How to spend 48 hours in Queenstown

16 May 2019

Queenstown is one of the most popular towns in New Zealand for tourists and holidaymakers. It’s filled with so many amazing places to visit, things to do and bucket list activities to tick off – it’s the perfect town in the best location.

With so much to do it can be hard to plan your trip. To say the least, you’re spoiled for choice and for most, they only have a couple of days to explore, so narrowing down the choices is the hard part. Luckily, we have the perfect two day Queenstown itinerary which not only ticks off the classic bucket list attractions but also takes you to some local gems that are often missed by visitors.

Here’s the best way to spend 2 days in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Day 1 

Milford Sound Day Trip 

First on the list for your epic two days in Queenstown is a trip to Milford Sound. Although normally a long trip, we have the perfect way to leave Queenstown in the morning and be back in time for lunch. It’s a Milford Sound express tour and it involves two breathtaking scenic flights.

From Queenstown we can have you in the air as early as 9.30am and on your way to Milford Sound. During the 40 minute flight, you’ll be able to take in stunning views of the Southern Alps and see a side to New Zealand many don’t.

Next, you’ll fly through Milford Sound flying past this ancient fiord’s sheer cliff faces and famous attractions such as Mitre Peak before landing. Next, you’re off to cruise around Milford where you’ll get to see and learn about the fiord and get so close you can almost touch it!

To top it all off you’ll fly back through the Southern Alps to Queenstown just in time for your next activity…lunch!

We also offer coach trips to and from Milford Sound from Queenstown for those with more time.

Lunch at Fergburger 

You can’t come to Queenstown and not try this famous burger! Fergburger is an attraction in itself and visitors line up for over an hour to try it during peak times. Even Ed Sheeran raved about his burger at Ferg (as the locals call it).

Fergburger has over 20 different burgers to choose from including vegetarian options.

The best spot to enjoy your burger is by the lake taking in the incredible scenery. After lunch you have some time to explore Queenstown’s lakefront, botanic gardens, do some souvenir shopping.

Ride the Luge and Dinner at Skyline 

The most iconic photo of Queenstown is taken from the Skyline building at the top of the gondola. It’s a beautiful viewpoint and arguably the best place to enjoy an evening dinner and a drink with a view. The Skyline restaurant offers a buffet dinner that includes a ride on the gondola. You can also pair your dinner and gondola with a ride on the Luge and make a real evening out of it.

The best time to enjoy dinner is around sunset when you’ll be able to see Queenstown at its most beautiful.

After dinner, it’s up to you whether you carry on exploring Queenstown’s vibrant nightlife or head back to your hotel for some much-needed rest after what was an exciting and busy day.

Day 2 

Breakfast at Yonder 

Yonder is one of Queenstown’s local favourites and the best place to enjoy a nice breakfast or brunch. Their menu is filled with amazing dishes and many are unique to Yonder. They serve lots of vegetarian and vegan options not to mention great coffee.

Spirit of Queenstown Scenic Cruise 

While your food settles from breakfast it’s time to enjoy a relaxing cruise on Lake Wakatipu. Leave the hustle and bustle of Queenstown and take in the incredible scenery that surrounds you as you cruise across the lake towards  Mt Nicholas High Country Farm before returning home. Along the way, you’ll learn all about Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding area while taking in some of the best views of the area.

The cruise takes an hour and a half and there is an option to add either our Mt Nicholas Farm Experience or our Station 2 Station Cycle Trail to your trip before departing.

Jet Boating with KJet

Jet boating  was one of the first adventure activities in Queenstown. It was started back in 1958 by KJet so this activity is one not to be missed. The adventure starts at The Main Town Pier in the centre of Queenstown, only a 2-minute walk from your scenic cruise.

Beginning in Lake Wakatipu your driver will get you used to doing 360-degree spins before heading out into not one, but two of Queenstown’s rivers; the Kawarau and Shotover River. 

The trip lasts for an hour and is one of the best things to do in Queenstown on your two-day itinerary.

Lunch in Arrowtown

Arrowtown is a small gold mining town and is only a 30-minute drive from Queenstown. The town itself has managed to keep much of its gold rush architecture and is a beautiful way to step back in time. On the main street there are plenty of restaurants to enjoy a nice meal, if you’re looking for a local favourite make sure you try Slow Cuts or Chop Shop. 

Aside from lunch, Arrowtown is a great place to do some souvenir shopping and just relax.

Hike Queenstown Hill

If you aren’t too tired from your busy morning, you have time to hike Queenstown Hill. This is a fairly easy hike in the sense that the trail is well-maintained and it only takes about two hours return, but the hike is a pretty steep incline up to the viewpoint. The work doesn’t go unrewarded though as the views from the top are incredible!

Dinner at Blue Kanu

Few restaurants in Queenstown are as good as Blue Kanu. This local favourite serves Pacific Island food with a modern twist. It’s well known for its seafood but better yet for their famous Duck Nachos.

It’s located conveniently in the middle of town and is a great place to get out your Bula shirt and enjoy a fruity cocktail!

If two days in Queenstown is all you have, then follow this epic 48-hour itinerary and you are certain to have a memorable trip.

For more information on Queenstown and everything there is to do, check out all of our other Queenstown blogs

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