Top things to do

Top Choice Arts & Crafts in Queenstown


Showcasing really cool NZ-made art and craft, Vesta is full of interesting prints, paintings, glass art and gifts. It's housed in Williams Cottage (1864), Queenstown’s oldest home. It's worth visiting just to check …
Top Choice Bakery in Queenstown


Fergburger's sweeter sister bakes all manner of tempting treats – and although most things look tasty with 3am beer goggles on, it withstands the daylight test admirably. Goodies include meat pies, filled rolls, dan…
Top Choice Italian in Wanaka

Francesca’s Italian Kitchen

Ebullient expat Francesca has brought the big flavours and easy conviviality of an authentic Italian family trattoria to Wanaka in the form of this stylish and perennially busy eatery. Even simple things such as piz…
Viewpoint in Queenstown

Underwater Observatory

Six windows showcase life under the lake in this reverse aquarium (the people are behind glass). Large brown trout abound, and look out for freshwater eels and scaup (diving ducks), which cruise right past the windo…
Modern NZ in Arrowtown


With courtyard tables adjoining a grassy square, Stables is a good spot for an alfresco lunch. Later at night, step inside the 1860s stone building for a more intimate dining experience that leans heavily on the cha…
Modern NZ in Arrowtown


Saffron offers hefty and delicious serves of grown-up food in a formal setting. The ever-changing trio of curries effortlessly traverses Asia, while other dishes jet to Europe and back. Fans can purchase The Taste o…
Bar in Arrowtown

Blue Door

Hidden away behind a tricky-to-find blue door, this cool little bar has a formidable wine list and enough rustic ambience to keep you entertained for the evening. Low ceilings, an open fire and abundant candles crea…
Pub in Arrowtown

Fork & Tap

Craft beers, great food and a sunny, kid-friendly back garden make this the pick of Arrowtown's pubs. Built in 1870 as a bank, it now hosts Irish bands on Wednesdays and other acts on Sundays in summer. Brew aficion…
Pub in Arrowtown

New Orleans Hotel

Dating from 1866, this gold-rush pub still has the right amount of rough edge to provide a juxtaposition to Arrowtown's relentless quaintness. The gnarled prospectors have long been replaced with (mainly) young loca…
Cafe in Wanaka

Relishes Cafe

A cafe by day with good breakfast and lunch options, this place transforms itself at night into a sophisticated restaurant with a good wine list. Toast the lakefront setting with a glass of Central Otago's finest.