Great Towns: Wanaka to Arrowtown to Queenstown

After a great breakfast at Riverview Terrace, we went back to downtown Wanaka to walk around and see what we hadn’t seen yesterday. In addition to the shops downtown, there was a craft fair set up similar to the one we saw in Paihia. We walked along the lake and enjoyed the views before we got back in the car to make the journey to Queenstown.


On the recommendation of Kristen, the flight attendant on our Air New Zealand flight who has become something of our secondary travel agent, we traveled to Queenstown via Arrowtown. Kristen had suggested that we have brunch there, but by the time we reached Arrowtown, it was more like lunch time. Mom was so delighted when we pulled into town: they had been to Arrowtown on their last trip and she wanted to return so badly, but she did not know the name of the place. She just kept saying it was like a Wild West town–and it is. The town was built up during the gold rush in the area, and the original population of the town was comprised of miners.

We LOVED Arrowtown (way to go, Kristen!)! It was a perfect kind of place for us. So many of the buildings had been on the chopping block for demolition, but were saved and preserved beautifully. This included buildings downtown and the miners’ adorable cottages (some of which are now selling for close to a million dollars!).


My favorite “saved” story was the Postmaster’s House. I loved this little place and couldn’t believe it was set to be demolished twenty years ago.


There were so many great restaurants in Arrowtown that it was hard to decide where to eat. We ended up eating at Slow Cuts, which was a perfect spot. Salads and burgers really hit the spot.


After lunch, we drove the short distance into Queenstown. There were some VERY winding roads on the way!


Our hotel, Peppers Beacon, is really centrally located with beautiful views of the lake and the Remarkables, the mountain range in Queenstown. We decided we could just sit and look out the window the rest of the evening, but we decided we should get out and experience Queenstown a bit before we retired for the evening.

The view from our living room.

There is so much going on in Queenstown. It’s a small town, but there are plenty of shops, restaurants, and tourists to make the place feel hopping. One of the big tickets in town is Fergburger. The line was out the door and down the street around dinner time. We decided to go to Mrs. Ferg’s for gelato instead. Tim had the Hokey Pokey and Pavlova gelato (true New Zealand flavors there!) and I had some chocolate and coconut gelato that made a perfect dinner for me.

The line at Ferg Burger.


After gelato, we walked around and enjoyed the overall atmosphere of the downtown.

Tomorrow is a VERY long day of touring. We’ll take a bus to Milford Sound, considered an eighth wonder of the world. We’re hoping for great weather and beautiful views!

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