Ask anybody about New Zealand, Queenstown would probably be the first thing that comes to his or her mind. Dubbed as the ‘adventure capital of the world’, this popular adrenaline junkie’s paradise is like a “bonus round” in a video game where you will be able to “power-up” and complete multiple things on your bucket list in one destination!
When we visited Queenstown last year, we attempted hang-gliding and that was amazeballs! We have also checked off tandem skydiving, white water rafting and scuba diving off our bucket list when we were in Cairns many years back.
Other than high octane, heart-stopping activities, Queenstown definitely has lots of other more sedated and relaxing activities to offer mellow visitors – like us, these days. Some of Central Otago’s world-class wineries are within close proximity of Queenstown.
This is one of our favourite Pinot Noir producers in Central Otago region. Make sure to visit the Omakase style (Trust the Chef) dining experience at Amisfield Bistro and let the creative chef surprise you with his delectable menu crafted with the finest seasonal local ingredients. You won’t be disappointed!
It was sheer bliss to enjoy wine tasting and a long leisure lunch in this relaxed and beautiful garden setting winery.
Chard Farm Vineyard
A visit to this small family owned picturesque vineyard is highly recommended even if you don’t enjoy wine tasting. The narrow scenic drive in over the Kawarau gorge amongst the beautiful grape vines leading to the cellar door was totally worth it.
With The Remarkables scenic mountain range as backdrop, Queenstown has many beautiful walking and hiking trails to help us burn off the excess calories that we have been accumulating.
Queenstown Hill Walkway
Located right in the heart of Queenstown itself, this short but strenuous uphill walk rewarded us with magnificent views of Lake Wakatipu, the Remarkables, Cecil Peak and other mountains around Queenstown. It took us about 1.5 hrs to reach the summit and boy, was it worth it!
Moke Lake Loop Walk
Situated roughly 15mins drive away from central Queenstown; Moke Lake is the perfect escape from the touristy crowd. It took us less than 2hrs to complete the easy and mostly flat loop walk around the idyllic lake. It was also a great campsite, which we will elaborate more, in a later post.
Lake Hayes Loop Walk
Another gem close to Queenstown, Lake Hayes sits right in front of Amisfield and Akarua wineries. With mirror-like reflection of the mountain ranges and the landscapes surrounding it, the 8km loop walk was incredibly pleasant and enjoyable. The sparkling panorama surrounding us literally took our breath away and we couldn’t stop snapping pictures throughout our 2hr walk!
Arrowtown is a cute little place, albeit with a lot of tourists. Situated just about 20mins away from Queenstown, you will be enchanted by the restored historical buildings in this gold-mining village that was established in 1862 and appreciate its rich history, great cafes and restaurants.
We visited Arrowtown twice, once for lunch at Chop Shop and then again for dinner at Aosta. The vibe of the village totally changed as the crowd dispersed towards the chilly spring evening. The dim street lamps and crisp air gave us a feeling of intense serenity as we strolled casually from the car park towards the Italian restaurant to enjoy our lovely dinner.