Itinerary New Zealand Oceania

Things to Do in Queenstown, New Zealand: Ultimate 48-Hour Road Trip Adventure

Here's your road trip guide for the best things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand to make the most out of a short trip to the picturesque destination!

There are far worse places to spend 48 hours on your ultimate road trip adventure than Queenstown, one of New Zealand’s most picturesque southern destinations. You might know Queenstown as a hub for adventure-seeking tourists – think bungee-jumping, sky-diving, the luge – but there are many lesser-advertised things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand. Wondering what to do with your two days in Queenstown? Check out our sample itinerary below.


This is a guest post by Harper Reid.


Photo Above: Tom Hall

Appreciating New Zealand's landscape is one of the top things to do in Queenstown New Zealand

Photo Credit: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons

 

Things to Do in Queenstown: Day 1

If you’re lucky enough to be in Queenstown, New Zealand on a weekend day, check out the local markets, and try the delicious local produce on offer. And for one of the top things to do in Queenstown, think vino! There’ll likely be wine vendors selling the vital elixir direct from Otago’s vineyards, so make sure to sample some of their prize-winning wines while you have the opportunity.

 


Coffee and Art

Stop in for a coffee at the Patagonia café on the lakefront before checking out the town’s art trail. There’s a thriving art and crafts scene in and around the area, and visiting them are some of the top things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand. Plus with quirky galleries like the Vesta Design Gallery to peruse, your eyes are in for a treat.

 

Photo Credit: Bernard Spragg

Drive to a Hidden Gem: Bob’s Cove

Since you’ve got the luxury of a car, take advantage of it to skirt Queenstown’s periphery. Barely a 20-minute drive outside of the town, you’ll find the hidden gem that is Bob’s Cove, a secluded little stony bay by the lake. Accessible only via a 15-minute walk, Bob’s Cove is a prime place to enjoy a picnic lunch, and a memorable example of the top things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand.

 

Doubtful Sound, one of the top things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand
Doubtful Sound, New Zealand. Photo Credit: Bernard Spragg under License

 

Explore Doubtful Sound

From there, you might consider travelling out West until you reach Doubtful Sound, a stunning fjord, and one of the most peaceful and untouched paradises this side of the world. With dense native rainforest and magnificent waterfalls, Doubtful Sound is undoubtedly one of the top things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand. If you want a true backwoods experience, Doubtful Sound will satiate you tenfold.

Kick Back at a Pub

End your day by heading out to one of Queenstown’s cosy pubs or bars. You’ll stumble upon live music from local acts, and perhaps you’ll even be able to participate in a pub quiz. If you manage to head out by 4pm, you can capitalize on happy hour (Brazz Steakhouse and Cowboys are our picks). Searching for a good dinner afterwards? Wakatipu Tavern brews the best Kiwi fish and chips around.


Things to Do in Queenstown: Day 2

 

After a long sleep under the crystal-clear southern skies, head out to the Odelay Café for a breakfast that’s (quietly) reputed to be the most generous the area has to offer, and certainly one of the top things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Photo Credit: Tom Hall

Take a Hike

Then burn off your brekkie with a walk up Queenstown Hill. Ask any local, and they’ll tell you: this three-hour round hike serves up some of the best views you’ll find in the area, and since the track is accessible from the town centre, it’s the perfect no-fuss activity to fill in a morning.

Dive into History

Get your historical fill by hopping over to the Goldfields Mining Centre in Cromwell. With gold panning, a Chinese settler village, and views of the Kawarau Gorge, Goldfields will enthrall your attention for a good few hours at the least. Chase that visit with a detour to Arrowtown, a 19th-century-era village which preserves Otago’s distinctive gold-mining history. Particularly stunning in the autumn months, it has been described as a village paused in time. What’s better, Arrowtown boasts one of the best day restaurants around – Chop Shop Food Merchants – for an Eastern-spiced bite to eat afterwards.

 

Explore the quaint greenery in one of the top hotels in Queenstown NZ

Photo Credit: Pixabay under CC0 Public Domain License

Hop on a Bike

Now that you’ve refueled, take advantage of Queenstown’s unbeatable biking scene and head out to the lesser-visited Moke Lake to traverse the Moonlight Track. Bring a camera – you’re going to want to record these sights!

Enjoy a Film in Style

End your Queenstown sojourn in style by booking in to see a film at Dorothy Brown’s, a boutique cinema in Arrowtown, and experience what is truly one of the top things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand. A favourite with locals, this theatre is lavishly decorated and puts on a great mash-up of mainstream and alternative films.

Photo Credit: Bernard Spragg

 

Where to Stay in Queenstown New Zealand

Searching for the top hotels in Queenstown, New Zealand? For the most affordable Queenstown hotels, we recommend checking the top hotel deals here.

 



Booking.com

 

A B O U T  T H E  A U T H O R

Harper Reid

Harper Reid is a freelance writer from New Zealand and has great passion for food, travel and exciting adventures. Find more of her work here.

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 Here's your road trip guide for the best things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand to make the most out of a short trip to the picturesque destination!

Photo Credit: Tom Hall

 Here's your road trip guide for the best things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand to make the most out of a short trip to the picturesque destination!

Photo Credit: itravelNZ®

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