Starting to feel the chill in the air? Escape from the gloom and winter cold and head on to Queenstown, New Zealand for an adventurous getaway and treat yourself to amazing food, breathtaking views and fun outdoor activities. Summer season in New Zealand starts from December and lasts until February. It’s the best time to soak in its beauty and experience everything Queenstown has to offer while leaving the winter weather behind.
Looking for things to do in Queenstown in the summer? Whether you want to indulge in some world-class cuisine, enjoy a fine wine, take a relaxing walk, or experience an unforgettable adrenaline rush, you're in the right place. Here are 5 of our top Queenstown attractions to experience this summer.
Have an Unforgettable Meal at The Sherwood Restaurant
As a global tourism hotspot, Queenstown restaurants offer an exciting range of traditional and exotic cuisine. The Sherwood is one of Queenstown's favorite restaurants, with an incredible menu which includes mouth-watering delicacies like steamed mussels in a prawn and ginger butter, and a pan-fried salmon steak accompanied by twice-baked potatoes. The restaurant, which is located on Frankton Road, about 4-km from the city centre, is set in 3-acres of alpine hillside with fantastic views over Lake Wakatipu. They have their own vegetable garden so clients can enjoy really fresh seasonal vegetables, and after your meals, why not join one of their relaxation or yoga classes?
Take a Leap with AJ Hackett
For those looking for adventure, why not experience one of the most exhilarating attractions in Queenstown. The pioneers in bungy jumping, AJ Hackett, offer an unparalleled choice of different Queenstown bungy jumps. Choose to jump from the historic Kawarau Bridge, 25-minutes north of Queenstown, or make a 45-minute drive and take the plunge down through the gorge and into the Nevis River. You can even enjoy the thrill right in the city centre where you can experience the incredible 400-metre jump from the Skyline Gondola. No wonder bungy jumping is one of the most popular attractions in Queenstown.
Savor Asian Flavors at Madam Woo
After a busy day adventuring, try Madam Woo on Lower Ballarat Street. A local favourite, this modern restaurant specializes in delicious Chinese and Malaysian street food. The menu is large and varied and the atmosphere is relaxed and fun. Their signature dishes include Madam's Rendang with Nasi Lemak and the famous Hawker rolls, and the veranda offers a great spot to sit and enjoy watching the world go by.
Experience a Queenstown Vineyard Tour
No stay in Queenstown would be complete without a visit to one of the region's famous vineyards and enjoying some of New Zealand’s world-renowned wine. Wine-tasting tours are one of the most celebrated Queenstown tourist attractions and there are a great variety of options available. Choose from a private or group tour for a half or full day, and some companies offer personalized tours to suit your schedule and interests. Some tours include transport to numerous vineyards situated in the area, and some include lunch. There is a wine and cheese tasting option right in the centre of the city or you can choose a self guided tour of the local vineyards by bicycle. There is even an exhilarating helicopter tour available. Whichever option you choose you will enjoy spectacular scenery, warm hospitality, excellent food, and the chance to learn about the winemaking process as well as to sample some of the finest local produce.
Set Off on an Unforgettable Hike
Nestled within the Remarkables mountain range on the edge of Lake Wakatipu, the spectacular scenery around Queenstown makes walking and hiking among the best free Queenstown activities. There are many different walks which depart from the town centre including the Queenstown Hill Time Walk which takes about 3-hours and offers impressive panoramic views from the summit. The 4-hour Ben Lomond walk is also easily accessible from just outside of town and offers magnificent views of the mountain and the lake, and for the fit a hike up to the top is well worth the effort. There are many different walking and hiking options in the area from short easy strolls to challenging overnight adventures, and the summer is a great time to get out and enjoy the scenery around Queenstown. If you need to arrange transport to the beginning of a trail, many local operators run shuttle services, and there are a range of Queenstown rental car providers based in the town centre or at Queenstown Airport.