Out of Bed: The Insider's Guide to Queenstown
Where to stay"Eichardt’s is a boutique hotel with a sweeping view of Lake Wakatipu, located just 20 minutes away from Coronet Peak. The location is incredible, of course, but the hotel itself is a destination in its own right. The property is a restored historical site with all the trimmings of a luxury hotel: open fireplaces, antique furniture, and an onsite restaurant."
Visit the world's 'eighth wonder'"You simply cannot skip a trip to the Milford Sound – the fjord is often coined the world’s ‘eighth wonder’, and a ride through its captivating combination of mountain peaks, kilometre-high cliffs, and water dotted with wildlife is surreal and unreal."
Your day on a plate"Start your day overlooking Lake Wakatipu with a coffee from The Bathhouse Café, situated next to the entrance to Queenstown Botanic Gardens.
"For breakfast, head to The Chop Shop Food Merchants in Arrowtown. It’s a hidden gem with no obvious signage from the street, with coffee and hotcakes that make the trip worth it.
"Long lunches and Queenstown’s unparalleled scenery go hand-in-hand, and Amisfield Wineryis a beautiful vineyard that boasts cosy fireplaces and an incredible food and wine experience with options for vegetarians.
"Another great spot for lunch is Francesca’s, located about an hour’s drive away in Wanaka. The drive itself is beautiful – as is its famous gnocchi. Once you’re there, head to Rippon Winery for a tasting (they’re famous for their biodynamic wines) and 360-degree views of Wanaka.
"For dinner, try Bella Cucina Italian, a small eatery with rustic décor, copper accents and art lining the walls. Their menu changes daily as the ingredients are sourced locally."
Seek thrills"If you can handle it, skydive. New Zealand’s adventure capital from above is unforgettable. (Although, you’ll probably only take it in afterwards.) Hiring a bike and cycling around is a less a nerve-busting experience, and a slower way to take in Queenstown’s beauty.
"Otherwise, jet-boating is a happy medium between hurling yourself out of a plane and cycling around the town – while it’s adrenalin-inducing, it’s a reasonable activity if you’re travelling with kids (or the risk-averse).
"For skiing and snowboarding, The Remarkables mountain range, about a 40-minute drive from Queenstown, is as spectacular as its name suggests. With gentle beginner slopes to daring advanced runs that aren’t for the faint-hearted, soak in the white powdery snow and sensational panoramic view."
Browse the shops, along the way"Angel Divine stock premium homegrown designers, plus a range of Australian and International mainstays.
"Seletti Concept Store is also worth perusing. They have an impressive range Aesop skincare (useful if your complexion is suffering after all those high-adventure activities), homewares and a beautiful range of their own candles, which look as good as they smell.
"For homewares, make a visit to Attic Store in Arrowtown for antiques and vintage finds, or Redcurrent for more modern pieces."
And indulge in unprecedented luxury
"For an unforgettable spa experience in a rugged natural setting, book in at the Onsen Hot Pools. Here you can take in Queenstown’s splendour from your own private hot pool – a truly invigorating experience in which you’re served local drops alongside expansive views of the town’s remarkable scenery. Once your hour is up, prolong the experience with a hot stone massage onsite."
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