Local Blogger Jane Guy shows us how to see the less ‘beaten’ side of Queenstown
Queenstown is a pretty touristy place, perhaps the most so in New Zealand. This is not surprising due to its stunning natural beauty and there is LOADS to do in and around it. Having already visited once in sunny march, I had done a few things in town already, seen some of the spectacular views, tried a Ferg burger and been on the Luge. This was great and I had a wonderful time, but in planning my next trip, I really wanted experience those places that are a little more unique and hard to find.
For my second trip Queenstown this past week, I wanted to do what the locals do. Locals, especially those long termers, have usually filtered out the unnecessary tourist go-to’s and tend have some pretty good advice about what to do and see. So, I was thrilled when the writer and creator of Queenstown’s most exciting blog, Jane Guy of Queenstown Life agreed to meet me for coffee and give me the low down of all things blogging and her Queenstown local must do’s.
Read on to find out more about Jane and Queenstown Life as well as her tips for what you should do in Queenstown to make sure you get the very best from your time there…
So what is Queenstown Life all about?
Queenstown Life author Jane is actually from Northern England like me, which I was surprised and a little bit delighted to find out, when we met at artisan cafe Bespoke Kitchen (one of Janes Qtown “must dos”). It’s not that I don’t love meeting Kiwi’s, I just really enjoy meeting a fellow Brit who has made a success of life in NZ. Jane has certainly made a success here. She has been running Queenstown Life for the past four years and works to champion Queenstown, its locals and businesses.
It is a lifestyle blog, by definition, she says, but it is also more than this, it is a community. Jane runs a book club, photography meetups and puts together a podcast as well as blogging about life and travel in the Queenstown area. I can only imagine how she has time for all this impressive work, with a baby on the way too!
As a visitor to Queenstown, it is well worth hitting up her blog before heading into town. This way you can get some real inside information about what is going in the buzzing place.
Queenstown needed something a little different…
Jane decided to start the blog down lack of others doing the same. Being friends with London Lifestyle Blogger Poppy Loves and having an understanding of the blog world, she was encouraged to start Queenstown Life because no one else was doing it.
Its interesting that Jane has noticed Queenstown is a little bit reluctant to engage with this kind of media. They are still very interested in print and this became clear to me as everywhere I went was full to the brim with flyers! But those who are engaged are well engaged. Queenstown Life has more that 12,000 followers on Instagram and Facebook each, not to mention on Twitter. The blog features beautiful photographs, honest and real writes ups and she is not afraid to see the funny side of life.
Queenstown Life offers something a little different. The readers are not there for Ferg Burger, or Bungie Jumping. Although these things can be great, QL readers are looking for something unusual. They want to know about the knitting courses, or the latest boutique hotel that has opened up. Queenstown Life is for those wanting to experience the area, like a local.
Needless to say, Jane is super lovely and knowledgeable about her place and her work. She gave me lots of pointers and tips about blogging which was awesome and invaluable. But, it is the info and tips she shared with me about my visit to Queenstown and what I should do while in town that I really want to share with you here.
Read on for Jane’s AMAZING TIPS FOR VISITING QUEENSTOWN…
You can also check out Queenstown Life directly. I recommend her amazing new post: What to do in Queenstown if you have between 1 – 3 days.and many many others!
So here we go. Thank you Jane, you are a legend. (Links in titles)
TOP TIPS for HOW TO EXPERIENCE QUEENSTOWN LIKE A LOCAL, with JANE from QUEENSTOWN LIFE
The Queenstown Life TOP Queenstown Must Dos
THE SHERWOOD – Beautiful boutique restaurant and all round wellness estate. There is a hotel here, but head here for a night of live music, amazing food, or go to a yoga class in this recently renovated tranquil space complete with Teepee.
TWILIGHT TOURS AT ZIPTRECK ECO– Go swinging through the trees on a twighlight zip tour. Amazing and fun.
BOBS COVE NATURE WALK – Along the road to Glenorchy (a spectacular drive that everyone should do). Just a 20 min walk from the car park offers a small cove with stunning views and amazing native bird life. Do a spot of swimming or fishing or just admire the view.
ARROWTOWN TRAILS – Head out of town for 30 mins to beautiful little colonial town, Arrowtown and walk some of the many trails. Heavenly forests, rivers and lakes. Ranging from short walks to those that are a little longer, there is something worthwhile to fill any time you may have.
The Queenstown Life TOP Things the locals do in Queenstown
SAM SUMMERS WALK A nice way to spend a few hours, walking to this DOC hut. A relatively easy walk along the Mt Crighton Loop track takes about 2 – 3 hours. This well formed track features rivers, a waterfall, a historic hut/tunnel, native bush and views. The track starts from a car park 12 km from Queenstown on the Glenorchy–Queenstown Road.
ATLAS BEER CAFE AND BAR – An awesome little bar, hidden away on the Queenstown waterfront. Serving mulled wine, great beer and with crazy decor. See if you can find the bathroom, its not easy. Also providing the best steak and chips in town.
BAGELS AT REWARD FRESH – Need a pre/post, ski/hike, snack, try Reward Fresh Supermarket for a Bagel. A great tip that only the locals would know about.
THE QUEENSTOWN GARDENS -Right in town and easy to access. Have a walk around, a picnic, play Frisbee, or just experience the hidden gems.
THE PENINSULA WALK OVER KELVIN HEIGHTS – A 90 minute walking track featuring Queenstown views and vistas. Stunning lake views and scenery.
FRIDAY NIGHTS OUT AT KINROSS (Gibston Valley) – A tiny winery where locals gather on a Friday by the fire.
The Queenstown Life TOP Places to eat around Queenstown (And NO, it doesn’t include Ferg Burger!)
THE SHERWOOD – Mentioned in the “Must Dos”, The Sherwood is a QL top choice for food. Serving up produce not only from the garden, but also foraged in the morning, this is a special experience. Taking inspiration from the beautiful surroundings and the bounty offered by the changing seasons.
BESPOKE KITCHEN – Beautifully presented brunch and raw cakes. It is hard to choose. (This is where I met Jane, a perfect meet up spot). Think pretty presentation and local produce. YUM. Just try to avoid those busy times.
JACKS POINT BREAKFAST – 20 minutes from Queenstown on a spectacular section of land. Home to a championship golf course and over 35 kms of hiking and mountain biking trails and Jane says the breakfast is pretty bang on too. Check out the Queenstown Life post about Jacks Point here: A heavenly breakfast at Jacks Point Club House
THE WALTER PEAK BBQ – Now this is costly, at $120 per person, but it includes a scenic ferry ride over the lake and dinner too. The chef will prepare the dinner in front of you with local produce followed with a presentation and introduction into life in high country New Zealand. Check out Jane’s blog about Walter Peak here: Walter Peak Gourmet BBQ Dinner.
Thank you so much for reading.
Come back soon, fresh posts going up twice a week. Subscribe in the sidebar. And if you liked this post, you might like to have a scour around the blog or read the following about more things to see and do in NZ:
Peace and Love