As you can barely walk a block without seeing an advertisement for bungee jumping, sky diving, or the like, it’s no surprise that New Zealand’s south island city of Queenstown proudly declares itself as the “Adventure Capital of the World”.
But if you don’t have the stomach (or the budget) to chase after all things adrenaline, here are a few other ways to entertain yourself in this thriving ski town.
Take a Hike
Queenstown is surrounded by mountains aptly named the Remarkables–so you might as well climb one! There is a gondola ride available up to Bob’s Peak, but consider taking an hour out of your day to wind through the forests of Ben Lomond and hike your way up via the Tiki Trail. (And if your legs are wobbly by the end, you can always take the gondola down!) Once you’re at the top, you can enjoy the breathtaking views by tucking into a relaxing lunch or jumping into a luge that lets you coast around on top of the world!
- Bonus tip: If the view during the day isn’t enough for you, you can sign up for a stargazing tour. Be sure to bundle up!
Take a stroll
- If you’re looking for something more leisurely than a vertical hike, a stroll around the botanical gardens is a welcome alternative! With lush forest on one side of you and dramatic coastline on the other, it’ll be difficult to know where to look first. Kick off your shoes and walk along the water, or head further into the park to practice your aim on the disc golf course!
- Bonus tip: Swing by the waterfront bakery Patagonia on your way to the trail head to find a treat for your walk. Their creamy hot chocolate or rich ice cream has you covered for all seasons and temperatures!
- It’s difficult to go a day without hearing someonereference the legendary burgers at Fergburger—and it’s certainly difficult to miss the mass of hungry diners waiting to experience one. (If you’re lucky, you’ll arrive at one of those rare moments where the line doesn’t wind out of the door.) And once you’ve polished off your last bite of burger, you can even head next door to Mrs. Ferg’s bakery for dessert!
Bonus tip: Although it’s not directly on the menu, ask for a Bambi Brie–the deer burger with the creamy French cheese is a tasty meal, snow or shine!
Shake Your Groove Thang
Whether it’s a weekday or the weekend, there always seems to be something going on in the Queenstown nightlife. The high volume of backpackers make sure that there are plenty of people to meet, and many of the popular restaurants convert into dance floors in the evening (pizzeria Winnie’s comes to mind) to accommodate.
Bonus Tip: Dancing not quite your thing? Head on over to Western-themed Cowboys for oldies music and a chance to ride the mechanical bull!
Get Outta Tow
Queenstown’s gorgeous scenery is undoubtedlycaptivating. However, if you care to find a bus tour (or go the cheaper route of renting a car), there are plenty of scenic areas in day-trip distance. Neighboring towns Wanaka and Arrowtown are two such popular destinations. Many use Queenstown as a gateway to the Deep South as well, where you can see Milford Sound and the Fjordlands National Park, among other wonders.
Bonus Tip: Need a snack for the ride? Stop by Queenstown ‘s Vudu
cafe for a freshly-baked work of art. It should keep your sweet tooth satisfied for all the kilometers to come!