Guide to summer in Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, on New Zealand’s majestic South Island, is charmingly located on Lake Wakatipu. The towns’ pebbled beach offers stunning views down the turquoise coloured lake with mountains rising straight out of the water. Queenstown feels both peaceful and rearing to go at the same time with adventure sports offerings aplenty.

We spent four days in Queenstown with a side trip to Milford Sound and a three day trek along the acclaimed Routeburn Track. Below is a list of places and experiences we enjoyed and can recommend.

1. Take a 2 hour return cruise along Lake Wakatipu on the TSS Earnshaw paddle steamer (see full review here)

2. Catch the Gondola up the mountain for great views over Lake Wakatipu and the town.

3. Visit the Kiwi Bird Sanctuary to see the nocturnal Kiwi in a well run and maintained sanctuary.

4. Eat lunch at Madame Woo‘s Malaysian-Chinese restaurant. A nice fit out, good service and a delicious eggplant, duck egg and prawn laksa will keep you satisfied.

5. Breakfast at Vudu Cafe & Larder. Good meals and one of the best coffees in town.

6. Craft beers and solid cooking at Atlas Beer Cafe make for a good, casual dining experience overlooking the water.

7. Kayaking and Stand Up Paddle Boarding on the Lake Wakatipu.

8. Oysters from Aggie’s Fish Shack on the beach.

9. Enjoy the tunes from the famous piano busker while watching the sun set over the lake.

10. Head out of town to the spectacular Milford Sound (see full review here).

11. Trek the renowned Routeburn Track (full review here).

Queenstown NZ paddle steamer Queenstown NZ restaurant Queenstown NZ viewing platform Queenstown NZ Wildlife park