Things to do and see in and around Queenstown, Arrowtown & Glenorchy in New Zealand.
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Walks / Hikes
Lake Hayes Circuit
Ben Lomond Track
Full day hike that is a bit treacherous past “The Saddle,” but the views are worth it, and there are typically kea hanging out up there. 100% recommend taking the Gondola to Bob’s Peak and then continuing on from there.
Welch Kern / Queenstown Gardens
A quick walk from downtown Queenstown puts you on a peninsula with gardens and a bit of forest. There is a path that leads around the edge of the peninsula, and it also has a disc golf course nearby.
Frankton Arm Walk
Very calm, chill walk along the Frankton Arm and away from the traffic. I recommend parking at The Boatshed Cafe and picking up the trail there to walk for a bit towards Queenstown. There are multiple other entry points, as well.
Food / Drink
Pretty good burgers in downtown Queenstown but always packed. From what I’ve seen, early morning or around 2:45pm are good times to go.
Fancy, delicious & expensive.
The Fork and Tap
Good place to eat/drink/warm up in Arrowtown.
The Postmasters Residence
The Stables Restaurant & Wine Bar
Unique Arrowtown restaurant in a stone building.
The Blue Door
Arrowtown haunt with a hearth and situated in an alleyway.
The Chop Shop
Good breakfasts in Glenorchy.
The Boatshed Cafe
Cute, hidden place on the Frankton Arm Walk between Queenstown and Frankton.
Atlas Beer Cafe
Quieter pub just past the Steamship at the Queenstown wharf.
Pub on Wharf
Mac’s Brewbar pub that always has some sports on. Nice outdoor seating, too.
Activities / Things To See
Where to begin? Apart from being the starting point for the Ben Lomond track, it also sports a bunjy jump, luging, a cafe, bar, gift store and great views. You can take a gondola ride to the top (or walk, if you prefer), and even take mountain bikes with you if you want to ride them down.
- Skyline Gondola: https://www.skyline.co.nz/en/queenstown
TSS Earnslaw Steamship Lake Cruise
This is a fun (yet cold!) experience on a jet boat that can run in 3cm of water (no outboard motor).
While technically in Fiordland, this one is a big day trip from Queenstown (or Te Anau, if you can stay there, instead, or in Milford Sound itself) that is a gorgeous drive, albeit a long one. If you can’t drive the whole way there, there are small plane rides to / from there that are stunning.
Search around to see if you can find how to get there. It’s a decent drive along an unsealed road that is gorgeous, and you have to ford the River Jordan to get there (4-wheel drive recommended, though you can walk through it with ease). It’s a beautiful area, but don’t expect to see much in the way of humans. You’ll know you’re there when you see the sign that says “Paradise.”