If you’re in search for some of the best ski fields in the Southern Hemisphere, Queenstown is certainly the place to be. But let’s be real, if you’re not looking to hit the slopes, don’t let this deter you from booking a winter escape to Queenstown. There are still plenty things to see & do during the winter months which doesn’t involve ski.
Here’s our Top 10 Non-Ski Related Queenstown Experiences:
#1 Soak in the bliss of Onsen Hotpools
Take a step back from the thrill and adventure and relax in your own personal oasis. Located in Arthurs Point, warm up and enjoy Queenstown’s awe-inspiring scenery soaking in the serenity of your own private pool room at Onsen Hot Pools.
#2 Experience the “coolest” bar in town
Have you really experienced Queenstown in the winter time without a visit to the Minus 5º ICE Bar? See phenomenal ice sculptures and try a chilly signature cocktails served in a glass made completely out of ice. They’ll supply you with a cosy jacket, gloves and warm winter boot so you’ll be dressed for the artic.
#3 Skate on ice
Lace up those skates and experience dancing on ice at the Queenstown Ice Skating Arena. Located just a short walk from town in the Queenstown gardens, this is a great activity for the whole family to enjoy. They even provide quick starter lessons on demand for those new to ice skating.
#4 Graze and repeat
When it comes to the dining scene, Queenstown does not fall short of options. Here’s our top pick of foodie favourites sure to keep your taste buds happy:
– A legendary Queenstown burger institution, Fergburger is must-taste during any visit to Queenstown. While the long queue may deter, trust us, the queue is worth the wait. Top Tip: Try your luck and order via the phone.
-Located in Queenstown’s historic precinct with spectacular lake views and signature roaring log fires inside and out, Botswana Butchery is one of Queenstown’s most stylish restaurants. It offers a sumptuous menu full of flavour and is consistently rated as one of the Queenstown’s most popular restaurants.
-Positioned near Lake Wakatipu, in the Steamer Wharf building, Ivy & Lola’s serve up hearty food with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients and locally-sourced produce. Expect to sample a medley of fine New Zealand fare, from Green-lipped mussels to Cecil Peak Station’s renowned lamb.
#5 Ride the Luge
Transport yourself to new heights and travel by the Skyline Gondola to enjoy Queenstown’s best view. After a few must have photos worthy moments, burn it up on the gravity-powered Luge carts and take on the thrill of banked corners, tunnels, bends & dips on two different tracks. Once is never enough! You’ll want to go again and again!
#6 “Tick” off an adrenaline activity from your bucket list
Just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean the adrenaline-fuelled activities are closed for the season. When in Queenstown if only seems appropriate to get your heartbeat racing and “tick” a thrilling venture off your bucket list. Whether it’s freefalling from 15,000ft in the air or fearlessly taking a leap of faith from the famous Nevis Bungy, the opportunities are endless for a healthy dose of adrenaline this winter.
#7 Visit Arrowtown
Located 25 minutes outside of Queenstown, take a short drive to the quaint historic gold mining village of Arrowtown. Walk the tree and snow lined streets and be charmed by the historic downtown area featuring a number of boutiques, cafes, restaurants and art galleries.
#8 Cruise on the TSS EARNSLAW Steamship
Breathe in the cool winter air and take a leisurely cruise on the TSS Earnslaw on the waters of Lake Wakatipu. This vintage steamboat is a Queenstown institution earning the affectionate nickname of ‘Lady of the Lake’, certainly a must-do attraction. Choose whether you wish to take the cruise on it or continue your journey with a stop at Walter Peak High Country Farm, with a guided tour of the farm.
9# Explore Queenstown by foot
Winter certainly won’t stop us from experiencing Queenstown’s many spectacular hiking tracks. Whether it’s the Queenstown Hill Track, Ben Lomond or Bob’s Cove, there are a number of great day hikes with spectacular views guaranteed once you reach the top. Just be sure to pack appropriately for chilly and unpredictable weather conditions. We recommend you check with Queenstown Visitors Centre for walking track advice and recommendations for your day hike.
10# Visit the historic Cardrona Hotel
Est 1863, The Cardrona Hotel is one of New Zealand’s oldest and most iconic hotels and is certainly worth a sightseeing visit. Snap a few pictures of the historical facade and enjoy a lovely meal inside the hotel’s restaurant.