Queenstown – Stay, Eat, Play

Queenstown – Stay, Eat, Play

I’ve visited Queenstown approx four times in the past twelve months. Pretty good considering I’d only been there once previously.

Queenstown is such a fantastic spot. From the picturesque scenery to wine tasting, to adventurous activities, and to world-class dining and accommodation, this holiday destination has it covered.

Here are my top picks of where to stay, eat and play.

Stay:
Accommodation in Queenstown is key. The first consideration is whether or not you have a car. If you don’t, you’re going to want to be in the city centre. If you do, your options become more open.

My faves:

  • QT Hotel – Fab hotel, boutique feel. Rooms are fun and funky, fab views of the lake. The bar is great too, perfect for sundowners.
  • M Gallery, St Moritz – I love this place. I stayed for a few days to brainstorm a new biz last year. Rooms are a bit luxe and have lovely small touches. My fave thing about staying was the nightly turndown service. Each night a maid would come in, turn down my duvet, put choc and water beside my bed with an inspiring quote, close my window and put on relaxing music. It was a nice cue to remember to wind down. The restaurant has a great wine list. I suggest joining the Accor Club if you travel regularly – they have great room and dining options.
  • AirBnB – Perfect choice if you’re staying with a large group. We stayed at one a bit out of town with 4 rooms and 3 bathrooms for a girls’ weekend. Was fantastic.

Eat:
You’re spoilt for choice in Queenstown. There’s so many great places to eat, I will struggle to list them all here. In fact, while compiling this, I’ce decided I will write a blog soon with more details on these delicious venues. Also of my favourite wineries to visit too.

My faves:

 

Play:
Again, spoilt for choice.

  • Alpine wine tour: Do you like your wine tours a little bit fancy? The amazing crew at Alpine Luxury Tours took us for a fab wine tour in a new Merc AMG around their fave vineyards. Skip the queues.
  • Onsen Hot Pools – these are amazing. The ultimate in a relaxing, luxe day and of course, the obligatory insta pic!
  • Trips out to Wanaka, Cadrona, Arrowtown and surrounds.
  • Cheap activity deals – I came across this through the AirNZ website last year. I managed to find a fairly decent discount on a chopper tour!
  • Helicopter Tour over the Remarkables – was amaazinggg! I got that on a deal from the above-mentioned website with The Helicopter Line. Around 200pp I think.
  • Milford Sound day/overnight trip. Loved this. We drove ourselves out there rather than a tour. Make sure you stop at Mirror Lakes if you’re driving. Milford Sound Lodge is incredible if you can get in. And be sure to do a cruise!
  • Forme Day Spa:  A fab spot for a lovely massage or beauty treatment.

Please leave a comment if you have suggestions for my next trip to Queenstown to stay eat or play!

Hikari Sushi – best ramen in Queenstown

Hikari Sushi is my favorite spot for ramen in Queenstown, hands down.

There’s not much better than when it’s freezing cold outside, heading inside to slurp over a hot bowl of steaming noodles. Especially after a big day exploring around in the snow.

I ordered the spicy tonkonsu ramen, I love a bit of spice. What I loved most about the dish was the charred Chasu pork. Perfectly charred, the pork slices spread a beautiful smokey taste right across all the elements of the dish. As well, the broth was delicious, there was plenty of bamboo, pork and the marinated egg was even well done! I often find that marinated eggs are a letdown, but these guys nailed it.

The team was lovely, even though we were their last customers of the day and they would have been itching to leave.

You can find Hikari Sushi restaurants right across Queenstown. We visited the Mall location.

I also had the udon tempura noodle soup at their airport location (another of my favourite comfort foods when I’m in the cold), which was delicious. But if you’re tossing up between the ramen and the udon, go the ramen! And spicy, if you can handle a kick of spice.

I’ve tried ramen in other places in Queenstown and this is definitely my favourite spot. Bonus is that it’s super central and with multiple locations, they’ve got most of the area covered.

Tell me that you’re not craving ramen now!

Hikari Japanese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Queenstown Impressions

My first impressions of Queenstown was that it was kind of like Whistler but with better burgers.

Is a very touristy town obviously built to take advantage of the wonderful playground that nature has provided.

And damn Fergburgers are good.

We went up the gondola to check out the view and at first it was freezing, we were even sleeted on so we went in for a coffee. Ten minutes later we went out to find all the clouds had cleared and the sun was out! This was pretty much how the weather behaved for the two days we were there.

I was hoping for some decent nightlife but I guess either we didn’t look hard enough or week nights in autumn aren’t all that popular. I’m going with the latter.

We did however discover some delicious food such as Ferburger and the Vudu Cafe.

We checked out Gibbston Valley Winery and Cheesery, the cheesery was a surprise much to our delight! We ended up taking home 5 blocks of cheese. The blue and their softest white were absolutely divine.

The winery tour itself was actually really interesting. Theirs are the oldest in the area and they have opted to stay small and boutique. In the deepest I frosts in winter they actually hire a helicopter to hover above and keep the frost off!

The man who built the winery was incredibly smart, using the geology of the land to find the perfect spot to grow Pinot and a radiating rock on the side to generate heat. He used this same rock to drill (he actually blew it up) into and create a cave that self regulates to keep the perfect temperature for storing the barrels of wine year round.

Wine was delightful, especially the Pinot noir and the Riesling.

Back in our lovely three storey, two bedroom apartment we kept to our tradition and finished off a lovely bottle of Moët, the 5 blocks of cheese, 4 dozen oysters (we accidentally bought 2 doz at the same time) and a cigar for Dave! Perfection. Evidently not enough as we ended up at Fergbakery for a ridiculous amount of desserts. Ommm.

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Vudu Cafe, Queenstown

Vudu Cafe in Queenstown in number one on TripAdvisor, with good reason.

We stumbled across the cafe on a stroll around the waterfront and I recognised it from TripAdvisor so we decided to check it out for breakfast.

I ordered poached eggs with grilled haloumi, cherry tomatoes and smushed avo. It was bloody marvellous. I enjoyed every second of that meal.

I tried Ru’s Summer Bowl of Goodness; brown rice, quinoa coconut pudding with lime toffee. Perfect warmed up for a cool morning. Healthy too!

We liked it so much we came back for breakfast today. My salmon eggs benedict came with an entire piece of salmon on the side! The winner was the Salmon with poached eggs, and beetroot on a potato rosti – Ru and Dave both had this and I had food envy the entire time.

The juices! I forgot the juices. I LOVE a goo fresh juice. They have a large variety. The first morning I had an ‘Immune Booster’ – carrot, beetroot, apple and ginger then today I had a Berry something – blueberries, strawberries, mint and apple juice. My fave way to start the day, both were full of flavour and I had to try not to finish them all before my food arrived! Delicious!

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Vudu Cafe on Urbanspoon

Fergburger, Queenstown

Holy mother of burgers.

A bunch of people recommended Fergburger in Queenstown to me (thanks Carso) and it was all over the #Queenstown tag in Instagram so we thought we would give it a try.

Thank God we did.

I had a Southern Swine burger. NZ Angus meat patty, tomato, lettuce, avo, aioli and relish. My goodness. Never in your life have you had such a delicious burger.

Ru had the Bun Laden (falafel) and Dave had the Cock Cajun, both received rave reviews.

We even considered going back again the next night!

We also tried the Fergbakery. I still wish I tried the lamb and kumara pie but we chose a large range of desserts. I chose the choc raspberry cake, Ru had two tarts and Dave had, choc raspberry cake, a caramel eclair, a choc eclair and a vanilla flan. And they say it’s women who have a sweet tooth!

I couldn’t eat much of the cake, it was very rich and while scrumptious, I was already full. Their pies will be on my mind until I get to try one on my next visit! 20140524-155800.jpg20140524-155812.jpg20140524-155829.jpg

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Fergburger on Urbanspoon

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