1 Day in Queenstown, New Zealand - What to see, do and eat

1 Day in… Queenstown, New Zealand

The second instalment of the 1 Day in… Series is this fantastic post all about Queenstown, New Zealand by Lieselot from The World is a Circus. You can find the first instalment – 1 Day in… New York here.

Thanks so much for sharing – please do leave her some love!

A Day in Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown is known as the adventure capital of the world. Surrounded by mountains, it’s the perfect place for everything adventure. But did you know it is also a great spot for some romance?

Here is some inspiration on how to spend a day in this beautiful part of New Zealand.

Breakfast @ The Sherwood

Before you kick off your epic Queenstown day, you need some tasty fuel. There are many options for breakfast or brunch, but I’ll share one of my favourites with you: The Sherwood. The café is actually part of a hotel. Hotel cafés usually don’t look appealing to me, but this one is different. It is cosy, original and has great food (and wifi).

1 Day in Queenstown, New Zealand - What to see, do and eat

Onsen Hot Pools

Soaking in warm water with a crazy view of the mountains? Is this real? Yes! At the Onsen Hot Pools, you get a private Jacuzzi. And if that’s not enough, it is overlooking the Shotover River canyon.I went for a soak in the morning, and just LOVED it.

You can rent the hot tubs for an hour and even enjoy some extra bubbles and nibbles. This is one of the best ways to warm up on a chilly day and spend some quality time with your other half.

Wine Tasting Gibbston Valley

All perfect days involve wine, right? Or is that just me? A great place for wine tasting is Gibbston Valley, known for its pinot noir. The vineyard is surrounded by two large mountain ranges The Remarkables and the Crown Range. They also have the largest wine cave in the country, which you can visit!

1 Day in Queenstown, New Zealand - What to see, do and eat

World’s Biggest Swing

If you prefer some adventure above wine tasting, then you’re at the right place in Queenstown. Mountain biking, skydiving, bungee jumping, there is something for everyone. I highly recommend trying out the Nevis Swing, aka the World’s Biggest Swing.

If you say yes, you’ll find yourself hanging at a launch deck high above the valley floor in the Nevis Canyon, 160meters to be precise. There is no need to jump, you just hang and then they let you go. You end up making a huge swing through the canyon. I did it together with a friend, attached to each other. I screamed my lungs out, but it was SO much fun.

1 Day in Queenstown, New Zealand - What to see, do and eat
Scenic flight over the mountains

In need of more adventure? There are scenic flights over the mountains and lakes! I took a flight witMilford Scenic Flights to Milford, showing me the best of Queenstown and Milford. There are massive mountains everywhere, however, the lakes and waterfalls are impressive too!

1 Day in Queenstown, New Zealand - What to see, do and eat
Stroll through town

Unlike some other New Zealand cities, Queenstown is very nice to have a stroll around. There are lots of shops, cafes and restaurants to explore. Try the famous Patagonia ice cream, the Fergburger and many other places. Queenstown also often puts on cool events, so definitely check Queenstown Tourism’s diary when you’re around.  

The Skyline Gondola

There are lots of hikes around Queenstown, but if you don’t feel like hiking, then the Skyline Gondola might be interesting to you! For $35 you rise 450 meters above Queenstown and you get a 220-degree spectacular panoramic view.

There is a bar and restaurant if you fancy a cocktail, but what I enjoyed, even more, was the luge, those little carts that go downhill. If you like to let the kid in you come out – do the luge!

Milford Sound

If you only spend a day in Queenstown you might not have time to add this to your list, but if you have more time: do a cruise in Milford Sound. A four hours drive will take you to Milford, or you can go with one of the many companies that offer day trips from Queenstown to Milford Sound.

I haven't posted in a week, because I … moved to Canada 🇨🇦 After spending about 3 amazing years in NZ, I'm ready to explore a new country. 🇨🇦🏔 I arrived yesterday in Canada with my partner in crime @thekiwifrog. First impressions: it is hot!!! Atm we're trying to buy a car, and then we hit the road. I can't wait to show you the beautiful Canadian mountains!! ⛰ I'll still be posting lots of NZ pictures, as I have taken many many photos I NZ 😀 this one is from my Kiwi last road trip, when I went down south! Milford Sound, such a beauty! ❤️ . . Btw, the time zones are confusing me, so I might sometimes post on not 'good' times for you. Turn on notifications for my posts, and you won't miss any of my adventures in Canada!

A post shared by LIESELOT (LIS) (@theworldisacircus) on

Milford Sound is a very isolated spot and it will feel much different than the rest of New Zealand. Cruise along on one of the boats and enjoy the wild views. I joined the Mitre Peak crew. They take you two hours on the water, passing the iconic Mitre Peak, the Stirling Falls, and you might even see seals and dolphins!

1 Day in Queenstown, New Zealand - What to see, do and eat

Enjoy a movie in Arrowtown

A great way to finish the day is enjoying a movie. Arrowtown is a small and adorable village close to Queenstown, which looks stunning in autumn. If you fancy a movie I highly recommend going to Dorothy Browns: Arrowtown’s boutique, independent cinema. It has two cosy cinema rooms and you can take a drink and some nibbles inside.I hope this article got you excited for a visit to Queenstown! There’s so much to see and do, so try and stay longer than one day.

Lieselot De Brauwer is a travel blogger from Belgium. You can view her work on Instagram and her website The World is a Circus. All photos courtesy of, and copy-righted by The World is a Circus. 
1 Day in Queenstown, New Zealand - What to see, do and eat
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11 Comments

  • Reply Kim October 8, 2017 at 12:21 am

    My friend keeps telling me to go to New Zealand and your post definitely makes me wanna go even more. What was your favorite activity to do out of all the ones you mentioned ??

  • Reply Tyra October 8, 2017 at 4:02 am

    My goodness! This would be the best day ever in my life! New Zealand is yet another country that I’ve dreamed of going to! Everything she suggested is so relaxing. It’s romantic for a couple, yet the perfect places for some me time! I would definitely do the big swing and the Onsen bath. Waaaaaah I love this series of yours Alex. These people have such great ideas for one day! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • Reply Travelquartz October 8, 2017 at 8:38 am

    Alex, I love this post, I have been to NZ too, but I missed visiting Queenstown as I covered Auckland and Rotorua only on my first trip. I also purposefully left this destination because at that time I was single and NZ is a place one must revisit with their partners ( Since now I am married I have a reminder here to revisit this place ). I saw this picture of water with a crazy view of the mountains before too but always missed the destination. Glad now I know where it is !

  • Reply Heraa October 8, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Wow Queens town looking like my kind of town. Sky diving and all extreme sports I am in love with. I would definitely visit this place and would love to take the largest swing of the world. The pictures are so beautiful.

  • Reply Aditi October 8, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    This trip is so meant for me – right from the hot pool and giant swing to the winery tour, I’d love to do it all. Just waiting for my bank to miraculously transfer some money into my account. 😉 Cheers!!

  • Reply Michael October 8, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    Doesn’t everyone just love a Jacuzzi? That one looks out of the top drawer. A trip to New Zealand to watch England play the All Blacks is something on my bucket list, so you never know, I might just get to see Queenstown.

  • Reply lexieanimetravel October 8, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    This is a great tour for one day, a lot of activities to do. the jacuzzi though with the glimpse of Shotover River canyon that’s just amazing, then wine tasting (love this) I always been a fan of different wines. I just love those wild views including of crouse the Stirling falls

  • Reply Helene October 8, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Milford Sound looks incredible! Like a scene from a film… Would love to go to New Zealand sometime, but it’s so far, so I need to plan a longer trip. I’m a huge Lord Of The Rings fan, so I need to see Hobbiton:D I love this new series!

  • Reply Noel October 8, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    Well, New Zealand is an entire world on its own. And that World’s Biggest Swing, I’ve been seeing it a lot and I don’t know if I can handle it.

    Is the Hobbit House in Auckland?

  • Reply DTG October 8, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    Queenstown, New Zealand is SO on my bucket list – I keep reading so much about it and seeing so many gorgeous photos, cannot wait to visit – bookmarked this post for future reference. That pool at Onsen just looks lush and the scenery is absolutely breathtaking. Brilliant post thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Katie October 12, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    New Zealand has been on my bucket list for so long and this looks awesome! Would love to visit the hot pools and try the wine! Plus those views look spectacular!

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