Posted by Bella Vista on
As part of a new regular series, the team at Bella Vista have decided to share ten of their favourite things, from local eateries to adventure activities. These updates will give you an idea of some great things to do right around New Zealand, both the top tourist attractions and few ideas which are a little more off the beaten track.
Our top 10 things to do and see in and around Queenstown
Queenstown is often described as the jewel in the crown of New Zealand’s tourist destinations and it is certainly a spectacularly impressive location. Nestled on the shores of the immense Lake Wakatipu, surrounded by the Southern Alps and The Remarkables, Queenstown is not only an amazing destination in its own right, but acts as a gateway to the many delights and must-see attractions around the region. Bella Vista Motel Queenstown is a great place to base yourself being only a couple minutes from the town centre, offering a great range of room options.
1. Walter Peak cruise on the TSS Earnslaw
Where else in the world can you undertake a lake cruise on a 100 year old steam boat? This marvellous trip is a credit to Real Journeys who allow you to step back in time with friends or family and enjoy a cruise across the lake, a BBQ lunch at the historic Walter Peak homestead and a shearing demonstration typical of many New Zealand farms. Enjoy an old-fashioned sing along around the on-board piano on your return journey.
2. The historic gold mining Arrowtown settlement
Enjoy a wander around the Lakes District Museum or the Chinese Goldminers settlement, gaining an insight as to how hard life once was for the thousands who participated in the gold rush of the 1860s. Or simply relax in the small village atmosphere, enjoy a walk by the river or visit one of the many excellent eateries for a bite and a drink.
3. Shotover Jet
Queenstown has a reputation for thrill-seekers and the Shotover Jet ticks most of the boxes. Recently celebrating 50 years of operation, the iconic red jet boats have been powering through the Shotover River canyons at high speed giving every passenger a brilliant, fast and fun, white knuckle ride.
4. Amisfield Winery
If you’re looking to get a flavour of some of the impressive wines the region offers, head to Amisfield winery. Overlooking the idyllic Lake Hayes, you can sample some of Amisfield’s finest Pinot Noir or aromatic white wines. There is a sumptuous bistro onsite - the menu is sure to get your taste buds buzzing.
5. Hydro Attack!
A favourite of the Bella Vista Queenstown team, the latest and greatest adventure activity to join some illustrious forbearers is the Lake Wakatipu based Hydro Attack, “the ultimate blend of shark and machine”. Queenstown is the only place in the world to offer the experience of your life in this submersible watercraft that accelerates to 80kph in under 4 seconds and leaps from the lake up to 5.5 metres. Strap in and hold on!
6. Gondola and luge
For a slightly more sedate experience, take a trip up the Queenstown gondola to the Skyline building perched atop Bob’s Peak. The view from the top is simply breath-taking as you survey a huge swath of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown town, all set against The Remarkables rising to over 2,300 metres as a back-drop. Look out for the identifiable terracotta roof which marks out Bella Vista Queenstown down below. A range of refreshments are available at the top, as is the popular luge track where, apparently, one ride is never enough.
7. Kelvin Heights
Another option for a slightly easier pace is to take the water taxi from the town basin out to the Kawarau Falls and take a walk along the Kelvin Heights path. Nestled on the southern shores of the Frankton Arm, the walkway offers beautiful lakeside views and as you round the peninsula, some impressive public art displays.
8. Take a day trip to Glenorchy
Located roughly an hour north of Queenstown, this small town is popular for day-trippers who enjoy the journey there as much as the destination. An outdoor enthusiasts paradise, there is plenty of activities on offer including the chance to visit the surrounding region which was used as a base for many of the Lord of the Rings film locations. Continue further north to Paradise or around the head of lake to Kinloch which are both worth a visit. (Please make sure your vehicle is insured for gravel roads).
9. Eating out
There are so many great restaurants in Queenstown it is hard to pick a favourite but dinner at the lakeside Botswana Butchery is highly recommended and will not disappoint.
10. Milford Sound - last but certainly not least!
The day trip to Milford Sound is a long outing but so breathtakingly worth it. Described by Rudyard Kipling as the eighth wonder of the world, Milford Sound is a must see. Enjoy the journey through the Fiordland National Park as well as the cruise on the fiord - which will take you out to the Tasman Sea. If you’re seeking a quick return home which doubles up as another spectacular sightseeing opportunity, catch a flight back to Queenstown airport which traverses the Southern Alps and then a transfer home to Queenstown Bella Vista.