The Perfect Summer Holiday in Queenstown

November 26th, 2018

In heart of the South Island’s Central Otago region sits Queenstown, a popular vacation hot spot that boasts a lifetime of experiences in one location. A combination of world class tourist facilities and rugged unspoiled New Zealand landscapes, Queenstown is widely regarded as one of the top vacation destinations in the Southern hemisphere. An all-year resort, Queenstown has plenty to offer guests in both the peak summer and winter seasons. Here we will look at some of the more popular activities Queenstown has to offer in the summer.

A mecca for adventure tourism, Queenstown offers endless diversions for anyone looking to enjoy thrills, chills and spills on their summer holidays. Whether you are in the market for white water rafting, bungy jumping, off-road BMXing, jeboating, ziplining or more, Queenstown has you covered.

Looking for something a little less death-defying and a little more relaxing-in-the-sun on your Queenstown summer vacation? Not to worry! The more sedate pleasures of hiking across the stunning backcountry, leisurely tours of local wineries or long boat rides on Lake Wakatipu are all available.

Queenstown Summer Nature Hikes

Lovers of the great outdoors will love Queenstown – a resort town custom made for ramblers, outdoor explorers and off-road cyclists. There are spectacular hiking and biking trails throughout the region, and plenty of operators that provide guided tours and rent equipment to visitors looking to make the long trek into the wild backwoods of the South Island. One of the more popular trails, the Routeburn Track, requires a multi-day hike to conquer and highlights the moss-covered forests and towering mountain ranges that made Queenstown famous. A shorter trek on the same trail is the Routeburn Encounter, a 13-kilometre hike on some of the most scenic parts of the trail. Milford Sound, once called the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’ by Rudyard Kipling, is another popular destination for nature lovers in Queenstown. The site is accessible via an overnight cruise with an overnight stay in a private cabin.

Summer Water Fun

Jet boating is another fun activity many enjoy during summer. The biggest jetboating operators in Queenstown are Shotover Jet and the Kawarau Jet, operating on the Shotover and Kawarau Rivers. Kawarau Jet will thrill passengers as their turbo charged boats zoom over shallow riverbeds at breakneck speeds, while Shotover Jet sends riders deep into steep canyons and imposing rock faces of the Shotover Gorge. Riders will be on the edge of their seats (literally!) as jetboat drivers skilfully manoeuvre the speeding craft through the raging waters and jagged rock-face of the gorge. Whichever jet boat ride you choose, you are guaranteed the white-knuckle adventure of a lifetime.

Lovers of Food & Wine

The Gibbston Valley and Bannockburn vineyards produce some of the best Pinot Noirs and Rieslings in the world, and open their doors to food and wine aficionados during the summer. A wine tasting tour followed by a gourmet lunch featuring local seasonal specialties among the vines is an unforgettable experience everyone should try at least once. That being said, one does not need to travel to distant vineyards to enjoy some fine dining – there many excellent restaurants in Queenstown itself, mostly along the lakefront.

The sky is the limit with it comes to summertime activities in Queenstown. Treat yourself to a luxurious ‘pamper package’ at The Spa in Millbrook Resort, take a leisurely cruise on board vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw on Lake Wakatipu, enjoy a sumptuous Kiwi barbeque by the lake, or simply stroll the lakeside gardens. Summer is the perfect time to experience the best Queenstown has to offer.

Exploring Queenstown From The Sky, Water And Ground

October 30th, 2018

With endless walking and bike trails, incredible mountain ranges and massive lakes, exploring Queenstown is no mean feat – especially for the first time visitor. Here is a brief look at some of our favourite means of getting around and seeing all Queenstown has to offer, in no particular order:

Bike – Queenstown is a cyclist’s paradise, and guided bike tours can be a fun and relaxing way of exploring the area. Guided tours can range from short day trips to multi-day adventures across the countryside and enjoying the great outdoor views Queenstown has to offer. Furthermore, biking tours offers you the opportunity to find like-minded people who share your passion for cycling in the great outdoors. If you’re an experienced outdoor biker who prefers to go solo, there are plenty of bike shops that will rent you a bike and all the additional kit you need to set out on your own.

Helicopter Scenic flights over Queenstown’s distinctive landscapes is perhaps the ultimate way of exploring the resort town and its surrounding regions. Helicopter tours are available in a number of packages: including trips to Milford Sound, a panoramic trip across Queenstown, and even an Alpine snow landing where the helicopter drops you at the top of the mountain and you get to ski all the way down. Regardless of touring package, a helicopter ride around Queenstown will take your breath away.

Boat – Queenstown is located in New Zealand’s Southern Lakes region, home of some of the most picturesque waterways anywhere in the world. Prominent lakes in the region include Lake Wakatipu (on whose shores lies Queenstown itself), Lake Wanaka and Lake Te Anau. A peaceful lake cruise in these waters taking in the sights and sounds of the waterfront is a great way to spend the day. There are many operators offering a variety of cruising options, from day trips to overnight cruises. Those looking for something a little more adrenalin fuelled can try their hand at jetboating or parasailing, both of which are popular tourist attractions in Queenstown.

Car – The roads in and around Queenstown routinely make it the “Top Ten Scenic Drives in New Zealand” lists, and it’s easy to see why. Surrounded by serene lakes, snow-capped mountains and vast stretches of untouched wilderness, the roads around Queenstown boasts some of the most amazing scenery you will ever see as you drive by. Moving around by car is one of the best ways to take in everything the Southern Lakes region has to offer in the shortest amount of time.

Foot – Walking can be one of the most rewarding ways to explore Queenstown without breaking the budget. Queenstown itself is abuzz with bars, restaurants, cafes and bars, all within close walking distance of your hotel or accommodation. If you want to take your rambles out of town there are many excellent hiking trails in the area. Guided hiking tours are available that can last from a couple of hours to overnight camping excursions.

In Queenstown the adventure always starts just a few steps from your front door. Whatever your means of conveyance, we are sure you will have a great time exploring the best Queenstown has to offer.

Should we rent a car while we’re in Queenstown?

August 16th, 2018

We get asked this question quite a bit throughout the year, and unfortunately our answer is generally the same – it entirely depends on your personal circumstances, budget, and travel desires.  So we’ll try and simplify it a little for you below

1.What are you trying to accomplish whilst you’re in Central Otago?

Is the extent of your intended experiences the amazing tour options available from Queenstown – think AJ Hackett Bungy, NZONE sky-diving, Queenstown Wine Tours, and even day tours to Milford Sound?  Maybe your just looking to enjoy Queenstown itself for it’s hospitality scene, a bit of frisbee golf, and a sit by the lake?

Alternatively, are you looking to explore Central Otago in general?  Grabbing a beer at the Cardrona pub, go-karting at Highlands motorsport park, hiking Paradise and Glenorchy, Mountainbiking in Alexandra – the list can go on and on.

Essentially, if you fall into the ‘former’ category, we’d recommend take the free tour transport available with all experiences, and enjoy the public transport options available to get around town.  If you’re more looking to explore a wider variety of options in the general area, you’ll definitely benefit from your own set of wheels.

2.Is it just yourself, or do you have a group of people/family?

This can go both ways really.  By all means, if you’re travelling by yourself, the cost of renting a car and the petrol associated with it may prove a little prohibitive.  In saying that though, having access to a car when fellow travelers don’t means you’ll generally meet some new people who will be willing to pitch in.

Generally speaking though, if you have a couple of people to split the cost with, a car is a great option for families and groups.  Gives you more flexibility, and will probably prove cheaper than buying 4 x bus tickets from Queenstown to Dunedin.  If you’re travelling by yourself, you could go either way here – refer back to question 1 and make your decision from there!

3.Are you coming to experience more of the South Island or just Queenstown?

Normally in Summer, people tend to come for longer periods of time, and tend to look to experience the whole South Island.  Alternatively, we find in Winter, most people are just coming to Queenstown to hit the skifields, and aren’t looking to ‘explore’ so much.

Your travel plans are going to dictate which is your best option, but much like question 1 – if you’re looking to experience a little more, particularly places/experiences that aren’t on the usual ‘beaten paths’, you’ll probably benefit greatly from your own set of wheels.  The nationwide bus systems are great – Intercity, Naked Bus and Atomic Shuttles – but they can be prohibitive in terms of timing, cost, and scope of where they travel to.  So what exactly are you looking to take in?  A little bit of research of bus timetables can go a long way, and you may find the places you HAVE to visit have been taken care of.  Otherwise it may show you the it’s called ‘the road less traveled’ for a reason, and thus you might have to take yourself!

In Winter it’s pretty simple really.  All of the ski resorts in the surrounding area provide transport to and from, and this is a great option particularly if you are not used to driving in Winter conditions.  If you’ve got a group of people, then by all means look towards a car option, as this will be cheaper for you if you’re going up more than once.  Just make sure at least one of your drivers is confident driving in snow/ice, as this can be an awful predicament during what was meant to be a relaxed holiday.  If you’re by yourself, we would highly recommend to simply take the transport available – it will be cheaper, easier, and most importantly, relaxed!

Parking in Queenstown is like parking in any busy city/town – timing is everything, and be prepared to pay!  It’s a hell of a lot cheaper to pay for parking here than in major destinations though, and if you stay at the best located accommodation in town, we’ll always point you in the right direction for free or cheap options.  Just don’t say we didn’t warn you! 😉

$50 or less in Queenstown

June 27th, 2018

We’ve heard the complaint a few times in recent history – Queenstown is expensive.

Now, we’d like to stop you right there.  Firstly, Queenstown is no different to any other town/city in the western world; If you have expensive tastes, then yeah, your wallet is going to cop a hit.

The big difference though, is unlike Singapore, Sydney and New York, we actually have PLENTY of cheap options for food, drinks, and activities.  Don’t want to pay $40 for a main meal?  Fine!  Want to find a pint of beer that leaves you more than chump change from a $20?  Easy.  Need some entertainment but trying to avoid letting tour operators see the moths fly out of your wallet?  Then this next section is for you.

Drink:  This one is a no-brainer.  Anyone who complains about the price of a drink here – particularly if you’ve ever been to Australia – needs to check where they’re drinking.  Rhino’s Ski Shack, Harry’s Pool Bar, 1876, Loco’s and Searle Lane and Social all have pints starting from $6.  Thereafter, any one of the bars in town offers pints etc. for a still very reasonable $7 or $8.  Sure, there’s a few bars where you’ll pay a premium.  But hey, if money is an issue, maybe don’t go to them?  Also, if you want to have a cheeky bevvy by the beach, go to Henry’s liquor store, or any of the supermarkets for that matter (other than alpine).  The same price of a 6-pack in Australia will get you a 12 pack here – Booyah!

Food:  We covered this a little bit in a previous post – Food, food, FOOD! – but ‘quality’ and ‘cheap’ can actually go in the same sentence in this town.  Pub on Wharf, Atlas, Yonder, World Bar, Habebes, Tham Nak Thai, Searle Lane and Social, Wild Thyme, Loco Cantina, Smith’s Craft Beer Bar, etc. etc. etc.  The list of $20 or less mains and even cheaper lunch options really does just keep going.  And we haven’t even gotten started on all the take away options yet (think Fergburger).  We’ve been to just about every eatery in Queenstown, and the funny thing?  The only ones we’ve walked away from questioning the value and quality are – you guessed it – the expensive options.  You don’t need to worry about quality of fare in this foodies paradise.

Activities:  Okay, we’ll admit, it does get a little harder in this section.  Let’s face it – you’re not going to find a bungy or a skydive anywhere in the world for $50 or less, and we know that’s why you came here to read this part.  There are plenty of cheaper options of things to do here though, so bare with us here.  We’re not going to say go for a hike – you should be considering doing that anyway in our beautiful neck of the woods anyway – plus we already covered that in other blog posts.  We have an amazing frisbee golf course here on the lakefront, and if you grab a couple of free frisbee’s from reception at your favourite hostel, then guess what?  It’s free! Alternatively…

Go for a round of actual golf at the Frankton Golf Course for $15 if you’ve gotten a taste for golf that throwing a frisbee didn’t suffice.  Or mini-golf at Caddyshack City mini golf for $22 if you want to keep it fun and miniature.

Reading cinema’s in the Mall has cheap Tuesday, where all films are $13 ($17 normally), or treat yourself to a Dorothy Brown’s experience in Arrowtown from $18 for big comfy chairs and alternative films.

Take a cruise on the lake for an hour and a half with Million Dollar Cruises from $39, or head over to Mt. Nicholas Station – the side of the lake you can’t get to without a boat – for the same price.

Jump on a bar crawl with Kiwi Crawl for $35, or if you stay at the best accommodation in town on a Wednesday night, that crawl is only $25 – don’t say we never do anything for you!

Check out Minus5 IceBar from $35, or if you jump on that same pub crawl we mentioned above on a Wednesday, Minus5 is actually included!

Head up Skyline Gondola from $42 return, and add a luge for $49 total.  Or walk yourself to the top and enjoy the same view everyone else just paid for, and spend that money on a well-deserved beer for your effort.

Hit Fear Factory for a scare from $35, Kill zombies in virtual reality at Thrillzone from $32, and get lost in Escape Quest from $44 – just remember to bring a friend.

That just about covers it really.  There are more we could go into, but we think that should just about keep you entertained, fed, and watered during your time with us.  Just remember:  Don’t call us expensive!  If you’ve just come from South East Asia, then everything is expensive in comparison, but if you compare us to the rest of the western world, then we’ll start looking like bloody good value! 😉


Free Events at the 2018 Queenstown Winter Festival

May 17th, 2018

For the past 43 years the Queenstown Winter Festival has been New Zealand’s biggest party, offering a raucous 4 day celebration to herald the start of the winter season. This year’s fest, sponsored by Real Journeys, promises to be the best yet, offering a stellar line-up of New Zealand’s hottest musical acts plus a whole host of events, competitions and activities the entire family can take part in.

Here are some of the best FREE-TO-ATTEND venues and events for this year’s festival, in no particular order:

Festival Village at Earnslaw Park (June 21st to 24th) – this venue is the central hub for Winterfest and is open at noon every day. Festival goers can sample the fine food and drink on offer at the venue, as well as enjoy live music and take part in activities. Highlights at the village include the four day Macpac Treasure Traverse as well as an interactive ‘live screen printing’ experience.

Real Journeys Queenstown Winter Festival Welcome (June 21st) – experience the official start of the festival with a traditional Waka Ama canoe race and Powhiri greeting ceremony at Marine Parade followed by a free open-air concert on the main stage at Queenstown Bay

Old Mout Dodgeball Champs (June 22nd) – not for the faint of heart, this event will test the dodge, dip, dive and dodge skills of even the most skilled dodgeball athlete. Event will be held at the Festival Village and is free to enter (with prior registration) and free to watch.

Winter Festival Snow Tubing (June 22nd) – slide down the side of a mountain on an inflatable tube, what more needs to be said? Event is free to enter at the Cardrona Alpine Resort, this year’s festival host mountain.

Real Journeys Friday Fireworks (June 22nd) – Lake Wakatipu lights up with a spectacular fireworks show at 7pm in Queenstown Bay. The fireworks show is followed by a free concert at the Bath House stage.

iHeartRadio Day on the Bay (June 23rd) – the fun never ends on this day jam packed with events and excitement, all of which are free to the public. Events include the always hilarious Go Orange Ripper Rafting, followed by the JUCY Undy 500 underwear marathon and the exhilarating lunacy of The Hits 90.4 Birdman icy-cold lake water diving contest.

Mitre 10 MEGA Easy as Kids Workshops at Festival Village (June 23rd) – here’s one for the kids! These workshops teaches kids the joys of working with their hands by giving them the opportunity to build their very own toolbox they can bring home. Workshops are free to attend, but space is limited so prior registration is recommended. Suitable for kids aged 5-12, parental accompaniment is mandatory.

For more information on more events for this year’s festival, please visit

Hiking in the South Island no.3

April 27th, 2018

Guest Blogger: Lucy Xu (Reception Manager)

Nature and the mountains are calling out to you to explore! Our beautiful home of New Zealand offers an endless amount of jaw dropping scenery and there is just so much to explore. The diversity in the scenery here is certainly spectacular; there are glaciers, deep rainforest and lakes so beautiful you just have to go for swim. There is truly no better way to get up close and person with nature than spending a few hours or days just taking in all that New Zealand has to offer and exploring on foot. Speaking from the perspective of a local of 6 ish years, I’ve composed a list of a few of my absolute favourite places to explore and a few handy tips 😉

So without further ado, here comes a hike a day!

Mount Cook:

The Mueller Hut – The most breath-taking views, probably my top hike ever! This one is an overnight hike, or it can be done in one day. Seriously good looking views from the summit, worth the climb! The views feature New Zealand’s highest peaks, huge glaciers, ice cliffs and a view of Mount Cook that is simply incredible. I would strongly recommend staying the night in the hut. The views at sunset and sunrise are just magical. The hut must be booked in advance via the DOC website.

The hike is only 4 hours up to the summit, but don’t be fooled by the short time, it’s seriously tough on the legs. It’s a solid 2 hours of climbing wooden steps followed by a 2 hour scramble up rocks. Then you’ll face a ridge line with potential gale force winds. To finish the hike is a nice trudge through snow! Well the snow may not be there, but I did go in the middle of summer and the last 45 minutes was ankle deep snow. But it is all worth it. Make sure you do prepare for all weather conditions, as you experience them all on this hike. I experienced 25 degree heat for the first 3 hours, followed by gale force winds at 90 km/ hr, followed by snow!

Once you get to the hut, you can drop your bags off and you must do the side walk to Mt Olliver. It’s a short scramble up some rocks, and you’ll get unbelievable panoramic views of the area.  The hut is quite basic; there is water, toilets, gas stoves and mattresses in the communal sleeping rooms. Please note that there is no toilet paper, cooking utensils, cooking pots or washing up liquid so you’ll have to bring these. You’ll also need plenty of food and a sleeping bag. Some lightweight shoes to wear inside the hut is also a good idea, as you’ll have to leave your hiking boots at the entrance. Also bring a good torch! The light in the hut is quite limited and the toilet is also located outside, so it may be a short walk in the snow to reach it.

Everything about this hike is an amazing experience; make sure you add it to your bucket list!

Hiking in the South Island no.2

April 26th, 2018

Guest Blogger: Lucy Xu (Reception Manager)

Nature and the mountains are calling out to you to explore! Our beautiful home of New Zealand offers an endless amount of jaw dropping scenery and there is just so much to explore. The diversity in the scenery here is certainly spectacular; there are glaciers, deep rainforest and lakes so beautiful you just have to go for swim. There is truly no better way to get up close and person with nature than spending a few hours or days just taking in all that New Zealand has to offer and exploring on foot. Speaking from the perspective of a local of 6 ish years, I’ve composed a list of a few of my absolute favourite places to explore and a few handy tips 😉

So without further ado, here comes a hike a day!


Rob Roy Glacier – This one is a super easy hike but with spectacular and rewarding scenery located within the Mount Aspiring National Park. The hike takes 3 – 4 hours, you’ll walk through a lush rainforest, and then majestic glacier will appear. There’s a few waterfalls thrown into the mix and then the hike finishes with a jaw dropping view of the glacier.  You’ll need to get transport from Wanaka to get to the start of the walk – or drive yourself if you’ve got a car handy – but it’s a beautiful hike to get you in the mood for maybe something a little longer!

Roy’s Peak – This is a great day trek that will take you somewhere between 6 – 8 hours to accomplish.  If you’ve seen any tourism advertising for the South Island (or New Zealand in general) there’s a pretty good chance you’ve already seen some of the photo’s/video you can capture from the summit.  Not an easy hike by any means – you’re essentially going up to the summit of a mountain – and it is quite exposed to the elements for the majority of the hike, so make sure you slip/slop/slap that sunscreen on.  If you’re happy to work for your views, this is the one for you!

Hiking in the South Island

April 25th, 2018

Guest Blogger: Lucy Xu (Reception Manager)

Nature and the mountains are calling out to you to explore! Our beautiful home of New Zealand offers an endless amount of jaw dropping scenery and there is just so much to explore. The diversity in the scenery here is certainly spectacular; there are glaciers, deep rainforest and lakes so beautiful you just have to go for swim. There is truly no better way to get up close and person with nature than spending a few hours or days just taking in all that New Zealand has to offer and exploring on foot. Speaking from the perspective of a local of 6 ish years, I’ve composed a list of a few of my absolute favourite places to explore and a few handy tips 😉

So without further ado, here comes a hike a day!


Ben Lomond – The best day hike to do in the heart of Queenstown!  This beautiful day hike captures the best Queenstown has to offer – endless mountains and magnificent lake views. Also if you are after a completely free activity then this is the one, no transport or vehicle required! The hike will take about 6 hours return, maybe a bit longer if you factor in plenty of photo stops and a picnic at the top!
The hike follows an easy path uphill that starts from behind the gondola in the middle of town. Once you reach the saddle, the views just open up and you’ll see an endless amount of mountains in the distance. From the saddle it’s an hour long scramble up to the summit. The summit offers breath- taking 360 degree views of the beautiful Queenstown area, lake and mountains for days!
The track is very exposed, so bring sunscreen if you’re going on a sunny day, even in winter! The summit can also get very windy so even if you’re going on a super sunny day, bring some layers. Seeing the views at sunrise or sunset is just spectacular! The light is just the best plus you’ll avoid the crowds as the track can get very busy. If you are doing it at dawn or dusk… Bring a good torch; the track will be pitch black!

First-Timer’s Guide to Paragliding in Queenstown

March 26th, 2018


Of all the adventure sports activities to available in Queenstown, paragliding from the summit of Coronet Peak ranks as the most memorable. From the initial adrenalin fueled take off to the serene calm of floating across the sky over the Wakatipu Basin, paragliding in Queenstown is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences that stays with you forever.

Many would be paragliders are put off by the thought of donning a harness and jumping off a mountain – surely such a feat requires months, if not years, of training. Not so! Fly Paragliding is a Queenstown based outfit that offers flights to first timers. No experience is required on the part of the passenger since they will be riding in tandem with an experienced paragliding instructor who will take care of everything from take-off to landing.

Just getting to the take-off spot for Fly Paragliding is an adventure in itself. The base of operations is the summit of Coronet Peak, accessible via a scenic chairlift ride. Once at the takeoff point the staff at Fly Paragliding will kit you out with all the necessary gear and give a quick safety tutorial on operating a paraglider. Don’t worry though – you will be taking the plunge with an experienced operator who will show you the ropes and guide you through the entire process. Even if you don’t learn a single thing about paragliding you can sit back and enjoy the thrill of a lifetime.

Once you’re harnessed in and ready to take-off, the operator will take a running jump over the edge of Coronet Peak and you, the paraglider and the operator will plunge into the great beyond. This is where the fear and adrenalin kicks in for most first timers on a paraglider – the initial feeling of leaving terra firma and falling is nothing like you have ever experienced before. The panic is short-lived, however, as the operator expertly adjusts his straps and the chute catches an updraft and soars up into the sky. It is now when the adrenalin rush is replaced by a feeling of calm serenity as you experience unpowered flight for the first time.

Watching the valley floor with its lakes and rivers and rocks and little houses from your vantage point in the sky, without a noisy airplane engine or crowded cabin and with only the sound of the wind in your ears is an unrivalled experience. For many this is the highlight of the trip. The operator will perform a few dips and turns as your paraglider meanders across Wakatipu Basin before handing the reins over to you to try your hand and piloting.

After your lesson is complete, the operator once again takes control of the glider and performs some acrobatic manoeuvers, which some first-time paragliders have described as being on a rollercoaster in the sky. By now you should feel secure enough to be able to sit back and enjoy the ride, taking in the sights while you loop and dip hundreds of meters in the air.

Eventually once the paraglider descends to an appropriate altitude, the operator begins landing procedures. Many first-timers are surprised at the speed in which the ground comes hurtling towards them – but the operator knows how to slow the paraglider down in such a way that you both gently land on your feet.

For many it is only after landing that they can fully appreciate their flying experience, and as with most adventure sports, the first instinct is to go and do it all over again! Luckily thanks to your helmet cam you nave the entire experience on video and can relive it as many times as you want in the safety of your armchair.

Food, food, FOOD!

February 21st, 2018

We’re a little spoilt for choice in the food department here in Queenstown.  Whilst our permanent population sits at around 25000 people – a number you might expect would mean that we have maybe 5 restaurants to choose from – we actually have closer to 150, with the number increasing yearly.  What this means is that not only are you never too far from an amazing meal, but you are also stuck with such a plethora of options that it can be almost daunting to make a selection.  But worry not!  We have decided to write you up a quick editorial to make your choice a little easier should you get yourself in a bother about what to put in your gobb.

Breakfast:  The most important meal of the day.  Whether you’re nursing a sore head from the night before, or maybe you’ve got a full day of activities and adventures ahead of you – either way your first meal of the day needs to be on point.

Red-Rock – Cheapest cook-up in town, starting from $10.  Can’t go wrong in the ‘cheap and cheerful’ category, also good for a beer later on in the evening!

Atlas – Waterfront locals delight.  Menu changes quite regularly, speedy service, and a price-point that won’t break the bank.  This one will also feature for dinner (and hell, lunch too, why not?)!

Vudu or Bespoke Kitchen – Most popular cafe’s in town (Bespoke Kitchen is the newer sister cafe), has cabinet options if you’re on the go or a sit down menu, smoothies, health conscious options, and one of the best coffees in town.  Just good luck getting a table.

Yonder – One of the newer cafe/restaurant/bars in town.  Amazing variety of food, gourmet coffee options, and stick around after your late breakfast for lunch with a craft beer.

FergBaker – FergBurger’s bakery has a variety of pie’s and baked goods, but their breakfast wrap is on point for a meal on the go.  A staff favourite when we’re a little late out of the blocks, combine with a coffee and you’ll be ready to attack the day!

Lunch: Lunch is something of a bit of a past-time in Queenstown.  Almost every restaurant features cheaper lunch specials to get you in the door, and it’s the only time of the day where almost every single eatery in town is open – spoilt!

Habebes – Another staff favourite.  The words ‘healthy’ and ‘kebab’ don’t normally go in the same sentence, but this place pulls it off.  Kebabs, homemade pies, and pick your own salad options makes you feel a little better about yourself.

Flame – A meateaters paradise (they have other options though), Flame is a bit of an institution in Queenstown.  South african cuisine, they have some of their dinner options at a cheaper rate.  Ribs and chips is pretty hard to beat, but their mozambique burger is on point too!

Ivy and Lola’s – Close to the waterfront, this place actually does a great breakfast or dinner as well.  A little more expensive than other options – but we’re talking a couple of bucks here – a beautiful sit-down option if you’re looking for quality service with a quality view.

Wild Thyme – A bit of a hidden gem – it’s in a casino after all – but they’re lunch menu is cheap with $10 or $15 options that are also sizeable, good and usually quick.

FergBurger – Yeah alright, we said it.  It’s a Queenstown icon, the burgers are big and well made, and you can’t go wrong on the price.  Just do yourself a favour and try and order your burger over the phone, as you really do NOT want to stand in that rediculous line.  The burgers are good, but not a 2hr wait good.

Dinner: This is going to be a hard one to narrow down, but just like about we’ll give you a bunch that range in price and style so you can at least make the most informed decision to sort that hunger!

Smith’s – If you like American-style pub food and craft beer, look no further.  Constantly changing taps, and a menu that doesn’t go over $25 (but mostly hovering around $15), they have everything from buffalo wings, to po’ boys to pizza.  We can’t go past the loaded fries.  Ever.

The World Bar – Specialising in burgers, they’re menu is all less than $20 but has a pretty good variety as well.  We’re big fans of the mac’n’cheese balls ourselves, but the Mega Burger deserves it’s name.  Stick around after for drinks and live music or DJ’s hitting the decks.

Atlas – Told you it would feature again!  Tapas is the name of their dinner game, and paired with 20-odd craft beer options and a waterfront location, Atlas holds a place in our hearts.  Otherwise grab one of their 4 evolving main dishes if sharing isn’t your thing.

Bombay Palace – We now have 5 different curry-houses to choose from, and to be honest they all are pretty decent.  But the style and service of Bombay trumps the rest, and theres no shortage of curry options.  Go on a Wednesday night for $14 curry’s!

Blue Kanu – Looking to impress?  The meals here are incredible, and constantly changing.  Price-point is pretty typical of a nicer restaurant, but we would suggest cheaper than some.  But you can never go wrong no matter what you choose on the menu, as the Asian-Polynesian fusion really hits the mark.

Slow Cuts – You’re going to have to get yourself to Arrowtown for this one, but it will be worth it.  A great lunch or dinner option, extremely reasonably priced, and never put a foot wrong.  Smashed potato’s all the way!

And there you have it.  By no means is this even close to a full list, and we feel bad having to leave some other fav’s off the list (only because you’d get bored of reading).  This is just a snippet of the options available to you, so just hit up the team at reception for their favourite options, or give us an idea of what you’re looking for and we can point you in the right direction.  The best part?  If you’re lucky enough to be staying with us, then it’s all right out your front door! 😉