When it comes to winter escapes, there aren’t many destinations in the world that rival Queenstown. The photogenic town in New Zealand sits on the shores of the South Island’s Lake Wakatipu against the dramatic Southern Alps and has been a go-to destination for discerned travellers for decades — and for very good reason. As a favourite amongst adventure lovers, keen skiers, foodies, and wine enthusiasts alike, Queenstown’s diverse offering means there a little something for everyone, no matter your travel style. Here the best places to stay, drink and dine in NZ’s southern hotspot.
If you’re a fan of a room with a view, don’t look past Matakauri Lodge. Incredibly located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Matakauri Lodge offers luxury lodge accommodation that offers a breath-taking panorama view of the big three — The Remarkables, Cecil and Walter Peak. And while the views are impressive, the interior is equally as impressive. Styled by acclaimed interior designer Virginia Fisher, Matakauri Lodge’s approach to luxury is understated and welcoming making it feel incredible special, but yet like home. If you’re looking for a truly unforgettable stay in Queenstown, Matakauri Lodge has your name on it.
Eichardt’s Private Hotel
Known as ones of Queenstown’s most prestigious lakeside addresses, Eichardt’s Private Hotel is a class act. The Smith Hotel’s property is a Queenstown icon and offers accommodation in seven luxurious Lake View Suites, four comfortably appointed Lakefront Apartments, The Residence and The Penthouse which are all idyllically situated on the fringe of the lake. With a past steeped in history, refined interiors, extraordinary views and an unrivalled location in the heart of town, Eichardt’s Private Hotel’s icon status is well-deserved.
If you’re looking for a hotel stay that is more on the cool side than the classic side, book yourself a room at Sherwood. Set on three acres of alpine hillside in Queenstown overlooking Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables range, Sherwood is the perfect place to unwind and reconnect. Sherwood’s recently renovated guest rooms range from the humble luxury of a lakeside studio to the communal comfort of a queen-size bunkroom. Sherwood’s offering is unique all-round — its menu is made from food harvested from its very own kitchen gardens; it has an in-house yoga, pilates and meditation instructor; an Ayurvedic massage offering; a sheltered central garden perfect to sip, snooze or snack; and an ever-changing line up of live music, film, writers and artists in residence. The only downside? You’ll find it hard to leave to explore the rest of town.
Amisfield Winery and Bistro
Established in 1988, Amisfield is set against the backdrop of the majestic Pisa mountain range and is one of the largest single estate vineyard in Central Otago — one of Queenstown’s famed wine regions that is best known for its Pinot Noir. Its vineyard and fine wine is perfectly complemented with its world-class bistro which serves the best of what’s local and in season. It serves its signature “Trust The Chef” degustation menu — a three to seven course gastronomic lunch or dinner experience designed to be matched with a selection of wines. Executive Chef, Vaughan Mabee, works with a dedicated forager and an experienced charcutier to hunt, gather and curate fare that supports its vision — to deliver fresh, seasonal produce that celebrates our bountiful region and its unique flavours. Cuisine Magazine sums the unique experience up perfectly, “Amisfield’s genius is in making you feel that there’s no better place anywhere in the world to be at that moment.”
Jack’s Point Restaurant
If you love seasonal fresh fare, water-meets-mountain views and exceptional service, you will love Jack’s Point Restaurant. Backdropped by The Remarkables mountain range, lakes and a championship golf course, Jack’s Point Restaurant is a memorable place to dine. Its menu reflects its location and seasons by creating dishes that are made with the local produce on offer by a talented team of chefs. It’s hunger-inducing menu is made only better by its drinks list featuring the best of Central Otago wines and local craft beers. The 20 minute trip from the heart of town to reach Jack’s Point is 20 minutes very well spent.
Cocktail enthusiasts, put Little Blackwood on the top of your Queenstown hit list and we promise you won’t be disappointed. Arguably the best bar in town, according to locals, Little Blackwood is a hip cocktail bar and eatery on the edge of Queenstown’s Lake Wakatipu in the famous Steamer Wharf Waterfront. Find a cosy spot by the fire, make your way through the praised cocktail list (or beer list) and share an artisan meat and cheese boards before settling in for the evening.
The new kid on the Queenstown bar block is Yonder — a café by day, bar by night and popular hangout all day long. With 12 craft beer taps, crafted cocktails, an extensive wine list and an all-weather beer garden, Yonder has a little something for everyone no matter your poison of choice. Located inside a transformed 1885 cottage, Yonder boasts a pretty-meets-cool interior that is home to numerous nooks, booths, groups tables and an outdoor sun-drenched courtyard. In short, Yonder belongs on every Queenstown travel list.