bungy Jump in Queenstown
by AJ Hackett
From
Save
Includes levy
Milford Sound Scenic Cruise with Optional Transfers
Hot Deal
Milford Sound Scenic Cruise with Optional Transfers
by Real Journeys
From
Save
Includes levy
Mount Cook Tour from Queenstown
Hot Deal
Mount Cook Tour from Queenstown
by GreatSights New Zealand
From
Save
Includes levy
Doubtful Sound Day Cruise and Coach from Queenstown, Te Anau or Manapouri
Hot Deal
Doubtful Sound Day Cruise and Coach from Queenstown, Te Anau or Manapouri
by Real Journeys
From
Save
Includes levy
Glacier Landing 35 Minute Scenic Flight Wanaka
Hot Deal
Glacier Landing 35 Minute Scenic Flight Wanaka
by Aspiring Helicopters
From
Save
Includes levy
TSS Earnslaw Cruises & Walter Peak Farm Tours
  • Best Seller
Hot Deal
TSS Earnslaw Cruises & Walter Peak Farm Tours
by Real Journeys
From
Save
Includes levy
Queenstown Lord of the Rings Tours
  • Best Seller
Hot Deal
Queenstown Lord of the Rings Tours
by Nomads Safaris
From
Save
Includes levy
Shotover Canyon Fox And Swing Combo
  • Best Seller
Hot Deal
Shotover Canyon Fox And Swing Combo
by Shotover
From
Save
Includes levy
Full Day Doubtful Sound Kayak Tour
Hot Deal
Full Day Doubtful Sound Kayak Tour
by Go Orange
From
Save
Includes levy
Queenstown Skydive and Rafting Combos
Hot Deal
Queenstown Skydive and Rafting Combos
by Queenstown Combos
From
Save
Includes levy
Queenstown Scenic Helicopter Flights
  • Likely to Sell Out
Hot Deal
Queenstown Scenic Helicopter Flights
by The Helicopter Line
From
Save
Includes levy
Wanaka Tandem Skydiving
  • Best Seller
Hot Deal
Wanaka Tandem Skydiving
by Skydive Wanaka
From
Save
Includes levy
Dart River Jet Boat and 4WD Wilderness Safari from Queenstown
Hot Deal
Dart River Jet Boat and 4WD Wilderness Safari from Queenstown
by Dart River Adventures
From
Save
Includes levy
Scenic Lake Cruise from Queenstown
Hot Deal
Scenic Lake Cruise from Queenstown
by Million Dollar Cruise
From
Save
Includes levy
Queenstown Horse Riding Tours
Hot Deal
Queenstown Horse Riding Tours
by Ben Lomond Horse Treks
From
Save
Includes levy
Nevis Catapult in Queenstown
Hot Deal
Nevis Catapult in Queenstown
by AJ Hackett Nevis Catapult
From
Save
Includes levy
Milford Sound and Mt Cook Two Day Combo
Hot Deal
Milford Sound and Mt Cook Two Day Combo
by GreatSights
From
Save
Includes levy
Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour to Queenstown Wineries
Hot Deal
Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour to Queenstown Wineries
by Wine Hopper Bus
From
Save
Includes levy
Hollyford Track 3 Day Guided Walk
Hot Deal
Hollyford Track 3 Day Guided Walk
by Hollyford Track
From
Save
Includes levy
4 Day 3 Night Milford Track Walking Package
Hot Deal
4 Day 3 Night Milford Track Walking Package
by Go Orange
From
Save
Includes levy
TSS Earnslaw Walter Peak Gourmet BBQ Dinner
  • Likely to Sell Out
Hot Deal
TSS Earnslaw Walter Peak Gourmet BBQ Dinner
by Real Journeys
From
Save
Includes levy
Arrowtown Wanaka Full Day Tour Departing Queenstown
Hot Deal
Arrowtown Wanaka Full Day Tour Departing Queenstown
by Remarkable Scenic Tours
From
Save
Includes levy
Milford Sound Scenic Helicopter Flight
Hot Deal
Milford Sound Scenic Helicopter Flight
by The Helicopter Line
From
Save
Includes levy
Shotover Jet Helicopter and Rafting Package
  • Best Seller
Hot Deal
Shotover Jet Helicopter and Rafting Package
by Queenstown Combos
From
Save
Includes levy
Kawarau River Canoes and Rafts
Hot Deal
Kawarau River Canoes and Rafts
by Go Orange
From
Save
Includes levy
Routeburn 2 Day 1 Night Walking Track
Hot Deal
Routeburn 2 Day 1 Night Walking Track
by Go Orange
From
Save
Includes levy
Shotover Jetboat and Shotover River Rafting Package
Hot Deal
Shotover Jetboat and Shotover River Rafting Package
by Totally Tourism
From
Save
Includes levy
Glenorchy Skydiving
Hot Deal
Glenorchy Skydiving
by Skydive Southern Alps
From
Save
Includes levy
Bungy, Shotover Jetboat Heli and Raft Package
Hot Deal
Bungy, Shotover Jetboat Heli and Raft Package
by Queenstown Combos
From
Save
Includes levy
Cardrona Alpine Resort Transport and Lift Package
Hot Deal
Cardrona Alpine Resort Transport and Lift Package
by Real Journeys
From
Save
Includes levy
Milford Sound Overnight Cruises with optional Flight
Hot Deal
Milford Sound Overnight Cruises with optional Flight
by Real Journeys
From
Save
Includes levy
Milford Track Guided Day Walk from Queenstown or Te Anau
Hot Deal
Milford Track Guided Day Walk from Queenstown or Te Anau
by Real Journeys
From
Save
Includes levy
Skyline Gondola and Stargazing
Hot Deal
Skyline Gondola and Stargazing
by Skyline New Zealand
From
Save
Includes levy
Mt Cook Scenic Flight From Wanaka
Hot Deal
Mt Cook Scenic Flight From Wanaka
by Southern Alps Air
From
Save
Includes levy
Skydive Trio inc Skydive Shotover Jet and Raft
Hot Deal
Skydive Trio inc Skydive Shotover Jet and Raft
by Queenstown Combos
From
Save
Includes levy
Cycling Trail Tour ex Dunedin
Hot Deal
Cycling Trail Tour ex Dunedin
by Trail Journeys
From
Save
Includes levy
Queenstown Half Day Winery Tour
Hot Deal
Queenstown Half Day Winery Tour
by Queenstown Wine Trail Tours
From
Save
Includes levy
Otago Wine Tours including Lunch from Queenstown
Hot Deal
Otago Wine Tours including Lunch from Queenstown
by Appellation Central Wine Tours
From
Save
Includes levy
Nomad 4WD Adventure and Shotover Jet Package
  • Best Seller
Hot Deal
Nomad 4WD Adventure and Shotover Jet Package
by Nomads Safaris
From
Save
Includes levy
Humpridge Track 3 Days 3 Night Guided Walk Experience
Hot Deal
Humpridge Track 3 Days 3 Night Guided Walk Experience
by Humpridge Track
From
Save
Includes levy
Twilight Wine and Craft Beer Tour Departing Queenstown
Hot Deal
Twilight Wine and Craft Beer Tour Departing Queenstown
by Altitude Tours
From
Save
Includes levy
Skyline Gondola Dinner and Stargazing
Hot Deal
Skyline Gondola Dinner and Stargazing
by Skyline New Zealand
From
Save
Includes levy
Routeburn 4 day 3 night Walking Track
  • Best Seller
Hot Deal
Routeburn 4 day 3 night Walking Track
by Go Orange
From
Save
Includes levy
Load more . . .
Unfortunately there was an error. Please try again later.

Top 10 Restaurants in Queenstown, NZ

Author
by Experience Oz + NZ staff
| share this

As one of New Zealand’s most popular travel destinations for international visitors, Queenstown is often the first port of call for those travelling to NZ for the first time.

While its ski and adventure experience scenes get the most press, the charming resort town also boasts a surprisingly strong culinary scene to offer visitors and locals alike, with the added benefit of most of its top spots being within easy reach of one another.

As a result, staying in Queenstown and trying a number of quality meals during your stay is both an easy and enticing possibility; simply stroll down the likes of Beach or Shotover Streets and you’ll come across numerous top spots for a bite to eat.

But which dining spots rank amongst Queenstown’s best? Here, we highlight 10 of the best restaurants in Queenstown, covering a balanced range of both cuisine types and budget levels.

1. Botswana Butchery

Content List image

Location: Marine Parade, Queenstown, NZ

Cuisine: New Zealand contemporary

Is this Queenstown’s “best” overall restaurant? While the answer is entirely subjective and will depend on a number of factors including personal taste, it’s hard to argue that Botswana Butchery is anything but the town’s best fine dining and special occasion restaurant.

Make no mistake, this is high-end dining and one must be prepared to pay appropriately, however upon investing your money you’ll come away with few more memorable dining experiences in the region.

The restaurant’s name is somewhat misleading – while meat undoubtedly serves as the focal point, with a large portion of its offerings showcasing contrasting cuts of meat to full effect, there are also plentiful seafood and even vegetarian options on the menu as well; in all, the menu is highly comprehensive so there are few constraints as far as choice is concerned.

Meat lovers will find few better places in which to tantalise their taste buds, however, and while the steak is a mouth-watering signature, the likes of venison tartare and a delectable lamb shoulder rank top on the list of potential dishes.

"It’s hard to argue that Botswana Butchery is anything but the town’s best fine dining and special occasion restaurant."

Add in options for the likes of deer, duck, crab, escargot and various other staples of fine dining all expertly prepared, and it’s nearly impossible to go wrong with the choice of dishes here.

One of Botswana Butchery’s other key highlights is its enormous and expansive wine cellar. Consisting of both local and international labels and complemented by a friendly (and strikingly knowledgeable) sommelier, it’s one of the largest wine selections you’ll come across while dining in New Zealand with a variety to coincide with every dish on the menu in wonderful fashion.

In terms of decor and location, Botswana Butchery is situated within a charming cottage-style building across Lake Wakatipu that is plush and luxuriant inside and is very elegant and well-laid-out in terms of interior design. Private dining rooms on offer add an extra layer of exclusivity to the dining experience, too, yet it remains formal without ever feeling over the top or stuffy.

Service is faultless here in terms of both attitude and pairing recommendations, and diners can cap off the night by heading to the lovely lounge bar upstairs – a great spot at which to retire after a lovely meal. While you may not visit here too regularly, you’ll no doubt remember each trip to Botswana Butchery fondly.

2. Eichardt’s Bar & Dining

Content List image

Location: Marine Parade, Queenstown, NZ

Cuisine: Bar & Tapas

This hybrid bar/restaurant ticks a number of boxes when it comes to being an easy to recommend go-to dining option for perhaps the broadest range of travellers possible.

Eichardt’s specialises in tapas, but it’s done in a high-end and substantially-filling fashion while providing a venue that’s comfortable and historic, well-located, and utterly friendly across the board. It’s a small sized multi-purpose option that features industrial-style decor with a roaring open fire, and a welcoming old-world feel to its ambience.

The venue is quite romantic inside, with guests able to find a little corner all to themselves, and a cosy atmosphere exemplified from the deep, old leather chairs in the lobby through to the overall snug layout of the dining area.

It’s also another spot with great lake views, particularly should you chance to be seated by the windows and serves as prime real estate to sit back and watch the world of both Queenstown locals and international travellers go by.

"It’s a small sized multi-purpose option that features industrial-style decor with a roaring open fire, and a welcoming old-world feel to its ambience."

Dining at Eichardt’s is focused around its robust tapas menu, and as such it’s a restaurant where you’ll get to sample a broad cross-section of flavours; the mantra of meant to be shared applies here.

While tapas may have its critics, the ability to eat as you go avoids the sometimes irksome issue of either under or over-ordering that the typical entree-main-dessert trio often lends itself to. Many of the tapas dishes here are unique to boot, with standouts such as the roasted beetroot with smoked ricotta, slow-cooked brisket, lamb cheeks and various others all proving mouth watering and reasonably filling.

These are good sized portions without being over the top, and they’re all beautifully plated which adds an extra sense of care. Lovely profiteroles serve as a great capper, as do some of the excellent drinks on offer at the attached bar (which also helps make waiting for your seat a joy as opposed to a chore).

The staff here are friendly and fun to have a chat with and add to the already great overall blend of quality, warmth and style.

In all, Eichardt’s is an ideal choice of spots when you don’t know exactly what else to choose or are having trouble deciding; the sheer degree of quality variation in dishes here means the something for everyone cliche truly applies. In this sense, it’s hard to beat in terms of versatility and flexible dining enjoyment.

3. Rata

Content List image

Location: Ballarat Street, Queenstown, NZ

Cuisine: New Zealand contemporary

Staking its claim on the back of the reputation of famed chef Josh Emett, Rata has plenty to live up to expectations-wise but definitely delivers, offering diners a very sophisticated menu alongside fine dining in a relaxed environment that borders on surprisingly casual given the restaurant’s overall quality of both food and service.

Rata is another of those places you won’t discover simply by wandering around Queenstown as it’s nestled in an odd spot amongst some of the town’s older heritage buildings, however stepping inside it’s anything but old or tired.

The decor at Rata reflects the overall experience of this restaurant nicely; blending together both the modern and the rustic in elegant fashion, it utilises some well-done use of natural light to provide an open and airy feel, with some interesting New Zealand forestry motifs adorning one wall a nice touch in particular.

It’s obvious that a high degree of pride was taken when planning such a layout, and this pride carries over to all other aspects of the dining experience at Rata as well from service and meal quality to the presentation.

"Rata offers diners a very sophisticated menu alongside fine dining in a relaxed environment that borders on surprisingly casual given the restaurant’s overall quality."

Each dish is plated beautifully regardless of if it’s on the lunch or dinner menus, and servings here are also ample as opposed to the trends of some comparative fine dining establishments that feel they can skimp on quality for the sake of appearances.

There are a number of standout dishes on the eclectic menu that crosses barriers between New Zealand, Asian and some touches of Euro-influences as well; Beef Wellington, truffle soup, and a salmon & leek main are all terrific, however, it’s the unassuming honey and goat’s cheese profiteroles that steal the show.

Desserts here also warrant a special mention as they’re quite different from the norm and delectable across the board; salted caramel balls are a speciality and get the mixed battle of savoury-vs-sweet just right. Repeat visits are rewarded with a regularly updated menu that changes alongside the seasons, with a wonderful cross-section of dishes covered throughout the year.

If there was one word to best describe dining at Rata, it would likely be “refined”; its service is friendly and courteous, its dishes modern and satisfying, and its overall atmosphere classy without being at all stuffy. It’s another standout that adds yet more credibility to Queenstown’s already impressive dining scene.

4. The Bunker

Content List image

Location: Cow Lane, Queenstown, NZ

Cuisine: Euro-New Zealand fusion

If you’re in Queenstown and looking to enjoy a reliable and memorable fine dining experience without any of the typical pretentiousness that goes with it, The Bunker offers an excellent spot in which to do so.

Tucked away down a relatively obscured laneway, it’s a place that’s often easy to miss, yet well worth seeking out; the size of the venue is small and feels inherently exclusive, which adds to what is an excellent all-around balance of atmosphere, service, and delectable French-inspired food.

The Bunker is split into two levels – the bottom a restaurant, and upstairs a bar – and boasts a subdued atmosphere for diners that brings with it a truly cosy feeling. Dim lighting is used to create an intimate atmosphere that’s especially appealing during those cold Queenstown winter nights, with the lighting going hand-in-hand with the dark wooden decor to create a classy aspect.

The roaring open fire adds an extra dash of life to the proceedings, and the limited number of tables on offer – seating seems to be for roughly 20 – 25 people at most – makes you feel like you’re one of the lucky ones.

"The size of the venue is small and feels inherently exclusive, which adds to what is an excellent all-around balance of atmosphere, service, and delectable French-inspired food."

Menu-wise, the Bunker’s is interesting and quite varied, incorporating a liberal use of quality local produce throughout while co-opting influences from both France and local New Zealand style fare to make for a delightful fusion of tastes to try. How deep a dive you wish to go into its offerings can vary quite drastically; the tasting plates for two are a great way to get started and get the palate ready for further marvels to come.

Duck liver parfait is done with an extremely smooth texture, venison is melt-in-your-mouth tender, and pork belly is sublime, while those having trouble choosing can instead opt for an extended 7-course degustation menu that covers an excellent cross-section of the restaurant’s dishes and flavours.

This is all rounded out by a lovely wine list and the chance to sample some expertly-made cocktails either before or afterwards from the upstairs area as well. Service is personalised and attentive without being overly intrusive, with all dishes explained expertly and with a warm and courteous attitude.

Due to its popularity and limited seating, if you’re planning to dine at The Bunker be sure to book well in advance to ensure this wonderful spot does not go missing.

5. Fergburger

Content List image

Location: Shotover Street, Queenstown, NZ

Cuisine: Burgers

It’s relatively rare for what is essentially a “burger joint” to make a list of best restaurants, but Fergburger has been such an integral part of Queenstown for so long now and does what it does so well, that any first-time trip here makes a trip to Ferg’s a must-do.

There’s a reason it’s not uncommon to see huge lineups down the street consisting of those wanting to order one of its famous burgers; the place has become famous due to the sheer quality of its offerings.

Fergburger has a particularly strong reputation among backpackers, however this isn’t the simple and cheap fast-food-esque burger one might typically expect for such a demographic; a burger by itself here will set you back something in the realm of $12, but it’s an investment that turns out to be more than well worth it every time.

The burgers at Fergburger are huge, their patties are thick and juicy, their buns are crispy and fresh, and all of the ingredients contained within are doubly so.

"There’s a reason it’s not uncommon to see huge lineups down the street consisting of those wanting to order one of its famous burgers."

There’s not even such an extensive variety of burgers on offer here; it’s just that each one is so great it’s nearly impossible to make a wrong choice, be it the favoured Southern Swine or – for those wanting a challenge – opting to try the My. Big Stuff.

An excess of quality toppings on each burger does make for some messy eating, but in this case, it’s all part of the fun. Don’t let those long queues fool you, either; the restaurant is almost eternally busy yet operates like a well-oiled machine, with burgers dispensed post-haste without ever compromising on their quality.

Located right in the centre of Queenstown and thus hard to miss, it’s difficult to rank a burger restaurant alongside such different and more standard dining venues, however, Fergburger is well worth a spot on any Queenstown must-eat list.

6. Ivy & Lola’s

Content List image

Location: Beach Street, Queenstown, NZ

Cuisine: NZ cosmopolitan

Another Steamer Wharf establishment, Ivy & Lola’s is a locally owned and operated hybrid between restaurant, bar and all-purpose dining hub, that augments its lovely waterfront location with a quaint and charming atmosphere and excellent service.

Low-key, subdued and altogether snug, this venue serves as a great dining spot for breakfast and dinner alike while also doubling as an excellent location to enjoy a drink while taking in the sunset over the water and the Remarkables.

Ivy & Lola’s is enjoyable to dine at both inside and out, with a great view of the lake and blankets and heaters dispensed to visitors to help make the outside dining experience during cold season much more comfortable.

It has an atmosphere all of its own that helps differentiate itself from many other Queenstown restaurants, rounded out by quirky decors such as old radios and other trinkets that provide an extra sense of character. It’s classy without ever feeling pretentious even though the restaurant ranks towards the mid-to-upper echelon of dining options in town.

"Low-key, subdued and altogether snug, this venue serves as a great dining spot for breakfast and dinner alike."

Of course, all of this would be for nothing if the food was substandard, however, this is far from the case; this locally owned and operated venue offers guests a menu with excellent variation and – as with many other entrants on this list – characteristically huge servings for the money spent.

Each of the meals on offer excellent in their own way, with highlights including delectably tender venison, a gorgeous pork belly, and the unusually yet wonderfully original mussels in apple and mustard sauce.

The breakfast menu is likewise robust, and although it leans towards the savoury rather than the sweet, there’s enough variety to make for a gorgeous morning meal here (be sure to try the Eggs Benedict).

All the cuisine is locally-sourced and it shows; freshness is a key feature of many of the restaurant’s dishes, which come with a wide array of gluten-free options for those so inclined, too.

Close to the centre of Queenstown to be in the thick of it all yet still feeling somehow cosy and secluded, there are few better multi-purpose dining spots that serve so many purposes so well as Ivy & Lola’s – whether that be breakfast, a drink, or simply enjoying a coffee while soaking in the panorama from the deck.

7. Atlas Beer Cafe

Content List image

Location: Beach Street, Queenstown, NZ

Cuisine: Bar & Eatery

Sitting in a picturesque waterfront location at the end of the wharf overlooking Lake Wakatipu, Atlas Beer Cafe is small in size but big on variety, and excels in providing visitors with the chance to both samples a wide range of local and exotic brews while also getting a very reasonably-priced feed.

It’s not only home to a friendly, lively and eclectic atmosphere but serves as a solid go-to choice for a great meal without breaking the bank and thus ranks amongst the most reasonably-priced spots in town as far as value for money is concerned.

The foremost focus of Atlas is a location where visitors can sample a surprisingly extensive array of beers given the venue’s size; there are dozens of craft beers to choose from here, with a number of highly regarded NZ drops from all over the country as well as a standout sparkling ale that goes down super easy and a terrific pale ale straight from Wellington.

For the uninitiated, bar staff are willing to allow you to sample a taste of a few different varieties before committing to a pint, too, which comes off as an extra level of customer care and attention to detail that helps to add to the already welcoming feeling it provides.

"It’s not only home to a friendly, lively and eclectic atmosphere but serves as a solid go-to choice for a great meal without breaking the bank."

Food-wise, don’t expect anything fancy or flash – it’s pub style fare all the way – however it’s done exceptionally well at Atlas and at a more than respectable price point. The restaurant has a reputation as the steak place among locals for a reason; steaks here are large, perfectly cooked, easy to cut and great value for your dollar; they come accompanied by fries and salad as well as a choice of dipping sauces.

It may not sound mind-blowing, however, in what is basically a tourist town, getting all this for around $20 represents something of a steal. Seafood fans will enjoy the wonderfully done mussels here, too.

The atmosphere and decor-wise Atlas is charming in its own way; its interior is relatively tiny given its popularity and thus there is limited seating indoors, however, there’s plenty of space to drink and dine outside and the outlook makes this worthwhile anyway. It’s staffed by some truly friendly and talkative people that help make Atlas a great spot for first-timers to Queenstown to visit and gain more knowledge of what to see and do in the area, all while enjoying a quality drop.

Dispensing quality brews & top views all at a reasonable price – what more could a visitor to Queenstown want?

8. Blue Kanu

Content List image

Location: Church Street, Queenstown, NZ

Cuisine: Pacific fusion

This relatively new addition to the Queenstown dining scene scores major points for originality and flair, offering something completely different to its more traditional and established lineup of restaurants. Both in terms of its menu offerings and its decor, Blue Kanu makes a solid attempt at bringing another part of the world and planting it firmly in the heart of a New Zealand tourist town, and this it does so admirably and in a variety of ways.

The most immediately obvious thing upon making a visit here is the decor; there’s been no attempt made at subtlety, albeit in an entirely good way – the restaurant has been decked out in a funky and vibrant motif that incorporates icons and imagery from throughout the Pacific.

This is augmented by the liberal use of coloured lighting that helps set the scene for dining in the midst of an island nation – with the food only serving to reinforce this fact.

Blue Kanu’s menu incorporates strong influences from both Pacific and Asian cuisines to produce an interesting blend of tastes that most likely would not have encountered previously. It’s a fun place to dine for the potential for simply trying new things, and as much of the menu is oriented around sharing, it makes for a wonderful way to take in a greater variety of flavours in one sitting.

"The fact that Queenstown is relatively lacking in other quality Indian offerings only helps the Spice Room to stand out even more."

While larger meals are also available, going the tapas-style route at Blue Kanu encourages more experimentation, and the generous portion sizes mean you’ll never be left wanting this way.

Standout dishes include the steamed pork buns, wonderfully done Kokoda and sticky pork ribs among countless others, with all of them well priced. The restaurant also offers live music some nights of the week as well as a heated outdoor seating area for cooler nights, rounding out its overall atmosphere.

Throw in some friendly and outgoing service from entrance to payment that seems to consist mainly of local staff for an extra layer of authenticity, and you’ve got a great and original venue in Queenstown for dining in a fun and upbeat setting.

9. Farelli’s Trattoria

Content List image

Location: Beach Street, Queenstown, NZ

Cuisine: Italian

This quaint venue with warm and welcoming service has one particular standout feature that other restaurants in the area can’t match: simply put if you’re looking for the best pasta in Queenstown, this is the place to go.

Located amongst the complex at Steamer Wharf, Farelli’s Trattoria isn’t a fine dining venue – it’s largely casual and carries with it a laid-back atmosphere – however it’s host to meals that feature excellent pasta in its various forms that are both flavoursome and hearty.

The pasta here stands out for both its taste and texture, as it’s obviously home-made rather than purchased externally, and its utilised as a base for wonderful effect in dishes that come in extremely generous portions.

There’s no skimping on the prawns and other shellfish here, for example, and even the entrees are filling enough to serve as a substitute main for those who aren’t too hungry as the sizes of mains are huge and represent tremendous value for money.

"Simply put: if you’re looking for the best pasta in Queenstown, this is the place to go."

Gnocchi, in particular, is a standout that’s filling to boot, while the squid ink linguini is another menu highlight that the more adventurous diner should definitely sample. Steak is also very well done here in terms of both quality and inherent level of tenderness.

While the menu is slightly limited, this has been done intentionally so in order to focus on what Farelli’s does best, and it shows.

The menu does a good job of being both vegan and vegetarian-friendly as well and is rounded out by a solid wine and beer selection with which to accompany the meals.

Atmosphere-wise, the decor here is lovely and comes with an authentically “Italian” look that feels natural rather than forced or cheesy, with the restaurant’s fireplace making for a comfortable and cosy spot to enjoy a winter meal, too. Fans of Italian food will find that a meal at Farelli’s checks all the requisite boxes, and then some.

10. The Spice Room

Content List image

Location: Shotover Street, Queenstown, NZ

Cuisine: Indian

What’s one of the most satisfying ways to warm up after a full day on the Queenstown slopes? Sampling one of the excellently-spiced meals from the aptly-named The Spice Room has to rank as one of the top methods, offering a number of excellent renditions of staple dishes of Indian cuisine at a very reasonable price point.

The fact that Queenstown is relatively lacking in other quality Indian offerings only helps the Spice Room to stand out even more, and it carries with it a more modern and upmarket feel than the average restaurant of its ilk.

The restaurant is fairly hidden and unassuming given its upstairs location, however upon entering the strong and tantalising aromas that permeate the air are a welcome indicator of things to come.

Incredibly attentive staff do a greet-and-seat on arrival, and the lovely lounge area makes for an enjoyable dining atmosphere; should you be seated by the windows, you’ll also have a nice view looking down over the street to boot.

"The fact that Queenstown is relatively lacking in other quality Indian offerings only helps the Spice Room to stand out even more."

The Spice Room hangs its hat on taking typical flavours and dishes of the Indian cuisine done with an original spin that help them stand out from generic curries and other dishes that you’ll likely come across at the average of such establishments.

In this way, they’re one of the closest chances most will have to try the real thing without actually visiting India itself; all of the goat curry, Tikka Masala and – especially – onion Bhaji are wonderful, while the use of a robust-in-flavour mango chutney adds a welcome contrasting taste.

Even the basics here are done very well; meat used within meals trends towards incredibly fresh and tender, while the naan bread is lovely and doughy as well. In all, expect a great depth of flavour that comes with highly customised levels of spice depending on your personal tastes to avoid any unpleasantness (both during dining and thereafter).

There are substantial wine and cocktail lists from which to choose here, too, with some of the wines serving as surprisingly good complements to many of its meals.

Top 10 Things to do in Queenstown, NZ

Author
by Experience Oz + NZ staff
| share this

Queenstown is easily one of the most popular travel spots for international travellers making their first trip to New Zealand, and it's got a much-deserved great reputation for blending adventure and thrills into a single, wonderful package.

This energetic resort town found on the shores of picturesque Lake Wakatipu in NZ's Otago region holds the unofficial title of “Adventure Capital of the World”, and upon first glance at all the things to see and do, it isn't hard to see why.

Bordered by the ruggedly scenic sight of the Remarkables mountain range, Queenstown contrasts with many other typically “scenic” destinations by being more upbeat and activity-focused rather than taking a “relax and absorb” approach – although this option is obviously available if that's what you're looking for.

Simply put, if you're the active type, you'll never be bored in the Queenstown region, as its variety of terrain and geographical location make experiencing a wide range of different things to do – from snow, to water, to nightlife, to adrenaline, there's plenty to keep visitors occupied during their time in this essential South Island destination.

If you're planning to visit the adventure capital, here are 10 of the top things to do in Queenstown, NZ and its surrounding areas.

1. Skyline Queenstown: Gondola, Luge & more

Content List image

Location: Brecon Street, Queenstown, NZ

The prime focal point of many first visits to Queenstown - and the best way to get outstanding views of Queenstown's natural spectacle - is offered by its popular gondola service of the Skyline Queenstown complex which can be seen from the ground conveying visitors to the top of the lookout point Bob's Peak.

Designed to save your legs while also providing a great vantage point to take in the panorama, the Queenstown Skyline Gondola is a quick, comfortable and convenient way to get the best views available while also giving you the chance to enjoy the numerous activities on offer at the top of the hill – it's also quite steep and ascends rather quickly, which can be a little disconcerting for those not comfortable with heights.

It's highly recommended when you hop in the gondola to position yourself facing with your back towards the hill, as it's all over quite quickly and you'll want to make sure you can take in the wonderful 220 degree outlook along the way. In addition, it's hardly simply a ride-up-to-the-top-and-leave experience; while the Gondola offers easy access to the views, the multitude of activities and facilities above the peak are more than enough to keep you and the family entertained for the whole day.

In terms of facilities, there's a decked-out restaurant with buffet style food (available as an optional bundle with the gondola), a well-equipped cafe which provides substantial meals in its own right, a reasonably-priced gift shop where you can pick up a keepsake of your Queenstown adventures, and well maintained toilets so you'll never have to simply “hold it in” like at many other lesser equipped lookout points.

"Designed to save your legs while also providing a great vantage point to take in the panorama, the Queenstown Skyline Gondola is a quick, comfortable and convenient way to get the best views available while also giving you the chance to enjoy the numerous activities on offer at the top of the hill."

Likely to be of special interest to those with kids, the luge is one of the more unique experiences in the region and thus it's recommended to buy one of the multi-ride passes (3 rides is a good balance between price and enjoyment) as a single ride probably won't be enough for most.

The ride culminates in an area with a chairlift which can take you back up the hill for another session after you've reached the bottom if you've got multiple rides. As the luge is extremely popular, it's a good idea to make your way up the top to take part earlier in the morning (the track opens at 10am) to try and get your rides in, as crowds and longer waiting times can often be encountered later in the day.

Lastly, keep an eye out for the periodic “Twilight Luge” packages that allow you to save some money while taking part in your luge runs later in the day.

Combine all of the above with plenty of available hiking and biking trails and being an amazing spot for a picnic, and this is one of the most wholesome, entertaining and tourist-friendly days out a family can have during their Queenstown visit.

2. Bungy Jumping with AJ Hackett

Content List image

Location: Shotover Street, Queenstown, NZ

Bungy, bungee, bungie – however you spell it, there's nothing else that means Queenstown quite as much as this. Queenstown is the world's home of bungy jumping, with local company AJ Hackett having started what is now a worldwide phenomenon back in 1988.

What began as a basic thrill-seeking experience where a long elastic cord is attached to the ankles or harness, and the person jumps off a large height has ballooned into offering an increasing range of options for junkies in search of a rush.

Nowadays, this extreme Queenstown experience lets you perform numerous styles of bungy jumps amongst stunning NZ scenery from a platform situated as high as 400m above Queenstown itself.

Featuring a specially-designed Bungy harness, the experience allows both standard jumps as well as special manoeuvres such as spins, flips and much more. In fact, the list of possibilities is so diverse, upon arrival you'll be presented with a special "Jump Menu" that details all the available twists and turns to choose from – bungy jumping has truly come a long way.

"Bungy, bungee, bungie – however you spell it, there's nothing else that means Queenstown quite as much as this - Queenstown is the world's original home of bungy jumping."

Queenstown has been the world’s best known and best loved bungy jump location for more than 20 years for a reason – there's currently three bungy sites each offering a different outlook and style, including the original site of bungy jumping at the bridge above Queenstown's Kawarau River - and it continues to set pulses racing amongst the extreme enthusiasts who visit from all corners of the globe, whether young in age or young at heart.

Whether you're a local looking to push yourself to the limit, an adrenaline lover travelling from abroad, or simply someone wanting to check an item off the bucket list, no trip to Queenstown is complete without a bungy jump – one of New Zealand's original and most popular adventure activities.

3. Go Skydiving with NZONE

Content List image

Location: Shotover Street, Queenstown, NZ

Sensing a thrill-seeking theme here? Queenstown wouldn't be Queenstown without the rushes it provides, and skydiving takes things higher still than any other experience on this list.

Skydiving in itself provides an inherent rush as you free fall from an airplane from several thousand feet above the ground; add to this the incredible Queenstown scenery that awaits below and you have yourself a combination that makes for an unmatchable drop that will get even the most stone-hearted of thrill seekers' blood pumping.

As the birthplace of tandem skydiving in New Zealand, Queenstown serves as the ideal destination for a drop zone, which is located at the base of the majestic Remarkables mountain range, further adding to the panorama that unfolds below as you drop from a maximum height of 15,000 feet.

During the drop, you'll reach speeds of up to 200km/h, and with everything going on with your body plus what your eyes are taking in – crystal clear lakes, snow-capped mountains, fellow skydivers and even Queenstown itself - the sheer sensory overload makes for an incredible experience.

"Add to the skydiving the incredible Queenstown scenery that awaits below and you have yourself a combination that makes for an unmatchable drop that will get even the most stone-hearted of thrill seekers' blood pumping."

The plane ride aboard the provided light aircraft is no slouch when it comes to scenery either, although most will probably be too psyched for the upcoming dive to fully appreciate it!

Skydiving operator NZONE definitely know their stuff as well, having been in operation since 1990 and providing prospective skydivers with all the latest, safest and most state-of-the-art equipment at all times. They run a tight ship, with an operation that is famously professional while still aiming to alleviate the nerves of first-timer skydivers and help them feel safe for what is many a true self-examination as far as confidence goes.

Both professionally-taken photo and USB packages are available for skydivers to purchase after their jump, and while fairly expensive, they're well worth the investment to document what for many will likely only be a once-or-twice in a lifetime experience.

With great service, outstanding views and one of the world's best jump environments, if you're ever planning to skydive at least once in your life then there are few better spots in the world to take the plunge than Queenstown.

4. Skippers Canyon & Shotover Jet

Content List image

Location: Skippers Road, Queenstown, NZ

This wonderful example of New Zealand's back country scenery can be enjoyed on both land and water, with each experience providing a scenic – yet completely different – aspect on its natural highlights. However, it's the high-speed form of entertainment on the water which has long been the main drawcard; no trip to Queenstown is complete without a ride on the Shotover Jet.

There are two main options you'll be presented with here; either take a 4WD tour into the historic and ruggedly beautiful countryside, or hop aboard a jet boat for an exhilarating ride along its famed Shotover River which runs through it. Both experiences are equally impressive – and there's by no means anything stopping you from doing both – but which is most enjoyable will depend on what you want out of your experience here.

The back country exploration option will see you heading out from Queenstown with a group and guide to the scenic and peaceful landscape along Skippers Canyon Road that was once the site of a gold rush back in the 1800's. Prepare for a bumpy yet exciting ride along what is largely a lesser-known – but utterly spectacular – part of the Queenstown region along a narrow road high in the hills bordered by steep cliffs that provide stunning views into the canyon and beyond.

"This wonderful example of New Zealand's back country scenery can be enjoyed on both land and water, with each experience providing a scenic – yet completely different – aspect on its natural highlights."

Making various stops at the best viewpoints, including a couple of spots used in the Lord of the Rings movies, and which allow for a shot of the bright blue Shotover River winding its way through the brilliant greenery and cliff walls which surround it.

This is definitely the choice for visitors who want some great photo opportunities coupled with a dose of informative history about the local Queenstown area.

Those looking to kick things up a notch will enjoy the high-tempo thrills of a jet boat ride aboard the iconic Shotover Jet that cuts its way through the impressively sheer walls of the canyon at speeds of up to 80 kilometres per hour. It's an experience that combines amazing sights with a rush, as during the tour the drivers put the purpose-built jet boats to the test, performing the likes of power brakes and 360 degree spins that will delight adrenaline junkies and leave the weak of bowel feeling uneasy.

This is one of Queenstown's signature experiences, with few other jetboat rides in the world able to match its blend of thrills and beautiful surrounds. The jetboat ride comes combined with the drive to the boat launching point which is scenic in and of itself, and all together makes for one of the best value paid experiences in Queenstown. It's long been iconic of the Queenstown region, and a must-do when visiting.

5. Milford Sound

Content List image

Location: Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park

Milford Sound is one of those natural attractions that lives up to the hype with a fiord that is surrounded by towering mountain peaks covered with lush forest and cascading waterfalls and is home to countless wildlife.

Its remote location thanks to steep cliffs and dense forest make it an untouched natural attraction that seeks to only add to its beauty.

According to Maori legend, the fiord was formed when Tu-te-raki-whanoa (a godly figure) chanted a prayer and carved the narrow valley out of the earth.

Previously only accessible by foot and boat, visitors can now travel to see Milford Sea via road, boat and on incredible scenic flights from Queenstown.

The park is part of Te Wahipounamu, a UNESCO World Heritage site and should be a must do on any New Zealand South Island itinerary.

Among some of the notable sights that visitors can see here are the Mitre Peak that stalls tall at 1,692 metres above sea level plus get close to Lady Bowen and Stirling cascading waterfalls.

Given the thick forest that balance precariously on the sheer cliff faces, a huge number of native New Zealand birds can be found here including Takahe, Kakapo and the alpine parrot, Kea.

"Milford Sound is one of those natural attractions that lives up to the hype with a fiord that is surrounded by towering mountain peaks covered with lush forest, cascading waterfalls and countless wildlife."

Passengers who join a peaceful cruise along the Milford Sound will be delighted to see Little Blue Penguins and the rare and endangered Fiordland Crested Penguin that can only be spotted here or at Stewart Island.

Bottlenose Dolphins and New Zealand fur seals are often sighted playing and darting in and out of the waters so keep your cameras at the ready.

Tours depart daily all year round to Milford Sound from Queenstown via coach to deliver you to the cruise departure point.

And the journey to reach the Fiord is an experience in itself with unbelievable views of the Fiordland National Park with plenty stops along the way for ‘instagrammable’ moments.

Real Journeys take the hassle out of getting to the launch point with a relaxing and scenic journey on their glass- roofed coaches so that you don’t miss out on any of views of the striking mountainous terrain.

Once you arrive, step aboard the cruise for a breathtaking cruise that will take you so close to the cascading waterfalls that you may even catch some of the mist on your face on the outdoor decks of the boat.

See the rainforest, rock walls and wildlife up close and listen to the fascinating stories of the history of the region before returning back to Queenstown.

The glorious photographs speaks for themselves. This is one destination that you do not want to miss.

6. Shotover Canyon Swing

Content List image

Location: Shotover Street, Queenstown, NZ

Built on the edge of a cliff that towers above the Shotover River, the Shotover Canyon Swing is one of Queenstown's most distinctive adrenaline activities.

Those with strong bladders can attempt to defy gravity as they are launched from a 109 metre high cliff edge, free-falling for 60 metres as fast as 150km an hour before the ropes kick in and swing you past the awaiting canyons and rocks below. Sound extreme? Oh, it is.

Aspiring jumpers are presented with a variety of jump options that range from “wild” to “wilder”, with over 70 in total including the likes of tandem, upside down, reverse and even a chair jump, among countless others. The Canyon Swing differs to bungy jumping in that there tends to be a smoother transition from the free-fall-to-swing phase than the rather jarring “snap” of bungy elastic however, which can be more comfortable for some (although in this case, “comfortable” is a relative term).

"Aspiring jumpers are presented with a variety of jump options that range from “wild” to “wilder”, with over 70 in total including the likes of tandem, upside down, reverse and even a chair jump, among countless others."

It certainly serves as a welcome alternative to bungy jumping for those who are not quite ready to take that particular plunge. The professional grade safety harnesses and special release mechanism are all essentials that make the swing a safe proposition, although it's of little comfort once you are standing out on the platform preparing to be launched.

The jump platform itself offers rather stunning views of the canyon and Shotover River, but it's the time once the free-fall portion of the swing is complete where you'll truly be spellbound by your proximity to all the scenery. The setting that the Swing is set in is truly spectacular; high, steep cliffs of layered rock juxtapose with the rushing river and unique rock formations to make the latter portion of the jump quite pleasant as you're winched back up to the tower.

Offering the best of both of Queenstown's worlds, the Shotover Canyon Swing is a dose of pure adrenaline mixed with incredible nature and – and a high level of light-hearted customer service to top it all off.

7. Ride the TSS Earnslaw

Content List image

Location: Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown, NZ

Lake Wakatipu's beautiful waters are one of the core reasons for the landscape surrounding Queenstown being so impressive, and getting out on the waters of the lake itself allows visitors the chance to take in the area from an entirely different vantage point.

It's the third biggest lake in New Zealand, and the clarity of Queenstown's skies couple with the stillness of its waters to produce a mirror-like surface that only serves to add to the natural charm of the area.

One of the most iconic sights of the lake and Queenstown in general is its historic TSS Earnslaw paddle steamer which has been in operation since 1912 and is one of the coal fuelled passenger vessels still in operation today. A ride aboard the Earnslaw will provide you with the ideal way to soak in some of Queenstown's magnificent alpine scenery with an atmosphere of genuine serenity that modern, motor-powered boats simply can't match.

The vessel makes several trips daily from Queenstown across Lake Wakatipu that can either serve as a standalone sightseeing experience – with the chance to explore its vintage decks, bridge and gallery-lined interior – or be bundled with a stop and/or lunch at the nearby Walter Peak High Country Farm.

"It's the third biggest lake in New Zealand, and the clarity of Queenstown's skies couple with the stillness of its waters to produce a mirror-like surface that only serves to add to the natural charm of the area."

This farm is a reminder of traditional European-influenced kiwi lifestyle situated in an idyllic location on the lake's southern shores. While there, you'll be able to visit the holding pens to feed the sheep and deer, and also get up close to the authentic Scottish Highland Cattle before strolling through the lakeside gardens headed towards the Colonel's Homestead for a traditional high country morning or afternoon tea of pikelets and scones.

The TSS Earnslaw has plenty of on board facilities such as a licensed cafe and bar that serves both a selection of cafe-style food, beer, wine and spirits, you'll have access to everything you need to enjoy the cruise on these scenic waters in comfort while soaking in the natural majesty that surrounds you in every direction. The typical sightseeing cruise on the Earnslaw lasts for 1.5 hours, however there are also lunch and dinner cruise options which will be served at the farm's old-style homestead.

You can even disembark, hire a bike and go exploring on one of the bike tracks through the mountains near Walter Peak Farm and then board the TSS Earnslaw for the trip back, so if you're looking to make it more of an extended tour you'll definitely have the chance.

8. Onsen Hot Pools

Content List image

Location: 160 Arthurs Point Rd, Arthurs Point, Queenstown

Just like wine and cheese, therapeutic hot pools and an alpine setting are the perfect combination and the Onsen Hot Pools in Queenstown does not disappoint.

Immerse yourself in your private cedar lined hot pools overlooking the Shotover River and mind blowing mountainous terrain for a 60 minute hot pools session.

Soak in pure fresh water fed directly from the sky through rainfall and natural springs on site at temperatures that are kept at a cosy 38 degrees.

This relaxing experience is a must do experience all year round when you are in Queenstown and is suitable for all ages to reinvigorate the mind, body and soul.

"Soak in pure fresh water fed directly from the sky through rainfall and natural springs on site at temperatures that are kept at a cosy 38 degrees."

Each hot tub is located in its own private cubicle and when you are settled a retractable glass window and roof will open so that you can get an even better view of the scenery before you.

One room can accommodate up to 4 people whether that be 4 adults or 2 adults and 2 children if you want to bring the kids along or indulge in a relaxing experience with your partner.

There is even an icy cold plunge pool for a refreshing wake up call after your hot pools experience.

The Onsen Hot Pools are located in Arthurs Point with a regular shuttle service operating hourly on request for guests needs a transfer from Queenstown.

The Onsen Hot Pools are open 7 days a week from 10am to 11pm daily.

9. Go Skiing and Snowboarding

Content List image

Location: Various locations, Queenstown, NZ

The magnificence of New Zealand's Southern Alps isn't just a pretty site – their numerous mountainous terrains are also home to some great runs during ski season that will keep any skier or snowboarder satisfied. Queenstown has four major ski fields that see regular ski traffic throughout the year.

Coronet Peak, which lies just 20 minutes from Queenstown, is the most accessible ski spot from the town and while it experiences only moderate snowfall, with the assistance of snow machines there's more than enough coverage to provide slopes that are suitable for both beginners and the advanced.

Ski season on the peak typically runs from the beginning of June to early October, and it offers the longest opening hours of any ski facility in New Zealand.

More advanced skiers or those wanting consistently better coverage may want to instead make the further trip to The Remarkables ski fields which are around 30-45 minutes from Queenstown. This area has older facilities than those of Coronet Peak, however its atmosphere tends to be more relaxed, with a larger variety of runs of various levels as well as different ways of skiing down the same terrain.

"Fresh, crisp alpine air, soft white snow, cool temperatures and an amazing range of mountains — the winter in Queenstown is every skier and snowboarder’s dream."

Powdery-soft snow and a series of char lifts that take you higher than those of Coronet Peak round out the experience, and while it's a less accessible spot and has a slightly shorter ski season (ends in September), with a series of new developments underway set to open soon, the Remarkables make for a wider – and incredibly scenic – ski spot.

Higher level skiers can venture even further to the Harris Mountains right in the heart of the Southern Alps, with helicopter ski experiences allowing access to the primest of powder and sickest of slopes available in the greater Queenstown region. A range of heli-ski packages are available encompassing varying difficulties and runs on terrain that is custom suited to your individual ability.

On a heli-ski trip, your guide will lead you to an area of terrain suited to your ability and get you started with all the necessary ski and safety equipment provided to best ensure that you can be free of worries and fears and simply embrace the stunning scenery and awesome fun that heli-skiing provides. It will obviously cost you a significant chunk of change, but if you're after the ski experience to end all ski experiences, you can't go wrong here.

Fresh, crisp alpine air, soft white snow, cool temperatures and an amazing range of mountains — the winter in Queenstown is every skier and snowboarder’s dream.

10. Scenic Flights

Content List image

Location: Various Locations, Queenstown

Queenstown’s location surrounded by The Remarkables mountain range, Mt Cook and several famous glaciers such as the Franz Josef and Tasman Glacier make scenic flights the ideal way to explore the incredible terrain from up above.

The mountains are called The Remarkable for a very good reason and Helicopter Line aims to go ‘above and beyond’ literally by taking visitors on scenic flights with experienced and friendly pilots who also double as pretty great photographers.

For a taste of the Queenstown panorama, you can join a 20 minute flight which will take you over the township and inland Lake Wakatipu.

Survey the land and snow capped mountains below with landscapes so beautiful it’s almost hard to believe what you are seeing is real.

Survey the land and snow capped mountains below with landscapes so beautiful it’s almost hard to believe what you are seeing is real.

For some, just flying in a helicopter in an alpine paradise is a thrill but when you add the exciting opportunity to make an alpine snow landing it doesn’t get much better.

A 30 minute mountain helicopter flight is available taking visitors over some of New Zealand’s peaks and glaciers with the exciting opportunity to make an alpine landing on snow.

This is a unique experience and a makes for a special photo with the ability to get out of the helicopter once it has safely landed, stand in snow and pose for a photograph with an unbelievable backdrop.

For many Australians, the chance to see snow let alone land in a glacier and stand on snow is quite the novelty experience and something you won’t forget in a hurry.

To really appreciate the grand scale and beauty of Queenstown and surrounds a scenic flight should be on your top ten things to do.

top