The Local’s Guide to Queenstown: Where to stay, eat and explore


Credit: Destination Queenstown
Credit: Destination Queenstown
Welcome to the Local's Guide to Queenstown! If you're planning a visit to this beautiful destination in New Zealand, we've got you covered with insider tips on where to stay, eat, and explore.

As locals, we know the best spots that may not be on the tourist radar, and we’re here to help you make the most of your trip. From cozy accommodations to delicious dining options, and hidden gems for exploring, let us be your trusted source for an unforgettable experience in Queenstown.

Beautiful Eichardt’s

Best Brunches in Queenstown

Perhaps the best meal of the day, particularly in Queenstown.

  1. Located on the edge of Lake Wakatipu, visit The Grille by Eichardt‘s for a bistro-style brunch. The menu offers something for everyone, with sweet and savoury options. Don’t pass up the offer the local Otago Honey Yoghurt & Berries.
  2. Charming Arrowtown is home to The Dishery. Hidden away near the river, the ever changing menu at The Dishery showcases the best of the season. 
  3. Former-sister cafes Vudu Café & Larder and Bespoke Kitchen are local favourites. Their counters are all full to brim with mouth-watering baked goods that are hard to resist. Who said you couldn’t have Carrot Cake for brunch?
  4. Queenstowners love supporting local, and there is no where better than Saturday mornings at the Remarkable Markets. Be sure to bring your reusable cup, order a coffee and enjoy the fresh local produce, including a bacon and egg roll of course.
  5. Stare up at the Remarkables over your coffee at The Boat Shed Café in Frankton. Situated in a restored, historic New Zealand Railways Shipping Office, The Boat Shed shows off local produce from the entire Otago region.
People can walk or cycle on the path in Queenstown Gardens

Best Walks in Queenstown

It’s not a trip to Queenstown without a visit to one of the many local tracks

  1. For those who aren’t keen on climbing mountains, a walk around the Queenstown Gardens is the ideal way to start the day. Visit the beautiful rose gardens and for those feeling a little more active, try your hand at a round of frisbee golf. The Gardens are also great for a walk after dinner in town. 
  2. Iconic walk, The Queenstown Hill Track, is a must do for those after amazing views close to town. As they say, the view is worth the climb, and this one certainly is. You can set off from town, or drive up to the start of the walk. At the top, you will find the incredible Basket of Dreams sculpture by Caroline Robinson.
  3. Local’s favourite the Mt Crichton Loop Track features rivers, waterfalls and a historic hut. Located just out of town, on the way to Glenorchy, the well-formed track is ideal for families looking for views of Lake Dispute and glimpses of Lake Wakatipu.
  4. Arrowtown is a gateway to several beautiful hiking and biking trails that offer outdoor enthusiasts a chance to explore the scenic beauty of the region. The Sawpit Gully Loop Track is an easy, family-friendly loop track. It takes you on a journey through beautiful beech forests and along the tranquil Arrow River. With interpretive signs along the way, you can learn about the town’s gold-mining history while immersing yourself in the natural beauty of the area.
  5. Embark on an epic adventure in Queenstown with the Tiki Trail and Ben Lomond hike. Stunning views, challenging trails, and nature’s beauty await. The picturesque and scenic route that takes you from the town center up to the top of Bob’s Peak, providing stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains along the way.
Escape to The Rees on the shores of Lake Wakatipu

Best Hotels in Queenstown 

Queenstown has a range of accommodation options, from luxury lodges to lakeside apartments

  1. A MiNDFOOD favourite, The Rees is always welcoming. Whether visiting for a weekend, or staying for a longer trip skiing, The Rees has many luxurious options. The Rees Lakeside Residences are perfect for families or bigger groups who want the amenities of a hotel, but more space than a traditional hotel room.
  2. Located in Fernhill, Kamana Lakehouse showcases Queenstown from a different angle. The newly opened hotel has an incredible on-site restaurant, Nest at Kamana, which is definitely worth a visit.
  3. For an ultimate escape, visit Millbrook Resort (above), a luxury hotel offering a championship golf course, award-winning day spa, five dining venues, health & fitness centre & much more. The Resort features studios, as well as multi-bedroom units, perfect for families or groups visiting.
  4.  An option closer to the Remarkable ski fields, The Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa is located on the edge of Lake Wakatipu in the Kawarau Village. The eforea: Spa features a 25m swimming pool, as well as a sauna and steam room, ideal for après ski relaxing.
  5. A local favourite, eco-friendly The Sherwood is set on a hillside overlooking picturesque Lake Wakatipu, with views up towards The Remarkables. Offering yoga and meditation in the Wellness studio, sustainable values are at the heart of The Sherwood.
The Famous Big Al from Fergburger

Best Places to Eat and Drink in Queenstown

Queenstown is a vibrant and lively town that is known for its bustling food and drink scene. Here are some of the best places to eat and drink in Queenstown:

  1. Iconic burger joint, Fergburger is a must-visit for anyone visiting Queenstown. Fergburger is famous for its massive, juicy burgers that are made with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Be prepared to wait in line, but trust us, it’s worth it!
  2. At Mora Wines & Artisan Kitchen, diners are invited to linger, to take pause. The beautiful Arrowtown restaurant is dedicated to crafting culinary delights using locally-sourced ingredients, prepared with care and creativity.
  3. Known for its exceptional dining experience, Botswana Butchery offers a unique blend of warm hospitality, exquisite cuisine, and a cozy ambience that makes it a favourite among locals and visitors alike. With a focus on locally-sourced, high-quality ingredients, the menu features a range of meat and seafood dishes that are expertly prepared and presented.
  4. Blu Kanu is a unique restaurant offering a fusion of Asian and Pacific flavours. Known for its innovative menu, stylish decor, and relaxed atmosphere, Blu Kanu is a popular dining destination for those looking to explore exciting new culinary experiences.
  5. At Margo’s, the team pride themselves on being anything but your typical Mexican restaurant. Talented chefs bring together their culinary influences from all over the world to create vibrant soul food that takes you on a taste adventure like no other. If you’re feeling adventurous, ask your server about their “secret menu”. You can thank us later. 

25 things to do in Queenstown


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