Hayley and Chris Scott
We have been involved in hospitality for most of our lives—Chris trained in Hamilton as a chef before working in Europe’s high-end restaurants, and Hayley studied law before getting involved in Chris’s family's hospitality business.
We moved to Queenstown from the Waikato almost 10 years ago with our young family… and we’re still here a decade later! We have always loved food, wine and genuine hospitality, and we want our guests to feel comfortable and welcome—as though they are dining at a friend’s place.
Showcasing the best seasonal, local produce is important to us, and that’s why we have found our home with a team of like-minded creatives at Sherwood Queenstown.
The seasons here are so distinct, each with its own flavours, colours and feelings, and autumn is by far one of our favourites. The landscape changes. The leaves are on fire, and the mornings are crisp but still warm enough to get out and explore. Autumn foraging is one of our pastimes, and we’ll head out with the kids to ‘hunt’ for mushrooms or late summer fruit. The region has so much to offer in the way of food, which you can gather right on the side of walking tracks or by the lake; you just need to know where to look!
Biking and Local Bites
Head to Coronet Peak for Mountain Biking on some spectacular bike trails. You can bomb it downhill on the Hot Rod trail or traverse across Coronet face into the Bush Creek trail that ends in Arrowtown, and where you can enjoy a well-earned beer at The Fork and Tap. We also recently completed the Lake Dunstan Trail with She Bikes He Bikes. The trail went right along the side of the lake, with plenty of places to stop off.
Fill Your Tote at Country Lane
We like to visit Country Lane Queenstown, a quirky little boutique retail precinct that has recently opened and showcases inspiring local artisans. You can spend ages wandering around admiring the gorgeous bespoke jewellery, art, pottery, vintage clothing, books and plants. It’s such an awesome addition to Queenstown.
Taste Autumn in Arrowtown
You can’t go past Arrowtown in autumn. The trees are stunning at that time of the year, and you can walk along the river, look in the shops or grab a coffee. The kids are obsessed with The Remarkables Sweet Shop, of course. But for the adults, stop in at Amisfield Vineyard or Akarua Wines and Kitchen for wine or lunch.
Hit the Local Trails
There are so many walking trails down here it’s hard to pick just one. One of our favourites with the kids though is to start in Kelvin Heights and head out to Jack’s Point. You get a bit of everything - forest, lake, flats and hills - and the views are next-level.
Or, walk up Queenstown Hill and take in the sights at the Basket of Dreams. There’s no escaping the uphill trek, but there’s a fairy garden halfway for the kids to explore and for the adults to catch their breath.
Rest Your Head at Kamana Lake House
Kamana Lake House would be our pick for a blissful staycation. Enjoy a soak in a hot tub and unwind with a glass of local pinot noir for some time out. Set high up on the hill, the views are magnificent.
Devour the Lab Kitchen’s Coveted Burgers
If you’re lucky enough to be in town when The Lab Kitchen NZ are slinging burgers, then you must get there! You’ll have to follow them on Instagram to find out where they will be next, and the trick is to order ahead. They sell out fast!
Get Inspired at the Sherwood Queenstown
When we did the fit-out at the Sherwood, we worked with local artisans to design wall hangings and artwork. We’re a community hotel, so it’s a real hub for creatives; there are always people around who inspire with what they do. Plus, the Sherwood Garden—seeing what is growing gets us excited and keeps us creative. That’s our happy place!
Hear the Stories Behind the Sips
Head out to Gibbston Valley to visit the vineyards. One of our favourites is Mount Edward Winery, where they make the most incredible natural wines. You have to book for a private tasting, but it is well worth it. Duncan is a local legend and has many stories to tell - as well as his delicious wines.
See Queenstown From New Heights
Ziptrek Ecotours is on our ‘hit list’ with the kids. A company that shares our ethos of regeneration and sustainability and also offers the chance to fly through the trees at speed—why wouldn’t you?!
Sink a Local Craft Brew
Take a stroll along Lake Wakatipu and have a beer with the locals at Altitude Brewing. The beer is outstanding, the chat is great and there is always a food truck to keep you well-fed. They do interesting brews that reflect the seasons—we personally love their hazy, but their sours are also popular.
I am originally from Australia, came to New Zealand over 12 years ago on a $40 flight and never left. My mother and I spent two weeks on that trip travelling the South Island in a campervan, and I just fell in love with every corner we discovered.
As a self-taught floral artist, I love to push the boundaries in floral design by including unusual and unexpected pieces in my work. I treat it as an art rather than just making bouquets. There are no rules—it's all about creating intuitively and from the heart.
Kimi Knott and Zane Oosthuizen