You haven’t discovered true happiness until you skydive.
Albert Cho is an Auckland-based food influencer known for his sometimes controversial food reviews on the Instagram account @eatlitfood
From a recent visit to Queenstown, I have a theory that it is called that because it is a city for queens.
As an Aucklander, going to Queenstown feels like being transported to a different country rather than another city and I truly believe it is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
As soon as you leave the airport, the scenery looks like a postcard and you know you will create special memories here. This is my guide to a weekend in Queenstown.
Ten of Queenstown’s best kept secrets. (Video file, first published October 1, 2021).
Breakfast at the Boat Shed Café
No money in the world can imitate the cozy cafe The Boat Shed. True to its name, it’s literally a cafe in a boathouse and it overlooks the peaceful Frankton Marina.
It was 3C and I was still determined to sit outside as I wasn’t going to miss that great view. A word of advice, take the French toast. Even if you are not greedy.
Stroll, stroll, stroll
We had a rental car but found ourselves walking to many places because we wanted to. You honestly don’t even realize you’re walking when you’re too busy admiring the beauty of Queenstown.
During our walk we came across a random market that was happening along Marine Parade and they had so many nostalgic foods which are quite hard to find now.
Seriously, when was the last time you saw a cotton candy stand outside an amusement park? We parked at Ferg’s Bar for incredibly decadent cocktails (mine included cookies and ice cream), before visiting Louis Vuitton to kill time.
Visit the Sherwood
Even if you’re not staying, you have to go to the Sherwood. It has a similar vibe to a camp cabin and luckily there was a tent dance party when I was there which included a dance floor around a scorching campfire and pots of hot chocolate washed down at the bar.
Dance nights aside, what you really want to come here for is their restaurant. From flatbreads to succulent lamb, this food is better than most places I’ve been to in NZ.
Afternoon in Arrowtown
You’re not just going to Arrowtown; you have to commit and spend an afternoon there. It’s only a 20 minute drive from the center of Queenstown, but that’s a whole different thing. Buckingham St has the charm of an old village, that’s how I imagined Harry Potter’s Hogsmeade Village Looks like. Worth a walk around before doing what you really came here to do – eat.
Amisfield is a restaurant I’ve been hearing about for years and I’ve been following Chef Vaughan Mabee on Instagram for a while. Expectations were very high and they exceeded them. Not only is the food interesting, it is really delicious and it also has a wonderful location.
An evening in Queenstown
If you want to go out at night, you’ll have to be in central Queenstown for that. Friends of mine took me to World Bar and apparently it was started by the same people who opened the iconic Cassette Nine bar in Auckland. We look up to teapot cocktails now but let’s face it, they had a real cultural moment for a while there.
I’ll be honest and say The World Bar isn’t fancy, but that’s the point. No one in Queenstown cares and I really liked that. Someone even made fun of me for my Prada boots with ankle pockets. It’s not about who’s who, no heads turn to see who’s there, and people are just there to have a good time.
Skydiving at NZOne Skydiving
You haven’t discovered true happiness until you skydive. As I write this and remember my skydive, I still can’t believe how amazing that experience was. The adrenaline you feel during and after makes you feel like you can conquer anything and all you want to do is climb and jump again.
The NZOne team makes you feel like you are in very good hands; the guy I had tied behind me showed me his jump count and he had jumped over 25,000 times.
What has always been an item on my to-do list has now become an activity that I will do wherever I can. If there’s one thing you need to do on this list, it’s this one!
Fergburger and Fergbaker
There is this saying “when in Rome”. But when in Queenstown, you go to Fergburger. Listen, you won’t get the best burgers in the world from here, but they are damn good. The operating system is also so seamless and simple that it doesn’t even take much effort to get one. Save 15 minutes of your time and just do it because it’s popular for a reason.
What is imperative is that you go to Fergbaker. It is now a place where you will find the best pies from all over the world. I had steak and cheese, and it was textbook, picture perfect, faultless. To finish with something sweet, I had their Boston Cream Donut and it was filled to the brim with the creamiest, freshest custard.
Albert Cho was hosted by Jetstar.