resort town in Otago Region, New Zealand
Oceania > New Zealand > South Island > Queenstown-Lakes > Queenstown (New Zealand)

Queenstown (Māori: Tāhuna) is a world renowned resort town in the South Island of New Zealand. The town sits on the edge of Lake Wakatipu and is surrounded by the Southern Alps.

The Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown

Understand edit

What was once a small, remote, South Island town has transitioned since the 1980s, first to a busy ski destination, and now to a year-round tourist mecca and centre for adventure tourism. It is a world-famous destination attracting around 1.9 million visitors every year, undoubtedly the tourism capital of the South Island if not New Zealand, and a must-see stop for most visitors to New Zealand.

Situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand's third-largest lake (291 km2 or 112 sq mi) and one of Otago and New Zealand's most scenic lakes, surrounded by mountains, it's not hard to see why its stunning scenery draws people here year round. Queenstown happily caters for all visitors with a full range of attractions, activities, accommodation and eating options for any budget, from backpackers to five-star luxury. This popularity is not without its problems though - in many respects, Queenstown can be a tourist trap. However, reasonable prices and a few bargains can be found for those prepared to look for them.

Queenstown is a bustling town throughout the year, peaking over summer and during the ski season. There is a vibrant nightlife with the town's small central area packed with bars and restaurants. If you plan on getting a good nights sleep, then you might consider staying slightly out of town. It's common to see people on the streets up to 5AM returning from disco or pub. If you're looking for a relaxing scenic holiday, Wanaka (just over an hours' drive away) is smaller and more tranquil with less of a manic teenage party atmosphere.

Climate edit

Queenstown (New Zealand)
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm
Source: NIWA
Imperial conversion
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches

Queenstown has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons, mild summers, cool winters, and rainfall evenly distributed throughout the year.

Local newspapers edit

The Mirror. The first of two free community newspapers to hit the streets (on Wednesday morning), The Mirror is a great source for catching up on all things that are happening in the entire Queenstown-Lakes area. In addition to the news articles, there is a weekly restaurant review and profile of a band or DJ that will be headlining at one of Queenstown's many nightspots that week.

Lakes Weekly Bulletin is an additional source of second-hand items for sale, community noticeboard, employment vacancies, film/gig guide, flatmates and rentals.

Visitor information edit

Panoramic view from the Remarkables mountain range.

Get in edit

By plane edit

  • 1 Queenstown Airport (ZQN IATA), +64 3 450 9031. The country's 4th busiest airport by passenger numbers. It is served by Air New Zealand, Jetstar, Qantas and Virgin Australia. There are direct flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast in Australia, and from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in New Zealand. The frequency of flights varies seasonally, with the biggest number during the winter ski season. Typically, flying to Queenstown is more expensive than to other South Island destinations from Australia.    

Queenstown Airport is known for its spectacular approach with the snow-covered hills surround it on four sides. However, the surrounding terrain also makes it a tricky airport to fly in and out, with aircraft often having to circle near the airport to lose or gain height. Upgrades to the airport lighting and the introduction of high-accuracy GPS approach and departure procedures in the 2010s have greatly reduced delays and cancellations due to low cloud or cold weather. During winter peak loadings, flights departing to Australia are sometimes too heavy to take-off from Queenstown with full fuel, so they have make an enroute diversion to Christchurch or Invercargill to fill up.

Queenstown Airport also provides for private jets and other aircraft, and there is a huge number of helicopter take-offs and landings each day. Scenic flights and heli-skiing are a popular attraction for the region.

From the airport, the cheapest way into town is on the Orbus service 1, which runs every 15 minutes and this costs $10 (cash) or $2 Beecard one way - pay the driver when boarding (2018 prices). Alternatively, catch the bus from the McBride St station on Kawarau Rd (10 minute walk from the airport) and the cash fare is $5 into town. Taxis into town cost about $35-45 while Supershuttle shared vans will take you straight to your accommodation for $26 for one or two people (Mar 2019).

By bus edit

Daily services from Christchurch, Dunedin, Invercargill, Te Anau, Wanaka and the West Coast (Fox Glacier, Franz Josef and Greymouth) .

National bus operator InterCity Coachlines provide daily services in and out of Queenstown with connections throughout the South Island. Fares start from just $1 and can be purchased on-line or via numerous local ticketing agents including the i-SITE information network. Services arrive and depart from the Athol Street car park located in the main retail shopping area.

National sightseeing tour operator GreatSights New Zealand has daily tour options to Queenstown from Christchurch via Mt Cook and operates daily services to the West Coast including (Fox Glacier Franz Josef and Greymouth).

There are also a number of smaller shuttle operators who connect to and from Queenstown including Tracknet. Ritchies have several return trips to Wanaka a day.

Many international tour companies carry holidaymakers into Queenstown by coach.

By car edit

Queenstown is 6½ hours non-stop from Christchurch via the Mackenzie Country and the Lindis Pass, so allow a full day driving. The drive is spectacular, through the diverse countryside of New Zealand's South Island, with vast plains, rolling hills, multicoloured lakes and mountain passes. The Lindis Pass does occasionally close in winter due to snow; a slightly less scenic detour via Oamaru and Alexandra will add 2–4 hours to your journey.

Major international and all national rental car and camper van companies have offices in Queenstown.

By train edit

There is no rail line into Queenstown. There used to be a rail line from Invercargill to Kingston at the southern tip of Lake Wakatipu, but the line closed after a major washout in 1980, well before Queenstown's tourist boom.

The Taieri Gorge Railway scenic tourist train seasonally operates to Pukerangi and Middlemarch, with a coach connection for the remaining distance to Queenstown.

Get around edit

Map of Queenstown (New Zealand)

The Queenstown town centre is small enough to walk around. Parking is at a premium and can be hard to find during the day. For further distances a bus or car is necessary.

There are a number of tour operators to be found in the CBD of Queenstown. Transport from Queenstown's CBD to adventure activities is often part of the tour package. Some operators may pick up from your tourist accommodation.

By boat edit

A number of boat tours depart from the Queenstown Wharf at the bottom of the Mall - including the historic steamship, affectionately known as the "Lady of the Lake".

There is also a water taxi service.

By bus edit

Queenstown has a small local bus service operated by Orbus. You can buy tickets from the driver. There are five routes - the most useful for tourists being services route 1 which operates every 15 minutes to the airport and the Remarkables Park shopping centre. Fares are reasonable if you pay cash: $4 for most trips and $10 to the airport. If you'll be taking the bus more than a handful of times, it is better value to get a Bee card for $5 and top it up with $10 to get $2 fares on all buses. The bus network has two bus hubs, at Camp Street outside the O'Connell shopping mall in central Queenstown, and on Kawerau Road at the Frankton shopping centre (junction of Highway 6 and 6A) near the airport.

If you want to save money getting to or from the airport, consider taking a bus to the Remarkables Park shopping centre. From there, it is an easy 10 minute walk on good footpaths to the airport. This saves $6 per person if paying cash.

By car edit

Renting or buying a vehicle is convenient for getting around town, and to nearby areas. Many budget and premium car rentals provide services in Queenstown.

See edit

Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown Bay

The spectacular mountain scenery and Lake Wakatipu dominate the view from most parts of town. Most attractions in Queenstown make the most of the view and it's enough reason to spend time in Queenstown even if you choose not to do anything else.

After that though, there are not a lot of things to 'See'. Its in the 'Do' category below where Queenstown really excels. Nevertheless, there are a few sights around the town to check out:

  • 1 Skyline Gondola. One of the best views is from the top of Bob's Peak reached by the Skyline Gondola. Breathtaking views of Coronet Peak, the Remarkables mountain range and across Lake Wakatipu to Cecil and Walter Peaks. It's truly magnificent and awe-inspiring! If you're fit, you can save money by hiking up the Tiki Trail, a very steep 1-2 hr hike from town. Adult $39, child $24, family of 4 $113, family of 5 $135.
  • 2 Queenstown Gardens (adjacent to centre of town). Jutting out into Lake Wakatipu, these botanical gardens contain a variety of exotic and native trees and plants as well as a large pond and a range of facilities.    
  • 3 Kiwi Park Queenstown, 51 Brecon Street, +64 3 442 8059. Daily from 9am-5pm. Wildlife attraction featuring native New Zealand birds. $50.
  • 4 Queenstown Arts Centre, Corner of Stanley and Ballarat Streets. Tu-Sa from 10AM. Contemporary art exhibitions and artists studios. Has some paintings for sale. free.
  • 5 Ivan Clarke Gallery, 39 Camp Street, +64 3 442 5232. Daily 9:30 am–5 pm. Commercial art gallery selling the very large oil paintings by local artist, Ivan Clarke. As the prices start around $5,000, most visitors come away empty handed. The paintings are a mixture of local landscapes and a quirky set of dogs dressed as humans (The Lonely Dog).

Do edit

View from the top

Getting out there and 'doing' is really what Queenstown is all about. Skiing was the first drawcard, but now it shares the limelight with a multitude of ways to test your bravery. If you can think of a way to get adrenaline pumping, Queenstown's budding entrepreneurs have probably tried at some stage to make a tourist attraction out of it. Bring a lot of money. It's easy to get swept up in the excitement, and ring up thousands of dollars of exciting activities quickly. A bungy jump, for example, can cost $200 or more, skydiving $300, jet boating $100, and so on (Mar 2019). And don't forget about the upgrades: a higher jumping-off point, photo and video packages, and more jumps.

Queenstown also has a full range of more gentle attractions, including relaxing tours, and luxury spas.

Skiing edit

Skiing & snowboarding - There are four large commercial ski fields, and two specialist fields easily accessible from Queenstown. There are also a number of heli-skiing providers.

  • Coronet Peak - The closest to Queenstown, about 20 minute drive from the Centre of town via a sealed access road (all other ski fields have unsealed/gravel access roads), features a full range of slopes.
  • The Remarkables - Nestled in the Remarkable Mountain range which towers above the airport. but still easily accessible from town. New lifts/runs and an access road upgrade for 2014.
  • Cardrona - In the crown range, approximately a 1-hour drive (57 km) from Queenstown along the windy Crown Range Road. It features mostly mid-level terrain and a large terrain park.
  • Snow Farm - across the other side of the valley from Cardrona, this is a specialist cross-country ski area.
  • Treble Cone - The furthest field from Queenstown, about an hour and a half away. Usually visited by people based in Wanaka, Treble Cone is seen as more of a skiers field and generally features more advanced terrain.

Adventure tourism edit

There are dozens of attractions and providers. The information centre in town acts as a booking centre and is a great place to start inquiries. Most businesses will have a store in the CBD where they can arrange things for you. Hostels and hotels generally have a stack of pamphlets showing what is on offer, and staff are generally happy to help with recommendations and bookings. All providers generally provide transfers from Queenstown.

  • Bungy jumping. Queenstown is home to the world's first commercial bungy jump, established on the Kawarau Bridge in November 1988 and still operating today.
    • 1 Kawarau Bridge Bungy, Gibbston Hwy (SH 6), Gibbston Valley (23 km east of Queenstown), +64 3 450 1300, toll-free: 0800 286 4958. The 43-metre (141 ft) bungy jump off the Kawarau Suspension Bridge is the world's oldest commercial bungy jump, and the only bungy jump in Queenstown offering tandem jumps. Adult $205, youth (10-14) $145.
    • 2 The Ledge Bungy, Brecon St (top of the Skyline gondola), +64 3 450 1300, toll-free: 0800 286 4958. Daily 10PM4PM. 47-m drop. Bungy or swing. Adult $205, child $155.
    • Nevis Bungy, +64 3 450 1300, toll-free: 0800 286 4958. New Zealand's highest bungy at 134 m. The bungy is 45 min east of Queenstown; shuttles depart are from the AJ Hackett office on the corner of Shotover St and Camp St in central Queenstown. $275.
  • Nevis Catapult. Described as "bungy jumping on steroids". Opened in August 2018. $255.
  • Clay target shooting. Fire a real 12 gauge shotgun with Break One Clay Target Sports.
The Shotover jet boat
  • Jet boats. Exciting jetboat rides have been operating near Queenstown for 50 years. The jet boats carry passengers at high speeds over shallow waters performing stunts like 360-degree pirouettes in the water.
  • 3 Shotover Jet, Gorge Road, Arthurs Point, +64 3 442 8570, toll-free: 0800 74 68 68. The original Shotover Jet is billed as "The World's Most Exciting Jetboat Ride". Adult $129, child (5-15) $69; minimum height 120 cm (3ft 11in).
  • Kawarau Jet launches into Lake Wakatipu from the centre of town.
  • Luge. A fun-filled gravity ride for all ages and abilities. You control your own gravity-propelled vehicle down the track. Choose from two tracks, one scenic and gentle, the other advanced and adventurous. Children must be at least 6 years old and 110 cm (3ft 7in) tall to ride alone; those younger or shorter can ride in tandem with an adult.
  • Mountain biking package tours are available which include transport to specific locations. Or you can just hire a bike, grab a map and some tips and explore yourself. There is also a downhill service based on the gondola, where you can buy a day pass and use it as a lift for repeated runs, and Rabbit Ridge, a trail centre in Gibston Valley, with over 40 km of tracks and shuttles.
  • Mountaineering
  • Parapenting/paragliding - launching yourself off a hill with a parachute to ride the "thermals"
  • Parasailing available on Lake Wakatipu
  • Quad-bike tours - are available, some of which are specifically designed to take in Lord of the Rings film locations.
  • Riverboarding - Swimming through rapids on a bodyboard.
  • NZONE Skydive, 35 Shotover St, toll-free: 0800 37679663, . First commercial tandem skydive company in New Zealand, operating since 1990.
  • White water rafting - Single and multi-day options, including a chance to go 'black water rafting' through an underground tunnel.
  • Ziptrek Ecotours - New Zealand's #1 original zipline tour. Amazing zipline tours through the forest high up on Bobs Peak and accessed by the Skyline Gondola. A fully guided tour with cool tree house architecture interconnected by fun ziplines, stunning views and a little bit of education on the environment, Queenstown history and local flora & fauna.

Other edit

Street mall with outdoor cafés
  • Cruise on the TSS Earnslaw. Lake cruises on Lake Wakatipu offer great views of the town, surrounding mountains, etc. The TSS Earnslaw is a popular historic (1911) steamship which offers daily tours. There are also private charter providers. $70.    
  • Cycling. Hire a bike or e-bike for the day and use your legs. There is a cycle path which runs around the edge of the lake from the centre of town to the golf course opposite. For an all-day experience, consider riding over the Old Shotover Bridge and along the beautiful Kawarau River to Arrowtown. This will take about 3 hours each way on a standard mountain bike, less with an e-bike. The staff at Bikes & Beyond Queenstown (1092 Frankton Road) can show you which way to go when you pick up your rental bike. Frankton is on the way to Arrowtown so it makes sense to rent from here rather than somewhere back in the Queenstown CBD.
  • Off the Rails. Guided cycle tours on the world famous Otago Rail Trail from Sept to May. Departing from Queenstown. Includes bike hire, accommodation, breakfasts and transport.
  • Horseback riding. There are some great tours that pick up in Queenstown and take you into the valleys, through rivers, etc. Pamphlets can be collected at any hotel or hostel to explore the dozens of horseback tours
  • Fishing and flyfishing. Lake Wakatipu is known for trout. You cannot buy fish from lakes in New Zealand, you have to fish for them yourself. Flyfishing is also available locally.
  • Garden tours - Queenstown has a number of superb private gardens as well as the centrally located public Queenstown Gardens jutting out into Lake Wakatipu. The walking track on the lake edge offers excellent views of Queenstown and surrounding mountains.
  • Queenstown Garden Tours. Operate small group garden tours to 3 private residential gardens in and around Queenstown during spring & summer.
  • Golf - there are six clubs in town, with facilities (and green fees) ranging from everyday to the five-star Millbrook Resort.
  • Hiking - Queenstown Hill behind the town can be climbed in about 3/4 hours for a fantastic view (and unlike most things in Queenstown it's free). There is also a nice track around the lake.
  • Touring - the scenery surrounding Queenstown makes for excellent touring, with lakes, mountains and bush around vineyards and farmland. There are also a number of specific 'Lord of the Rings' themed tours which take in local film sites for the movie series.

Scenic flights edit

The helicopter and light aircraft flights around Queenstown and to Milford Sound and Fiordland are rated amongst the best in the world. It is easily possible to fly from Queenstown in the morning, cruise Milford Sound over lunch, before returning to Queenstown in the afternoon, replacing what could otherwise be a long day on the road.

  • HeliWorks, Queenstown Airport, +64 3 441-4011. Exciting scenic flights in & around Queenstown & Milford Sound, Lord of the Rings flights with the pilots who filmed the trilogy.
  • Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters, 35 Lucas Place, Queenstown Airport, toll-free: 0800 801 616, fax: +64 3 442-3019, . Offers a selection of daily scenic flights over the iconic landscapes of the Wakatipu and Fiordland and Mount Aspiring National Parks. Alpine or snow landings are part of all their flights or you can discover the uniqueness of a glacier landing, included in all their Milford Sound experiences.

Wine tasting edit

The southernmost vineyards in the world are close by.

  • Appellation Central Wine Tours. Appellation Central's team of specialists guides will host you on a memorable day out in Central Otago wine country. Small group tours depart daily from Queenstown.

Buy edit

The town centre contains many tourist and souvenir stores but bargains can be hard to come by.

Top quality knitwear, Sheepskin and Possum Fur products, Greenstone (Jade) and bone carvings, and fine New Zealand wine is available for a price.

Shops on Beach Street.(2023)

Outdoor suppliers are plentiful, with equipment for trampers (hikers), mountain bikers, skiers and snowboarders, and many others who use Queenstown as the launching-pad for expeditions into the nearby National Parks.

There are a handful of convenience food stores in the town centre, most open until midnight and beyond. Two large supermarkets are on the outskirts of town. Most of the stores in Queenstown are open daily until 8PM or 9PM.

Shops in the Queenstown area are allowed to open on Good Friday and Easter Sunday (unlike most of New Zealand), but still have to close on Christmas Day and on Anzac Day (25 April) morning.

Frankton edit

The suburb of Frankton next the airport has the main supermarkets and large chain stores.

    PAK'nSAVE Queenstown
    3 Countdown, 30 Grant Rd, Frankton, +64 3 441 0030. Daily 7AM–10PM. Supermarket
  • 4 New World Queenstown, 1/12 Hawthorne Dr, Remarkables Park, +64 3 442 3045. Daily 7:30AM–10PM. Supermarket with Harvey Norman electricals next door.
  • 5 Pak n' Save, 302 Hawthorne Dr, Frankton, +64 3 409 1000. Daily 7AM–10PM. Supermarket, with a Mitre 10 Mega hardware store next door.
  • 6 The Warehouse, 179 5 Mile Centre, 24 Grant Road, Frankton, +64 3 441 4400. 8.00am – 8.00pm. Budget department store.

Eat edit

There are a huge variety of numerous eating establishments to be found in Queenstown, from all-hours takeaways to fine dining. Reservations for dinner are important at the best places most times of the year, and most nights of the week.

Due to the large number of restaurants, Queenstown is a culinary hub for New Zealand, and you will find regional produce such as pinot noir wine and Canterbury lamb on display in many of the restaurants. Fine restaurants also serve world-class seafood (local mussels, oysters and deep sea fish such as blue cod), game and red meat (farmed venison and beef).

There are also a number of wineries in the Gibbston Valley (20 minutes drive) with restaurants attached, most of which are open for lunch.

Budget edit

Budget food is a little harder to come by in Queenstown. There are a few small fish and chip shops, kebab joints, and the usual KFC and McDonald's. Your best bet if your looking to save a few dollars is to hit the supermarket. The other option is to wander around and check out daily specials on the sandwich boards of restaurants.

  • 1 Fergburger Takeaways, 42 Shotover St, Queenstown Central, +64 3 441 1232. Daily 8:30AM-5AM. Legendary, large burgers, insanely busy most of the day.    
  • 2 Night n' Day, Church St, +64 3 442 8289. 24 hr. Hot food and groceries, also at 48 Shotover St.

Mid-range. edit

  • 6 At Thai, Church Street, +64 3 442-3683. Thai cuisine
  • 7 The Cow Restaurant, Cow Lane, +64 3 442-8588. Pizza & spaghetti house
  • 8 The Lone Star, 14 Brecon St, +64 3 442 9995. Su-Th from 4:30PM, F Sa from 4PM. Tex-mex, casual dining
  • Skyline Queenstown Restaurant. Taste of New Zealand buffet offers delectable fresh seafood, salads, roast meats and delicious desserts.
  • Winnies Gourmet Pizza bar, Upstairs, 7-9 The Mall (next to the cinema), +64 3 442-8635. Competitor for the best pizzas in town, caters for everyone and family friendly (before the drinkers start to come in the evening)
  • Surreal Bar & Restaurant, 7 Rees Street. $15 steak/fish & chips/curry deals.

Splurge edit

  • Botswana Butchery, 17 Marine Parade (On the waters edge), +64 3 442-6994. A great restaurant with ambience, sensational service. The menu is extensive and specialises in meat. The whole leg of lamb for 2 could feed 3! The wine list is very good. Prices are at the higher end but sensational for a special occasion. Smaller private room dinning opportunities as well as a great bar room for pre-dinner drinks.
  • The Bathhouse Lakefront Restaurant, its crown-like architecture is like nothing else in Queenstown. Esplanade +64 3 442-5625 (fine dining)
  • The Bunker, 14 Cow Lane +64 3 441-8030 (fine dining)
  • Public Kitchen & Bar Steamer Wharf +64 3 442-5969 (previously Wai Waterfront Seafood Restaurant).

Drink edit

Nightlife in Queenstown is largely about drinking and there are over a hundred licensed premises, most in the downtown area. It's hard to walk down one of the central streets without tripping over a bar or three. Most bars stay open till around 4AM and it is lively most nights.

There are cheap bars popular with backpackers and young locals, and sophisticated and expensive wine, cocktail and imported beer bars. Many bars and pubs have sunny outdoor courtyards in the summer months, and roaring open fires in the winter. Major sports events are normally to be found on screen somewhere in Queenstown.

There are two small casinos for adult entertainment.

A selection of some of the most well known places follows:

  • Bar Up, Upstairs, Cnr Searle Lane & Eureka Arcade. A boutique nightlife bar, the upstairs bar has a lounge feel about it, warmed by an open fire with a private deck. It has an extensive cocktail list.
  • Bunker Bar, Cow Lane. Hard to find boutique bar on Cow Lane, upstairs with open fires and a private deck. It has an extensive cocktail list.
  • The Find, 53 Shotover St. Successor to the burnt down World Bar. Another popular backpacker bar. The specialty is cocktail-like drinks served in teapots.
  • Loco, Shotover St, attached to the base backpackers. Big backpacker bar popular with tour bus groups. Drink specials and theme parties nightly. Not the place for a quiet drink.
  • Red Rocks, 48 Camp St (just off Shotover). Smaller backpacker bar with a ski lodge feel and a deck outside.
  • Tardis, Cow Lane. Late night drum and base/dance venue.
  • Winnies, The Mall, 7 Ballarat St, +64 3 442-8635. Noon-late. Later in the evenings this pizza bar turns into a popular drinking spot. Dining, drinking and partying under the sun and stars with an opening roof.
  • The World Bar, Central, 12 Church Street, +64 3-450 0008. 11:30AM-Late. Funky, multilevel bar featuring a menu of burgers & pub grub, plus craft beers & teapot cocktails.
  • Cowboy Qt Ltd, 7 Searle Lane, +64 3-409 2978, . 3PM-4AM.
  • 1876, 45 Ballarat Street, +64 3-409 2178. Noon-4AM. Polished restaurant/bar in a circa-1876 stone-built courthouse offering upscale pub grub & a deck.

Sleep edit

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget Under $100
Mid-range $100-299
Splurge Over $299

Queenstown has a full range of accommodation choices, including backpackers, campsites, bed and breakfasts, apartments, motels and hotels. For the truly decadent there are also a number of 5 star boutique luxury lodges around the area, some of which often feature in 'best places to stay in the world' lists, and come with prices to match.

Budget edit

Mid-range edit

  • 4 Amity Serviced Apartments, 7 Melbourne St, +64 3 442-7288, toll-free: 0800 55 6000, . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM. A motel with modern-style decoration. From $165.
  • 5 Crowne Plaza Queenstown, 93 Beach St, +64 3 450-2674, . Central, lakeside location featuring lakeview rooms with full views of the Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu from $450.
  • 6 Heritage Queenstown, 91 Fernhill Rd, Fernhill, +64 3 450 1500, toll-free: 0800 368 888. Qualmark 4-star plus hotel with suites and 3-bedroom villas available. Free shuttle to town. from $204.
  • 7 Larch Hill B&B, 16 Panners Way, +64 3 442 4811, . As featured in National Geographic Traveler, spectacular lake and mountain views from all rooms and sundecks. Warm, comfortable, quiet bed and breakfast, only a 3-minute drive from the centre of Queenstown. Free Wi-Fi. from $165.
  • 8 The Rees Hotel, 370 Frankton Rd, +64 3 450-1100. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 10:00. Established nearly 150 years ago, this hotel has king-size beds, NZ wool carpet and heated floors in the bathroom. from $245.
  • 9 Hidden Lodge, 28 Evergreen Pl, Sunshine Bay, +64 3 442 6636. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Overlooking Lake Wakatipu. Bed and Breakfast accommodation. from $595.

Splurge edit

Stay safe edit

Queenstown is a relatively safe town. The most common offence committed against tourists in the Queenstown area are car break-ins.

Although limited in number, the police in the Queenstown area are intolerant of disorderly behaviour and are prepared to arrest for quite minor offences. As with anywhere in New Zealand, they have no tolerance for possession of drugs.

Other emergency services in the area operate on a volunteer basis. Occasionally you may hear what sounds like a World War II air raid siren go off in Queenstown. This is not signalling that someone is trying to attack New Zealand with nuclear weapons, but signalling volunteer fire-fighters to get down to the station because there's a house fire/car accident/kitten stuck up a tree.

Rental car companies have restrictions in their rental agreements to prevent their vehicles being operated on some high country roads. New Zealand's ski-field roads also take many visitors by surprise, but driving to suit the conditions will considerably reduce any risk.

  • Queenstown Police Station, 11 Camp St, Queenstown Central (opposite Church Street), +64 3 441-1600. Remember, in an emergency, dial 111 and ask for police.
  • Queenstown Medical Centre, 9 Isle St, Queenstown Central, +64 3 441 0500. M-F 8AM-8PM, Sa Su 9AM-8PM. General practice with after-hours accident and medical clinic. Has on-site x-ray and plastering for fractures and attached pharmacy. Medical $100-205, Accident (ACC) $56-156.

Cope edit

Consulates edit

Laundromats edit

Go next edit

Queenstown can be used as a base to see the surrounding country, including Arrowtown, Glenorchy, Kingston, the Kawarau Gorge, Cromwell and Wanaka.

The drive to Glenorchy, 50 minutes to the northwest and alongside Lake Wakatipu for much of the journey, is rated as one of the top scenic drives in the world.

The Gibbston Valley wine area is 20-min drive, just before the ancient Kawarau Gorge.

More distant tourist destinations such as Te Anau and Milford Sound are a day trip away, with many tour operators providing bus tours and flights.

Fox Glacier, the bigger and less crowded west coast glacier, is 4.5 hours drive north.

Routes through Queenstown
WanakaCromwell  N   S  Kingston → Junction  Invercargill

This city travel guide to Queenstown is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.