24 Hours in Queenstown

Date: 6 March 2024

Spend 24 hours in New Zealand’s centre of adventure, scenery, and wine: Whakatipu Waimāori Queenstown. A place that not only gets the heart racing with thrills, but also looks after those who want to sit back, soak up the views, and indulge in the finer things in life.

Join in the adventure and live like a local with our 24 hour guide to Queenstown.

Earnslaw on Lake Whakatipu


If you truly want to soak up the punch that this small alpine town delivers, start your day early and catch the sunrise behind The Remarkables mountain range, you won’t see anything as spectacular.

  1. Bespoke Kitchen

Grab an early morning bite from a locally owned brunch spot, Bespoke Kitchen. Named after the towering Bespoke tree marking the popular spot like a pin-drop, this favourite café does all the breakfast classics well. Grab your eggs bene with a fresh smoothie, juice, or barista-made coffee.

  1. Take on the river

Soak up the scenery of beautiful Otago countryside from a totally fresh perspective – floating along the Kawarau River! This whitewater adventure is the perfect route to take if you’re new to rafting, and rapids are typically grades 2-3. In your wetsuit, you can paddle, swim or float along the river, as towering rocky cliffs surround you.

Two rafts on the Kawarau River


  1. Dine in or picnic

Grab some post-float lunch to keep you fuelled throughout the afternoon. Try local cafes and eateries like Odd Saint, Ramen Ramen, or Yonder, or grab some fresh takeaway sandwiches, pies, and baked goods from Ferg Baker and take them to a local park (St Omer’s is picturesque beside the lake) and dine al fresco.

  1. Frisbee Golf in the botanical gardens

Frisbee golf is a great way to explore Queenstown’s botanical gardens and lakeside, all while enjoying the fun of a round. Rent or buy a frisbee from Small Planet or the Ice Arena and set off on the course. Allow around 1.5 hours to complete the course if you’re new to the sport.

  1. Queenstown Jet

Now it’s time to step things up a notch. You’ve seen the lake from the shore, now you should experience the lake, water and all! Hop aboard a Queenstown Jetboat from the centre of town and allow a professional jetboat driver to speed you along the lake and up the beautiful Kawarau River. Hold on tight as they spin you 360 degrees at speed and get you up close and personal with the water’s edge.

  1. Explore the town

As you wait for the adrenaline to wear off, explore the town and its wide range of shopping. For those wanting a taste of local shopping, head to Quest for all your streetwear brands, Recycle Boutique for vintage and second-hand finds, and Miller Road for a personalised fragrance. For those with a taste for the finer things in life, head to the T Galleria Mall in the heart of Queenstown, where you’ll find luxury brands from Acne to Moncler.


  1. Quench your thirst

Grab a drink before you head to your dinner reservation at one of Queenstown’s bustling bars. The Steamer Wharf, a hub of activity, is home to Little Blackwood, the best place for a curated cocktail, Public Kitchen, the best place for an al fresco espresso martini, and Atlas Beer Café, the best spot for an epic tap list of local craft beer.

  1. Walter Peak Gourmet Dining

No need to travel far once you’ve polished off your beverage, simply head to the waterfront and climb aboard the vintage TSS Earnslaw, a 111-year-old steamer which will be carrying you 45 minutes across the lake to Walter Peak High Country Farm. Once across, enjoy a gourmet BBQ feast of meats, vegetables, salads, cheeses, fish, and of course, deserts at the Homestead Restaurant. Finish the night with a show, and watch the working farm dogs, residents of the High Country Farm, herd sheep at an impressive pace, before your return cruise to Queenstown

A woman sipping wine at BBQ

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