Food Tours, Activities and Experiences 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 has 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 the best foodie experiences in Queenstown.
While you’re here, you might also be interested in The Food Guide to Queenstown: Places to Eat & Food Tours, as well as the 10 Best Accommodations 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 (find out more and book your tour on Viator or Tripadvisor) to joining a small-group tour with Queenstown Wine Trail (on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook). The latter also includes traditional New Zealand-style lunch and cheese tastings. Learn more about the wineries of the area in the 10 Wonderful Wineries in Queenstown.
Location: Around the Basin Bike Tours – Station Building, Duke Street. Queenstown Wine Trail – Offers Queenstown pick-ups.
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 with Queenstown Beer Tours. 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. Find out more about the tour, read reviews and book your tour on Viator, Tripadvisor or Klook.
Location: Queenstown pick-ups are offered by the tour operator.
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! Find out more about the trip, read reviews and book the tour for yourself on Viator, Tripadvisor, Klook or KKday. This is also a wonderful thing to do if you’re travelling with family, as listed in the 20 Things to Do in Queenstown with Kids.
Location: Tours depart from 88 Beach Street.
4. Spin Your Own Honey at Buzzstop
For all things honey, head to Buzzstop Bee and Honey Centre. Not only can you indulge in cafe treats and buy honey and bee-related crafts, but they offer some interactive tours. Learn to spin your own honey to make a fresh pot to take home in the Spin Your Own Honey Experience. Alternatively, try their Bee-A-Beekeeper Experience to don the beekeeper suit and see what goes on in the hive.
Location: 26 Hansen Road, Frankton, approximately 7km (4.3 miles) from Queenstown town centre.
5. Check Out Some of the Town’s Street Eats
You don’t have to empty your wallet to have awesome foodie experiences 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 for classic Kiwi fish and chips and deep-fried kiwifruit. Our favourite burger joint (much to many travellers’ surprise) is Devil Burger, while New Zealand-style savoury pies at Fergbaker are also a must! See more ideas in The Top Cheap Eats in Queenstown.
Location: Erik’s Fish & Chips – 13 Earl Street. Devil Burger – 5/11 Church Street. Fergbaker – 40 Shotover Street.
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 the 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.
Location: The Bunker – 14 Cow Lane. Amisfield Winery & Bistro – 10 Arrowtown-Lake Hayes Road, Frankton, approximately 14km (8.8 miles) from Queenstown town centre.
7. Go On a Progressive Dinner Tour
Don’t just go out for dinner. Make it a foodie 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. Find out more about the Progressive Dinner Tour on Viator and Tripadvisor. See more luxurious experiences like this in the 10 Best Luxury Experiences in Queenstown.
Location: Tours depart from the corner of Shotover and Camp Streets, 25 Shotover Street.
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. Check out more experiences like this in the 10 Non-Touristy Things to Do in Queenstown.
Location: 23 Hawthorne Drive, Frankton, approximately 8.5km (5 miles) from Queenstown town centre.
9. Sip on a Refreshing Cocktail or Mocktail at an Ice Bar
Far from the usual bars in Queenstown, the Below Zero Ice Bar is a bar almost entirely made of ice, from the ice sculptures adorning the walls to the cups that you drink your cocktail or mocktail from. You’ll be geared up for the experience with a thick coat and gloves. There’s also Minus 5° Ice Bar should you want another option. Check out more of Queenstown’s lively nightlife in The Guide to Queenstown Nightlife.
Location: Below Zero – Searle Lane. Minus 5° – 88 Beach Street.
10. 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. Between you and us, however, we prefer Devil Burger serving burgers that are arguably just as naughty.
Location: Fergburger – 42 Shotover Street. Devil Burger – 5/11 Church Street.
11. 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 a prime position on the lakefront, has a wide array of mouthwatering ice creams and gelatos for those hot summer days. Finally, pick up a bag of melt-in-your-mouth fudge at The Remarkable Sweet Shop that offers free tastings.
Location: Balls and Bangles – 62 Shotover Street. Patagonia Chocolates – 2 Rees Street. The Remarkable Sweet Shop – 39 Beach Street.
12. Have a Private Helicopter Picnic or a Pavlova Among the Peaks
For something private, luxurious and perhaps a little “over the top”, catch a flight with Over the Top Helicopters to a remote location overlooking Lake Wakatipu. After a scenic excursion, you’ll land in a secluded alpine location known as “The Ledge” for a private picnic. Indulge in a platter of meats, cheeses, salad, fruit and a selection of beverages to enjoy away from the world for as long as you desire. Check out Over the Top Helicopters on Viator or Tripadvisor.
Alternatively, Over the Top Helicopters also offers the more affordable “Pavlova on a Peak” tour where you’ll get to experience a unique slice of New Zealand’s culinary history in a unique location. For more ways to experience Queenstown by helicopter, take a look at the 5 Epic Queenstown Helicopter Tours. Plus, see similarly romantic experiences in the 19 Most Romantic Things to Do in Queenstown for Couples.
Location: 10 Tex Smith Lane, Frankton, approximately 8km (5 miles) from Queenstown town centre.
13. 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! Check out the Skyline Gondola’s buffet experience on Viator, Tripadvisor or KKday. Plus, for more Queenstown restaurants with amazing views, check out the recommendations in The Food Guide to Queenstown: Places to Eat & Food Tours.
Location: Top of the Skyline Gondola, which departs from the end of Brecon Street.
More About Queenstown
That’s it for our top foodie experiences in Queenstown but is by no means the end of the Queenstown experiences! Check out the following guides for more Queenstown tours and activities:
- 10 Epic Adventure Activities in Queenstown
- 20 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Queenstown
- 10 Things to Do in Queenstown at Night
- The Best Day Trips from Queenstown
- 15 Best Walks in Queenstown
Finally, get more tips for exploring Aotearoa in The Foodie Guide to New Zealand and plan the rest of your travels through the South Island using the South Island Food Itinerary: Two Weeks or South Island Food Itinerary: One Week.