When you ask about the best things to do in Queenstown, most people will give you a long list of outdoor adventure activities: bungy jumping, canyon swinging, hiking, biking, kayaking, paragliding, jumping out of planes… the opportunities for adrenaline junkies are truly endless!
But, you ask, what if I’m not super adventurous? Can I still enjoy Queenstown? As a city girl who loves nothing more than champagne and spa treatments, I say absolutely! You can soak up Queenstown’s picturesque scenery without breaking a sweat—or hurling yourself from 100-meter heights—and that famous New Zealand charm will win over the hearts of all types of travelers.
Here’s my idea of a perfect day in Queenstown, New Zealand:
1. Start with a lovely breakfast overlooking Lake Wakatipu. I recommend staying at a hotel like Azur Lodge or The Rees Hotel that features gorgeous views over the lake right from your room.
Gorgeous views of Lake Wakatipu at Azur Lodge, Queenstown
2. Take a quick 50-minute helicopter ride to glacier country, and land on the surface of a snow-capped glacier for a glass of bubbles with a view. Our friends at The Helicopter Line do a fabulous glacier helicopter excursion and the scenery is stunning!
Helicopter to a glacier in Queenstown. See more of my travel photos from New Zealand and beyond here
3. Back in town, do some shopping—be sure to pick up some iconic Icebreaker wool clothing! Perhaps have lunch at Fergburger, and don’t forget to try a scoop of Hokey Pokey Ice Cream from Patagonia Chocolates.
4. Walk to Kiwi Birdlife Park (at the base of the Skyline Gondola) and catch a feeding of their kiwi birds. I love this quirky little park, and it’s a great way to see a kiwi—New Zealand’s adorable national bird, which is almost impossible to spot in the wild!
Kiwi bird, the national bird of New Zealand. Image: Tourism New Zealand
5. Take another short walk to the Sofitel Queenstown and indulge in a wonderful massage or spa treatment; I like to treat myself to a facial whenever I travel. Relax and enjoy.
6. Head back to the hotel, freshen up, and enjoy a glass of New Zealand wine in front of the fireplace. Then, take a transfer out to Amisfeld Bistro for a Trust the Chef degustation dinner with matching wines (you’ll need reservations). I love this little bistro; it has delectable food and equally wonderful wines. Take your time with a fabulous 3- or 4-hour dining experience and return to town via taxi.
Delicious food and wine at Amisfield Bistro, Queenstown. Image: Tourism New Zealand
7. Lastly, if you aren’t falling asleep from all that lovely wine, go to the Skyline Gondola base and ride up to the top of Bob’s Peak. Soak up breathtaking views high above Queenstown as the city lights sparkle below you. Perhaps have a glass of bubbles and then end with stargazing (a perfect excuse to wear that Icebreakers gear you picked up earlier!).
Ride the Skyline Gondola for gorgeous views and stargazing. Image: Destination Queenstown
Sounds like a perfect day to me! I have spent a lot of time in Queenstown and it’s one of my favorite places in the world, so I’m happy to chat about more ideas of things to do. Give me a call or email me at email@example.com.