My 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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
Skippers Canyon by russellstreet