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.


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.


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.

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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


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!

Spring Tips 2016

spring colours tips guide queenstown

Spring is here, now comes the blossom

Winter has come to an end and spring is here, earlier than expected it would seem…

spring colours tips guide queenstown

Ski into September

spring colours tips guide queenstownWith rising temperatures, the spring conditions are here. But that shouldn’t stop the fun! Hit the slopes with your sunnies and t-shirt, there are still plenty of snow days left! What’s more, NZSKI is offering a $299 pass to ski all the way through September at Coronet Peak and The Remarkables.

We also have a great Ski + Accommodation package that gets you some great value on the mountain.


The Colours of Queenstown

spring colours tips guide queenstownSpring is a great time of the year here in Central Otago, the new green leaves start appearing and the blossoms and daffodils are blooming. It’s a magical time to visit Arrowtown. Full of history, this quiet old mining town is an amazing place to shop, go for a walk, soak up the scenery and visit the old Chinese Settlements. A brand new tour that has started up this year, Remarkable Scenic Tours, offers a great little 2.5-hour tour to Arrowtown and its surrounding areas. This includes photo stop points at Lake hayes, historical hot-spots and free time to cruise around Arrowtown itself. They also offer a craft beer tour for those that love their beers!


Get adventurous on the water

spring colours tips guide queenstownFancy doing something a little more adventurous? The warmer weather brings a wealth of activities to get stuck into. Take a beautiful drive to Glenorchy and experience the amazing Dart River Wilderness jet boat tour that lets you explore the hidden side streams, rock pools and dramatic chasms Dart River has to offer. On your return down the river, jump on their Funyaks, inflatable kayaks that let you float downstream and explore the remaining area at your own pace.


One ring to rule them all

Wanka-Sightseeing-Flights2While you are in Glenorchy, why not jump on a horse and ride through the stunning surrounding area checking out numerous famous Lord Of The Rings scene locations as you trot along. Pretend you are Aragorn or a Hobbit for the day! While on the subject of Lord Of The Rings, the central Otago region is full of filming locations used for the trilogy and another great way to experience them is to take a 4X4 adventure. The guys at Off Road Adventures and Nomads have you covered. They take you out, off the beaten track, through rivers and high up look out points. On a beautiful spring day, it really is breathtaking!


Singing in the rain

spring colours tips guide queenstownIt’s never always sunny in Spring of course. There are plenty of rainy days… which is great! The waterfalls at Milford and Doubtful Sound really do come alive when there is a spot of rain. So look up the folk at Real Journeys and journey to the heart of Milford Sound on their luxurious comfortable coaches and then take an incredible cruise across the sounds to take in all its majestic beauty.

Rain should never be a damper on the day. The hundreds of wineries in the region are waiting for you to come try their favourite barrels. Check out Gibbston Valley (it’s my favourite!) they produce some incredible cheeses, have New Zealand’s largest wine cave and started up the Pinot Noir in this region. Lots of history and plenty to see and do just waiting for you right outside the hotel.

threesixty restaurant welcomes Head Chef

threesixty restaurant new Head Chef Mirco Turtschi at Crowne Plaza Queenstown

Welcome Mirco Turtschi

Head Chef at Crowne Plaza Queenstown

Threesixty queenstown chef

The Swiss-born head chef brings a wealth of experience from hotels and restaurants in Switzerland and New Zealand.

Chef Mirco moved to New Zealand from Switzerland in 2008 to become Head Chef at Le Café in Picton. He made the move back to hotels in 2012 at the Langham Auckland and most recently was Executive Sous Chef at Stamford Plaza Auckland.

He stepped away from commercial kitchens for six months in 2015 to teach theoretical and practical classes to international and domestic students at the NZ Management Academy, while spending time with his new-born and first child Sophia.

As winter approaches, Mirco plans to introduce a perfectly executed High Tea experience for locals and guests with delicate afternoon treats overlooking stunning Lake Wakatipu. He’s also looking to energise hungry skiers and snowboarders by introducing a special skier’s lunch.

In Mirco’s spare time he’s looking forward to motorcycling, joining a local squash team and exploring New Zealand’s South Island ski fields.


Make a booking Opening Hours

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Introducing Sleep Advantage™

Sleep Advantage Crowne Plaza Queenstown

Crowne Plaza Queenstown is very happy to announce Sleep Advantage™.

Sleep Advantage Queenstown

The new Sleep Advantage™ program is aimed primarily at business travellers but a great benefit to all, helping ensure a rejuvenating night’s rest so you wake up and feel productive for the day ahead.

Key components of a well-rested stay are comfortable premium bedding, aromatherapy, quiet zones and a guaranteed wake-up call, and Sleep Advantage™ offers them all in one package.

For the ultimate home-away-from-home experience, supremely comfortable mattresses, premium bed linen, and ergonomic pillows (on request) will ensure the deepest of deep sleeps, and a luxury Elemis room mist is designed to help soothe and comfort the mind.

Struggling to get to sleep is a thing of the past, with dedicated ‘quiet zones’ within the hotels operating between 9pm and 10am seven days a week, ensuring minimal disturbance for guests who need a peaceful night’s sleep.

To help ease any anxiety around over-sleeping, specify a time frame for a wake-up call to work with scheduled meetings. A guaranteed follow up wake-up call will ensure guests are ready for business and don’t ‘snooze’ away their morning.

Crowne Plaza Queenstown General Manager Reinier Eulink said while the town was a well- known destination for holidaymakers, it also hosted its fair share of those coming to work, not “Business travellers coming to Queenstown from around New Zealand and overseas for conference and incentives meetings are a significant part of our guest mix and we’re delighted to be able to offer them a service such as this,” he said.

Ask for Sleep Advantage™ next time you book a room at Crowne Plaza Queenstown.