Take your tastebuds on a tasting adventure with a local wine tour

Queenstown is in the heart of the Central Otago wine region, the southernmost wine region in the world. We’re world famous for our superb pinot noir and known for our aromatic wines and Chardonnay.

Experience the unique flavour profile of our terroir. As the driest wine region in NZ, our extended growing season, long sunny summer days and high levels of UV mean our grapes have thicker skins, which makes our famous pinot noir dark and intense. The diversity of soils in the region give our wines distinctive local characteristics, so a pinot made in Gibbston Valley may be vastly different to one created in Bannockburn.

Join a wine tour into Gibbston's Valley of Vines and taste our luscious pinot noir for yourself. Include a tour of New Zealand’s largest wine cave at Gibbston Valley Winery, a vast cave blasted into the limestone hill to keep the maturing vintages safe from the fierce Central Otago sun.

Up the adventure stakes by combining wine tasting with a cycling tour or go for another classic Queenstown adventure combo. How about jetboating with wine? Or a cruise on the TSS Earnslaw followed by a spot of sipping? Or go for the full rock star red carpet treatment and book a heli-wine tour.

new friends wine tasting with Appellation Wine Tours

Tasting local wines with Appellation Wine Tours

Everything tastes better on a boat

Combine a cruise with a food experience surrounded by nature for a truly memorable food adventure.

Charter the Pacific Jemm for a taste of luxury yacht living. After a serene cruise across the waters of Lake Wakatipu, you’ll moor up in a harbour where chef Trent Watson will cook for you using seasonal produce paired with local wines. Choose from canapes, a gourmet BBQ feast, or a full dining experience.

For a taste of high-country rural life take the TSS Earnslaw across to Walter Peak High Country Farm. After feeding farm animals, seeing sheep dogs in action, and watching a sheep shearing display, you can enjoy a classic Kiwi afternoon tea at the homestead or gourmet BBQ for lunch or dinner. Or if you're looking for a early morning coffee and bite to eat for breakfast, the TSS Earnslaw is moored at Steamer Wharf and open 9.30am -11.30am Monday - Sunday (Winter only). 

Or how about a spot of catch your own lunch, with a fishing charter on Lake Wakatipu. Snacks are included, but the real highlight is the delicious salmon or rainbow trout you’ll be grilling after your trip.

Walter Peak Horse Treks - Real JourneysEnjoy a lake cruise and have high tea at Walter Peak High Country Farm

Try a taste of historic Queenstown

Dine in one of Queenstown's historic buildings and learn about the history of the region.

Right on the lakefront, Eichardt’s Private Hotel was established by Albert Eichardt and the formidable Julia O’Meara. The couple bought the original woolshed hotel that stood on the site from William Rees, the first European settler in the region. In 1872 the Eichardts rebuilt the hotel into the structure we know today. Julia transformed the hotel from a miner’s pub into a tourist hotel. Visit the bar, take a seat by the fire, and enjoy a meal, while thinking of the many colourful characters who’ve dined in the same room.

Other historical dining options in Queenstown include the Bathhouse café in an old Victorian bathhouse, and the Boat Shed café in the restored, historic New Zealand Railways Shipping Office, which dates back to 1869.

In Arrowtown, enjoy drinks appropriate to the age of the building at the Blue Door, with a glass of whiskey or a hot buttered rum in an atmospheric snug of a bar, with stone walls and leather armchairs in front of a roaring fire. Or grab a bite to eat at the delightful café at Dudley’s Cottage, which serves a menu with eclectic Kiwi and Chinese influences, a perfect match for Arrowtown’s goldmining history. Dudley's Cottage is currently under construction but reopens again in December 2020.

grille queenstown steakhouse steak restaurant diner casual dining breakfast lunch dinnerDining at The Grille by Eichardts

From mountains to plate with local flavours in Queenstown

Taste the local produce and meat at one of Queenstown’s restaurants with a reputation for sourcing food from our back door. Soak up the views and savour the flavours New Zealand's South Island is known for.

A Queenstown local favourite, the Sherwood is set in three hectares of gardens with beehives, where they grow fresh veggies and produce honey for their menu. What their chefs can’t grow and forage, they source locally. Expect the freshest local flavours, wild thyme from the mountains, elderflowers from around the lake, and game from the backcountry.

Amisfield Bistro also build their menu around the freshest local produce, matched with the spectacular Amisfield wines. They too have a kitchen garden, and they source produce and game from the region, working with local fishermen, hunters, and farmers. Their signature Cardrona lamb is exceptional and their chef, Vaughan Mabee was awarded Chef of the Year in the 2019 Cuisine Awards.

Sherwood-Gardens

Sherwood Queenstown grows its own produce for its restaurant

Learn your own adventurous food moves with cooking lessons

Book a cooking lesson with French chef Fabien Simon either at your apartment or in his dedicated teaching kitchen. Learn a few new dishes to add to your repertoire or perfect something you've been trying on your own. Fabien offers a wide range of classes from rustic Italian to sweet treats, and he even offer culinary basics for beginners.

My Private Chef - Fabien SimonFabien Simon, My Private Chef 

Eat your way around the world

Queenstown is a vibrant and cosmopolitan resort, and this shows with the variety of ethnic food available. Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Thai, Chilean, Argentinean, French, Malaysian or Korean, see how many international flavours you can try.

Some restaurants bring international flavours together in one menu, making your food adventure even easier. Stratosfare Restaurant at the Gondola has curated a menu of New Zealand and international cuisine. QT Hotel’s Bazaar restaurant offers a ‘marketplace experience’ offering fresh seafood, charcuterie, cheese, grill stations, a wood fired pizza oven and a dessert bar.

White + Wong's QueenstownBold flavours and colourful dishes at White + Wong's Queenstown

Life is short. Eat dessert first

Reward yourself by visiting one of Queenstown’s dessert shops, check out the chocolate fountain, or order from the huge range of ice cream flavours available at Patagonia Chocolates Icecreamery and Chocolaterie, or Mrs Ferg’s Gelateria.

Other local pudding maestros include the Cookie Time Cookie Bar, who offer hot cookies and ice cream, ice cream sandwiches, and smores. Queenstown icon Botswana Butchery have a dessert menu packed with crowd pleasers like crème brûlée, chocolate mousse and affogato. And if you’re hunting healthy treats local favourite Bespoke Kitchen are renowned for their delicious fresh, unprocessed local treats, that include vegan goodies.

Patagonia Chocolates - Ice Creamery & Chocolaterie interiorPatagonia Chocolates - Ice Creamery & Chocolaterie