As you would have seen from our Instagram stories last month, I was down in Queenstown to celebrate my husbands birthday weekend!
It’s been about 10 years since I was last here, and boy have things changed. Although it’s always been a busy town, especially with people coming for the ski season, I remember the last time I visited there was only the local supermarket to buy any grocery food from. But now it’s a busy hub of shopping, restaurants, and action-packed activities.
When we arrived on Saturday morning it was a beautiful summer’s day and we were left regretting not wearing shorts, however by the time we left on Monday we were snowed in! Crazy how quickly the weather can change in New Zealand.
This post is not in anyway sponsored and the accommodation/food/activities were all paid for by me. I just left this beautiful city wanting to:
1. See more and
2. Tell you all about it.
Here are my top tips for Queenstown, but if you have any questions just yell out.
Get the Bus!
Whenever I’m in another city, whether it’s here or abroad, I always forget about the added cost of traveling. However, the Otago Regional Council have a service called GoCard which means that you can travel ANYWHERE on their service for just $2. That’s right, it’s not a typo, $2!
If you’re arriving from the Airport then all you need to do is visit the Milford Sound Scenic Flight desk and pay for a card. Best of all we only needed one between the two of us.
The bus service leaves regularly and was always on time for us, even when it was snowing! They have a timetable on their website which was such a blessing as we could see exactly what time the next bus was coming with ease.
This service isn’t just for the local CBD either, you can get the bus to places like Remarkable Park, Arthurs Point and Arrowtown (just to name a few), and again all for just $2.
Because there’s always lots of things going on in Queenstown, before you go and book your flights, make sure you check that there are no events on. I, unfortunately, didn’t do this and ended up being caught up in Queenstown Marathon madness.
My next tip for accommodation is to not stress about staying right in the CBD. We stayed a short bus ride away on Fernhill at the Heritage Queenstown. Although the resort was a little tired in areas, it was still a great complex, the staff were lovely and the bus stop was directly outside the hotel.
We wouldn’t really call ourselves foodies, and normally when we travel we spend our food money on exciting experiences and then eat 2-minute noodles in our room later. However, because it was hubbies birthday I wanted to have a couple of places pre-booked.
We tried Jervis Steak House on Saturday night and then Madam Woo on Sunday night. Both very different styles, but equally just as delicious.
Plus of course, we went to the iconic Ferg Burger! Surprisingly cheap and were really yummy.
Now this one is a must for when you visit Queenstown. I tried to book 6 months in advance but still couldn’t get a booking. However, I directly emailed them and asked to go on a waiting list, and thank god I did! On Saturday I had a call to see if we could be there at 9:30 am the next day.
This was one of the highlights of my trip. You feel like you’ve been whisked away to another world, where there’s just you and the wilderness around you. We decided to add-on the food and drink extra which was a lovely touch to the experience.
Next time I go I definitely want to try the massage and spa experience, I could have stayed here all day.
I know there’s a lot to see and do in Queenstown CBD on its own, but you MUST use the $2 bus to spend the day or even half the day out in this beautiful little town.
This historic golding mining town has so many little gems, whether you’re looking for great places to eat or to learn about the mining history in the area.
One of my favourite parts of the trip was discovering Patagonia Ice Cream, seriously I wanted to try every single flavour, and so good since the day we went it was really hot outside.
Arrowtown is not to be missed so you HAVE to put it on your to-do list.