Last year, my older sister moved to Glenorchy, so we decided to spend Christmas and New Years in nearby Queenstown. I was super excited as it was my first time travelling to Queenstown and I couldn’t wait to experience all that it had to offer.
I love that there are so many things to do in Queenstown, and that everyone is catered for, whether you are into adventure sports, being out on the water, tramping, trying new foods, keeping active or just relaxing by a beautiful lake (I especially loved Lake Wakatipu and Lake Wanaka).
Check out the list below of my favourite foodie places (with recommendations), shopping, and activities in Queenstown and beyond:
1. Fergburger – undoubtedly Queenstown’s most iconic foodie experience! However, be prepared to wait over an hour (or more) for your burger, but it is definitely worth it!
Recommended: I loved the Bombay Chicken burger, washed down with a Speights beer
2. Patagonia Chocolates – I fell in love with this place while in Queenstown. Situated on the waterfront, they sell mouthwatering ice cream, desserts, hot and cold drinks, and of course, homemade chocolates. Definitely head to Patagonia if you have a sweet tooth!
Recommended: A scoop (or two) of Patagonia’s dark chocolate and macadamia ice cream, which literally tastes like chocolate mousse.
3. Fat Badgers Pizza Bar – a lively bar serving 12’inch and 20’inch pizzas, bowls of beer and sides like poutine and gourmet hot wings. The music is rockin’, the staff are super friendly and yes, some of their pizzas might be expensive, but they are oh so good. We loved the Mediterranean lamb pizza! They also brew their own beer, which is not half bad.
Recommended: a ‘Badger Bowl’ of beer for $12, poutine and a ‘Get Badger to the Greek’ Mediterranean lamb pizza.
4. Fergbaker – if you’re looking for decent coffee in Queenstown, then look no further than Fergbaker. This quickly became our favourite coffee spot, as our coffee was always strong and extra hot, plus it is only $4 – bonus! Their food cabinets were also consistently filled to the brim with many sweet and savoury foods.
Recommended: A delicious coffee, cheese rolls and an almond croissant or a huge slice of pie!!!
5. Vudu Cafe & Larder – a popular place for breakfast and lunch, this place was constantly buzzing and I can see why! Along with Fergbaker, their cabinet food is some of the best I have ever seen.
Recommended: coffee, falafel sandwich and I loved their raw vegan blueberry cheesecake.
6. Public Kitchen & Bar – offering local cuisine and stunning views of Lake Wakatipu, this restaurant is the perfect place for a celebration or family dinner.
Recommended: Whole baked Riverton flounder, steamed green lipped mussels and Southern clams, lamb stew with homemade pasta and beer battered silver trumpeter
7. Eichardt’s Bar – a cosy yet stylish waterfront bar with comfortable seating and a fireplace. Eichardt’s is definitely the perfect place for a pre-dinner cocktail.
Recommend: One of their cocktails – I particularly enjoyed their ‘Endless Summer’ cocktail with Stolen Rum, guava, passionfruit and lime.
1. Remarkable Sweet Shop – step inside and you will find all things sweet! They make their own fudge and you can sample as many as you like! They also have a massive selection of lollies and chocolates from around the world.
Recommended: creme brulee, peanut butter chocolate and espresso nougat fudge. Also a special mention to the ‘Wanaka chocolate’ they sell – love the 70% and peppermint flavours.
2. Cookie Time – If you are crazy about cookies, then this is the place for you! The smell will hit you when you walk in and you will ooh and ahh at the offerings – soft gooey cookies in all flavours, milkshakes, hot drinks and merchandise to take home.
Recommended: Everyday between 8am to 9am, head down to Cookie Time for $1 coffee – bargain!
1. Visit the Remarkables Market on Saturday morning. We went a few days after Christmas Day and found delicious cherries, fruit and vegetables, all things apricot (including the most amazing apricot jam), fresh juices and smoothies, homewares and clothing, hot coffee, pastries and breads.
2. Ride the Skyline Gondola up to the top for stunning panoramic views of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and the many paragliders. Also, do the luge if you are feeling adventurous – it is a lot of fun!
3. Take a short walk around Bob’s Cove Track. It is an easy stroll through native bush and the water is stunning!
4. Check out Gibbston Valley Cheese. Imagine relaxing in a sunny garden overlooking vineyards while eating gourmet homemade cheeses (and toasted cheese sandwiches), charcuterie and other deli items, accompanied by a glass of Gibbston Valley wine. Sounds bliss… They also have a cute shop selling all their cheeses (our favourite was the goat’s milk feta), chutneys, ice creams, cold drinks, cheese boards and accessories.
5. Head to Lake Wanaka (hiring a car for this one is a must) and spend the day by the lake. You can kayak and paddle board or soak up the sun rays.
6. Drive to Glenorchy (about 25 minutes from Queenstown) to take in the stunning scenery. Also, do a 1 to 2 hour tramp along the Routeburn Track and have a picnic lunch by the Routeburn Flats Hut, surrounded by a stream and mountains with white peaks, which at the time, made us feel like we were in the Sound of Music.
7. While in Glenorchy, definitely do an hour (or day) of horse riding with High Country Horses. I was super nervous at first seeing it was only my second time horse riding, but it was a pleasant ride and I can safely say I would definitely ride a horse again! The horses were very friendly and our lovely guide, Adele, was the best! We rode through Paradise Valley, where the scenery was beautiful and were also shown different areas which were filmed in the Lord of the Rings trilogy – it was very exciting!
I hope you enjoyed my list and I highly recommend a visit to Queenstown (and beyond) – a truly beautiful place with stunning views, fabulous food and friendly people. I cannot wait to go back!