mAKE THE MOST OF QUEENSTOWN ON FOOT
One of the best things about Flaming Kiwi Backpackers is our location. We’re just a 5 minute walk to the Queenstown CBD and a 3 minute walk to the biggest supermarket in town.
The next best thing? We’re one of the only Queenstown hostels to offer free private off-street parking to our guests. Forget about trying to find a park in town or spending your holiday money on parking and petrol - leave the car safe with us at your home away from home, and enjoy exploring Queenstown on foot.
Whether you’re looking for the best Queenstown hikes, bike trails, shopping, food and drink or activities, you don’t need a car to get to the best spots when you stay with us. Here are our top tips for making the most of Queenstown on foot.
1. Explore restaurants, bars and cafes in the Queenstown CBD
Central Queenstown has so much to offer - and we are so lucky to be such a short distance from the heart of town with its bars, restaurants, shops and beautiful Lake Wakatipu.
Central Queenstown shopping
(5 minute walk)
Queenstown boasts great shopping for the whole family, including luxury brands, New Zealand design stores, souvenirs, boutique fashion and sports shops all conveniently located in the town centre. There are also art galleries, book shops, gyms and rainy day activities aplenty in our main streets.
Best food and drink spots in Queenstown
(5 minute walk)
From hot brunch spots like Joe’s Garage to Queenstown must-dos like Fergburger, Queenstown Ice Bar and Patagonia Chocolates, the very best in Queenstown cafes, bakeries, bars, pubs and restaurants is on your doorstep. Our team is more than happy to share their favourites with you - there’s something for everyone!
Lake Wakatipu (10 minute walk)
The Queenstown lakefront is a great spot for a picnic or a swim, but you can also embark on a range of water-based activities from here. One of the best ways to see Queenstown is by water.
Take a scenic cruise on the historic TSS Earnslaw - a century-old coal-fired steamship which takes you across Lake Wakatipu, past the Remarkables mountain range and Cecil Peak, to Walter Peak High Country Farm and back. Or, if you’re more of an adrenaline junky, you can book a thrilling jet boat ride through the Shotover’s canyons or take a shark ride with Hydro Attack from the lakefront too.
2. Try the best Queenstown hikes on your doorstep
There are plenty of short walks and hikes in and around Queenstown that give you the opportunity to explore our spectacular scenery. If you’re looking for a great walk in Queenstown and an even greater view, set out from Flaming Kiwi to try the Queenstown Hill Time Walk or the Tiki Trail.
Queenstown Hill Time Walk
(20 minute walk, 3 hours hiking)
This is a Queenstown must-do for locals and tourists alike, offering spectacular views and information into the history of Queenstown and the Wakatipu Basin. The starting point for the Queenstown Hill Time Walk is at a small car park off Belfast Terrace, from which you’ll climb up through pine forest to the summit of Te Tapu-nui (mountain of intense sacredness). Keep your eye out for the popular 'Basket of Dreams' sculpture on the way!
The hike takes around 3 hours
- so why not head to the lakefront afterwards for a refreshing dip or a rewarding ice cream before you return to the hostel?
Tiki Trail (10 minutes walk, hour hiking)
This short but steep walk up Bob’s Peak takes you high above Queenstown to the top of the Skyline Gondola. Starting at the Gondola base at the end of Brecon Street, when you reach Bob’s Peak lookout you’ll be rewarded with fantastic views of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and beyond.
It takes about an hour to reach the top of the Gondola. And while you’re up there, you have plenty of options for spending the rest of the day on Bob’s Peak! Bungy jump high over the mountains; check out the Skyline Queenstown luge experience; grab some food or a drink at the Stratosfare Restaurant & Bar; or - if you’re feeling fit - continue on to the Ben Lomond Track. When it’s time to return to Flaming Kiwi, you can walk down or take the Gondola - or maybe even zip down the world’s steepest zipline course or launch off on a tandem paraglide!
3. Explore wider Queenstown ON A BIKE - LOTS OF BIKE RENTALS AROUND
You can rent a bike from the shops at the town centre to help you get around - whether that’s a short ride into town or the beach, or a longer trip on the Queenstown Trail Network, over 130 kms of off-road trails from Queenstown to Gibbston via historic Arrowtown. This ‘Great Ride’ starts from Queenstown Gardens, a 10 minute ride from the hostel.
(10 minute ride to start, 30 minutes on trail)
If you’re keen to do some shopping, it’s about 30 minutes on the Frankton Trail from Queenstown Gardens, where you can browse home and garden, office supplies, electronics, supermarkets and liquor stores at the FiveMile Shopping Centre and Remarkables Park Town Centre.
Kelvin Peninsula Trail
(10 minute ride to start, 1 hour on trail)
If you’d like to spend a little more time on this relatively flat and easy trail, continue onto the stunning Kelvin Peninsula Trail, finishing at Jardine Park. The ride is ideal for families with young children or those new to cycling with plenty of great places to stop along the way - including the historic Boat Shed Cafe or the Altitude Brewing craft brewery at Frankton Marina.
Queenstown Bike Park
(2 minute ride, gondola ride)
For the more daring downhill rider, the Queenstown Bike Park is an easy ride to Brecon Street and a Skyline Gondola ride up. With over 30 world-class downhill MTB trails 450m of vertical descent, the Queenstown Bike Park is easily one of the best places to ride a mountain bike. The Gondola team will hook your bike onto the cabin for you, and detach when you reach the top.
4. Play a round of frisbee golf
The Queenstown Gardens are a stunning and tranquil place to explore, less than 30 minutes’ walk from the Hostel - and just 10 minutes by bike. They’re also a very popular place to play Disc Golf, one of the most popular Queenstown activities. You can borrow our frisbees or purchase or hire your own from many sports stores in town.
Queenstown Gardens Disc Golf
(30 minute walk)
The Queenstown Gardens Disc Golf Course features 18 holes with chain baskets for you to land your disc. The first tee is next to the large Disc Golf sign, which is in the middle of the grass area on the lake side of the pond. The course is free to play, but you can buy an official scorecard and map from most sports stores and in the ice rink in the Gardens.
5. Hop on the Orbus, Gus!
The Orbus Public Bus Service is an easy and affordable way to explore Queenstown and Arrowtown, at just $2 per ride with a Bee Card (easy to purchase online or with cash on the bus), or $4 without one. The nearest bus stop is just 450m away, and from here the choice of wider Queenstown, Frankton, Lake Hayes or Arrowtown is yours!
Taste Central Otago wine at Lake Hayes
(6 minute walk, 30 minute bus)
Take the number 2 bus from the Gorge Road bus stop and hop off at Amisfield Estate or Mora Wines to enjoy first class Central Otago wine and food. Amisfield’s iconic cellar door is open for wine tastings 10.00am - 6.00pm (bookings required for groups of more than 8 people), while the Bistro serves gastronomic lunches and dinners from 12.00 - 8.00pm (reservations required).
At the next bus stop along, the cellar door at Mora Wines (formerly Akarua) is open 11.00am - 5.00pm, and the restaurant offers breakfast and lunch from 9.00am - 5.00pm (bookings required for both).
Visit historic Arrowtown
(6 minute walk, 36 minute bus)
Just a little ways further down the road is the charming town of Arrowtown, a gold rush village with lots of history and plenty of nice things to look at! Wander down the heritage main street, or make use of the beautiful riverside walking and biking trails. It's a New Zealand treasure!
6. Choose your next adventure!
Don’t forget, our friendly team can book all your buses, tours and activities from right here at the Flaming Kiwi front desk. Come and talk to us about bungee jumping, skydiving, jet-boating, the Skyline Gondola, trips to Milford Sound or Glenorchy - whatever takes your fancy in the New Zealand capital of adventure.