Queenstown is overflowing with energy. We knew we’d be back for another visit so this was was about skiing and taking advantage of having the rental car. We decided to save the extreme activities for another time.

Amisfeld Winery & Bistro
Amisfeld Winery & Bistro

Driving from Wanaka, we stopped at Chard Farm, Gibbston Valley, and Amisfield to sample central Otago wines. Pinot Noir is especially delicious in this area. The ‘Trust the Chef’ menu at Amisfield Winery & Bistro paired wines with  a 3-course meal using local seasonal ingredients. We had the bistro to ourselves and savored the romantic experience.

Over the next few days Allen skied while I relaxed at the Spa at Millbrook and commenced my quest for the best fireplace in Queenstown. When temperatures are below 50 degrees Fahrenheit I like to be reading beside a roaring fire.  Wine bar Bordeaux gets my vote, but if you are feeling social,  you cannot beat the outdoor fireplace just around the corner at Ballarat Trading Co.

Dates: 23-26 July 2014
Travel with: Allen
Weather: cold with some sun
Accommodation: YHA Lakefront was okay, 10-minute walk to the city centre

  • cave tour & wine tasting at gibbston valley;
  • allen skied at remarkables and coronet peak;
  • spa day at millbrook – awesome day, but the spa is in a small space; it wouldn’t have been relaxing if others were around;
  • in the quest for the best fireplace bordeaux wins for indoor; ballarat trading co for outdoor.

    Ballarat Trading Co
    Ballarat Trading Co


  • ‘trust the chef’ lunch at amisfield winery was amazing;
  • vinnies pizza;
  • joe’s garage;
  • chocolate at patagonia.

Transportation: fly ZQN to AKL; rental car from Apex