Six tips to prepare for the mountain

crowne plaza queenstown hotel ski

Queenstown Snow Winter

Queenstown snow is here!

Picture this, waking up in your warm hotel room and opening the curtains to the incredible views over Lake Wakitipu and snow covered mountains. Your heart pumps with excitement to get to one of Queenstown’s many slopes. But what needs to happen to ensure you are in peak preparation for Queenstown snow?

Here are our insider’s tips to ensure you maximise your time on the slopes.

  1. Hit the Gym

    If you’re coming straight from the office to the slopes then weekend ski and snowboard trips could leave you with strained muscles and a sore back. But with the right preparation, including strengthening your hamstrings, quadriceps, back and core, you won’t have to risk injury or suffer from the usual aches and pains. Here are five exercises that will get you into the right shape.

    1. Toy Soldiers
      Stand up straight with your arms by your side. Without bending your knee raise your right leg in front of you and simultaeously extend your left arm in front of you touching your toes. Complete three sets of 10 to 12 reps on each side.
    2. Step-Ups
      Stand facing a box and place your right foot on the flat surface. Step your left leg up to your right, using the muscles in the right leg to propel you. Step down with your left leg, then your right. Complete three sets of 10 to 12 reps and then switch legs.
    3. Medicine Ball Hamstring Curl
      Lie on your back, with your legs extended and your feet resting on top of a medicine ball. Using your leg and core strength, draw the ball in until your knees are bent. Hold this position before returning to the starting position. Repeat for three sets of 10 to 12 reps.
    4. Planks and Side Planks
      Balancing on your forearms in a push-up position, use the strength of your abdominals and glutes to keep your hips raised to shoulder height. Experiment with side planks also by turning on to your side and balancing on one arm and one leg. Complete three sets of 30 to 60 second holds.
    5. Supermans
      Lie on your stomach, slowly lift your arms and upper body, keeping your neck neutral. At the same time, lift your legs, keeping your ankles close together. Hold for a few seconds before relaxing. Complete three sets of 30 to 60 second holds.

      Ski Exercises Queenstown snow

      Planking and superman exercise.

  2. Night Flights

    With Air New Zealand’s new night flights to Queenstown starting at the end of May you can finish work on the Friday and be back home by Sunday evening, making a weekend ski trip to Queenstown so much more accessible. Start planning your ski trip now with our great value ski packages.

  3. Sort out Your Equipment

    Browns Ski shop has been an institution in Queenstown since 1980. Its passionate and experienced team will have you kitted out in no time. Poorly maintained skis or snowboards are often difficult to turn and hard to use, yet that’s what most people ski on every day.

    All tuning work is completed overnight and they even offer a pick-up and delivery service from most of the major hotels in Queenstown. If you don’t have your own equipment, you can make use of their comprehensive rental service which is open July to Sept, 7 days a week.

    SKi package queenstown snow

  4. Fashionable apparel

    You’ll see an array of styles and colours on the mountain, check out the latest fashions and some of New Zealand’s top retailers. Spending the months leading up to your trip getting excited about your outfit will ensure not only style on the mountain but comfort. Bold and bright colours are going to be big again in 2016. My favourite brands are Burton and Volcom, which balance functional freedom of movement with all important style.

    Queenstown Snow Winter

  5. Apps

    The Met Service Snow Weather app is New Zealand’s favourite ski field forecast. Detailed projections, snow falls and webcams will have you prepared in advance for your holiday. Trace Snow, free on Android and iOS is a fantastic ski and snowboarding tracking app. Users can view a summary of statistics of their day after hitting the slopes.

  6. Mountain safety 

    Skiing and snowboarding are fantastic fun but these activities do carry some risk. Having the correct attitude on the mountain is important. This starts with becoming familiar with the many safety tips that all slopes provide for their customers. We also recommend taking a good SPF sunscreen and lip balm up the mountain with you.

SKi package queenstown snow

Most importantly, make sure you start planning your trip well in advance to ensure everything is perfect!

When you feel that you are prepared for the Queenstown snow, don’t forget to look into some of the other great attractions that Queenstown has to offer.  Of course, there is the all important apres ski scene too which is an essential part of the experience. Why not try Onsen Hot Pools to relax those aching muscles, or kick back by the fire at Crowne Plaza Queenstown and enjoy some of their signature white mulled wine in the threesixty lounge bar?

Why stay at Crowne Plaza Queenstown?

  • Be at the centre of it all, walking distance to shopping, bars and restaurants
  • Incredible views of lake Wakatipu
  • Spacious rooms with private balconies
  • Complimentary, unlimited in-room Wi-Fi for IHG Rewards Club members
  • Secure and heated ski storage area
  • Hearty breakfasts
  • Up to the minute snow reports
  • Ski pass sales and in-hotel ski rental services
  • Dedicated activity concierge
  • In-room massage options

Scroll down to view our great ski packages

 

Concierge Corner – Your guide to the Summer Months in Queenstown

Calling All Lovers Of Sunshine And Adventure.

The cloudy days are over; summer has arrived with a vengeance – finally!  Say hello to long, languid evenings spent outdoors imbibing your favourite Central Otago Pinot Noir and enjoying a little live music from some local talent (keen for a spare dollar or two).  In the words of Charles Bowden (an individual somewhat more eloquent than myself) “summertime is always the best of what might be”.  Queenstown puts it best espadrille clad foot forward for the sunny season. From numerous farmers markets, too music festivals that celebrate summer and the New Years, all the way back to the classic – albeit terrifyingly enjoyable – adrenaline activities Queenstown’s famed for. I couldn’t mention any Queenstown activities without including the gem that is Arrowtown. Without a doubt worth a visit any season. Read on for my Queenstown Summer activities picks. Let the magic of middle earth’s summer transport you to another world.

A Whole Lot Of Farmers Markets

Take a moment away from the adrenaline packed activities that we know are beckoning you come hither and slow things down. I know farmers markets are not all unique to summer, but, as far as Queenstown summer activities go, they rank up there. Try one of the many markets that come alive with the warmer weather. The Creative Queenstown Arts’n Crafts Market celebrates the vibrancy of summer with an array of visual and performing arts. Or maybe head a little further afield to the Arrowtown Farmers Market. Fresh produce, live music and hand crafted candles are among the goodies that you will find at the Remarkables Park Markets.

Summer Festivities

Queenstown plays host to a number of summer music festivals – as a side note these are not for the sound shy among you. From SHUCKAFEST to the Julian Temple band, these are a few of the  Queenstown attractions unique to the summer months.

Do you ever find yourself pondering deep, deep thoughts… like, what to do in Queenstown on the 31st December 2017? If so, there is only one Queenstown Festival to consider, New Years Eve 2018 . Be among the first in the world to greet 2018. The festival takes place on the lakefront; enjoy delicious food, live music and great company. From locals too international visitors, this promises to be a wonderful night, celebrating new beginnings, in one of the most beautiful locations on the planet – this is a scientific fact (maybe).

Crowne Plaza Queenstown

Scream, Yell, Repeat

Most people will tell you the best things to do in Queenstown are the adrenaline packed ones and they would not be wrong. While you can do these activities all year round, the many water based activities really take centre stage in the summer months because you are less likely to lose a toe from frost bite. From Kayaking Milford Sound, too ‘Funyaking’ with Dart River Adventures through Mt Aspiring National Park. There are so many water based activities to entertain this summer.

It would be sacrilege to talk about Queenstown activities and not mention Jet Boating. For many visitors it can feel like we have more Jet Boat operators than you can count on two hands. Confused? Don’t worry; I have the insider knowledge to set you right.  The best Jet Boat in Queenstown would have to be the most iconic, the Shotover Jet. However for scenic value alone the Dart River Jet is phenomenal. Honorary mention goes to Skippers Canyon Jet – exploring the Shotover River; this is a great family run operation with that authentic Kiwi feel. As a side note, despite the warmth of summer, Jet Boating is still on the extremely chilly side – word to the wise, dress warm!

Fill Your Stomachs

Our threesixty Restaurant  is a great place to spend a long summers evening. Relax with one of our summer cocktails, why not try some Frose?? Enjoy some mouth wateringly good food and watch the sun kiss the day farewell as she sets over Lake Wakatipu. Threesixty is always abuzz with excitement as day worn travellers recount their latest adventures. You might even discover a new Queenstown activity you hadn’t yet considered.

Frose

Honorary Mention

Arrowtown is the most idyllic little gold mining town at any time of the year. In the 1800’s miners from all over the world flocked to this little corner of the world to make their fortune. The Arrow River was reported to be teaming with gold. Through careful preservation and clever development, Arrowtown has maintained its historic significance and embraced all things modern. It is a place for foodies, history lovers, adventure junkies and shopping addicts alike. For a unique dinning experience I would recommend Postmasters Arrowtown. Once the Postmaster’s residence this delightful cottage will transport you back to the glory of the 1800’s while giving your taste buds something to celebrate.

#ExploreLikeaLocal

My fellow concierges and myself live and breath all things Queenstown. Between us we are a veritable encyclopedia of knowledge, all of which we love to share with our great guests. If you are looking for some insider tips and tricks, then come see us in the lobby of the Crowne Plaza Queenstown hotel. We will have you exploring like a local in no time at all.

Queenstown Autumn Tips – Concierge Corner

Queenstown Autumn Hotel Sale - Crowne Plaza Queenstown

Updates from the Concierge Corner

The colours of Queenstown Autumn are now on full display and we have checked in with our concierge to get the best tips for your autumn holiday in Queenstown.

Queenstown Autumn Hotel Sale - Crowne Plaza QueenstownDiscover Autumn in Queenstown

Autumn has arrived with a suitcase full of sunshine! After what has been not the best of summers here in Central Otago, it seems to be playing catch up in March. With weeks full of blue bird sky days, now is the time to enjoy all of what Queenstown has to offer! So make the most of the luscious weather, head outdoors and get stuck into those summer activities!

Around the Basin Bike Tours

Queenstown Autumn Hotel Sale - Crowne Plaza QueenstownA hot sunny day is perfect for seeing the sights, and what better way than to spend it exploring the area on a bike. Use the amazing guys at Around the Basin to hire a bike and sit back as they shuttle you out to those hard to reach areas. They offer a comprehensive range of packages to suit any traveller. Half days, full days or even multi days. The choice is yours. Got Kids? Take them on the Arrow River Trail which heads out from Arrowtown and ends in the Gibbston wine country. You can even watch as keen adrenalin seekers throw themselves off the Kawarau Bungy bridge, the first ever commercial Bungy! If wine is your thing, then why not bike the wineries as well. The freedom and choice are endless.

Biking around Queenstown and Central Otago is becoming even more popular every year. It’s peaceful, affordable and fun. Is the thought of biking around for hours exhausting? Then try our very own electric bikes, or E-bikes for short. Environmentally friendly, silent and allows for those steep hills! Here at the Crowne Plaza we offer half day and full day rentals. You can get out between 30-70 km depending on much you assist the bike by pedalling. Sounds too soft for you and want something a little bit more extreme? Then head up the Gondola with your mountain bike and take on the crazy trails of Ben Lomond!

Milford Sound by Helicopter

Queenstown is not the only place in the South Island enjoying the weather, Milford Sound is also getting a lot of sunshine. This a perfect time to make use of those incredible local flights. So why not treat yourself to an unforgettable helicopter experience. The crew at Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters have numerous tours that can take you to some pretty remote locations. Never been on a glacier before? These guys will get you there. If you’re really lucky, you might get Alfie, their most experienced pilot. He took Sir Peter Jackson with him almost 20 years ago to do some filming for a small film trilogy called the Lord of The Rings…

A Package for Every Season

Save up to 25% off with our your autumn holiday in Queenstown when you book your stay before 17 May 2017. Stay between 28 April – 31 May 2017. Save up to an additional 5% off when you book directly as an IHG Rewards Club Member. Signing up is easy and free.

Book Now

Home to New Zealand’s Great Walks

Queenstown Autumn Hotel Sale - Crowne Plaza QueenstownThis time of year is also the perfect time to stretch out those legs and take on some of the most beautiful walks in the world. The Southern lakes are home to quite a few! Just to name one, the famous Routeburn track is accessible after one of the world’s most scenic drives into Glenorchy. Start this great walk in Mount Aspiring National Park and after a gradual ascent, you’ll pass through a 130 million-year-old beach forest full of mosses, lichens and ferns. How far you go down the track is up to you. There are checkpoints to suit any level of fitness and time restrictions and a wonderful soundtrack of the native birds to listen to along the way! If you would like a bit of guidance along these walks then look no further than the guys at Guided Walks New Zealand. They can guide you on these incredible journeys and have a wealth of knowledge to pass on. Kind of like your own personal Sir David Attenborough!

Where to Eat in Autumn

After a long days trek, you’re going to be fairly hungry right? Your best bet is our beautiful threesixty restaurant in the hotel. Enjoy panoramic views over Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables while tasting some expertly prepared dishes with locally sourced ingredients. There are also some great brand new restaurants that have recently opened up, to add to the already vast number of places to eat in Queenstown. The Grille by Eichardt’s hotel has recently surfaced to provide a vibrant and stylistic dining experience with amazing views of the Lakefront. Conveniently located in the centre of town by the beach, they specialise in locally sourced produce. Another new restaurant worth noting and should not be missed is The Taj, an upmarket Indian restaurant, whose speciality is local Indian street food. It’s unique, different to the other similar venues and has such an extensive menu showcasing exotic flavours you might have never tried before! It may surprise you!

Queenstown Autumn Hotel Sale - Crowne Plaza QueenstownEvery day in Queenstown is a surprise, you never know what might be waiting just around the corner!

 

Crowne Plaza Queenstown Welcome Back Mr & Mrs Kringle

queenstown_summer_christmas

You might remember the Kringles from 2013 – a nice family of five strawberries exploring the Queenstown surrounds while staying at the Crowne Plaza Queenstown. Well Mr & Mrs Kringle are back – and this time without the kids! Read about their adventures and all the great things to do in Queenstown.

The Kringles managed to secure a sweet deal on flights with Air New Zealand for their pre-Christmas adventure. Safely checked in at Auckland Airport, the pair sat down for a smoothie and wrote a berry long list of their #NZmustdo activities for the trip.
Queenstown’s always been a favourite holiday destination for Mrs Kringle, so she was pumped for an exciting week full of adrenaline and amazing scenerykeen to share her snaps with family through social media 

Once landed, it was time to check into their favourite hotel, Crowne Plaza Queenstown. Widely known as Queenstown’s chic, friendly and cosmopolitan downtown hotel, the Kringles love it because its minutes’ walk from their favourite spots and has awe-inspiring views of Lake Wakatipu.

 

The couple asked the hotel’s friendly concierge to help pick from their exclusive Queenstown guide. First up, was a 90-minute cruise on Lake Wakatipu aboard the “Lady of the Lake”. The iconic steamship, TSS Earnslaw, is one of the best ways to explore Queenstown and surrounds. Mrs Kringle even got to relive her own Titanic moment on the front of the deck!
After a spot of role-playing “I’m flying Jack” and “Iceberg ahead”, it was time to unleash their ‘inner speed demon and take a spin on the Shotover River Canyons Big Red. Reaching speeds of over 85kph, Mrs Kringle described Shotover Jet as “very wet and very wild” and reported back to home to say “mum and dad survived the canyons”! 
Rise and shine! After a delicious breakfast at threesixty restaurant, the Kringles hired electric bikes from the lobby to tackle Queenstown’s trails. Crowne Plaza sent them on their ‘berry’ way with locals’ tips and two delicious picnic boxes to enjoy at a picturesque spot along the way.

Mr Kringle was delighted with the performance from his e-bike, which helped save some energy for the trip up Skyline Queenstown’s gondola for the evening. Only a short walk from the hotel, the iconic gondola took them up to Bob’s Peak where they enjoyed a world-class view of the town and surrounds.  

Knowing the kids loved the Skyline experience three years ago, Mrs Kringle took the opportunity to embrace her inner-child and play with the dog selfie lens on Snapchat.
The adventures continued the night ten minutes outside Queenstown with a relaxing visit to Onsen Hot Pools. They sat back in their Cedar Hot Tub to soak up uninterrupted views across the Shotover River.
Mr Kringle woke up feeling adventurous the next day and googled best helicopter experiences in Queenstown. Over The Top was highly recommended on Tripadvisor so off they fled to the nearby hangar at Queenstown Airport to board their scenic flight.
On landing the berries were starving so they drove back into town for a ‘big-as-your-head’ Fergburger and found a comfy spot overlooking the lake to dig in. MKringle spotted what looked like an orange tiger in the water. He gave up on his Tropical Swine burger and went to investigate..
To his surprise, the orange tiger was in fact an 18ft lake-water shark which offered 15 adrenaline-packed minutes under the water. Next time slot was 4pm, so they sat and enjoyed watching passers-by on the lakefront. 
Next day, Mrs Kringle also had a thrillseeking strawberry up her sleeve – a 15,000ft jump out of a small aeroplane. They strawberries embraced their fear with NZONE Sky Divebut were both thrilled to touch down on the landing field. 

With their time in Queenstown quickly running out, the pair decided to drive to the historic gold mining town of Arrowtown. Mrs Kringle stocked up on Christmas presents for Holly, Noel and Gabriel from her favourite Buckingham Street shops, before enjoying a world-famous gourmet pie at Arrowtown Bakery.

 

Next stop took them in the opposite direction – Glenorchy and then on to Paradise to visit Lord of the Rings and Hobbit locations in Middle EarthThat was all well and good until Mrs Kringle got slightly frustrated with her husband’s Gollum impressions, so back to the hotel they went to start packing to head home.
The Kringle’s had a great laugh as they looked back over their visit. Mrs Kringle spent the afternoon designing personalised greeting cards using their holiday pictures on her new iPhone app. As she signed off her final card “Love you berry much, The Kringles”, she sat back on her lakefront balcony and daydreamed about their next visit to Queenstown.
Until next time – Berry Christmas.
Check out the full family album below!

Winter Queenstown Tips 2016

Queenstown winter

The winter season in Queenstown is not to be missed with stunning vistas of snow capped mountains and incredible ski runs.

Whether you are a skier or not, there are plenty of winter activities to get stuck in to in Queenstown during winter.

 

Not a skier? No problem!

ready-set-goFor those that don’t want to ski but still wish to enjoy the snow, the brand new NZ Snowshoe activity that surfaced last year has improved their tours this year going forward. “If you can walk, you can Snowshoe!” is the popular tagline for the guys that can take you up to the highest peaks to enjoy a trek through the mountains. Issuing you with top-of-the-line slimline snowshoes, walking through snow has never been easier. They offer half day and 3/4 day adventures through the mountains and even the option to Heli Snowshoe, taking you to higher peaks inaccessible by coach.

 

Take to the skies

644_image1_4For those adrenaline junkies that want to ski or snowboard in style, the vast Heliski tours have you covered. The great snow dumps Queenstown has been enjoying lately has provided incredible conditions for off-piste runs. So why not take a helicopter to the many different mountain peaks around the region and enjoy nature in all its glory. The ultimate thrill seeking winter sport! Another option is to Heli-Snowmobile. The possibilities are endless.

 

Feeling adventurous?

Queenstown winterFancy a day off skiing? Start the day with a full buffet breakfast to get you fueled up. Wrap up warm and jump on the Shotover Jet for an adrenaline filled ride. Then take a relaxing cruise across lake Wakatipu on the ‘Lady of the lake’ the TSS Earnslaw to enjoy a tour of the famous Walter peak farm and finish off with an amazing gourmet BBQ lunch. After, head up the Skyline Gondola to ride on the Luge, a downhill sledge karting activity or take part in an exhilarating Zipline adventure with the guys at Ziptrek Ecotours. Coupled with breathtaking views of Queenstown, reach up to 70kmh on their 30-metre zip line! It’s an all-weather activity. Perfect for those rainy days! While you’re up there why not take part in some stargazing with the guys from Skyline, using state of the art telescopes that let you look far into the night sky. Tired? Finish the day relaxing in one of Queenstown’s many bars and restaurants.

 

Where should I eat?

Queenstown winterGrab a table at Coalfire, a brand new restaurant that opened in July. Boasting an extensive menu that covers breakfast lunch and dinner, their style- smokey bbq goodness! Or try Toro, a new tapas style restaurant with a Spanish/ Mediterranean theme. All just a few minutes walk from the centre of town. Or if you don’t feel like leaving the hotel, enjoy panoramic views and delicious meals at threesixty restaurant.

 

See below for some great specials and packages to help you enjoy winter even more.

Happy winter!

 

 

Exclusive Queenstown Mountain Bike Adventure

Dirt Masters Queenstown

Remove yourself from corporate stress with an action packed autumn or spring adventure in Queenstown.

We have put together some of our top ideas to get you started with your next mountain biking adventure.

Biking-in-the-Dirt-MastersEnduro-race-on-Hammys-track

Mountain Biking in Queenstown offers adventurous landscapes and some of the best trails in the South Island. Spring is an unrivalled time to explore the thrills of Queenstown’s incredible terrain. The sun is gentler and the snow is only on the peaks. Queenstown rivals Rotorua mountain biking with its world class trails, breath taking scenery and luxurious accommodation and facilities.

Mountain biking in spring is the perfect adventure!

Undoubtedly time on the Queenstown trails makes for a perfect escape with your friends, a team bonding adventure with your colleagues, or an adventurous get away with your partner. New Zealanders are exceptionally fortunate to have beautiful Queenstown on their backdoor step. After only a few hours’ drive or a short flight our concierge will welcome you to Crowne Plaza Queenstown where you will be transported from your hectic schedule to the serenity of tranquil lakeside views.

Crowne Plaza Queenstown has explored four options for mountain bike enthusiasts to experience Queenstown.

 

Fat_Tyre_Mountain_Heli_Biking_Queenstown_2vertigo-bikes-logo

Vertigo Bikes, less than 300 metres from Crowne Plaza Queenstown is a one-stop shop to get you equipped for your MTB Queenstown adventure. Their experience and enthusiasm in mountain biking Queenstown trails will ensure a successful trip.

Vertigo bikes offer:

  • Full day and half day rental on a range of bikes
  • Queenstown Bike Park combo with lift pass
  • Vertigo Gravity shuttle to trails in the Coronet Peak area
  • Vertigo Bike taxi to anywhere in the Wakatipu basin
  • A breath taking helicopter flight over the Remarkables
  • Skills clinics to increase the confidence of all abilities
Skyline Queenstown is home to an NZ first-ever Gondola assisted bike lift. In amongst the pine trees of the Ben Lomond Reserve it boasts over 30km of world class trails.

Downhill world champion Gee Atherton says of Queenstown trails “some of these tracks could rival world cup tracks!”

 

Skyline Queenstown
Brecon St, Queenstown
Phone: +64 3 441 0101
Fax: +64 3 442 6391
Email: queenstown@skyline.co.nz

Bike-on-Gondola
Biking-towards-The-Remarkables Rabbit Ridge Bike Resort in Gibbston Valley, Queenstown have 40km of professionally designed trails for riders of all abilities. Packages can include a Wine Cave tour and Buffet lunch at Gibbston Valley.

 

Rabbit Ridge Bike Resort
Gibbston Valley Winery,
Gibbston from Resta Road,
Gibbston Valley
Queenstown, New Zealand
0508 RIDE RABBIT

Around The Basin Bike Tours are experts in Queenstown MTB adventures and offer half day and full day tours. The Arrow River trail is a popular favourite that explores the beautiful Arrow River gorge and connects to the original miners trail and the Kawarau suspension bridge.

 

Tel: 0508 QT CYCLE / 0508 78 29253 (within NZ)
Tel: +64 27 952 5801 (international)

Email: info@aroundthebasin.co.nz

Queenstown, South Island, NZ

 

36-Queenstown-Bike-Festival-Biking-on-Hammys-track

Choose a package, choose a room, and enjoy the view

What next?

Queenstown Adventure Package >
View Rooms >
Contact us >

To enjoy any of these experiences book yourself into Crowne Plaza Queenstown with one of our great packages or rates available. Complimentary shuttlebuses for Around the Basin and Rabbit Ridge will pick you up from the hotel. Skyline Queenstown in only a 5 minute walk from the then lobby. Book in advance to save up to 35 percent on your accommodation these school holidays.

Spring_Blog

Crowne Plaza Queenstown know that you will love Queenstown!

Winter has arrived to Queenstown

More than just a sprinkling of snow has been falling all over the South Island. Fortunately the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival is going ahead as planned. The opening ceremony begins in the evening and it is set to introduce a successful 41st year for the festival.

There is so much on during the 10 days of celebration. Take a look at some tips of the top picks for features you don’t want to miss out on.

A generous sprinkling of snow means winter has finally arrived!

Snowing-Central-Queenstown-blog

 

Prime Minister John Key is in Queenstown today June 19 and will be opening the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival at 7:00pm. It is very fitting to have John Key in Queenstown for the event, which will be attracting over 45,000 visitors and generating over $55 million for the local economy.

The 41st American Express Queenstown Winter Festival kicks off in Earnslaw Park with the famous fireworks display and some of the world’s top dancers and street musicians.

This event is not to be missed, voted one of the world’s top ten “must see” festivals.

 

Queenstown is spoilt in winter!

Backcountry-hiking-Cardrona-blog

 

We are privileged to have some of the first ski fields to open! To make it easy for you, here is everything you need:

Coronet Peak: Opened June 13

Cardrona: Opened June 13

The Remarkables: Opens June 20 (Delayed)

Snowfarm: Opens June 20

Treble Cone: Opens June 25

Queenstown Snowcats: Opens July 4

 

The Remarkables is delayed

Skiing-at-The-Remarkables-blog

 

 

The Remarkables ski area is the big news this season. The long awaited completion of the new base building has been delayed due to the diabolical weather. $23 million dollars has been spent and although 120 people are working around the clock there are still several finishing touches to be completed before it can open in prime condition.

Delays and bad weather aside. Winter is here! Get excited, get outside and make some memories.

Queenstown Wine: The Harvest Has Begun

Helicopter queenstown wine

33-Autumn-grape-harvestQueenstown and the Central Otago wine have recently harvested their Pinot noir grape variety. The ideal climate and well suited soils produce more award winning wines than any other New Zealand region.

The warm dry summer has been perfect for grape quality, producing smaller berries with more intense flavours. Wine tours are the best way to experience some of the region’s finest and most well-known brands.

 

 

Here is a list of the most exciting ways to experience wineries in the Queenstown region

  1. Exclusive Heli Wine Flight – Heli Tours Ltd

    Adding a helicopter to any day out makes it incredible. Enjoy a scenic flight over the Gibbston Valley and bird’s eye views of many of the region’s wineries. The breathtaking journey concludes with lunch and wine tasting at Mt. Difficulty.

    queenstown-helicopter-wine

  2. KJet Wine Sampler

    Possibly the most exhilarating way to experience Lake Wakitipu, Kawarau River, and the Shotover River is with a jet boat ride! The hour long adventure closes with an informative tour of the Gibbston Valley Wine Caves and a comprehensive wine tasting. Enjoy some of the regions finest Pinot noirs after your adrenaline pumping escapade.

    Gibbston valley winery, Gibbston Valley. New Zealand.

  3. Off Road 4X4 Queenstown: Wakatipu Wine Adventure

    Wine tours don’t need to be slow paced and conservative. Stunning scenery and off road fun in a 4×4 is one of the best and most adventurous ways to explore the region. The personalised wine tour also includes multimedia presentations and several river crossings.

    Gibbston-Valley-with-views-to-Queenstown

The great advantage of many of Central Otago’s wineries is being able to perfectly match your wine with exceptional food browse around these guys. Many remarkable restaurants are in the region’s top estates and offer gourmet selections of local produce on their menu.

Make wine personal this April and leave Queenstown with a new appreciation of our region’s wines as well as some great memories.

Interested in seeing the Queenstown Wine harvest? The next step is to have a look at some of the region’s top wineries. If your interest continues to grow then make sure you look into some of Crowne Plaza Queenstown’s amazing room options and its superb restaurant threesixty.

The Insider’s Guide to Queenstown in Autumn

Queenstown sunset

32-qtown_sunsetMy name is Andrew Wall and I am a Concierge at Crowne Plaza Queenstown. I am retired minor league baseball player from New York City who has come to Queenstown to live out my ‘quarter-life crisis’.

When I arrived in Queenstown, I had no experience working in the hospitality industry, so I approached this role with the mindset of a tourist. I learned quickly that Queenstown is a place which has a little bit of something for everyone. Our concierge team is asked on a daily basis about the best activities, attractions and restaurants in town. Thankfully, the region makes our job easy with plenty to do to suit our guests’ wants and needs.

Heading into the fall (autumn), the beauty of Queenstown gets more spectacular by the day. Watch the season change as you admire the stunning views from your private balcony at the hotel. Besides the awe-inspiring views which I have fallen in love with, I’d like to share a few of my favourite local attraction and top tips with you.

I’ll start off with my favorite meal of the day, breakfast. You can’t go past Vudu Café which boasts the honours of having the best coffee in town. Vudu has two different locations, one on the upper portion of Beach Street and the other located on Rees Street. The cafe has an excellent chefs menu, along with a large selection of carefully crafted cabinet options. Another great breakfast option is right on your doorstep, the breakfast buffet at threesixty Restaurant at Crowne Plaza Queenstown. With the weather getting cooler outside, wake up and enjoy the extensive selection complete with a cook-to-order egg station and juicer before heading out to explore the region.

Once you’re fuelled up for the day, my top 5 local activities will help you decide the best way to make the most of your time here.

Wine Tasting


Explore some of Gibbston Valley’s finest establishments and make sure to try some Central Otago Pinot Noir for which the region is famous. Whether you want a private tour, a guided option or perhaps even a biking wine tour, our team will help you create the perfect experience.

Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters


For truly breath taking aerial views, a helicopter tour is a must. Create unforgettable memories as you experience the thrill of seeing the region from above.

AJ Hackett Bungy Jumping


There’s a reason why Queenstown is seen as an adventure destination, this is the birthplace of the bungy.  Get the adrenalin pumping as you dive off the platform located 400 metres above Queenstown. You may be a little too occupied to enjoy the view, but make sure to take some pictures at the top!

Skipper’s Canyon Jet


The historic Skipper’s Canyon is a must see on your Queenstown bucket list. You will be picked up from your hotel and enjoy the view as you drive to the canyon. There are plenty of photo opportunities as you journey down the stunning Skippers Road, but the most exciting part is the adventure is the jet boat ride on the Shotover River. You may even find some gold throughout your experience!

skippers canyon

 

Ben Lomond & Queenstown Hill Hikes


If you feel like venturing out on your own, why not experience the Ben Lomond or Queenstown Hill hikes? The tramp to Ben Lomond Saddle takes 3-4 hours so a reasonable level of fitness is required and getting there and back will take most of the day. However, it’s an easy track which offers panoramic views from the top. The Queenstown Hill walk is much shorter and will also reward you with magnificent views for your efforts. If you are short on time, this 2-3 hour return trip is perfect.

After all the activities you’re probably in need of a refreshment or snack. Stop into Rehab Smoothie and Juice Bar and try one of their healthy juices, smoothies or treats to keep you full until dinner.

Last but not least, here is round up of my 5 best dinner options in Queenstown. For the perfect way to end your day, try out one of the below options, I promise you will love them all!

1. Botswana Butchery – If you’re after a fine dining experience in a cozy setting, Botswana Butchery is the place for you. Their dishes focus heavily on the meat component and they do it flawlessly.

2. Fishbone – As the name suggests, this is the place for fabulous seafood. Their menu changes regularly to reflect the catch so you can be sure that what you’re being served is fresh, in season and delicious.

3. Public Kitchen and Bar – Only a stone throw away from the hotel is this amazing restaurant. They use fresh local produce to create mouth-watering dishes which are perfect for sharing (so you get to try more dishes! They also boast exceptional lake front views.

4. Madam Woo – This is celebrity chef Josh Emett’s latest creation. Featuring Chinese and Malay style street food in a unique, vibrant setting this is casual, fun dining at its best.

5. Sasso –Set in a gorgeous historic cottage right in the heart of Queenstown, this Italian restaurant has an intimate atmosphere and staff who are passionate about food. I highly recommend sampling the 3 or 5 course menu and pairing this with beautiful local and Italian wines check this.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to stop by the desk! Our team would be delighted to help you create a unique and unforgettable experience in Queenstown.

 

Cheers,

Andrew Wall

 

Andrew_wells

Photo Credit

Skippers Canyon by russellstreet