Queenstown is an easy place to shop, since most stores are concentrated in the compact, pedestrian-friendly town centre. The variety is impressive, with everything from international luxury brands to clothing and souvenir stores. Art galleries and design shops showcase New Zealand arts, fashion and handicrafts.
Among good buys are woollens and sheepskin goods, New Zealand jewellery, arts and crafts, and outdoor, skiing and other sports clothing from stores such as Alpine Sports, Kathmandu or (for second-hand sports equipment) Small Planet Sports. Check out The Mall, which is especially good for merino wool products, and O’Connells Shopping Centre, Queenstown’s largest mall.
In smaller shops around Steamer Wharf, you’ll find eclectic clothing boutiques and art galleries. On Saturdays, hit the Queenstown Art & Craft Market at Earnslaw Park on the lake front, where most of the goodies come from South Island artisans. Over the summer, Remarkables Market in Frankton is the place for gourmets, since dozens of stalls feature local produce such as cheese, preserves, chocolates and liqueurs.
Our top picks
Toi O Tahuna
10 Memorial Street
This fine arts gallery features sculptures, limited-edition prints, paintings and photographs from New Zealand artists, and has one of the best selections of contemporary Maori art in the country. There are regularly changing exhibits and retrospectives, worth checking out even if you aren’t on a shopping spree. You’ll find several other galleries on Church Street, and more on nearby Earl and Beach streets.
Vesta Design Store
19 Marine Parade
The 1864 lakefront Williams Cottage, with its delightfully creaky floors and antique wallpaper, is the oldest house in Queenstown and is home to a design store. It only stocks items from New Zealand designers and artists, such as prints and paintings, gifts, jewellery, glass art and ceramics, and some furniture and lighting (shipping can be arranged). There’s also a tiny espresso bar with outside seating.
Shop like a local
Out There Clothing
27 Beach Street
If you want to look like a local outdoorsy type, head to this NZ-label clothing store for men and women, which has all the good-looking gear you need for mountain biking, hiking, horse riding, snowboarding and golfing in plain but practical colours. Some of its range of organic cotton T-shirts are printed with Maori sayings.
53 Robins Road
Food lovers looking for picnic provisions or an evening meal should head to this long-running deli, gourmet grocery and bakery. It’s a great place for European-style breads and pastries, antipasto, salamis and cured meats, fresh seafood and luxe treats such as wild venison pies, hot smoked salmon, imported Parma hams and Stilton cheese.