The Queenstown Update — the latest and greatest from our Southern snow capital

In recent years, the classic Queenstown ski vacation has undergone a rather sensational transformation. A world away from our childhood days of being lugged up the slopes by a worryingly vocal rope tow and refuelled by thermos-housed soup in the top car park, the ruggedly beautiful Otago escape has entered an elevated new era. Here, we look at some of the fresh offerings that have risen to accommodate that, scroll through our gallery to discover more.

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Soho Basin Private Ski Field

Soho Basin Private Ski Field

Soho Basin Private Ski Field

Soho Basin Private Ski Field

A mere 10-minute helicopter flight from Queenstown, the exclusive Soho Basin — comprising 264 hectares of ungroomed backcountry — is the finest way to experience skiing in the Southern Hemisphere. A private ski area tucked just up the road from Cardrona, there are no chair lifts or tows at this upscale field. Instead, guests are ushered into heated snowcats then tracked up to the mountain’s various peaks. To discover more, visit our Queenstown Navigator, here.

Akarua Wines & Kitchen by Artisan

Akarua Wines & Kitchen by Artisan

Akarua Wines & Kitchen by Artisan

Akarua Wines & Kitchen by Artisan

Set in the historic Walnut Cottage, right on the edge of Arrowtown, Akarua Wines & Kitchen by Artisan is a calm and cosy stop off. With a restaurant and cellar door on-site, whether you’re stopping in for a brunch with friends or to sample the Akarua range, this relaxed roadside spot is the place to go. See more about it, here.

Wet Jacket Wines

Wet Jacket Wines

Wet Jacket Wines

Wet Jacket Wines

Having opened in the Bendemeer Woolshed last year, Wet Jacket Wines is a relaxed wine tasting experience for your next Southern sojourn. A heritage-steeped setting, with a fantastic cellar door, read more about the new spot, here.

The VIP Concierge Service — Our Man in New Zealand

The VIP Concierge Service — Our Man in New Zealand

The VIP Concierge Service — Our Man in New Zealand

The VIP Concierge Service — Our Man in New Zealand

Fully aware that the preeminent Queenstown adventures aren’t found on the back of the Earnslaw, Our Man in New Zealand is the modern VIP concierge delivering unforgettable experiences with the utmost discretion. With an ‘anything is possible’ mentality, you can read more about the unexpected itineraries past guests have enjoyed, here.

The Cardrona Distillery

The Cardrona Distillery

The Cardrona Distillery

The Cardrona Distillery

Handcrafting artisan spirits using traditional methods, exceptional ingredients and globally-sourced equipment, The Cardrona Distillery is an unmissable experience. Already boasting a celebrated range of gin, vodka and liqueurs, the inaugural whisky has been barrelled too, set for release in November 2025. With tours, tastings, a quaint cocktail bar and refined blackboard menu, read more about the distillery on our Queenstown Navigator.

Eichardt's Penthouse

Eichardt's Penthouse

Eichardt's Penthouse

Eichardt's Penthouse

For true indulgence in the heart of town, there is no finer option than Eichardt’s newly minted penthouse. Making headlines last year courtesy of its $10,000 per night price tag, the two-bedroom palatial lakefront accommodation is the ultimate in sophistication. Learn more, here.

Louis Vuitton and WORLD boutiques

Louis Vuitton and WORLD boutiques

Louis Vuitton and WORLD boutiques

Louis Vuitton and WORLD boutiques

Opening their doors in a new, dedicated shopping block right on the water’s edge, the arrival of these world-class boutiques is merely a signal of the fine things to come.

Jack's Point Restaurant — Take Two

Jack's Point Restaurant — Take Two

Jack's Point Restaurant — Take Two

Jack's Point Restaurant — Take Two

After a fire tore through the main building at Jack’s Point in August last year, an invigorated restaurant has opened. Heralding dishes that celebrate New Zealand and the Central Otago region, you can read more about the new spot, here.

The Boat Shed Cafe & Bistro

The Boat Shed Cafe & Bistro

The Boat Shed Cafe & Bistro

The Boat Shed Cafe & Bistro

Sitting right on the edge of Lake Wakatipu (the Frankton end) this cute little cafe is the perfect stop in for breakfast or brunch. With great options from the big breakfast to sirloin steak sandwiches, the French toast is particularly delicious. See more, here.

UnderDog Sledding

UnderDog Sledding

UnderDog Sledding

UnderDog Sledding

An exhilarating ride for the whole family, there’s nothing quite like speeding down the slopes on a husky-powered sled. See more here.

Jervois Steak House

Jervois Steak House

Jervois Steak House

Jervois Steak House

Unsurprisingly one of the most popular restaurants in town, a decent steak and red wine at JSH is just what the doctor ordered after a day on the slopes. Lying right in the heart of town, discover more about the Queenstown outpost on our Navigator.

Thrill Zone Kidz Club

Thrill Zone Kidz Club

Thrill Zone Kidz Club

Thrill Zone Kidz Club

An action-packed babysitter alternative, if you’re looking to ditch the kids for a day while on vacation, then Thrill Zone offers a fantastic option. With laser tag, 12D motion rides, a green screen studio and more, the club takes kids from 4-13 years old, discover more here.

Heli Skiing

Heli Skiing

Heli Skiing

Heli Skiing

Flying guests across the Southern Alps on adventures down untracked mountain terrain or for a lunch at Minaret Station, Alpine Helicopters is a worthy holiday accomplice. For more on the exciting opportunities, see here.

The Lodge Bar

The Lodge Bar

The Lodge Bar

The Lodge Bar

Beautiful lake views, roaring fires and exquisite kiwi fare are on the menu at this elegant bar. An ideal aprés ski spot, read more, here.

Clicquot in the Snow

Clicquot in the Snow

Clicquot in the Snow

Clicquot in the Snow

Making the most of Queenstown’s ‘winter playground’ reputation, Veuve Clicquot returns to host its annual luxury champagne festival this winter. Four days of effervescence fuelled frivolity encompassing it all from fashion shows to elegant long lunches, discover more, here.

Yonder

Yonder

Yonder

Yonder

A health-inclined eatery that boasts one of the most intriguing and inventive menus in town, this cosy spot is popular with the locals and tourists alike. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with tasty fare that covers off all the common culinary ailments (great news for those avoiding gluten, sugar, dairy, nuts and animal products) you can explore more from the wholesome offering, here.

And the rest...

And the rest...

And the rest...

And the rest...

For more on the latest Queenstown discoveries (and a few old favourites), head to our Denizen Navigator, here.

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