Destination Guide

Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown is New Zealand's adventure capital. With activities ranging from hiking and heliskiing to shopping and nightclubbing, there is enough here to keep any traveller occupied for weeks. All of this is set against the beautiful backdrop of some of the most stunning scenery in all of New Zealand.

While tourism has steadily increased over the past two decades, Queenstown can still offer its visitors a quiet, peaceful retreat from the busy details of daily life. Alternatively, for those looking for something a little crazier, there's ample opportunity for adventure, with a wide range of activities happening year-round on Lake Wakatipu.

From a slow, gentle cruise on the TSS Earnslaw to a wild jetboating thrill ride, Queenstown has something for everyone.

Getting in and around Queenstown

Queenstown Airport

Queenstown Airport handles both domestic and international flights. Though it's by no means the largest airport in New Zealand, the terminal in Queenstown provides all of the services you would expect. The airport is only a quick 10-minute drive from Queenstown's CBD.

Queenstown Transport

The town centre itself is compact, and pleasant to explore on foot. Most likely, you'll be able to walk from your hotel or hostel to the restaurants or bars. Many of the companies running tours will often include pickup from the hotel in your package and each ski mountain has shuttle options available.

Queenstown Car Hire

Hiring a car is a good option getting around Queenstown and the surrounding areas. Though there are numerous mass transportation options, hauling around skis and snowboards will begin to take its toll. There's also another reason to consider renting a car: Milford Sound and the surrounding area is little more than an hour's drive. Getting out of town to see this spectacular South Island scenery is an opportunity you don't want to pass up.

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Queenstown accommodation

Whether you're looking for luxury or a simply a place to lay your head, you'll find something within your budget in Queenstown.


  • Millbrook Resort is the premier spa resort in Queenstown, with luxury accommodation and an 18-hole golf course.
  • Matakauri Lodge does its own take on luxury featuring timber, stone and glass, and is styled by Virginia Fisher.
  • The Millbrook Resort is the premier spa resort in Queenstown,with luxury accommodation and an 18-hole golf course.For a room with a view, Matakauri Lodge overlooks Lake Wakatipu.


  • Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa is located in the heart of Queenstown close to everything and features the French art de vivre offering a truly luxurious hotel experience.
  • Heritage Queenstown offers amazing views of The Remarkables and a comfortable stay in style.
  • Highview Apartments is only a quick twelve-minute walk from Queenstown centre and is a great place to stay to get away from the bustle of the city.
  • Sofitel Hotel and Spa is located in the heart of Queenstown close to everything.Heritage Hotel Queenstown offers amazing views of the Remarkables.Highview Apartments: They’re called the Highview for a reason!


  • Pinewood Queenstown offers varying accommodation options, including private one-bedroom houses, apartments and budget rooms.
  • Novotel Gardens offers a base that’s close to the town centre.


  • Nomads Queenstown Hostel has a fully equipped kitchen, a cinema, pool table, sauna and fire place.
  • The Last Resort is one of those hostels full of character you're glad to come home to. Manages to be both centrally located and quiet, with a fireplace, movie library and a resident dog. ^ Back to top

    Things to do in Queenstown

  • The Historic steamship TSS Earnslaw is affectionately known by residents as the 'Lady of the Lake'. Take a cruise to enjoy the spectacular views on and around beautiful Lake Wakatipu.
  • Skyline Gondola. Rise high above Queenstown on the Skyline Gondola to get a glimpse of the magnificent Remarkables set against the beauty of Lake Wakatipu. Both children and the young at heart will love racing down the luge. Keep an eye out for parasailers launching nearby.
  • Bungy jump. Queenstown is the home of bungy jumping, so it's only natural that here you should be able to jump in all terrains, including urban.
  • Queenstown nightlife. There are too many bars to count in Queenstown. New Zealanders and foreigners mingle to create a cosmopolitan scene unlike anywhere else on either the North or South Islands.
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    Day trips in and around Queenstown

  • Queenstown Heliskiing. Professional guides will whisk you up to the top of the mountain to hit completely unmarked powder. While expensive, it's also one of the most exciting options to pursue on a vacation in Queenstown.
  • Coronet Peak has over 280 hectares of skiable terrain. Another great option is the Remarkables Ski Field.
  • Summer jet-boating. Visiting Queenstown in the Summer months? The thrills don't stop just because the snow has melted away. Hit the water at speeds you've never travelled before in the spectacular Shotover River Canyons, just 10 minutes' drive from central Queenstown. No visit to Queenstown is complete if you don't.
  • Hiking. The area surrounding Queenstown offers some of the best hiking in New Zealand. Dramatic mountain scenery gives way to deep, lush valleys. There are a number of New Zealand's world-renowned 'Great Walks' around Queenstown, including the Kepler, Routeburn, and, most famous of all, the Milford Track. Several of these walks require nothing more than a daypack, and luxury accommodations are available along some routes.
  • Milford Sound. Tour buses depart daily from Queenstown bound for Milford Sound. This is one of the most incredible places on Earth - majestic fjords break the surface of the water to rise as high as the eye can see. If you arrive during summer, consider spending a few days hiking in the area.
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