(This is super late but I finally got around to doing this!)
Queenstown is the adventure capital of the world. Picture a ski town surrounded by mountains, a lake, trees, and a whole lot of adrenaline pumping activities.
Yes, you can go skydiving. Of course there are more than three bungy jumping sites. And yes, you can go on a jet boat or parasailing or even in a shark-submarine-boat thing.
But, if you’re like me, who 1.) hates heights and 2.) didn’t really know how I felt about jumping off a bridge, there are a lot of feet-on-the-ground things you can do (which also won’t cost you more than $100.)
It’s just a must when you go to Queenstown. Actually, it’s one of the first things we did the second we got off the bus. While the wait is long (think an hour long) it’s worth it. For as low as 12 dollars you’ll get one of the tastiest burgers you’ll eat in your life. It’s not famous for nothing. Although I wasn’t a huge fan of the onion rings, trust me, you won’t need sides for your meal. You’ll feel stuffed.
(Which, is considerably the worst or best thing to happen to you if you’re drunk and hungry at 2 a.m. because Ferg is smart. They’re open super, super, super late.)
My suggestion: I basically only ordered the Ferg with Brie cheese, but according to my friends Southern Swine is a huge must.
2. Hike (or as it’s more wildly called: tramp)
If you want to save a 32 dollar round trip – up and down the gondola – put on some work out clothes, comfortable running/hiking shoes, bring a ton of water and hike up the mountain to the Skyline.
I went along with six guys and two girls and it was the most brutal walk I have ever done in my life (well, at least it burned the calories from that Ferg). While there is a slightly easier way up (if you take the access road), we took the hard way up.
It’s exhausting, it’s brutal, but when you get to the top it’s absolutely worth the view of Queenstown from above.
On a side note, the boys continued on to a three-slash-five hour hike on the Ben Lombard trail. I happily passed on that and ate a steak and cheese pie instead.
Note to self: work out and never, ever go hiking again when you feel sick.
For 79 dollars four of us took the gondola up at 8:30 p.m. to enjoy an hour tour of the Southern night sky.
It was cold and slightly cloudy, but the free hot chocolate and Canada Goose jackets they loaned us (read: I know some people think they’re overpriced, but honestly they really are an investment) made for an enjoyable experience.
The tour allowed us to look through telescopes and learn about different stars and constellations and even got a chance to see Saturn and Mars.
Fun fact of the day: the Southern Cross constellation appears on the flags of five countries (Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, Papau New Guinea, and Samoa). New Zealand is the only one that has four stars instead of five.
Even if you’re not an astronomy junkie, the tour was great in keeping the facts simple but interesting.
Whoever says Queenstown is one of the most expensive cities is a liar. It’s not. It’s far from it.
Especially when it comes to the drinks.
The beauty of being with KiwiExperience is that more often that not it’s easy for you to get five dollar drinks – especially at Loco (read: their pulled pork sandwiches were amazing, by the way.)
The Find was a great place to get shots along with a pretty good playlist. If you also want good music check out Buffalo (it has a large fireplace, great for keeping warm from the cold).
For the most part, having some nightlife fun is cheap and easy in town and with all of them close to the hostels, it’s OK, you won’t get lost going home.
I forget the one place of this bar, but during happy hour you could get a bucket of wings or a pint of beer or a glass of wine (about seven pieces) for three dollars. Needless to say, I hate beer and wine but those wings, worth it.
(Also, if you’re ever in town grab a Cookie Time cookie. Sorry to all the Kiwis, but it’s way better than a Ms. Higgins.)