Queenstown was one of our favorite cities in New Zealand! We could definitely see ourselves spending more time here. It has tons of great food options, nearby hiking options, and beautiful lakes. There are also opportunities for hang gliding or bungee jumping for more adventurous types (not us!). Lake Wakatipu lies in the heart of Queenstown, and you can see the mountain range known as The Remarkables from the lake shore. Right outside of Queenstown is an equally lovely lake called Lake Hayes that we visited on our way to the city.
One of the days we were there it finally ended up being sunny! This was a welcome change with the cloudy and overcast weather we’d been having lately (unusual for summer). We’ve been wanting to see (and photograph) a decent sunset for quite some time, so this seemed like a perfect opportunity! We checked the sunset time in the weather forecast, and tried to plan our afternoon around that. Our hostel was at the very top of a large hill, and the lake was at the bottom.
The time got away from us a bit, we looked out the window, and saw the sun had already began setting! We ended up sprinting all the way down the hill, over a mile, from our hostel onto the lake peninsula to catch the pictures. Took care of our cardio for the day, and we ended up making it just in time. Later we celebrated our sunset victory with tacos from Taco Medic and craft beer from Smith’s.
Tacos and Craft Beer
There are a lot of great places to eat in Queenstown, and Taco Medic was one of our favorites! Their tacos are perfection. Our favorite was the Stockman – slow cooked shredded beef. We ate there three times while we were in Queenstown. Once was on “Disco Sunday” when the employees jammed out to Disco hits while making tacos.
New Zealand also has a growing craft beer scene. The Taco Medic employees recommended Atlas Beer Cafe, or Smiths Craft Beer House for great beer. We headed to Smiths so Sam could taste some of their beers. The bar tender was very helpful, and recommended several options he thought Sam would like based on what she told him. Very impressed with their selection! They put a lot of thought into what they have on tap, and they change it out frequently.
Fergburger: Is it worth the wait?
Several New Zealanders recommended we eat at Fergburger, a fixture in Queenstown known for delicious burgers. The line was usually insanely long whenever we walked by, especially around dinner and lunch time. From reviews we’ve read, sometimes people can wait in line for over an hour! Our last day in Queenstown, we went here for lunch to see if it was worth the hype.
We got there a bit before 11:00 a.m. in an attempt to avoid some of the craziness. The line took 18 minutes to get through to place our order. After we got to the front, we ordered the Tropical Swine burger (burger with pineapple, bacon, BBQ sauce) with a side of fries. Once we ordered it only took them about 5 minutes to get us our food. They have the assembly line bit down to a science!
We thought the burger was good! It was well done, but still juicy. The pineapple was fresh and the bacon was tasty as well. The fries kind of reminded us of McDonalds fries (not in a bad way)! It was one of the better burgers we had in New Zealand (where lamb and meat pies seem to be more of their thing). Coming from the mid-west, this quality of burger (or better) is pretty much the standard back home. Our verdict? All in all we enjoyed it, but we don’t think we’d wait any longer than we did for it. Certainly not an hour or more! Try to avoid peak times if you go here.