4 nights in Queenstown
Fun fact. I was born in NZ – born and bred! Jks, just born. Before moving to Australia when I was very little.
My whole family is from NZ, and live all of over the place, both in the North + South Island.
I was lucky enough to have grandparents living in Queenstown for a few years, so I was able to come visit them in this beautiful place when I was little with my family.
I can’t necessarily say it’s as I remember, as back then I wasn’t hunting down wine + going to hot springs, but every time I do go to NZ I do feel a sense of nostalgia and strangely, the air always feels and smells the same.
We flew in with Jetstar Australia, taking a 6am flight so we got there late morning. It was perfect, because it meant we could quickly check in then quickly get ourselves to the nearest winery. Not kidding.
Within an hour of touching down, we were sipping (/guzzling down) wine in the sunshine at Amisfield Winery. Of course, also devouring their degustation.
The food was AMAZING. You don’t get to choose your courses nor do they tell you what it is until they bring it out. But honestly, every meal we would take a bite and just stare at each other like WOAH – are you picking up what I’m putting down? Is it just me, or does Queenstown/NZ have THE BEST bread and butter???
What started with, “we’ll just have one wine” quickly turned into “LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE”. I am sure you are familiar with this. The wines quickly turned into espresso martinis and yada yada yada, we rolled out of there late afternoon.
We headed back to the hotel (after a pit stop at the bottle shop to get another bottle of wine), and got to settle in. We stayed at The Rees, which was perfect. Check out my stories highlight to see the view. Seriously incredible. And the room itself was huge with a BATH. Necessary, when on holiday.
You better believe it, we had a bubble bath, enjoyed our wine and some snacks from the mini bar (a $10 chocolate bar definitely doesn’t taste like a $10 chocolate bar, does it?) and donned our robes (is there a better feeling??) and were in bed by 9pm.
We slept with all of our blinds opened which meant around 7am we were woken up by the most amazing sunrise over the snowy mountains and lake, without even leaving our bed.
We had brekky at our hotel. HOLY SHIT. This is a big call but I stand by it to this day. This was. The best. Breakfast. EVER. I was as shocked as you are now. We both got the eggs benny, which is an unusual choice for me, but my god, it was incredible. We had about 100 of those “WOAH” moments that morning.
After brekky we headed into town to get our transport to The Onsen Pools. 100% a must-do. They pick you up in town and take you out – about a 15/20 minute drive. This was definitely a pinch-me moment. The view was breathtaking and it was so romantic. I would recommend just doing the 1 x hour with no add ons. We both ordered tea in there, but honestly, if you want a snack, bring it in your bag. Otherwise you’re paying $20 for a mini packet of chips. Make sure you book the Onsen Pools a few weeks in advance! They sell out pretty quickly online.
After the Onsen Pools, we headed back to our hotel for a little pick me up – just espresso this time, no martinis. Then we headed out to have lunch at Ferg Burger. Tom is on a mission to try every burger in the world, so a famous Ferg Burger definitely couldn’t go uneaten. It was good, but I am still a Betty’s Burgs fan. Sorry.
That night we went to Bottswana Butchery for dinner. We were evacuated because their fire alarms went off from the smoke from their fire place, so that was fun. But it did score us a free champagne, so wouldn’t be mad if false alarms happened more often. The food was great, the steak obviously being the highlight.
After dinner we went for a little walk around, but headed straight back to our hotel. It was FREEZING!
The next day we went to brekky at Yonder. Which was very average. So that’s all about that.
Then we got on the road for a VERY windy drive to Glenorchy.
Glenorchy was so eery and beautiful. We did a big walk around the lake – check out my IG highlights to see the views which were stunning!
Definitely worth going to. It’s beautiful in a very different way to Queenstown.
After Glenorchy we headed to Pedros Lamb – for a VERY expensive roast. Can’t say I would recommend it. So, I won’t. If you are 4+ people go nuts, but I think it’s overrated and you only have the choice of one size which is ridiculous for 2 people!
After lunch, we rolled ourselves over to the bottom of the gondola! We jumped in and of course, luged down. Quite a few times. It was so much fun and would highly recommend. However, learn from my mistakes – don’t wear a skirt or dress. Yep. Great. Enough said.
We ended the day with dinner at Rata, which hands down was my favourite meal and restaurant of the trip! It was amazing. Every meal was incredible – I can’t recommend it more.
After dinner we headed back to the hotel and had a bit of a movie marathon. Captain Marvel was first up. And of course, I ended up ordering a cheese platter to our room too… LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE (also translates to, waste your money on sh*t you don’t actually need, but moving on).
We got up to the most amazing sunrise – check my IG highlight! Seriously, WHAT? How is that real. Then we walked along the lake to The Boatshed for breakfast which was nice. There was a dog there too, which was also nice.
After brekky we spent the rest of the day driving to Invercargill and back to spend time my grandparents (they also met Tom for the first time). It was a really special day.
We got back to Queenstown in the evening and had a late dinner at The Spotted Cow. Holy cow. That Garlic Bread was insane. Highly recommend a casual dinner here. Very cool and the food was great. Definitely get the garlic bread. It’s literally a full loaf of a bread covered in butter and garlic. Need I say more?
OUR LAST DAY:
We couldn’t say goodbye without going back to our hotel restaurant for breakfast… LOL. But seriously. We got our last eggs benny, sitting looking at the epic view of the lake and mountains.
Then it was sadly time to pack up, get to the airport and head home. I love how close the airport is and it’s so quiet there so it makes everything way more relaxing on the way back home. Another cruisey 3 hour flight home with Jetstar Australia and we were back home with Peanut.
If you have any Queenstown questions of where to go/stay/planning your trip, don’t hesitate to DM me on Instagram or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). And make sure you check out my stories highlight (@prudencekate)! There are lots of videos that shows you all of the above.