Queenstown, nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and set against the dramatic backdrop of the Southern Alps, is the adventure capital of New Zealand. This vibrant town offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, adrenaline-pumping activities, and culinary delights. Here is your ultimate guide for an exhilarating four-day vacation in Queenstown, tailored for those exploring by motorhome.
Day 1: Discovering Queenstown
Morning: Start your adventure with a visit to the iconic Queenstown Gardens. Take a leisurely stroll or a bike ride through this serene space, enjoying the diverse plant life and stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables mountain range.
Afternoon: No visit to Queenstown is complete without riding the Skyline Gondola. Ascend Bob’s Peak for breathtaking panoramic views of the town, lake, and surrounding mountains. At the top, besides the views, you can enjoy luge rides, with tracks suitable for all ages and thrill levels.
Evening: For dinner, head to The Cow, one of Queenstown’s oldest and most cherished restaurants. Nestled in a cozy, stone-walled building, The Cow serves hearty pizzas and a selection of local wines, providing a warm, rustic dining experience that’s perfect after a day of exploration.
Day 2: Adventure in the Air and Water
Morning: Kickstart your day with a thrilling jet boat ride on the Shotover River with Shotover Jet. Experience high-speed maneuvers, including the famous Hamilton spins, as you navigate through the dramatic canyons of the Shotover River.
Afternoon: After the adrenaline rush of the morning, take a more serene but equally mesmerizing trip to Glenorchy, located at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu. The drive itself is renowned for its stunning scenery, often described as one of the most beautiful road journeys in the world. Once in Glenorchy, embark on a kayak tour to explore the tranquil waters and enjoy the majestic landscape from a different perspective.
Evening: Return to Queenstown and enjoy a casual meal at Fergburger, a must-visit for any traveler to Queenstown. Known for their gourmet burgers, the long lines are a testament to their popularity and the quality of their food.
Day 3: Queenstown’s Natural Wonders
Morning: Dedicate your third day to exploring the natural beauty surrounding Queenstown. Begin with a trip to the Remarkables, a mountain range and ski field offering hiking trails in summer with stunning alpine scenery. The drive up is an adventure in itself, with rewarding views at every turn.
Afternoon: In the afternoon, visit the Arrowtown, a charming historic gold mining town located a short drive from Queenstown. Wander through the well-preserved streets, visit the Lakes District Museum, and walk along the Arrow River trail to discover the remnants of the town’s gold-mining past.
Evening: Dine at Amisfield Bistro & Cellar Door, located near Lake Hayes on the way back to Queenstown from Arrowtown. Offering a “Trust the Chef” degustation menu with optional wine pairings, Amisfield provides a culinary experience that highlights the best of Central Otago’s produce and wine.
Day 4: Experiencing Extreme Adventures
Morning: For your final day, embrace Queenstown’s title as the adventure capital by bungee jumping with AJ Hackett Bungee, home to the world’s first commercial bungee operation. The Kawarau Bridge jump offers both solo and tandem jumps, providing an unforgettable thrill over the picturesque Kawarau River.
Afternoon: After the morning’s exhilaration, take a scenic drive to Wanaka, about an hour away from Queenstown. Here, explore the Wanaka Tree and the lakefront, or for those still seeking adventure, visit Puzzling World, a unique attraction featuring puzzling rooms, optical illusions, and the great maze.
Evening: Conclude your Queenstown adventure with a sunset dinner cruise on the TSS Earnslaw, a vintage steamship that takes you across Lake Wakatipu. The cruise offers stunning views of the mountains and a chance to dine at the Walter Peak High Country Farm, experiencing traditional New Zealand farm hospitality.