The Land of the Long White Cloud (+ Lunch!) – Exploring Amisfield Bistro & Cellar Door and Jack’s Point
While our other halves were carving up the slopes with the kids, my friend, Josie, and I embarked on a week of leisurely walks, scenic drives and long lunches by smoky fireplaces.
Less than 20 minutes’ drive from Queenstown and overlooking the picturesque Lake Hayes and surrounded by majestic snow-capped mountains, the architectural stone building of Amisfield Bistro and Cellar Door strikes a stunning silhouette! Their signature ‘Trust the Chef’ degustation experience lived up to its reputation with each course, by executive chef Vaughan Mabee, outdoing the one before.
Whether you dine by the fireplace indoors or choose to relax outside by the water feature, stone sculptures and fireplace, Amisfield is the ultimate place to enjoy seasonal produce and some of the most iconic drops from the region. If the degustation is too much of a commitment for you, they have delicious locally-sourced cheese and charcuterie boards to graze all afternoon on – with one of their renowned pinot noirs in hand (of course).
If you’d like to make a full day out of your visit to Amisfield, the historic village of Arrowtown is only five minutes’ drive away or you could do an easy walk along the track around the perimeter of Lake Hayes which should take less than two hours. Reflecting the majestic mountains of the Wakatipu Basin, Lake Hayes is known as the most photographed lake in New Zealand.
Sitting at the foot of the Remarkables mountain range and on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, is the 3,000-acre settlement of Jack’s Point. It features a highly acclaimed 18-hole par 72 championship golf course, Clubhouse Restaurant, residential homes and over 35 kms of hiking and biking trails.
Open for breakfast and lunch, the Clubhouse Restaurant has become a bit of a favourite of mine. The views of the peaceful lake and rugged mountains are just magic. A walk over the hills and around the golf course will provide you with lots of insta-worthy photo opportunities.
The most scenic drive of our holiday was from Queenstown along the eastern edge of Lake Wakatipu to Glenorchy. There are plenty of spots to stop along the way to take postcard style photographs the spectacular scenery or to take a lakeside walk. When in Glenorchy, don’t forget to take a customary photo of the iconic red boatshed.
There’s no better place to wrap up a big day out than perched by the massive open fire at Bardeaux. In the heart of Queenstown this intimate bar has fabulous staff and an extensive wine menu. If you’d prefer somewhere with a view, then the Lodge Bar is hard to beat.