Queenstown first stops
First Stops is a collection of top picks you can rely on for a great time.
If you want to imagine the good old days of the Otago Gold Rush, go no further than the Gibbston Tavern. This out-of-the-way, rustic pub is the perfect place to enjoy a brew and soak up the rare scenery of the Gibbston Valley. The valley is also home to a number of award-winning wineries, so pop in for a cellar door tasting before you make your way back to Queenstown.
It's possible Fergburger makes the best burgers in New Zealand, if not the world. The burgers are huge and filled with classic gourmet flavour combinations, some with a twist to keep things interesting. Lonely Planet raved about this burger joint a couple of years back, putting it well and truly on every burger-lover's travel itinerary. You might have to queue for a while, but good things are worth waiting for.
The Otago region is rich in gold mining history and you don't have to dig deep for great stories. Built in the 1800s, Dudley's Cottage in Arrowtown is a great place to learn more about the gold rush. Have a go at gold panning or simply enjoy a coffee and meander around the exquisite gift shop. From Dudley's, wander down to the Arrow River to discover the historic Chinese mining settlement - you'll see how tough some miners had it.
Shoot up the Skyline Gondola and take in the incredible view of Queenstown from the dizzying heights of Bob's Peak. Get your bearings up here, with Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables Range being the best points of reference, and work out where your adventure will take you next. Before you head down, whoop it up on the luge track. It's a gravity-fuelled ride you'll never forget.
The AJ Hackett Kawarau Bridge base in Queenstown is the global home of bungy jumping. Peering down into Kawarau Gorge, you'll get a feel for what bungy jumping is all about. You can book a jump in advance, or leap straight into it at the spur of the moment. Your exhilarating free fall comes with a refreshing head-first dunk in the river. The Kawarau Bridge is just 20 minutes out of town and the only place in Queenstown where you can do a tandem bungy.
Whether you're a regular player or a green-as-grass newbie, a game of golf in Queenstown is an exercise in relaxation. The nine-hole Frankton Golf Course comes with blockbuster alpine scenery and affordable green fees. Clubs, carts and coaches are all available for hire. If you'd like to try a super-luxury golfing experience, Millbrook, The Hills and Jacks Point are world-class courses frequented by the rich and famous.