Queenstown is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. I spent about six months living there in 2004 crossing a summer and the better part of a winter. One question I get a lot from people is what would you recommend doing? So as a resource to them and others who may stumble across this post, here are my recommendations:
- Fly into Queenstown if you can to save the time.
- Rent a car for day trips outside of Queenstown because unless it is winter and you are snowboarding, I dont think you will want to spend your whole time there.
- Day 1 – After unloading all your stuff at the hotel, take the gondola to the top and make sure you do a few luge rides.
- If you are keen for a hike (and arrived in Qtown early enough) you can hike up to the Ben Lomond Saddle (2-3 hour return) Amazing views of mountains off the back of the saddle.
- Day 2 – Take a drive out to Glenorchy and have breakfast at the cafe. That stretch of road is amazing. If you didn’t do the hike on day 1, do it on day 2 and perhaps tackle the summit.
- Day 3 – Drive from Queenstown down to Milford Sound and take one of the boat trips. Again: amazing drive and Milford is a must see for visiting the South Island.
- Day 4 – Drive up to Wanaka and stay the night. One of my favourite hikes in NZ is the Rob Roy Glacier Hike or if you are feeling fit you can tackle part of the Cascade Saddle hike (from Raspberry Creek car park to Mt Aspiring Hut, up to the pylon and back down/out of the park. Kristina and I enjoyed our time at Puzzling World as well as visiting Wanaka Beer Works.
- Day 5 – Back to Queenstown, hitting up some wineries on the way and flying out!
My Map for activities in Queenstown:
View Queenstown – Things to See in a larger map