The best one day itinerary for Queenstown.
Updated: Mar 5, 2020
First things first, Queenstown deserves much more than one day. But, if all you have is a day in Queenstown then you must be able to make the most of it. If you try and do everything that you can, you might not be able to make the most of it.
We spent about three days in the adventure capital of the world. Not only is QNZ beautiful but also thrilling. We went to multiple places to eat and tried to do most of the adventure activities. Ofcourse, the snow wasn’t around at the time so those sports have not been considered. Picking the best of what we did and how you can make the most of your one day in the city is what we thought would be fun and informative.
Start your day early. This is not entirely a suggestion, it is how things are there. Sun is early, fun is early, in Queenstown.
We did not opt for hotel breakfast and strongly recommend you to go for Red Rock Café and Bar for your early morning cup of coffee coupled with eggs. The menu is pretty and very satisfactory for breakfast. By the way, it is a bar as well. Check out our other picks for breakfast in Queenstown or somewhere nearby.
Isn't the coffee just so pretty.
After your breakfast, take a minute to walk down to the AJ Hackett Bungy office and book yourself a ride to the Nevis Playground. Believe me, as soon as you are done with the process and have your palm backsides marked with number and weight, what you feel inside is very different from what you felt when you were having your breakfast 30 minutes before.
A scheduled bus will take you to the Nevis Valley, the ride itself is very interesting with the driver continuously talking the group and the scenery on both sides of the bus. The Nevis Playground is at a very convincing height from the plains, buckle up.
Now, AJ Hackett offers Nevis Bungy Jump, Nevis Catapult and Nevis Swing. Do what you want to do, but we’d say that do not come back without jumping. The highest Bungy Jump in New Zealand and also the most popular in the world should be the first on your Bucket list. If you want to enjoy the thrill with your partner, go for Tandem Swing, and if you want to claim being different, go for the Catapult. AJ Hackett also offers two other bungees and one other swing, but, needless to say that experience of the Nevis is unmatchable. Go ahead, buy all your pictures and videos. This is where you do not try and save money. You want to watch yourself make that jump again and again and remind yourself that you did it. And if you did that then you can do anything.
By the time you are done, not only do you love life harder, but you also are hungrier for more. A bus leaves for town every half-an-hour, hop on to one and soon you are back. Head straight to Fergburger and grab yourself the grandest burger in the country. Fergburger is literally the only place that opens till late in Queenstown. They only have a takeaway option and a bit of seating outside. Place your order quickly, because it takes time. Fergburger is always queued up. Lunch is sorted. You can get Fergburgered for supper as well, like we did. But if you only have a day, you'd like to end with a comfortable sitting for dinner and enjoy a meal.
Walk up about 500 meters from Fergburger and reach the base of Skyline Gandola. Not that you’ve never taken the ropeway before, but this is different. Of course, it is in New Zealand, that’s different but it is also different because of what it has on top- The Luge. The Luge for us was a very new experience. It wasn’t all that adventurous and scary, but it was so much fun. Imagine this, you have to do something for the first time and there are certain technicalities involved so you obviously have to learn it first. For the luge, you have to first learn how it works, practice it and then do it all be yourself. Frrom the point of you stepping on the arena and walking up to the luge bike (if I can call it that), they will tell you the technicalities, make you learn them, practise them and voila, take the damn thing on a spin.
I did miss the part of what else with Gandola. First you take the Ropeway Trolley 450 meters high. There is a lovely Stratosphere Restaurant, a gift shop and Jelly Store (What!). Who doesn’t like jellies! You will see yourself looking at the picture that you have seen so many times on the internet of Queenstown. Frame yourself in it and capture the wholesomeness of this town on Lake Wakatipu, the mountains from the viewing deck. Spend some time before you take the open chairlift to the Luge starting point. That’s right, there is another ropeway that takes you to higher ground from where you sit on your luge ride and let gravity do the rest. Have fun.
When you are back on the ground in the centre of the town, it is evening but the sun hasn’t set. However, the shops are starting to bring their shutter down. Take a scroll near the lake and you will find live music and a comfortable hustle-bustle. It is crowded and still not really crowded. That is the liveliness of the place. These performers may or may not be from Queenstown or even New Zealand, but they are there. The sky is getting dark, and it is time for dinner.
There are many casual dining restaurants you can go to but it totally depends on what cuisine you want to have. I suggest you go for Ivy and Lola’s Kitchen + Bar for European and Kiwi dinner; or to White+Wong’s for Asian. We went to the latter. Please note that no matter where in the world you go, you will always find at the very least, one Indian restaurant that will fill your stomach to the brim. If alcohol completes your day, go for cocktails they serve. Enjoy your meal.
Wait, it’s not over yet. Now, there was one constant for us through the three days- MRS FERG. Man, the gelatos and ice creams, they are so delicious that it is hard not to go back for another scoop.
Trust me, the day would have been tiring and you’d want a good sleep. Go back to your lousy hotel because QNZ is meant for outdoors, have a good night's sleep.