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Higher now: the ultimate guide to Queenstown, NZ

A town that keeps the lucid dream alive with endless discoveries, and the second stop on our epic shoot journey with Elsa Gelhard. A breathtaking plane ride over rippling mountains takes us to Queenstown – a place fittingly reputed for its sense of adventure. The voyage awaits us.

Stay …
The place to be is Sherwood Queenstown, a wonderful hotel built with sustainability in mind, set on three acres of alpine hillside and overlooking Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables range. The complex provides everything you need, with an array of rooms to choose from for single or group stays, incredible restaurant, central garden and a yoga, pilates and meditation instructor just to name a few. This is a home that’s one with the natural surrounds yet so comfortably close to town. Refresh and reinvigorate.

Taste …
Sherwood - You’re lucky if you’re already staying here, as you won’t have to travel far for incredible meals. I would recommend this restaurant on site for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The of-the-earth vibes of Sherwoood, extend to their culinary offering that is, fresh, seasonal food grown on the property’s gardens, to be paired with their natural wines. Dinner was a highlight; I couldn’t go past the bluff oysters (best I’ve ever eaten), Nevis potatoes, market fish and slow cooked lamb. I can’t recommend enough.

Akarua Wines & Kitchen by Artisan – A perfect lunch spot to sit outside in the sun and enjoy a glass of wine or two. Everything on the menu is designed to share and is all equally delicious. I recommend the seared halloumi, market fish ceviche, Central Otago lamb oyster shoulder and charred brussles sprouts. Win win.

Bardeaux – When the season is right, Queenstown has such an awesome nightlife offering of bars and pubs galore, and one of the greatest nights I’ve had in a while was at Bardeaux. This little hidden gem is the perfect bar for wine, whiskey and deliciously dangerous cocktails over an open fire. Saturday nights bring old-school tunes and the atmosphere is fun in an intimate setting. Young hearts run free.

Fergburger – If you’re in Queenstown, you might as well try a world famous Fergburger. If you’re patient enough to get past the huge crowds and lines for a rich, hearty burger of your choice than I would recommend. Pre-ordering is also most beneficial. Go big.

Explore …
Queenstown is definitely an adventurers paradise, mother nature here has created a beautiful canvas for skiing, hiking, climbing, boating… the list goes on and on. It’s also very true to season, so the abundance of activities is always on rotation as the months go by.

The Remarkables – An incredible name in itself and some amazing mountains. We travelled here just before snow season so exploring the range was a lot more seam free minus the heavy crowds. It’s a winding drive up the track with many look out spots along the way. The look out brings a surreal view of the city below with the most crisp and fresh, beautiful air. You feel on top of the world.

Lake Hayes – An early wake up call brought us to experience an unforgettable sunrise at Lake Hayes. I highly recommend this as the perfect time to go. The scene that lay before my eyes was otherworldly and almost too picturesque. Rich peach hues saturated mountaintops while fog moved so dreamlike across the lake. Magic moment.

Arrowtown – A very short ride away from Lake Hayes is Arrowtown. A historic gold mining town with plenty of sweet local charm and tree-lined streets of rich reds and yellow leaves. A walk down Heritage Buckingham Street looks like that of an old-town movie set and provides a wonderful shopping experience boasting cafes, winter garments, sweets, accessories and wine. “Gold rush history meets glorious nature.”

Take …
It can get quite fresh on top of the peaks so taking warm, comfortable clothes for the outdoors and some dressier pieces for nights out. Hand cream and lip balm are also essentials, dressy boots, sunglasses and pieces perfect for layering.