Escape to Queenstown this summer
Planning a summer weekend getaway? Queenstown is the place to be!
Sure, you know it’s the Southern Hemisphere’s premier ski destination, but Queenstown’s so much more than that.
Summertime in the Southern Lakes and Otago District is something truly special. Think long, hot, sunny days by the lake or rivers, endless camping spots and spectacular mountain biking/hiking trails. Here’re a few of our top picks for ways to enjoy your summer holiday in Queenstown.
If you’re brave enough to embrace the chilly waters of Lake Wakatipu (approx. 11-13 degrees celsius year round), you can’t beat a refreshing dip after a long day of activities to make you feel alive. Some of our favourite swimming spots include Queenstown Bay, Sunshine Bay, Kelvin Heights beach and Frankton beach. How many swimming pools have views like we do?
Get out on Lake Wakatipu
Hire a kayak or paddleboard and get out and explore the views of Queenstown on offer from the lake this summer. Or hop aboard the grand old steamer, TSS Earnslaw (launched 1912), and cruise over to Walter Peak Station where you can enjoy one of the most delicious buffet meals around. Finish the experience off with the much-loved sheep shearing show and watch the amazing farm dogs do their thing.
There is a huge array of hiking trails in Queenstown, ranging from short nature strolls to challenging multi-day hikes showing off some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. Some local favourites across Queenstown and nearby Arrowtown include Queenstown Hill, New Chums, Ben Lomond and Sawpit Gully. Or tackle one of the world-famous multi-day hikes such as The Routeburn, Milford or Greenstone/Caples.
Explore the wine trail or enjoy some craft beer
Drop into one of the many cellar doors in and around the Queenstown area, including Lake Hayes and Gibbston Valley. Several of the wineries also have excellent restaurants onsite to enjoy a superb meal or delectable platter of local treats. If craft beer is more your thing, Queenstown is home to some exceptional breweries and craft beer spots. Check out Cargo Brewery, Altitude Brewing, Atlas or Searchlight Brewery. Local favourite Smith’s Craft Beer House and the Fork and Tap in historic Arrowtown carry an ever-changing variety of local craft beers on tap.
Queenstown is world famous for its mountain biking scene, which is growing exponentially year on year. Queenstown Bike Park, Coronet Peak and Cardrona Alpine Resort all have lift access to an array of biking trails; there is something for everyone from beginner runs to gnarly downhill trails.
After something a little slower paced? Queenstown is home to 130km of off-road cycle trails which is a wonderful way to explore the area. We recommend the Frankton Track which follows the lake front and river out to the Gibbston Valley Wine Trail. There are several companies that also hire E-bikes which can make for a more enjoyable ride and allow you to see more of the iconic lake and mountain scenery.
So don’t delay, book your Queenstown summer holiday and we’ll see you out there!
Photo by Stephen Crowley on Unsplash