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Best things to do in Queenstown

Friday, August 12, 2011
Queenstown on New Zealand's south island is one of the most exciting destinations in the world. Just ask Jules Lund who went to the adventure capital of New Zealand.

The beautiful alpine village sits on the shore of Lake Wakatipu and is surrounded by mountains. There is so much to see and do it was difficult for Jules to know just what to visit but he did well, starting at the Skyline Gondola, Restaurant and Luge.

The Gondola

The southern hemisphere's steepest lift carries visitors high above Queenstown to the Skyline complex on Bob's Peak. The Gondola is an all-weather tourist attraction and riders sit back as views unfold. Observation decks give views of Coronet Peak and The Remarkables, over Queenstown and across Lake Wakatipu to Cecil and Walter Peaks.

The Luge

This caters for thrill seekers with two downhill tracks, one scenic the other advanced. You hurtle 800 metres down a winding track through trees, around bends and at the bottom, most people hop on the chairlift to do it all again.

The scenic track has a gentle gradient with easy bends and dips and lots of opportunities to take photographs. The advanced track is steeper and is more adventures with banked corners, a tunnel, dips and hollows.

You are in control of the braking and steering system of the three-wheeled luge cart and you can alter your course and speed. A walking track also gives access to the top of the luge with overhead bridges.

Novotel Queenstown Lakeside

The biggest hotel in town, the Novotel is a great base. It's just had a $13 million refurbishment. The 273 rooms have a private balcony or garden courtyard. Guests eat and drink in Elements Restaurant or the Gallery Cafe and Bar. The restaurant overlooks all of Queenstown and serves seasonal, modern cuisine. The Gallery is the place for light meals and drinks and in winter a welcoming fire makes it cosy. The wood-fired pizza oven is cranked up from 2pm every day and there's al fresco dining in the garden from 5pm.

Boiler Room

One of Queenstown's hottest nightspots, The Boiler Room plays music from the '70s, '80s and '90s and you can dance the night away to your favourite old songs.

Minus 5 Degrees Ice Bar

Most of the time it's important to find somewhere warm and toasty in Queenstown but here's a place that defies that. It's made from ice — walls, sculptures, seats and even the glasses you drink from are made from ice. It's fun for everyone in winter or summer.


When you feel like something hot and filling to eat, Fergburger is the place to go. It began as a hole-in-the-wall burger joint in 2001 and is the first choice destination of late-night revellers. These days it opens from 8am for breakfast and closes early next morning.

Sauces, marinades and mayonnaises are made on site, buns are baked daily and patties are handmade from premium fresh mince. Burgers are huge and fillings are beef, chicken, lamb, venison and tofu.


Queenstown on New Zealand's south island.


Skyline Queenstown scenic gondola rides are around $20 for adults, $11 for children and $64 for a family. There is a restaurant and cafe and four haka shows a day. Skyline Gondola and one luge run costs $26, $18 and $70.

The Boiler Room costs from $8 and is open from 3pm every day.

Fergburger's meals costs between $10 and $18 and is open between 8am and 5am every day.

Minus 5 Degrees Bar opens at 2pm every day. They provide jackets, gloves and ugg boots.

Air New Zealand has flights to Christchurch, Auckland and Queenstown.

Christchurch one-way:

  • Sydney and Melbourne $189
  • Brisbane $190

Auckland one-way:

  • Sydney and Melbourne $220
  • Brisbane $249
  • Adelaide $297

Queenstown one-way:

  • Melbourne $288
  • Sydney $289

Sales and validity dates apply.

Prices correct at August 13, 2011.

For further information

Air New Zealand
Ph: 132 476

Skyline Gondola Restaurant and Luge
Brecon Street
New Zealand
Ph: 64 3 441 0858

Boiler Room
Steamer Wharf
Shotover and Beach Streets
New Zealand
Ph: 64 3 441 8066

42 Shotover Street
New Zealand
Ph: 64 3 441 1232

Minus 5 Degrees Ice Bar
Steamer Wharf
New Zealand
Ph: 64 3 442 6050

Novotel Queenstown Lakeside
Earl Street and Marine Parade
Queenstown 9197
New Zealand
Ph: 64 3 442 7750

Visa: Australian citizens do not require a visa to enter New Zealand.

Electricity: 230V/50Hz using the same plugs as in Australia.

Time zone: GMT +1.

Currency: The New Zealand dollar.

Telephone code: +64.

It is recommended travellers see their doctor at least six weeks before departure as there may be specific vaccinations recommended for areas you will be visiting. Other health precautions and preventions may also be recommended. For further information, visit and

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