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One Week Queenstown Itinerary: How to Spend 7 Days in Queenstown

One Week Queenstown Itinerary: How to Spend 7 Days in Queenstown

So, you’re planning on spending one week in Queenstown? Lucky you! I mean, I love Queenstown and personally think you could keep yourself busy here for months exploring all of the amazing this to do and see. However, many visitors only give themselves two or three days in Queenstown – which to me, isn’t enough.  

7 days in Queenstown is a good amount of time to explore and really get to know this vibrant town and surrounding area. However, planning your Queenstown itinerary can be a challenge (especially if it’s your first time visiting!) 

For that reason, I’ve written this detailed 7-day Queenstown itinerary! It includes a balance of the best activities, attractions, hikes, viewpoints, restaurants, and even has time for relaxing! I’m a Queenstown local, so you’re sure to find the best insider tips and places to visit in this itinerary. 

So without further ado, here is how you can best spend one week in Queenstown! 

Day 1 – Get Acquainted with Queenstown

Your first day in Queenstown is all about getting to know Queenstown itself. Get oriented and learn how to get around. It’s the perfect intro to Queenstown and will help you prepare for the remainder of your week. 

Morning – Iconic Queenstown breakfast and wandering town

This morning you should go for a wander in Queenstown town center. Queenstown is a vibrant little town with so much to see and do – actually, it’s almost overwhelming! 

Breakfast at Fergbaker

Bailey at Ferg Baker in Queenstown
I’m a Ferg girl that’s for sure!
Muffins and sweets at Ferg Baker in Queenstown
The food is so good!

Start your day at Fergbaker right on Shotover Street in town. As one of the best cafes in Queenstown, Fergbaker is popular with both locals and tourists! 

If you’re wondering if Fergbaker is associated with the famous Fergburger, well the answer is yes! Don’t get ahead of yourself though, I’ve included Fergburger in this itinerary too!  

For now, just grab a delicious coffee and a bite to eat. I love their jalapeno bagel with cream cheese, but there are a ton of breakfast goodies to choose from. It is one of the top breakfast places in Queenstown, after all.  

Walk Queenstown Town 

Path through the Queenstown Gardens NZ
Path through the Queenstown Gardens NZ

With your coffee in hand, next up on your Queenstown itinerary is just wandering town. As I said, today is about getting your bearings here in Queenstown, and the best way to do that is on foot. 

Walk up and down Shotover Street (where Fergbaker is located) and then make your way to Earnslaw Park. From here, you can walk the Steamer Wharf towards Queenstown Beach. Continue past the beach into the Queenstown Gardens.  You can also opt to explore the shoreline and gardens by riding a segway!

Wander the Queenstown Gardens Trail and take in the views of Lake Wakatipu (Queenstown’s crown jewel!) This walk is one of the easiest hikes in Queenstown and one way to really appreciate how much this town has to offer.  

If you’re up for some fun, rent a frisbee from the Queenstown Ice Arena in the gardens and then test your skills at the Frisbee (Disc) Golf Course in the gardens. At only $5 NZD for a frisbee rental with the free course, this is one of the best cheap things to do in Queenstown

Otherwise, just take it slow this morning and enjoy the gardens and town. The next few days of this 7-day Queenstown itinerary are pretty jammed-packed – so enjoy it while you can! 

Afternoon – Visit Bob’s Peak

Now that you’ve explored Queenstown on foot, it’s time to check it out from another angle – up above looking down from Bob’s Peak! Bob’s Peak is located 450 meters (1,476 feet) above Queenstown, and from up there, the views are incredible. It’s not just the view you go up for though, in fact, there are lots of fun things to do at Bob’s Peak and you can easily spend a few hours up there! 

Ride the Gondola 

Riding the Queenstown gondola up to the Luge Track in Queenstown
Up I go on the gondola!

The first thing you’ll do this afternoon is ride the Skyline gondola. This gondola will take you up to Bob’s Peak from Queenstown town center (that’s right, no hiking required!) The gondola ride lasts for about 5 minutes and costs $46 NZD per adult and $32 NZD per child. They also have discounted family rates available too.  

The gondola is easy to get to and you can walk there from the Queenstown Gardens. Just head to the end of Brecon Street and you’ll see the gondola station.  

Ride the Luge 

People ride the luge in Queenstown with views of Lake Wakatipu in the background
You can go really fast and race your mates!

Once at the top of Bob’s Peak my favorite thing to do is ride the Queenstown Luge. To me, no Queenstown itinerary is complete without riding the Luge as it is definitely one of the best things to do in Queenstown

If you aren’t familiar with “luging”, it’s kind of like go-karting except instead of a motor, these little carts are gravity-powered as the track slopes down a hill.  

It might sound kind of lame, but it isn’t. Honestly in Queenstown, the Luge goes really fast! You can control your speed by using the break, and chances are you won’t be able to ride the whole track without using your break at least a couple of times (yes, that’s a challenge!) 

Luge tickets come combined with your gondola ride and start at 2 luge rides for $64 NZD for an adult and $45 NZD for kids. The more you buy in a combo ticket the better the value. On your first time on the Luge, they will make you ride the “easy” track. After that, you’re free to try the faster track and that’s when the fun really begins! You can book 5 rides plus the gondola here!

Other things to do at Bob’s Peak

View of Queenstown from the top of the Gondola on Bob's Peak in Queenstown
The view is epic!

At Bob’s Peak you’ll see the large Skyline building as well as signs for walking trails. Some of the other things you can do up there include: 

  • Walk the Skyline Loop 
  • Visit the Market Kitchen Café 

Evening – dinner at Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar

Enjoying a glass of wine at the Stratosfare Restaurant Queenstown with a beautiful view
Not a bad place to enjoy a meal!

I recommend staying up at Bob’s Peak for dinner. If you skipped lunch (thanks to a delicious late Fergbaker breakie) then you’re probably starving. There is no better way to fix that than then with a gourmet all-you-can-eat buffet dinner. Stratosfare is the name of the restaurant at Bob’s Peak and they offer a huge buffet.

This restaurant offers some of the best views in Queenstown. Sitting here with a glass of wine as the sun sets is pure magic! 

Stratosfare also serves really good food. It is a buffet, but it’s a fancy buffet complete with steak, seafood, endless local cheese, and so much more. The dessert wall alone is enough to make me visit again.  

The restaurant is often fully booked, so be sure to reserve a table in advance. You can also buy combo deals that include eating at the restaurant as well as riding the gondola. Book these deals online in advance on the Skyline website.   

Day 2 – Day Trip to Glenorchy

Today we are actually leaving Queenstown, and visiting its quiet neighbor – Glenorchy! Glenorchy is my favorite small town in all of New Zealand. It’s home to only 200 or so people and as such, is actually tiny. 

With that said, there is no shortage of things to do in Glenorchy. And since it is located only a 40-minute drive from Queenstown, Glenorchy is easily visited on a day trip. No Queenstown itinerary is complete without a day spent in Glenorchy if you ask me. It’s easily one of the best places to visit on the entire South Island!

Morning – The scenic drive to Glenorchy

Windy road with mountain and lake views on the way to Glenorchy from Queenstown
The road to Glenorchy!

For this day trip, you’re going to need some wheels! There are no public buses from Queenstown to Glenorchy so your only options are to drive yourself or book a guided tour. If you don’t already have a car, then I recommend renting one for the day. In Queenstown, car rentals can be very cheap and will cost you less than a guided tour would.  

Plus, with your own car, you have the freedom to explore all of the places I mention in this itinerary! 

If you want to go on a guided tour: If you don’t drive, then a guided tour to Glenorchy is your only option. This tour is one I’ve done before and really loved. If you book the tour, no need to worry about the rest of this itinerary as your guide will have your day all planned out for you – just sit back and relax! 


Food and coffee from Odelay Cafe in Queenstown
You can’t beat the food at Odelay!

Grab a quick bite to eat at your hotel or one of the many cafes in Queenstown before picking up your rental car. If you’re picking up the car in Frankton, then check out Odelay café for breakfast (you won’t be disappointed!) 

Now, it’s time to hit the road! 

Head out of Queenstown past Fernhill on Glenorchy-Queenstown Road. This is the one road that goes to Glenorchy and it’s an absolutely breathtaking drive.  

Wilson Bay

Bailey at Wilsons Bay on the road between Queenstown and Glenorchy
Take a dip if you dare!

About 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) from Queenstown you will see signs for Wilson Bay. This is your first stop along the scenic drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy.  

This bay is beautiful, and in the summer, makes for the perfect place for a swim. Otherwise, just enjoy the views, watch the ducks, and check out the area. Although just a quick stop on this drive, it’s well worth checking out. 

Bob’s Cove

Bailey at Bob's Peak near Queenstown, New Zealand
On a clear day, this is a must do!
The jetty at Bob;s Cove along the Bob's Peak Track near Queenstown
The jetty at Bob;s Cove along the Bob’s Peak Track near Queenstown

About 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) further from Wilson Bay you’ll find Bob’s Cove. This is one of the most beautiful beaches and bays around Lake Wakatipu.  

Here, walk Bob’s Cove Track up to Picnic Point. It is one of the best hikes in Queenstown and offers amazing views from the top. The hike should only take you about 30 minutes to complete.  

After you’re done, you can even cool off with a swim before hitting the road once again.  

Bennett’s Bluff Lookout

View of the mountains and lake from Bennetts Bluff Lookout
View of the mountains and lake from Bennetts Bluff Lookout

Bennett’s Bluff Lookout offers the best views along this entire drive. It is a small parking lot with a short walk to an epic view of Lake Wakatipu. From here, you’ll look down Lake Wakatipu towards Glenorchy.

Again, this one is just a quick stop but it’s so beautiful! You can find Bennett’s Bluff Lookout’s location on Google Maps. It is easy to see when you drive past but does come up quickly out of nowhere after turning a corner.  

Afternoon – The town of Glenorchy! 

Now that you’ve made it to Glenorchy you need to check out the town and all of its attractions. Here’s how I recommend you spend your afternoon: 

Eat at Mrs. Woolly General Store and Cafe 

The front of Mrs. Woolly General Store and Cafe
Mrs. Woolly General Store and Cafe !

Hungry? Well, stop for lunch at my favorite little café in Glenorchy, Mrs. Woolly’s. Located right in town, this café is a fun stop for visitors because it serves delicious takeaway treats as well as features a store with locally made souvenirs and goods.  

Get a meat pie here – they’re so good. My personal favorite pie they serve is made with local salmon; it sounds weird but it is so good.  

Glenorchy shed and jetty 

The Glenorchy Railway Shed in Glenorchy at the trailhead of the Glenorchy Walkway
The famous Glenorchy Railway Shed

The most iconic photo of Glenorchy features a red shed by the lake. Head to the Glenorchy Jetty to see this view for yourself. You can find the jetty on Google maps, or just turn left once you pass Mrs. Woolley’s until you reach the lake and see the shed (Glenorchy is tiny and easy to navigate.) 

Be sure to walk the jetty and go inside of the shed. The shed features information about the area and what it was used for back in the day. It’s one of the best free things to do in Glenorchy, that much is for sure. 

Walk the Glenorchy Walkway 

Bailey enjoys the reflections along the Glenorchy Walkway
On a clear day the reflections are out of this world!

No trip to Glenorchy is complete without going on at least one hike! From the Glenorchy jetty, you can jump on the trail to the Glenorchy Lagoon via the Glenorchy Walkway.  

Just continue right (when facing the water) past the jetty and you will find a well-maintained walking trail. This trail is the Glenorchy Walkway and it’s one of the best hikes in Glenorchy. It’s flat, relatively easy, and only 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) long in total. Most people complete the entire loop in about an hour.  

The trail is a loop and takes you to the Glenorchy Lagoon, or what some people refer to as Mirror Lakes. Here, the water reflects the surrounding mountains and it is picture perfect! 

Glenorchy Animal Experience 

A lady feeds llamas at the Glenorchy Animal Experience
Feeding the animals is so much fun!

Next up on this itinerary is a classic Kiwi experience on a local farm! Jump in your car and drive 5 minutes out of Glenorchy to the Glenorchy Animal Experience. This is a real New Zealand farm that lets visitors explore and feed their animals.  

It is a self-guided tour that only costs $20 NZD per adult and $10 NZD per child.  

If you can, try to be here for their daily sheep shearing demonstration at 2:30 pm. It is included in the entrance and really interesting. 

Allow about an hour here before continuing on to your next activity.  

Drive out to Paradise 

The Paradise sign in Glenorchy
Welcome to Paradise!

Yes, just outside of Glenorchy is an area that is actually called Paradise. Here, you can check out some Lord of the Rings film locations or simply just enjoy the view! Some places to check out include: 

Misty Mountains – The Misty Mountains in LOTR were filmed in the mountains around Glenorchy. In fact, as you drive from Queenstown towards Glenorchy, look into the distance and you’ll see exactly where the fellowship walks through the snow in the Fellowship of the Ring.

IsengardFrom the Isengard lookout you can stare out, and with a lot of imagination, picture Isengard in the valley. It’s a hard one to see because of all the animation used in the movie.

Forest of Fangorn – While looking at Isengard, look to your right into the forest. Here sits the Forest of Fangorn!

If you have more time this afternoon, drive out to the Routeburn Track! You can do a short nature walk as a day hike on the Routeburn Track that takes you through some beautiful forests and along the edge of the Dart River.  

Evening – Sunsets and stars 

No need to rush back to Queenstown. Tonight, we are enjoying the scenic drive back at dusk with a stop at one of my favorite places in all of Queenstown – Moke Lake! 

Eat at Queenies Dumplings 

dumplings from Queenies Dumplings in Glenorchy
Yummmm! Photo courtesy of Queenies Dumplings

Before setting off, I recommend grabbing a quick bite in Glenorchy. Queenies Dumplings is a local favorite in this area with locations in Glenorchy, Queenstown, and Arrowtown! You can either dine in here or grab your food to go (to enjoy later at Moke Lake!) 

Moke Lake 

Bailey stops for a break on the Moke Lake Walkway
It’s an easy walk!

Now you can start the drive back to Queenstown. About 38 kilometers (23.6 miles) in, keep an eye out for signs for Moke Lake. You’ll turn left onto a gravel road and follow this road for about 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) until you reach the lake.  

Moke Lake is an iconic destination in Queenstown. There are lots of different things to do at Moke Lake including walking the Moke Lake Loop track, climbing up to the “secret” viewpoint, or even just camping under the stars.  

I recommend walking some of Moke Lake Loop to find a quiet spot to watch the sunset.  

If you have the time and energy, be sure to hang around until it gets dark to see the stars. On a clear day, the stars here are incredible because there is next to no light pollution in the area! 

Day 3 – Lake day 

You’ve had a busy two days so far on this 7-day Queenstown itinerary. So now, it’s time to relax a little and enjoy the stunning Lake Wakatipu.  

Morning – Prep for the day 

BBQ at St Omer Park
It’s one of the best free things to do in Queenstown!

This morning you’re going to head to one of the local supermarkets in Queenstown to get ready for your day by the lake. If you’re staying in town, you can easily walk to Four Square Supermarket on Shotover Street. Alternatively, drive 5 minutes to the FreshChoice On Gorge Road. 

Here, you can grab some breakfast to go as well as get some groceries for your day at the lake. There are free BBQs to use, so buying some meat to grill up is a great idea! Get everything you’re going to need for a picnic BBQ. 

Also, consider hitting up a bottle shop (liquor store.) If you’re like me and love a cider in the sun, then stock up because you can have a few drinks at the beach today. In Queenstown, you can legally drink at particular beach areas until 10 pm (this is rare in New Zealand.) 

Next, head to St Omer Park straight away to grab your picnic area and BBQ. Be sure to get there before lunchtime to snag a BBQ. This is a popular spot in the summer months and especially on weekends.  

Note: If all BBQs are taken, just ask a group to borrow theirs when they are done. People are friendly in Queenstown and will share no worries! 

Afternoon – BBQ by the lake

Sunshine Bay, Queenstown
If you want to get a beach to yourself, Sunshine Bay is a local secret!

This afternoon is all about soaking in the sun and appreciating Lake Wakatipu. After taking advantage of the free BBQs in St Omer Park, you can just relax, go for a swim, or enjoy one of the other lake activities: 

  • Parasailing – Head to Steamer Warf to try out parasailing. Tours run every day all year round departing on the hour. Prices start at $99 NZD per adult.
  • Kayaking – From Queenstown Beach, you can rent a kayak for two people for $50 NZD per 45 minutes.  
  • Paddleboarding – Try out SUP! From Queenstown, you can rent a paddleboard for $25 NZD per 45 minutes.  
  • Queenstown Beach – After your BBQ, consider changing locations to Queenstown Beach. It’s a vibrant spot in Queenstown popular among locals. On a hot summer day, there will likely be live music in the form of buskers hanging around, and tons of people watching to do. 
  • Sunshine Bay – A great alternative to Queenstown Beach is Sunshine Bay. The beach here is gorgeous and generally less busy than Queenstown Beach. It is about a 5-minute drive from St Omer Park. You can also hike there via the Sunshine Bay Track.

Alternative winter activity – Spending a day at Lake Wakatipu is definitely only a summer activity in Queenstown. If you’re visiting Queenstown in the winter, spend today up on the slopes instead! You’ll love skiing in Queenstown. Both summer and winter are the best times to visit Queenstown.

Evening – Dinner at Blue Kanu 

Bailey with a cocktail at Blue Kanu in Queenstown
Blue Kanu has always been my favorite restaurant in Queenstown!
A meal at Blue Kanu in Queenstown, New Zealand
The food is full of flavor!

After spending a few hours in the sun, head back to your hotel to freshen up for a lovely dinner in Queenstown. 

There are a ton of amazing restaurants in Queenstown, so you can really choose whichever one you prefer. Just be sure to reserve your table in advance no matter where you choose because the best restaurants book up fast! 

I personally recommend hitting up Blue Kanu. It is my favorite restaurant in Queenstown for its unique and delicious menu, as well as a relaxing and fun dining environment. Blue Kanu serves a fusion of Asian and Pacific Islander food. The menu is different, but believe me, every single dish is amazing (yes, I’ve tried them all!)  

Budget-saving tip: If you plan your Queenstown itinerary far enough in advance, you might even be able to snag a table on the website First Table. This way, you’ll get 50% off all of your food at Blue Kanu! 

Day 4 – Adventure Day

Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand, so naturally, one day of your week in Queenstown just has to be spent getting an adrenaline rush!  

Morning and Afternoon – Adventure tours 

Bailey looks on as someone repels down while canyoning in Queenstown
I loved it!
A person slides down a waterfall while canyoning in Queenstown
It’s scary and fun!

Depending on which adventure activities you want to do in Queenstown, you might be able to get in two today – one in the morning and one in the afternoon.  

Personally, I recommend hitting up the jet boat in the morning, then having lunch in town at the outdoor Queenstown Mall (check out Caribe Latin Kitchen, Captains Restaurant, or Winnies) before doing a half-day canyoning tour (it’s so good) in the afternoon. However, this is my personal preference and you should choose the adventure tours that most interest you! 

Here are the best adventure activities in Queenstown that you can choose to fill your day with:  

  • Jet boating – Jet boating is one of the cheapest activities you can do in Queenstown when it comes to adventure. You can choose between a variety of jet boating experiences, but I recommend Kjet right in town. You can join a 60-minute tour for as little as $101 NZD, and the boat takes you on Lake Wakatipu, Kawarau River, and the Shotover River! 
  • Bungy jumping – The first-ever commercial bungy jump was in Queenstown at the Kawarau Bungy. Therefore, bungy jumping is one of the most iconic Queenstown adventure tours. Besides Kawarau Bungy, you can also do the Ledge Bungy up at Bob’s Peak or the Nevis (which is the highest bungy jump in New Zealand!) 
  • Canyoning – Canyoning is my personal favorite adventure tour in Queenstown. On a half-day canyoning tour, you’ll explore a scenic canyon from within the canyon as you make your way through it with ziplining, repelling, cliff jumps, river floats, and so much more. This is a summer-only activity and only suitable for those that are comfortable in the water.  
  • Via Ferrata – Via Ferrata is a type of rock climbing that anybody can do! In Queenstown, Via Ferrata takes you high up on a cliff face as you use iron ladders and rungs to help you climb. As long as you are somewhat comfortable with heights, you’ll enjoy this tour.  

Evening – Fergburger and night on the town

After a day of adrenaline-pumping activities, what better way to keep the buzz going than a night out on the town with a few drinks!  


A burger from Fergburger

Swing by the iconic Fergburger to fuel up. Fergburger is the most iconic burger joint and restaurant in Queenstown but also in all of New Zealand. With many famous endorsements, Fergburger is a must on any Queenstown itinerary.  

The only downside to Fergburger is how busy it can get. Either be prepared to wait in line to get your burger or phone in your order in advance (a local secret!) Burgers start from only $13 NZD each and they have everything from classic beef burgers to vegetarian options to bison and more.  

Personally, I also opt for the Classic Ferg and add blue cheese. It’s honestly so good!  

Big night on the town  

Bailey drinks a cocktail at Ferg Bar in Queenstown, New Zealand
Cocktails at Ferg Bar!
Drinks at the Sundeck in Queenstown
Drinks at the Sundeck in Queenstown

Queenstown is well-known for its amazing nightlife. Although just a small town, there are lots of places to party in Queenstown 

Start your night off with delicious cocktails at The World Bar or Ferg Bar before heading to The Sundeck, The Bunker or 1876 for DJs and dancing. Finish your night off riding the mechanical bull at Cowboys.  

If you want to meet people, consider joining an organized pub crawl. They only cost $30 NZD and make for a social night on the town! 

Day 5 – Relax and Enjoy the Scenery 

I know you might be a little hungover today, so I’ve planned your Queenstown itinerary accordingly. Don’t just spend today in bed, get up and enjoy some of the more relaxing things to do in Queenstown

Morning – Brunch 

Takeaway Vudu coffees in Queenstown
Vudu is a great café in Queenstown!

This morning, sleep in and take it slow. Once you’re out of bed, head to Vudu for one of the best brunches you can imagine! Grab a strong coffee and try their halloumi with poached eggs to start your day.  

Afternoon – Lake Cruise and Gourmet BBQ Lunch 

standing at the front of the TSS Earnslaw boat on a cruise from Queenstown, New Zealand
Enjoying the view from the very front of the Earnslaw!

This afternoon I recommend jumping on board the TSS Earnslaw lake cruise in Queenstown. This cruise is about sitting back and enjoying the views from out on the water of Lake Wakatipu. Plus, the TSS Earnslaw is one of the best lakes cruises in Queenstown since it is on a 100-year-old steamship (it’s like a floating museum).

You can book this lake cruise with a gourmet lunch BBQ included. This experience is what I recommend since the BBQ is delicious and makes for a great lunch, plus it takes place at the scenic Walter Peak High Country Farm – a must-visit destination on its own.  

The cruise with BBQ lunch departs at 12 pm daily from the Steamer Warf right in town. Be sure to book your cruise in advance to avoid missing out.  

Evening – Soak and sunset

Tonight is a continuation of your day meant for relaxing and enjoying scenic views. Start off at the Onsen Hot Pools before having a late takeaway meal (you’ll be full for hours after your huge BBQ lunch!) 

Onsen Hot Pools 

View from the Onsen Hot Pools hot tubs
Can you imagine anything more relaxing?

After your lake cruise head out for an evening of relaxing at the best hot pools in Queenstown. The Onsen Hot Pools are located only a 10-minute drive from Queenstown and offer amazing mountain views. Unlike many hot pools around New Zealand, Onsen offers many private hot pools that you book to have completely to yourself – ideal for a couple enjoying a honeymoon. Enjoy alone, or bring along your partner, friends, or family since each pool comfortably fits up to 4 adults.  

The one thing you need to know about Onsen is that it is almost fully booked every day. You must book this experience in advance or you won’t be able to visit.  

For the purpose of this Queenstown itinerary, I recommend booking in the late afternoon or early evening to enjoy the hot pools as the weather starts to cool off. Try and book your pool during sunset for an extra special experience!  

Takeaway Pizza 

Three pizzas at Fat Badger pizza
Check out those delicious pizzas! Photo credit – Fat Badger

After finishing up at Onsen, grab some takeaway for dinner to enjoy in the comfort of your hotel. Tonight, I recommend getting pizza! 

Although there are a few awesome pizza places in Queenstown, Fat Badger has to be the best! Fat Badger not only has great pizza but it is known for having huge pizzas. No seriously, their large pizza is more than enough to feed a group of 4 or more (20″ New York Style!) 

Fat Badger offers large whole pizzas for takeaway or even individual slices. It is located right in town and is a “pizza bar” style perfect for a quick takeaway. 

Day 6 – Hiking 

No Queenstown itinerary is complete without a day spent hiking! Hiking is easily one of the best free things to do in Queenstown. Not only are there some amazing hiking trails around Queenstown, but many of the hikes can be done all year round.  

Morning – Prep for your hike 

This morning grab a quick bite to eat at your hotel for breakfast. After that, it’s time to pack your bag for hiking today. Be sure to pack a full water bottle (at least one liter (35 oz) per person), some snacks, a picnic lunch, sunscreen, bug repellent, and a hat (the sun will burn you fast in Queenstown during any season.)  

After you’re all packed, get ready to hit the trail! The earlier you get moving, the better. Trails start to get busy around noon, so to beat the rush get an early start to the day. 

Afternoon – Hiking 

There are lots of different hikes to choose from in Queenstown, but for the purpose of this itinerary, I’ve narrowed it down to my two favorites. Choose one based on your fitness and skill level and you’re good to go! 

Queenstown Hill 

Looking out from the summit of Queenstown Hill
Just enjoying the view on Queenstown Hill.

Queenstown Hill is one of the easier hikes in Queenstown that still offers amazing views. Although I call it “easy”, it isn’t without its challenges. This trail climbs over 400 meters (1,312 feet) in elevation over about 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles). It is a steady uphill climb most of the way. 

Most people take around 3 hours to complete the entire trail. 

The views from the top are amazing though and totally worth the effort. From the Basket of Dreams (a sculpture on the hill), you can enjoy the view of Lake Wakatipu, The Remarkables, and Queenstown itself.  

Queenstown Hill Track is an out-and-back trail that starts not far from the town center on Belfast Terrace. The trailhead location can be found on Google maps. If you walk to the trailhead from downtown Queenstown, you’ll add a whopping 200 meters (656 feet) extra elevation gain to your total hike.

Ben Lomond 

Bailey poses for a photo at the summit of Ben Lomond in Queenstown, New Zealand
The summit of Ben Lomond!

Ben Lomond Track is one of the more challenging hikes around Queenstown, but it also offers the best views. The trail officially starts up at Bob’s Peak (where the gondola goes.) So, you can take the gondola up and start the hike from there (this is an awesome shortcut) or you can hike from town on the Tiki Trail. The Tiki Trail starts at the end of Brecon Street near the gondola station and takes you up to Bob’s Peak where you connect with Ben Lomond Track. 

To hike to Ben Lomond Summit from Queenstown and back you need to allow 6-8 hours. Also, in the winter or bad weather conditions, it may be unsafe to hike to the summit. You can also check with the DOC office in Queenstown about trail conditions before you leave.  

Even if the weather isn’t ideal, you can always just hike to the saddle. This makes the hike much shorter and to be honest, the views are just as good! 

Evening – Dinner at Public Kitchen & Bar 

the patio at Public Kitchen and Bar near Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown
They have the best patio ever! Photo Credit: Public Kitchen & Bar

After your day of hiking, head back to your hotel to freshen up. Tonight you’re spoiling yourself at one of Queenstown’s tastiest and best-located restaurants! 

Public Kitchen and Bar is one of the best restaurants in Queenstown. Located on Steamer Warf, they have the best seat in the house for watching the sunset over Lake Wakatipu. Either book a table inside by the window or opt for one of their patio seats right by the water. 

One of the reasons I like Public is that they use local produce and ingredients. Their menu is seriously huge and offers a selection of New Zealand and international dishes. Really, there is something for everybody on their menu including vegetarians or those with dietary restrictions.  

Day 7 – Get Toured Around

There are some amazing guided tours in Queenstown. As a local, I’ve had the privilege of joining many of them. To be honest, showing yourself around can be fun and exciting, but there are certain experiences that I truly believe to be better on a guided tour.  

So for the last day of your 7-day Queenstown itinerary, pick one of the below tours and sit back and enjoy. Tours are all about getting taken care of, learning, and enjoying the ride! 

Morning and Afternoon – Choose a full-day tour

Bailey looks out from the deck of a cruise in Milford Sound and enjoys the view
I mean it’s pretty dam beautiful!
  • Bike riding tour – Looking for another active day in Queenstown? Why not go bike riding! There are tons of bike trails around Queenstown, but some of the best are done on a guided or self-guided tour. This self-guided tour includes transport at the beginning and end of your ride as well as gear rentals. It is a great budget tour if that’s what you’re after. 
  • Beer and wine tour – Another drinking tour! This tour is perfect for those who love wine and also beer. There are some great places to drink craft beer in Queenstown, and this tour will take you to some of them. You’ll also visit a couple of wineries and enjoy drinks with scenic views all day long.  
  • Lord of the Rings tour – Lord of the Rings fans cannot visit Queenstown without joining a Lord of the Rings tour. This guided tour takes you to various film locations around Queenstown and Glenorchy as the guide explains how they filmed this iconic trilogy. It is important to note that most LOTR tours in Queenstown spend a lot of time touring Glenorchy, so if you’ve already been, it may be a little repetitive.  
  • Scenic tour – Looking to explore some places nearby that are beautiful? Well, this guided tour is all about visiting iconic attractions just outside of Queenstown in Arrowtown and Wanaka. You’ll explore all of the best things to do in Arrowtown before also exploring Wanaka.
A lady stands at the front of a cruise ship in Milford Sound on a rainy day trip from Queenstown
On a boat cruise in Milford Sound!

Milford Sound Day Trip – The most popular Milford tour from Queenstown is a day trip to Milford Sound. You can choose between a huge variety of Milford tours including coach tours, one that includes a scenic flight one way, or scenic flights both ways. All tours include a boat cruise once in Milford Sound. If you have the budget, this scenic flight combined with a cruise and road trip one-way is the absolute best tour to Milford. Otherwise, for the best budget option, check out this one. If you plan on driving yourself, be sure to stop at the best attractions along the drive from Queenstown to Milford.

Self-drive Wanaka tour – Don’t like guided tours? That’s fine by me! Why not tour yourself up the Crown Range and to Wanaka for the day! First, enjoy the scenic drive from Queenstown to Wanaka stopping at some amazing attractions along the way. Then, spend the day exploring all of the best things to do in Wanaka. Honestly, there are tours you can do from Queenstown to Wanaka, but I recommend just driving yourself and using the blogs linked to above to help plan your itinerary.  

Evening – Dinner at a local hotspot

takeaway lamb and scalloped potatoes at PEdros House of Lamb
A takeaway dish to die for! Photo Credit: Pedro’s House of Lamb

After a day of touring around Queenstown, it’s time for the final meal of your week spent in Queenstown – so we better make it a good one! Tonight, it’s about eating at a hidden gem in Queenstown that’s a favorite with the locals.  

Pedro’s House of Lamb is a primarily takeout joint located a few minutes from Queenstown town center on Gorge Road. They’re famed for their slow-cooked lamb dishes served with a large portion of scalloped potatoes.  

As a tourist, you should also eat at Pedro’s. Lamb is one of the most popular things to eat in New Zealand so you should try it at least once.  

Place your order at Pedro’s in advance online so that you can ensure not to miss out. You can also organize delivery if you’re too tired to drive and just want to chill at your hotel.  

If you want to dine in or don’t want to travel out of Queenstown town center, check out Pedro’s By the Lake. This restaurant is new and offers lake views with the same famous lamb dishes! Book your table on their website in advance.  

Are you continuing to travel after Queenstown? Check out my road trip guides for driving from Queenstown to Mount Cook or Queenstown to Franz Josef. These routes are super scenic and I’ve pinned the best places to stop along the way!

Where to Stay in Queenstown

The Hilton Resort and Spa Queenstown
The stunning Hilton Hotel!

Finding the right place to stay in Queenstown can be hard. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of awesome choices but things book up fast! For that reason, I highly suggest booking your accommodation well in advance. It’s not that you won’t find something later on, but that all the really good places go first!

To get you started, here are a few places I personally love and that would make an awesome place to stay in Queenstown.

The first is for budget travelers and that’s Absoloot Hostel Queenstown. This small hostel has dorm rooms and budget privates and it’s really clean and comfortable. The location is in the heart of Queenstown – the window from the kitchen looks out over Lake Wakatipu! It is easily one of the top cheap hostels in Queenstown and can be booked on or

If you have a little more money to spend then you should seriously consider Chalet Queenstown. I’m a supporter of smaller hotels because I feel you get better service. Based on recommendations, I stayed at Chalet Queenstown when I first arrived. It’s a beautiful hotel in a quiet but close location and the views are amazing (although you won’t find me recommending a place without great views!)

If you’re one of the lucky ones, you know the luxury travelers, then you’re going to be spoiled for choice in Queenstown. I’ve personally stayed at the Hilton Resort and Spa on my anniversary and loved it. If you want an even more luxurious stay, look at Kamana Lakehouse. This hotel has the most beautiful spa overlooking the lake and is definitely one of the best hotels in Queenstown.

There are also lots of amazing Airbnbs in Queenstown as well as bach/holiday homes to rent! You can choose between modern homes, central apartments, cozy cabins, and so much more when staying in an Airbnb.

Renting a Car, Campervan, or Motorhome in New Zealand

A motorhome by the beach
Me and my trusty campervan!

Let’s face it, you’re going to need wheels to get around New Zealand. Although a small country, buses between destinations are infrequent and expensive. Plus, some of the best experiences you can have in NZ are on road trips!

You have three options when it comes to getting wheels in New Zealand; a car, a campervan, or a motorhome. Here’s what you need to know about each and where to get them:

  • Car – A normal car is the cheapest rental vehicle you can get in New Zealand. It’ll get you around to all of the best destinations with ease. The only downside to a car is that you will need to stay in hotels or Airbnbs during your travels (no camping.) The easiest place to rent a car in New Zealand is on Discover Cars where you can compare cars, companies, prices, features, and more very easily.
  • Campervan – A Campervan is a large van that has a bed and a small kitchen in the back. It is what most budget backpackers get for traveling around New Zealand since it allows you to camp comfortably and for free (most) nights. Campervans are best for couples or solo travelers who are happy to live in a small space. You should also love the outdoors and camping! You can easily compare campervans, prices, and book on the website Motorhome Republic. We also have a 5% discount code (QUEEN5) with Mad Campers, which you can use at checkout.
  • Motorhome – A motorhome is larger and more comfortable than a campervan. Many motorhomes will comfortably sleep 6 or more people – perfect for a family visiting New Zealand. Motorhomes are the most expensive option, but with one, you won’t ever need to stay in a hotel and you’ll save money that way. Motorhome Republic is my suggested website for booking a motorhome in New Zealand simply because they are a reliable company and the website is super easy to use! We are also partnered with Kiwi Motorhomes, which is well known as the top motorhome rental company in New Zealand. You can get 5% off using the code Queen5. For more detailed info, read my complete guide to renting a motorhome in New Zealand!

Travel Insurance Has Your Back!

Life can be unpredictable and when you’re traveling abroad the last thing you want to worry about is getting sick or injured and having to pay out of pocket for treatment.

If this concerns you, SafetyWing can help! SafetyWing specializes in very affordable and comprehensive medical and travel insurance that is aimed at digital nomads, remote workers, and long-term travelers. It costs just $45 USD per 4 weeks!

To start coverage you must purchase it after leaving your home country, so we usually purchase it as soon as we land in the airport.

Since using SafetyWing we’ve been reimbursed thousands of dollars when we’ve gotten sick. During the pandemic, they’ve even gone as far as to pay for our last-minute flights back to Canada before the border closed!

Thanks for reading!

Bailey from My Queenstown Diary at Coronet Peak, New Zealand
Thanks for reading!

And there you have it, the most detailed one-week Queenstown itinerary out there! I hope you can use this itinerary to easily plan your 7 days in Queenstown. From adventure to hiking to eating, Queenstown really is a special place that I’m sure you’ll enjoy.

Before you visit Queenstown, be sure to look around on this website more. I have written tons of detailed articles about Queenstown and other amazing places to visit in the South Island that I’m sure you’ll want to check out! Here are some of my most popular guides:

Things to do on the Coromandel Peninsula

Best beaches in New Zealand

Cheap things to do in Queenstown


Wednesday 14th of June 2023

Dear Bailey, many thanks for the great tips on Queenstown as im going to hit the slopes over there for the very first time this coming 2023 season as an ex ski instructor from Perisher Valley here in Australia and ex international flight attendant with Qantas Airways and well travelled i have to say Queenstown looks just sensational of all the cities in the world i have visited again many thanks for your great input into where to go in Queenstown again many thanks, Happy sking!!!!



Tuesday 18th of October 2022

Hello. Can we do the 7 day itinerary that you mentioned during the winter? Our intended arrival in Queenstown is around second week of August 2023.

Your 7 day itinerary is exciting!


Tuesday 25th of October 2022


You can almost do everything except some of the adventure activities, such as canyoning which is summer only. You can still skydive and bungy though. Also, I would avoid hiking Ben Lomond in winter unless you have alpine experience and the required equipment to do is safe.

I hope this helps! Bailey

Michelle Miller

Monday 15th of August 2022

Hi. Thanks for all the info. Thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog. Hey Hubby n I are celebrating our 25th anniversary in April nx year n heading there for 2 weeks. 1st week is all about golf but the following week is our own itinerary. We will be heading to Christchurch on our way home n spend 2 nights there. Apart from Milford Sound not sure how to plan our itinerary n where to go. We only have 5 days up our sleeve and any recommendation would be greatly appreciated. Also is Dunedin worth a visit within the 5 days. We’re both relatively fit and are seeking exciting things to do as well as hiking within those days. When should we hire a car also? Thanks in advance 😊


Monday 22nd of August 2022

Hey Michelle,

Thanks for reaching out!

Sorry, I am a little confused as to where you have the 5 days? Where will you finish with your golf? This is the most important detail to plan the following 5 days.

To me, I would skip Dunedin but without knowing where you will finish the golf part of your trip, I cannot suggest my recommendations. With only 5 days, you don;t want to spend all your time driving.

Renting a car depends on your itinerary.

Thanks Bailey


Friday 24th of June 2022

hi! i enjoyed reading your blog. your itinerary is amazing. I am (family with pri sch kids) starting my NZ holiday from Queenstown airport. i have planned for 12 days to cover the South & North island, with more days allocated to the South. I plan to drive a campervan in the South island and a rented car in the north island. Should i start renting my campervan from Day 1 in Queenstown? or i don't really need a car for the first few days? All tips are appreciated. Thanks


Tuesday 28th of June 2022

Hey Cherry,

Glad you like the blog!

This really depends on what you want to do during your time in Queenstown. If you really want to explore the surrounding area, then getting your rental car as soon as you arrive is a great idea. However, if you want to wander the town, do some of the nearby hikes such as Ben Lomond and Queenstown Hill, or join tours, then a car will not be needed at first.

Please let me know if you have any other questions

Thanks Bailey