Queenstown is a lot more than a haven for ski-bunnies; it is also a paradise for us gluten haters. My squashed, unappealing muesli bars rescued from the bottom of my bag were thankfully not needed due to the plethora of coeliac friendly options on offer in this little town.
Here are some of my favourites:
This trendy café has two stores in this tiny town, which says something. It’s busting with people all day and never disappoints. There are plenty of take-away treats for energy hits at the snow (my personal favourites were the fudgey gooey brownies!) If you slept in and missed the morning slopes, I always managed to find time for some brunch. Multiple options were marked GF on the menu and the staff were well versed in the requirements for coeliacs.
Okay so this may not sound exciting but there’s nothing worse than being in a self-catered apartment or hostel stranded without any basics. There is one supermarket in the centre of Queenstown and it is rather small. Luckily, it still manages to stock all the essential gluten free fare to get you through a short holiday; bread, pasta, porridge, cereal, muesli bars and lollies, all clearly marked gluten free were available.
This is the most famous landmark in Queenstown; some may argue its even more of a draw-card than the ski slopes. Its reputation preceded me, and even before takeoff I was sad my stomach would have to miss out on these glorious burgers. I surveyed my instagram audience for any potential tips and one truly shocked me, FERGBURGER DO GLUTEN FREE BUNS! Any coeliac will know the ‘gluten free bun’ trap, where despite having a gluten free base, other toppings may contain gluten, not to mention the huge cross contamination risk. Anyway, I had nothing to lose by asking, so after patiently waiting in line I started my spiel, ‘Hi, I’m a coeliac...’ and before I could fi nish, I was met with ‘Yes, our burgers are all gluten free aside from those which have crumbed meats, would you like us to make your burger out the back to avoid any contamination? Why can’t every fast food outlet be this understanding?! I mentioned the line before, I feel I must warn you; this wasn’t a one off thing. Any time day or night (it is open 21 hours per day) there is a line snaking out of the door, yet they can still find time to accommodate dietary needs.
LOLLY SHOP Lollies are one of my favourite sweet treats. When I was initially diagnosed, they were the only things I cheated on and struggled to finally, (bad I know!) give up. The very few gluten free lollies I have found never seem to taste the same. I couldn’t resist but pop into a tradtitional ol’ lolly shop, only to torture myself with the sugary scent and shelves stacked with forbidden treats, yet on closer examination I noticed little GFs next to many of the lolly jars. In disbelief questioned the staff member at the counter as to their meaning. She gave me a bemused look and said Gluten Free (duh!). I quickly bought the entire store.
SKI SLOPES - The Incredibles
Even on the slopes I was lucky enough to stumble (literally) across some gluten free food - pizza in fact! Couldn't tell you exactly where but I'd guess around the halfway point of a blue run when I was desperately in need of a break and some food. On previous days, however, I struggled so I stocked my ski jacket with muesli bars and scroggin from the supermarket which got me through - to be safe, I'd recommend you do the same!