Many people fall in love with Queenstown from the first sight. It’s fun, it’s beautiful and it’s a gateway to many destinations in South island. Visiting Queenstown is an absolute must on any South Island itinerary. We were in Queenstown in February 2018, loved it, and collected some tips for our fellow travelers. So, here we go.
If you are looking for a supermarket, the easiest place to get your groceries is the Four Square Alpine on Stanley&Shotover Street . It’s quite central, so hard not to notice. We, however, found that next time we will skip that and head to FreshChoice on Gorge Road. When trying to save money or just stay healthy by cooking yourself, it’s definitely a better choice, because it’s bigger, has more options and seems to be quite cheaper.
First time visitors in Queenstown: chances are high that you are going to try out luge. It’s fun for the whole family, and its motto is “once is never enough”. However, we found that 3 times is also not enough, so if you can, take 5 rides. The difference is only 3-4 dollars, but you’ll have more fun!
Being one of the most famous burgers on the planet, the small place on Shotover Street is often crowded. Most probably you’re not gonna sit inside and will take your burger to go instead. First advice is to go outside busy times – consider having your fergburger for brunch! Then you might have to wait 15 minutes instead of 75. Second advice – if possible, check out the fergbakery. Their pies might not be that famous, but they are worth trying for sure.
We really recommend to take a dip in the lake Wakatipu. It may be cold (or even freezing), but if the sun is shining and the weather is good, it’s the most refreshing thing you’ll find. Even if you jump in for as short as 3 seconds – it’s a must do for those visiting Queenstown. If you find it impossible, but the sun is still shining, take your time to relax on the beach.
While there are countless activities available in Queenstown, most famous hikes and trails are located outside the town. There are, however, few hikes that you can do in the city. For beginners we recommend to try out Queenstown Hill Town Walk, which is not difficult, but opens up a wonderful view to the mountains, lake and the city itself. The walk to the beginning of the trail is probably more difficult than the trail itself, so it shouldn’t be an issue for people of all kinds of physique. It’s not long and you don’t need do bring a lot of provisions, but make sure to bring enough water. Also, go early in the morning! This way you can catch the sunrise and, if you are lucky as we were, you might have the whole mountain to yourself.
Be careful while driving. This is probably true about anywhere in New Zealand, but not only we heard about accidents, we also witnessed some. Make sure that an experienced driver is behind the wheel, and preferably someone who has is used to the left-hand traffic. Be mindful, let people pass you if you are driving slower and take special care if you are driving a bigger car, van or autocamper. For more tips check out our article about driving in New Zealand.
If you plan on visiting Queenstown, we recommend to book your accommodation in advance. Like, well in advance. Not only because it’s getting more expensive closer to the date, but also because hostels are running out of space. Especially during the summer months.
Hope you’ll enjoy your trip, and feel free to write us if you have any questions about visiting Queenstown!
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