Queenstown is known as a travel destination for outdoor adventure, drawing people from all over the world for various thrill-seeking activities. And to be sure, if you make the trip you should find something exciting to do outdoors, whether it be jet-boating, bungee jumping, or finally taking that first surfing lesson. But there’s often so much written and discussed all of these adrenaline-pumping activities that some people traveling to Queenstown can forget about what they’re going to do in between adventure!
The truth is it’s a fairly big city with all sorts of fun things to get into that don’t involve getting your heart rate up. To give you some idea of Queenstown beyond the adventures though, here are five things you might want to do while you’re in town.
1. The Bunker Restaurant & Bar
If you are looking for a fine-dining venue that isn’t too stuffy, The Bunker is the place for you. This rustic eatery is tucked away in a corner alley of downtown Queenstown in a split-level house. The lower level is comprised of the intimate dining quarters and also houses a large wood-burning fireplace. Specialties include succulent game meats and local seafood delicacies. The upper level of the house, meanwhile, is home to the restaurant’s cocktail bar and picturesque rooftop deck. It’s an awesome spot, whether you’re looking for a fun retreat after a day of adventure or you just want some good food.
2. Minus 5° Ice Bar
Minus 5° Ice Bar is one of Queenstown’s coolest experiences – literally. This igloo-style bar and all of its amenities have been carved from 18 tons of crystal-clear ice. Everything from the walls to the furniture and even the cocktail glasses is made out of real ice. Minus 5° Ice Bar is open year-round and always has plenty of warm attire and footwear for its guests to stay cozy in. And even though this particular bar is now part of an international chain, there’s something special about ducking into such a bizarre drinking hole in the middle of such a beautiful, unique city.
3. SkyCity Queenstown Casino
Casinos are legal and fairly popular around the country, though many of the locals may be more accustomed to playing New Zealand’s online casino games than visiting the in-person attractions. While you’re visiting though, a place like the SkyCity Queenstown casino can be a lot of fun. Though it doesn’t present quite as striking a picture as its Auckland sister property, this casino offers games, gourmet dining and libations, and the occasional live entertainment event. Whether you’re into poker and blackjack, you like to sit at the electronic game machines, or you’re just looking for a high-energy place for an interesting cocktail and a good meal, it’s a fun option in town.
4. SITE Trampoline
SITE Trampoline is a giant trampoline park perfect for all ages. Whether you’re perfecting you snowboarding jumps, or just freestyle bouncing, you can’t go wrong at a place like this. SITE Trampoline also offers exciting classes like parkour and freerunning, where you can learn to improve aerial awareness and develop new movement techniques. The trampoline park also includes fun amenities such as airbags, super tramps, foam pits, air tracks, and mini ramps. Granted, all of this is pretty active, so it’s not exactly a break from adventuring around Queenstown in that sense. But it’s a whole different type of activity – and particularly worth keeping in mind in case the weather turns on you and you have to cancel one outdoor activity or another.
5. National Transport and Toy Museum
Over 50 years ago Gerald Rhodes aspired to create a museum to showcase iconic and nostalgic toys and vehicles. As a professional car and truck wrecker, Rhodes had access to classic automobiles and began his own collection – which later grew to become the National Transport and Toy Museum. Some of the restored vehicles in the museum are classic automobiles, motorbikes, fire engines, steam-operated vehicles, and even 15 aircraft!. Notably, the museum also holds a large number of Barbie dolls, complete with clothing and accessories, as well as other toys like teddy bears and porcelain dolls. Furthermore, the museum continues to grow to this day, with 50,000 items and counting. It’s a quirky attraction, to be sure, but a great example of something you just won’t find anywhere else.