Queenstown. Check. Would gladly go again? CHECK. Queenstown had always been one of those places I’d been dying to visit. Funny how I’ve lived in New Zealand for so long and didn’t make the opportunity to go until just recently this July. I was so lucky to have experienced this trip with my beloved parents, since I don’t get to spend much time with them because they live in Macau, this was a wonderful way to spend time with my family. Queenstown is every bit as beautiful as everyone describes it to be. Everyday, I woke up to breathtaking views of snow mountains peaking through the horizon. It truly is a world class winter getaway.
I wanted to share some of the top ten things to do in Queenstown, and hopefully these beautiful pictures will inspire you to go for a visit. Let me just tell you now, it will be worth every bit of your time. Let me know in the comments if you know anywhere else that’s a must visit in Queenstown!
1. Skyline Queenstown
Take the Gondola ride to the top and dine with a sprawling panoramic view of Queenstown. Taking the Gondola up definitely had me sh*tting my pants since the ride looked as if we were travelling on an 80-degree angle. It was so worth the ride when you get to the top, and the Stratosfare Restaurant Buffet is a must dine when you’re up! There was a variety of foods to choose from, we were spoilt with choices that included; pastas, sushi, hot dishes, cold dishes and desserts. While you’re dining, you aren’t just seated facing walls, instead you are accompanied with a sweeping skyline view of Queenstown.
2. Bungy Jump with AJ Hackett
If you are super adventurous I recommend doing the bungy jump! I haven’t personally done it but from everything I’ve seen and heard, the adrenalin rush is something you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
3. Eat at Madam Woo
If you enjoy a Western and Malaysian gastronomic fusion, then this place will be a must visit spot to dine at. The interior design at Madam Woo was super cosy dressed with a hint of modern Asian decor which I personally loved since I’m Asian. (I’ll probably talk a lot more about interior design and decor since it’s usually how I narrow down the restaurants that I want to go to). We had some curry, soup, duck salad and dim sum. Each dish was an explosion of flavours; heartwarming and tasty.
4. Onsen Hot Pools
Oh my gosh, this has got to be one of my favourite places throughout this trip. You are lead to a private room with a panoramic view of the mountain ranges and frozen river streams. The whole experience left me in such a tranquil and peaceful state that I was very reluctant to leave. Since I live in the city, I hardly get the chance to experience a hot pool like this. Onsen Hot Pools is definitely a must go place to visit!
5. Eat at Vudu Café
This was such a cute café down near the lake. The interior was super cute and it always seemed super packed which meant it must’ve been a popular place. If you do decide to go, definitely choose a time that isn’t too busy because we waited quite some time to be served. You can definitely see why its popular, there was variety of exquisite café food both from the cabinet and the menu to choose from.
6. Take a Lake Cruise
Take a scenic cruise of Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown on the iconic steamship. You get to explore the engine room along with the mini Gallery. There was also live piano being played during the ride.
7.Eat at Captain’s Restaurant
This was such a cosy little restaurant.The seafood platter is a must try to sample the delicacies of New Zealand’s finest seafood varieties. Even my mum who isn’t a huge seafood fan loved the platter. Also order their house made mulled wine to warm up your soul on a winter day.
8. Drive to Wanaka
If you have a few hours to spare, you should take a drive to Wanaka. It’s about a one hour drive one way. The drive there was so mesmerising. We were shrouded by snow mountains that paved its road to Wanaka. Lots of people drive to Wanaka to hike Roys Peak. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to visit but if you’re up for an adventure then it’s probably worth the hike!
9. Day Trip to Milford Sound
Unfortunately, I did not have enough time to visit Milford Sound, but I’ve heard only just how beautiful and wondrous the place can be. I can only imagine that it would be a sensational experience.
10. Stay at Luxury Lake Suites
The stay was divine. We had two rooms fitted with bathrooms in each room. The whole place was really spacious with a modern taste. The living room had huge windows where you could view the magnificence of the mountains in your very own living room. It was also only a 10-minute drive to the city centre which made the location super convenient. We were also able to go for a walk near the lake since the lake was just down the stairs.
Written and photographed by Linda Li