I’ll try this again. You deleted a post, and I lost all my work.
I posted the below for a friend, so it may sound funny reading it. She was there to run the marathon.
The town of Queenstown is fairly compact, particularly the tourist area. Tons of activities outside of town, from hiking, to river rides, to bungee jumping, skiing, etc. It’s also the jumping off place to the Milford Sound, which is still a half-day trip just to get to. (We did not go to Milford Sound due to it is a time commitment, hiking can be four days.)
We stayed at the Novotel Queenstown Lakeside. It overlooks the lake. It’s part of the Accor hotel chain (which most people know the Mecur hotels in Europe). Bunch of hotels of various sizes, costs, types around (including Hiltons, Marriotts). We got a good deal, and it was ideally located. Be careful getting some place on the other side of the lake. It can have its advantages, but it can be a hike to get into town. But the lake is good for running around.
For a good dinner, we went to Botswana Butchery. It’s sort of like a Ruth Chris for NZ. Very good, but a meat-lovers place. A top-rated place we could not get into was Rata. Probably a better mix of foods. Reserve in advance.
Some cheap eats – The Cow is an institution, pizza and beers. NZ is getting into craft brews. Another place we ate, and don’t laugh, was Taco Medic. It’s on a side street. By the time we got to Queenstown, we were getting tired of some food (been 2 weeks since Auckland), and a taco sounded good, and it was. Was a top Trip Advisor rec.
The wines in NZ can be great. Go to a place called The Winery. Sort of clubby feel – with leather chairs, fireplace. You pre-pay a debit card, and go around and get samples out of machines. Great experience, and TONS of wines on tap, and for purchase (honestly, you could do all your wine shopping here and be done). Each of you get a card, and get various samples to share. But after you run! On one wall was a machine with some NZ whiskey. Try the one using the Manuka wood – delicious, and horribly expensive by the bottle. BTW, the Manuka honey is overrated and expensive. And don’t pass on some of the sweet dessert wines.
Just above the roundabout is Avis, where we rented a car, in case you drive anywhere. I think Hertz was across the street from our hotel. The water is the main focal point for town. Lots of stuff on the water, and the town is full of tourist offices offering tickets to all the outdoor activities.
I have Starred these places on the map:
Just outside of town along Highway 6 are a bunch of good wineries. Could be worth a daytrip. Some I would recommend include:
(Note: Many wineries in NZ also have good places to eat)
• Amisfield – You might find their wines here in the US. Make a great rose. Fun place to visit. Great place to eat. We visited and ate.
• Gibbston – We went there. Big touristy winery. Not sure I would recommend.
• Peregrine – nice wines
• Felton Roads – Did not go, but great wines
• Mount Difficulty – Same, did not go, but great wines
• Carrick – nice wines
• Pisa – nice wines
• Rippon – If for some reason you drive up through Wanaka, you must go here. One place you can’t eat, but their wines are phenomenal, and the place is spectacular, beautiful scenery.