See that little dot down there at the lake edge in the trees, that is us, right there, right on the beach. Heaven.
Meals were all from local supermarkets (given that our family is now fully vegan this is the best option for us anyway) and were mostly picnics at the wonderful parks and public places of which there are many. There are some world class restaurants in the area if your budget allows for it but expect to pay a couple of hundred dollars for two. The kids fave picnic area: the original AJ Hackett bungy jumping spot. We spent several hours watching people jump off an old railway bridge one after another into the canyon and river below. This is the birth place of bungy jumping, you did know it was "invented" in NZ right? Well modern day bungy jumping at any rate. They allow you to get really close, right next to the platform so you have a wonderful view of what it would feel like, should you be willing to shell out the $150 needed for each jump! (with DVD and photos, about $240!).
We ended up staying a week and will return. Other towns in the area were equally appealing and worth a longer look, mainly Arrowtown and Wanaka. Wanaka is a quieter version of Queenstown, it is about 45 minutes drive over the mountains at the next lake north. Another lovely spot.
Now the Tanya standard: would I live there? For a short time yes, maybe 6 months or so, though my preference would be Wanaka. Queenstown is created and run for tourists (both local and international) and I like towns where the locals have a strong presence and I didn't feel that in Queenstown. You would be hard pressed to afford a home, even smallish homes with no views are 700,000. The planning whoevers have done a great job in keeping all of the parks and beaches very accessible and lovely. Nice town, beautiful area, but does Queenstown have a soul? I am not sure, maybe, maybe not, depends who you ask. Maybe you shouldn't ask me.