Food Activities in Queenstown
Whether you’ve just done a bungy jump and need some comfort food STAT or simply prefer to experience a place through its flavours, you’ll definitely find something to suit in Queenstown! The South Island town might be more known for its adrenaline experiences, but it have a vibrant food scene well worth discovering. From award-winning wines to oversized gourmet burgers, Queenstown has come up with a few famous foodie experiences over the years. Check them out here, as well as a few underrated experiences, in this list of things to do in Queenstown for foodies!
1. Do a Tour of the Gibbston Valley Wineries
Did you know that Queenstown is part of the Central Otago wine region? Exploring the surrounding wineries takes foodies on a scenic tour of the Gibbston Valley that follows the Kawarau River. There are many ways to experience the wineries of the region, from riding to the wineries on a self-guided cycle tour with Around the Basin Bike Tours to joining a small-group tour with Queenstown Wine Trail. The latter also includes a traditional New Zealand-style lunch and cheese tastings. Learn more about the wineries of the area in the 10 Wonderful Wineries in Queenstown.
2. Do a Craft Brewery Tour
As well as wine, Queenstown is also home to a small brewing community. Visit some of the local craft breweries and microbreweries with beer tastings included on the Hop On Beer Tour. The guided tour takes you through the stunning Gibbston Valley and includes a lunch stop with gourmet food and a specially-matched beer. Tour-goers also get a behind-the-scenes look at some breweries to learn how they make the good stuff.
3. Cruise and Indulge in a Gourmet Barbecue at Walter Peak
Combine great food, a scenic cruise, fascinating history and Kiwi farming on the Walter Peak Gourmet BBQ Lunch experience. Depart from Queenstown on the historic steamship, the TSS Earnslaw complete with its own onboard museum. After a scenic cruise, you’ll arrive at Walter Peak High Country Farm to indulge in a barbecue lunch of Central Otago meats and all of the fixings. Day-trippers also get treated to a Kiwi sheep shearing demonstration or a sheepdog demonstration!
4. Ride the Skyline Gondola to an All-you-can-eat Buffet
Life doesn’t get any higher than rising high above Queenstown with an all-you-can-eat buffet at the end! Get unbeatable views of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables ranges from the top of the Skyline Gondola. Diners at the Stratosphere Restaurant are treated to an all-you-can-eat four-course buffet lunch or a six-course buffet dinner of local specialities, like prime meat and seafood, as well as a range of crowd-pleasers. The tiered seating arrangement in the dining room ensures everyone gets a good view!
5. Check Out Some of the Town’s Street Eats
You don’t have to empty your wallet to have an awesome foodie experience in Queenstown. Check out some of the more affordable eateries and street eats available. Head to the food trucks, such as Erik’s Fish & Chips on Earl Street for classic Kiwi fish and chips or The Empanada Kitchen on Beach Street for gourmet empanadas! The grill restaurant, Flame on Beach Street, also has an unmissable NZ$10 lunch deal, while New Zealand-style savoury pies at Fergbaker on Shotover Street are also a must! See more ideas in our Cheap Eats in Queenstown.
6. Spend the Evening at a Fine Dining Restaurant
For a more “upmarket” foodie experience, check out some of the fine dining restaurants scattered across Queenstown and countryside. For town centre fine dining, enjoy the rustic ambience and Kiwi-style cuisine of The Bunker. This back-alley restaurant offers an intimate dining experience besides a crackling log fire. The restaurant specialises in game meats, red meats and local produce. For those wanting to escape the busy town, make a special trip to the Amisfield Winery & Bistro for its award-winning wines and their “Trust the Chef” degustation menu. For more recommendations, see our 10 Best Fine Dining Restaurants in Queenstown.
7. Go on a Progressive Dinner Tour
Don’t just go out for dinner. Make it an experience on the Progressive Dinner Tour with Alpine Wine Tours. Start the evening with your fellow foodies trying sparkling wine, craft beer and food-pairings overlooking the Shotover River. Then you’ll embark on a scenic journey to the Gibbston Valley for wine tasting and your main meal of the night. Wrap up the evening with dessert in Arrowtown by a roaring fire. The experience includes all the food and tastings.
8. Browse the Local Farmers’ Market
The farmers’ market is a must-do experience for any foodie. Almost every town in New Zealand has one at least once a week, including Queenstown. Check out the Remarkables Market in the Frankton end of town every Saturday at 9am-2pm throughout summer. Join in on the relaxed vibes and try an array of cuisine from food stalls and local artisans. There’s usually live music too.
9. Try a Famous Oversized Burger
If there’s only one foodie experience you’ve heard about in Queenstown, it’s probably at Fergburger. The gourmet burger joint selling oversized burgers has become incredibly popular over the years, where it’s rare to not see a long queue down the street from its entrance! Well, see what all the fuss is about by joining the queue! Alternatively, call ahead on 03 441 1232 and pick your burger up later. There’s also Devil Burger on Church Street serving burgers that are arguably just as naughty.
10. Go Out for Dessert
Dessert is an event in Queenstown thanks to the array of ice cream parlours, sweet shops and dessert eateries available. Try the artistic doughnut balls at Balls and Bangles, with syringes stuck in the centre and all sorts of Instagrammable creations. Patagonia Chocolates, which has prime position on the lakefront, has a wide array of mouthwatering ice creams and gelatos for those hot summer days. Finally, pick of a bag of melt-in-your-mouth fudge at The Remarkable Sweet Shop that offers free tastings.