No matter the season, there’s no better place to getaway for a short break than Queenstown. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing escape or an action-packed itinerary, our beautiful mountain town has something for everyone, from adventure sports and world-famous hikes to wine tours and fine dining. But we know fitting everything you want to do into just a few short days isn’t always easy – so we’ve put together an insider’s guide to help you get the most out of your trip!
Day 1 – A Night in Queenstown
Arrive into Queenstown and check into your accommodation, then head into downtown Queenstown for the evening. With countless restaurants and bars lining the picturesque streets, the town truly comes alive by night! Try award-winning restaurant Rata, owned by legendary celebrity chef Josh Emett – with an inventive menu that changes each day, you’re sure to be in for a treat.
After dinner, cozy up by the fire with a glass of wine at locals’ favourite late-night bar Bardeaux – or enjoy cocktails and luxury house music at The Bunker until the wee hours, with live DJs every Thursday – Sunday night and the best bartenders in town. Ask them to shake you up one of their famous espresso martinis and soak up the ambiance by the outdoor firepits.
Day 2 – Explore Queenstown
Start your day off on the right foot with a hearty breakfast. Guests of Stoneridge can enjoy complimentary breakfast in the Lodge, with delicious fresh cooked and continental options on offer each morning and (dare we say it) the best coffee in town! Or grab a bite at one of the many fantastic cafes in the area – The Boatshed on Frankton Marina is the perfect spot for a relaxed waterfront breakfast.
After breakfast, it’s time to explore and see what Queenstown’s all about – and where better to take in the sights than from atop Bob’s Peak, with panoramic views out over Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu. Catch the scenic Skyline Gondola to the top or zig-zag up through the forest on the Tiki Trail hike. There’s plenty to do at the picture-perfect peak, including mountain biking and a luge track.
Take a stroll on the scenic trail around Queenstown Gardens or a wander through town down to the boardwalk – there’s always something happening, from buskers and performers to streetside stalls, and a creative market each Saturday until 2pm.
Can you really say you’ve been to Queenstown if you haven’t been to Fergburger at least once? Join the throngs of tourists queuing down the street outside this burger joint-come-tourist attraction to pick up one of their world-famous burgers, or pop into next door Fergbakery for a selection of tasty pies, baguettes and sweet treats. Seating is limited, so venture down to the lakefront to enjoy your meal al fresco by the beach or on the green. If you’re feeling like something a little healthier, head to Bespoke Kitchen where you’ll find a veritable feast of smoothies, salads and tempting goodies, with a focus on fresh, local produce.
Dinner at Stoneridge
Treat yourself or someone special to an unforgettable candlelit dinner at Stoneridge Lodge. Sit back, relax and let our Executive Chef take you on a culinary journey through the unique flavours of New Zealand with our signature ‘Trust the Chef’ dining experience.
Changing daily, this five-course degustation menu is designed to celebrate the finest regional produce and create a real sense of place – and the private dining room has spectacular lake and mountain views so that you can watch the sunset as you dine. ($365 per couple, advance booking essential.)
Day 3 – Wine Tours & Arrowtown Adventure
What would a trip to Queenstown be without sampling the local vino? Join a half-day or full-day luxury tour with a local guide such as Altitude Wine Tours to visit some of Central Otago’s finest Cellar Doors and taste a selection of world-class wines. If wine isn’t your style, why not try their Twilight Tour where you can swap the wines out for locally-brewed craft beers.
Prefer to do your own thing? Hire bikes and enjoy a self-guided tour of the wineries at your leisure with Around the Basin, or grab a timetable for the Hop On Hop Off wine bus and explore at your own pace, with regular stops at all of the best local Cellar Doors. Don’t miss Kinross – the official Cellar Door for five boutique wineries where you can sample wines from Coal Pit, Wild Irishman, Valli, Hawkshead and Kinross all in one beautiful location.
Stop off for a late lunch at one of the wineries en route – we recommend relaxing in the glorious garden setting at Akarua & Artisan and enjoying some of their delicious shared plates or artisan platters.
Make sure not to leave Queenstown without visiting nearby Arrowtown! This living historic settlement is built on the banks of the Arrow River, once a rich source of gold which attracted pioneers from around the world. Nowadays the quaint frontier-style main street is lined with boutiques, cosy cafes and small restaurants, perfect to while away a few hours.
Visit the small museum on the main street and try your hand at gold panning for a slice of local history – or head down to the restored goldminers’ cottages by the river and see how they once lived.
Dinner & Drinks in Arrowtown
Enjoy a relaxed dinner at tapas bar La Rumbla with its creative Spanish-inspired shared plates and buzzy ambiance. After hours, venture down a side-street alley to find the Blue Door Bar – hidden in plain sight and marked only by its blue doors, this rustic stone bar with courtyard and open fire is a locals’ secret and the perfect post-dinner drinks stop.
If you’ve got a little more time to spend, don’t miss next-door Dorothy Brown’s, a beautiful boutique cinema showing mainly art-house films as well as a quality selection of contemporary movies. Order a glass of local wine and a cheeseboard to your seat, or browse their eclectic bookshop during the intermission – does cinema get better than this?
Looking for somewhere unique to stay on your next trip to Queenstown? Stoneridge Estate offers a boutique luxury lodge experience with a difference. Nestled on the shores of Lake Hayes just fifteen minutes from central Queenstown, it’s a peaceful haven on the doorstep of everything that Central Otago has to offer – and the lake and mountain views are truly like no other. Contact our reservations team on firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out our incredible range of accommodation special offers