If you are wondering what to do in Queenstown for two days, then this is the page for you! I travelled around the south island of New Zealand in June 2015 with 4 other friends. We spent a short but eventful two days in Queenstown.
Queenstown is one of the more populated areas in the south island of New Zealand. It is surrounded by many amazing mountains, which gives such spectacular scenery. However, Queenstown is better known for its activities, such as skiing, bungy jump, shotover jet, etc. Definitely a haven for adrenaline junkies!
Ready for some adrenaline rush?
#1: The Ledge Bungy
Queenstown is the birthplace of commercial bungy jump for public. It was the brainchild of AJ Hackett in the 1980s. Therefore, it is definitely worth a try!
I would highly recommend The Ledge Bungy for first-timers, as it is only 47m high (about 14 stories high). Not that it is not high at all, just that it is relatively shorter compared to the others. NEViS bungy (another bungy in Queenstown) is 143m and bungy at Macau Tower is 233m. So, The Ledge Bungy is like a small fry compared to the others!
You don’t have to worry too much about how the whole bungy system work. The staffs there are very knowledgeable, friendly and professional. So, you will be in good hands! Firstly, they will measure your weight and ask some simple questions about your health.
(TIP: if you ever want to try bungy in other locations, make sure they measure your weight. If they don’t, DON’T EVER JUMP.)
Next, you will proceed to the jump area where the staff there will help you with the harness. Safety is their top priority. So, don’t worry. Just jump!
#2: The Luge Ride
If you have tried the luge ride in Sentosa, this will be very similar as both are operated by the same company. And that was what I thought at first. The only thing that is similar is the luge, which works the same as the one at Sentosa.
The route at Queenstown is so much more complex compared to the one at Sentosa! There are two routes, scenic track (beginner) and advanced track. You will have to go for the scenic track at least once before you can go to the advanced track. There were a few sharp turns and I fell onto the grass patch when trying to negotiate the turn.
Apart from the adrenaline rush, the best part of this ride is the ice-cold air blasting into your face. During one of the rides, I was lucky enough to be riding the luge when it was snowing! That was just amazing.
#3: Shotover Jet
The last adrenaline-packed activity that I will recommend is Shotover Jet. In brief, a highly skilled and humorous driver will ferry you around the Shotover River. The only thing is he drives at a speed of 150km/h most of the time and makes ridiculous 360° turns suddenly.
The boat was carrying a family from Hong Kong as well. It was such a great fun as everyone was so spontaneous! After learning the driver’s ‘signal’ for a 360° turn, we kept making the same signal to him to ask for more! The ride was supposed to be 25 minutes long but the driver took us for a few more spins (literally) as he saw that we enjoyed it. In the end, the whole ride took about 40 minutes. Definitely worth it!
You don’t need to worry that your clothes will get wet, as they will provide you with a waterproof overall to wear. Your hair and face will definitely get wet along the way. But the strong wind will dry it up at the end of the ride!
What to eat in Queenstown?
I will strongly recommend the FERG TRIO – Fergburger, Fergbaker and Mrs Ferg
This is undoubtedly one of the best meals I had during my trip in New Zealand. As the name suggest, they sell burgers. They have 21 different types of burgers to choose from. I’ve tried five of them and I find that ‘the fergburger’ is the nicest of them all. The meat was super juicy and the burger was packed with flavor!
It is not that difficult to find the place as there is always a queue forming. Don’t be disheartened if you see a long queue. The queue moves very fast and we only had to wait for 10 minutes before our orders were being taken. We waited for about another 15 minutes before we got our food.
The best part of the shop is that they operate from 8.30am to 5.30am. Yes, they are open for 21 hours daily. So, if you wish, you can have fergburgers for breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper. And maybe breakfast again. Yes. It is that good.
After a hearty meal at Ferburger, you can walk down the Shotover street for some dessert! Fergbaker and Mrs Ferg are just next-door and they offer some of the most amazing desserts! All three shops have one thing in common; they serve awesome food.
Right beside Ferburger is Fergbaker. They have a wide selection of pastries (and bread) to satisfy all those with sweet tooth! Being an avid baker, I was excited when I entered the shop! Of the four pastries we tried, I liked the flan pie, lemon meringue pie and apple pie.
The flan was smooth and creamy. As for the lemon meringue pie, the proportion of lemon filling to meringue was just right. The tartness and sourness of the lemon filling was balanced beautifully with the sweetness of the meringue. The meringue was soft and fluffy, just like eating cloud. The classic apple pie had an apple filling spiced with cinnamon, covered with a lattice top.
Each slice of pie cost about $6NZD to $10NZD. Not the cheapest but definitely one of the tastiest! Get at least one to try!
How can we resist eating gelato in winter?
We can take our time to savor the gelato without it melting down into a smoothie. The best gelato shop in Queenstown has to be Mrs Ferg. Situated just beside the Fergbaker, Mrs Ferg offers a huge variety of gelato, smoothie and juice. The staffs were very friendly and let us try some of the interesting flavors, e.g. cucumber sorbet.
Just a few streets away, there is an amazing chocolate café. For chocolate lovers, this is THE dessert caféI would recommend, Koko Black. Koko Black originates from Australia and this is the only shop that operates outside Australia.
It is a two-story building which adopts a modern white decoration. They offer a wide selection of chocolate products such as hand-made chocolate truffles, chocolate desserts and chocolate drinks.
By the look of it, you would have guessed it. These are not cheap. Hand-made truffles that are about the size of your thumb cost $2.50NZD each. As they are freshly hand-made, they don’t have long shelf life. As mentioned by the shop manager, they can only last about 1 week. Each dessert cost about $10NZD – $15 NZD and each drink are about $7NZD to $12NZD.
I didn’t have the chance to try the chocolate truffles but I can guarantee you that the dessert and drinks are awesome. I had affogato (ice cream with hot chocolate) and we shared Belgian chocolate mousse and Salted Caramel Délice.
Being a chocolate lover, I enjoyed every single bite of the dessert and every sip of the affogato. The chocolate was so rich but not to the point of choking. I highly recommend all chocoholics to try out this shop!
Another highly recommended dining place is the Fat Badgers Pizza Bar. The staff was very friendly and welcoming. We were ushered to the seat and she introduced us the menu. She recommended several types of pizzas and sides to go along.
We ordered fries with Parmesan, calamari and a half-and-half pizza (fungi and seafood). The serving size was gigantic and we barely finished it. The whole meal cost about $56NZD, which I thought, was quite reasonable.
How to get there?
There are international flights to Queenstown from Australia and domestic flight from major cities such as Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington and Rotorua. This will be the easier mode of transport as compared to the next one.
Rent a car and drive to Queenstown. However, be very careful while driving at the mountain area and open field. The strong wind will occasionally ‘shift’ your car. Make sure you rent a reasonably good and heavy car that can withstand such wind.
Also, for those who are used to driving in Singapore (where traveling the whole of PIE is about 50 minutes), be prepared to drive for long period of time. The journey from Lake Wanaka to Queenstown took us about 2 – 3 hours.
The roads are windy and dangerous, where you often had to drive at 40km/h and below. However, the scenery at the crown range road is definitely worth the effort. My advice to you is to rest every 40 minutes of drive and enjoy the scenery.
Where to stay?
I saw many accommodations while walking along the streets of Queenstown. As I was there just before the ski season, many motels were vacant. As I have not stayed in any of them, I can’t advise you which one is the best.
So, where did we stay for the night? In a campervan! We rented a 6-seater campervan for the whole trip. We did all our business in there. Eat, sleep, shit (yes, shit). We have been to several holiday parks managed by different company. And I recommend TOP 10 Holiday Park as their facilities are very well maintained!
We parked our campervan at the TOP 10 holiday park at Queenstown. As per other TOP 10 holiday park, it was a very well equipped and well furnished. The staffs were also very helpful as they helped as booked all the activities at no extra charges!
Yay or Nay?
Why I love Queenstown:
- A heaven for adrenaline junkie
- Many other activities other than bungy jump (e.g. tracking, scenic plane rides, LOTR tours)
- Tourist-friendly environment with enquiry shops everywhere
- Plenty of good food
- Breathtaking sceneries (especially at Skyline Gondola)
Why I may not love Queenstown:
- Prices of the activities are quite expensive. So set aside a few hundred dollars if you intend to participate in those activities. But I assure you that you will love the experience!
- Temperature fluctuates a lot. The temperature for the first day was 16°C but it was -2°C on the second day! Bring ample clothing to keep yourself warm!
That’s all about my review on the fun things to do in Queenstown New Zealand! If you find more stuffs to do and MUST do over there, comment below!
This post is written by Ding Geng. If you love to contribute your travel story, let us know!