Queenstown is one of those cities almost everyone have heard of. We settled down in Crommwell, but whenever we had a chance we drove to Queenstown. It is truly a magnificiet, magic, beautiful place to be. The road that takes you there was as beautiful as the city itslef. It was always a pleasure to the eye. All the cliffs, river right next to the road, gorge, wineyards, meadows, mountains, and even bungy jumping place - that all you can see just driving towards Queenstown.
Queenstown was first settled in 1860 by William Gilbert Rees. Rees was looking for a place to establish a high country farm. After couple of years gold was discovered in the nearby Arrow River in 1862, and a lot of gold miners where interested in southern Central Otago region.
Nowdays Queenstown is a pearl of South Island. It is a resort town in Otago and it's built around an inlet called Queenstown Bay on Lake Wakatipu. I have heard that people call this an 'adventure capital of the world'. It's the birthplace of bungy jumping, and the list of other adventures – from alpine heliskiing to zip-lining. Most visitor don't leave without having tried something extreme or adventurous. Queenstown is just a playground with a lot of oportunities to fine dining and arts scene, wine tasting, and the diverse range of bars. No wonder it always feels crowded which is a rare feeling you get in New Zealand.
Queenstown is not a big city, so to find a free parking spot for your car can be a dificult challenge. We suggest to park somewhere outside the city and just take a walk. We used One Mile car park, but it is not that big, so could be full. Also at the end of the Thompson Street you can find some spots. Lomond Cres near Hammy's track has a little spot for parking a car. Isle street and Man street has a free parking, but it's mostly full, unless you come early. Most of the time we left car on the other side of the city close to Queenstown Trail. There are many more little streets to park your car, just don't block any driveways and don't park on the yellow lines.
Besides streets and parking lots, there is one place that is definitely always crowded - the famous Fergburger. So many people told us to try it, but we were kind of sceptical. What can be soooo crazy good about a bun and a meat that people are okay to wait in a line for an hour? I make my own burgers at home and I really didn't know what to expect there. Most times all those must go, must see, must eat places aren't really that good. The first time we went there and saw the big line we decided to skip it. No food is worth that long of a wait.
We ate in Devil Burger instead. No lines, good prices and burgers were big, jucy and delicious.
But of course, as a blogger I need to do my research and check out that Fergburger place anyway. I needed to know what is that all hype about. So we learned that locals always call, place an order and come and pick it up a bit later. So no locals that respects their time will stand in those long lines. Second of all our friend Daniels started to work there, so with a little help of him, I got my burgers and skipped the line (Thank you Daniel!).
I chose Holier than Tho burger with tofu for me and Bombay Chicken for Aldis. I really wanted to try something out of the ordinary. Also you can order all kinds of cheeses in it. Even dor blue.
And let me tell you it was D E L I C I O U S! I din't expect that, as most places that are such a must always disapoints me. But these flavours really transformed me into a believer.. :D
They bake their own buns, and ingredients are fresh and melts in your mouth. However I probably would never stand in that awful line just to get those burgers. Respect yourself and place an order on the phone. Or if you don't have time and want a quick bite - go to Devil Burger. Still nice and jucy, maybe minus the suprising flavours, but still really nice burgers.
Another good place to eat is Lord Of The Fries foodtruck. It is close to the Skyline gondola. And serves delicious vegetarian hot dogs and burgers. Aldis don't even know that the hot dog we had there didn't contain any meat. :D Delicious!!!
Another thing what to do in Queenstown is Botanical garden. It is nice and relaxing place with perfect views to the lake. It's a place where to get away from the crowded streets and just have a picnic and enjoy the views.
There are plenty of hikes around, but that's another story.