72 Hours in Queenstown
Featured destinations: New Zealand, Queenstown
Published 30 March 2016
You can now also pop next door to the FergBaker, where one of New Zealand’s favourite dishes, the pie, is on sale. Here you can taste culinary delights such as deer, red wine and Portobello mushroom pie or, if you want something a little sweeter, I recommend giving the lemon meringue pie a go.Fantastic FiordlandTo combat all those FergBurger calories, you might be interested in a few of the hikes Queenstown has to offer. The flora and fauna in Queenstown is unlike any other and, whatever your fitness level, there will be something for you. There are a number of short scenic walks that start right from the city centre, or you can visit the iconic Fiordland and Mount Aspiring National Parks which are only a short car journey away.
I spent a day visiting Milford Sound, within Fiordland National Park, and the Te Wahipounamu UNESCO World Heritage site. Milford is the only fiord that can be accessed by road. There are a number of ways to explore it, but I opted for a cruise.The boat slices through the waters and either side of you are the towering mountains and snowy peaks. At the pinnacle of Milford Sound is the Mitre Peak; standing proud 1,692-metres above sea level, it is certainly worth the three-hour drive from Queenstown. You also don’t have to look far to see Milford Sound’s wonderful wildlife – from penguins to seals. When floating through this majestic, prehistoric and almost otherworldly dimension, you’ll suddenly understand why it’s often named the eighth wonder of the world.Getting acquainted with QueenstownOnce you’re back in Queenstown, there are still numerous things to see and do. If you want a shot of the whole city, jump on the Queenstown Skyline Gondola. Once you’ve taken in the view, you can eat at the Gondola Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar, or watch Kiwi Haka Maori performances from the comfort of your table.
If the bungy jump wasn’t enough excitement for you, you can also get back down into the city by luging; taking your own little go-cart and riding it all the way back down the hill. The Skyline Gondola also offers access to other walking tracks and mountain bike trails, as well as a beautiful stargazing tour. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that you won’t see stars like this anywhere else in the world.Visiting Queenstown is a once in a lifetime experience. If the food, the adrenaline rush or the friendly Kiwi hospitality isn’t enough for you, simply sitting next to Lake Wakatipu with a pint in your hand and the Remarkable Mountains in your sightline should satisfy even the pickiest traveller.