Tag Archives: Queenstown

Queenstown, New Zealand: An Edible Itinerary

When my parents dropped the bombshell that they were planning on flying out to New Zealand to visit me and they wanted me to plan them a no-holds-barred itinerary, I never imagined that the hardest part would be short-listing all of my favourite places to eat. Given my obsession with all things edible and my insatiable appetite for eating out, I suppose this shouldn’t have come as a surprise.

Queenstown boasts an impressive concentration of bars and restaurants, and to save you the pain and difficulty of choosing between the best establishments, I’ve drawn up a whistle-stop 24-hour food itinerary of menus that you absolutely must not miss.

Breakfast:  Bespoke Kitchen

You’ve arrived in the adventure capital of the world nice and early. You’ve got the entire day ahead of you to throw yourself off high things and scream at full lung capacity. What first? Breakfast and coffee, of course.

Bespoke Kitchen sits metres away from the Skyline gondola, one of the must-do sightseeing attractions of Queenstown. It may be more convenient to simply grab a coffee if you’re heading up the gondola to enjoy the view, but if you’ve got a bit of spare time before you do, it would be seriously rude (and foolish) not to give Bespoke a go.  

Bespoke has a small(ish) but fantastically varied menu offering all the usual suspects; expect perfect poached eggs, smashed avocado and fresh raw pressed juice alongside a multitude of options for people avoiding gluten, dairy and sugar. Your mind will be blown by the pure decadence of these raw treats. The chocolate salted caramel squares are perfect with Bespoke’s famous coffee, and are completely dairy-free, gluten-free and sugar-free. However, for those with no dietary requirements, there’s plenty of ‘normal’ cake to go around (the carrot cake is truly something to behold). The lunch menu also boasts a few firm favourites, though I must admit that I have opted for the pulled lamb flatbread with pumpkin hummus on more than one occasion because it was so delicious, barely giving the other dishes half a chance.

Bespoke Kitchen, Queenstown (source: tripadvisor)

On a more practical note, Bespoke Kitchen has outdoor seating, warmed by an open log fire and cosy blankets in the winter time, so even if you’ve swerved the sun and arrived in Queenstown to ski, you can still enjoy the mouth-watering treats Bespoke Kitchen has to offer. Continue reading

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‘The Cow’ of Queenstown, New Zealand

At the close of an almost three-week road trip around New Zealand’s South Island, I found myself alone in Queenstown for the final night of what had been an incredible adventure. I wish I could have given myself longer to explore the gem that is Queenstown, but with it being my last stop on the tour, and as a consequence of my tendency to take a lot of detours, I simply ran out of time. Ironically, of all my destinations, Queenstown was the one place for which I had a long list of recommendations. In my phone, you would find a reminder labelled ‘Things to do in Queenstown’, under which I had added suggestions from everyone I’ve ever met who’d been there. The famous Fergburger was somewhere high up on this list and having now been there I can see why everyone raves so highly about it. There is little more I can say that hasn’t already been said; my burger was jam packed with flavour, the meat was succulent, the bread was fresh and it was all round unquestionably worth the wait.

Fergburger

Fergburger (source: Tripadvisor)

When I arrived in Queenstown and scrolled through the various suggestions — most of which were standard tourist attractions — an item on the list that caught my eye was ‘The Cow’, solely for the reason that I had no idea what it was referring to. Before endeavouring to find out more about it, I wandered around countless art galleries (another recommendation on my list). Whether art is your passion or not, the numerous galleries on offer in Queenstown are really worth a look; most showcase local artists’ work and I’m confident that if you were to stroll into any of the galleries found there you would come across talent to suit even the most individual tastes. Anyway, back to the point (see above for a perfect demonstration of my continual digressions) — after browsing the galleries and shops, I saw tucked away at the end of a street the words ‘The Cow’, on what appeared to be the sign of a pub. Continue reading

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Queenstown: Beauty, Adventure and Death-defying Sports

Remarkables Ski Area

If you are addicted to winter sports and need your fix in the middle of the summer, then Queenstown, New Zealand is the place to go.

Situated on the banks of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is the winter athlete’s paradise—a place packed with mountains, snow and death-defying sports! I have never seen so many innovative ways to hurt yourself gathered in one place. Not only is there skiing, snowboarding, bungee jumping, parasailing, zip-lining, white water rafting, but I also once saw a poster advertising a most ingenious activity where you are strapped to a rocket on a zip-line strung between two mountains, and shot across the zip-line as if being fired from a cannon.

Clearly, Queenstown is not for the faint of heart.
Road to the Remarkables

Even the most mundane activities, like driving, are made extreme. The gravel road up to the Remarkables ski area corkscrews up the mountain at a steep grade. It is narrow, so you are literally stuck between a rock and a hard place — in this case the side of the mountain and the cliff’s edge. Naturally, we drove this at a snail’s pace, watching nervously as gravel scattered off the edge of the road. However, as if this wasn’t hair-raising enough, other cars would pass us as they barrelled down the road, as if they were in a hurry to crash. Such is the maverick Kiwi spirit.

Not only is Queenstown full of adventure, but also is astoundingly beautiful. The Remarkables mountain range is the crown of Queenstown, possessing sharp, dramatic peaks that are so high that clouds sometimes get trapped in them, creating a sea of mist that hangs over the valley. The mountains themselves are made of beautiful blood red stone that looks marbled when covered with snow. This quality transforms the mountain rock into all sorts of funny figures. Our favourite was a giant boulder beneath a chairlift that the snow sculpted into a giant hedgehog, which we named Spiny Norman.

The trails themselves at the Remarkables are well-maintained and well-marked, but can get a little crowded during the height of the season. In particular, the green trail “Casterway” can get a bit narrow and difficult to navigate when there are a lot of people. There are three main chairlifts, which conveniently lead to trails for three different experience levels. The Alta Chair leads to short easy and intermediate runs for those just learning how to ski. The Sugar Bowl Chair leads to longer trails for those wanting a bit more a challenge. Finally, for those who desire danger in their lives, the Shadow Basin Chair leads to the hardest trails from the highest peak. It is this feature that makes the area a great place for families, since there is something available for skiers and snowboarders of all levels.

Should you get tired of ski slopes and the icy beauty of the mountains, you can cheerfully relax in Queenstown. A sophisticated city, Queenstown is home to a number of excellent restaurants and shops. You can also go hobbit-hunting and try to spot all the classic scenic views that ended up in the Lord of the Rings. Word of warning, Deer Park Heights, a favourite Lord of the Rings filming spot, has unfortunately been closed, but there are still many places that made cameo appearances in the films that are still open to the public.

For stunning scenery, adventure, and a chance to brag that you skied in summer, Queenstown is definitely not to be missed!

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