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Queenstown (New Zealand)

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Queenstown is a scenic town in the South Island of New Zealand. It's one of the most beautiful regions and offers year round attractions. The town sits on the edge of Lake Wakatipu and is surrounded by the Southern Alps. The most remarkable sight is the Remarkables, which is a saw-toothed range of mountains on the opposite side of the lake from the town.


Queenstown lies at the only outlet to Lake Wakatipu (a bridge goes over the Kawarau River at Frankton), one of Otago and New Zealand's most scenic lakes. It caters for tourists on a wide range of budgets, from backpackers to luxury tourists. In many respects Queenstown can be a tourist trap. However, reasonable prices and bargains can be found for those prepared to look for them.

Queenstown is a party town during high seasons. If you plan on getting a good night's sleep, then you might consider staying slightly out of town. It is common to see people on the street until 05:00, coming back from the disco or pub. If you are looking for a relaxing scenic holiday, Wanaka (an hour's drive away) is smaller and more tranquil (with less of a party atmosphere).

First time visitors to Queenstown frequently struggle with the where to stay question. Queenstown has several neighbourhoods, each with their own advantages in terms of access & attractions

Visitors attracted by Queenstown’s nightlife may prefer a CBD location with easy access to Queenstown’s more than 50 bars

Queenstown is widely regarded as an activity-based town. Those less interested in the bright lights will prefer one of the neighbourhoods surrounding the CBD. These neighbourhoods promise the best of both worlds – easy access to the town centre from a more peaceful base.

The Glenorchy Road area offers luxury lodges, bed & breakfasts and vacation rentals with lake views and a sense of wilderness.

The Kingston Road area has luxury lodges with mountain views and vacation rentals with lake views.

The Gibbston Valley has a range of accommodations set amongst vineyards.

Those attracted by history & culture tend to gravitate to Queenstown’s historic precinct – Arrowtown.

Globally, the historic precincts of cities have that 'x' factor. Why? Well, while cities heave and grow to the horizon becoming homogeneous in the process, the historic precincts become more distinctive and desirable for their character, charm....oh & peace!

Most travellers are 'romantics at heart' & love to rekindle memories of simpler times. Authentic, relaxing and peaceful describe the ambiance of Arrowtown.

Arrowtown has an excellent range of luxury accommodation. Less than 5-minutes walk leads to more than 20 restaurants, cafes, bars & brew-pubs.

Just a few of the other attractions of the historic precinct are:

  • The Queenstown Trail – A looping 100km + (60 mi) cycling and hiking trail around alpine lakes & riverside to vineyard restaurants.
  • 3 golf courses, 2 luxury spas, 7-minute drive to entrance to Coronet Peak Ski Resort, 7-minute drive to Japanese baths, 7-minute drive to Shotover Jet, 7-minute drive to whitewater rafting, 10 minute drive to Gibbston Valley vineyards, 10 minute drive horse riding.

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 Central Otago area. In addition to the news articles, there is a weekly restaurant review and profile of a band or DJ that will be headlining a 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.

The Mountain Scene is Queenstown's original weekly newspaper and recently celebrated 40 years of Thursday news.


The town and surrounding area was originally settled by Europeans and a substantial Chinese population for gold mining and farming in 1860s. After the decline of goldmining, Queenstown became a sleepy rural town, popular as a summer getaway.

In 1947, New Zealand's first commercial skifield, Coronet Peak, opened and since then the town has grown into a world class tourist resort. There are now 4 commercial skifields within easy driving of Queenstown.

Get In[edit]

Queenstown International Airport is well served by domestic and international flights by major airlines while major New Zealand Highways connect Queenstown to surrounding South Island regions.

If you’re planning to travel by road, you can hop on a bus or join a tour. On your drive to Queenstown you’ll come across incredible natural landscapes and many attractions making it an ideal trip if you have time to explore.

By Plane[edit]

Queenstown has an international airport which is served by Qantas, Air New Zealand, Pacific Blue and Jetstar. There are connecting flights from all New Zealand's major centres, and direct flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in Australia. If you're flying in from another New Zealand city, you can easily book your direct flights online. [50]

Queenstown airport is known for its spectacular approach, the snow-covered mountains of New Zealand's Southern Alps surround it on four sides and there is a complicated path to the runway. Low cloud and cold weather can close the runway, especially in winter, resulting in cancelled flights, however new precision approach equipment has considerably reduced this.

There is a duty free collection point located in the airport for when you purchase goods online via Aelia Duty Free Stores NZ. There is also a physical duty free store. On departure, this is located after immigration and security. On arrival, this is located before Customs and baggage collection.

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.

Town centre by bus: Queenstown has recently overhauled its bus system to the point where it is now cheap and reliable. A fare from the airport bus stop (outside the main entrance doors) to anywhere on their network is just $2 with a GoCard. You can go anywhere on the Queenstown network for just $2 with a GoCard, plus you’ll get a free 30-minute transfer with a GoCard. You can get a GoCard from your bus driver, at the Queenstown Airport Paper Plus or at the Stanley Street kiosk for $5. The minimum top up for GoCards is $10. GoCards can be topped up anywhere that they’re sold.

You don’t need a GoCard to take the bus, you can pay for your fare with cash. However, a cash fare is $5 per trip for an adult and $4 for a child – and for trips that begin or end at the airport, the cash fare is $10. It’s cheaper with GoCard.

To get into the Queenstown Town Centre from the Airport, take the Number 1 bus from the airport (direction Queenstown/Fernhill) - remember to use your GoCard to take advantage of the $2 fare. Buses to/from the airport run approximately every 15 minutes. For more information on the Queenstown Bus network and timetables - view the Orbus website

By taxi, shuttle or ride share: For the Taxis into town cost about $35-$50. Shuttle vans are also available for a lower price (if not traveling in a group). Uber is also available although not used as commonly as in other cities.

By Bus[edit]

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

National bus operator InterCity and Newmans Coach Lines provide daily services in and out of Queenstown with connections throughout the South Island. Services arrive and depart from the Athol Street car park 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. Many international tour companies carry holidaymakers into Queenstown by coach.

By Car[edit]

Allow a full day from Christchurch (about 6 hours 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. Major international and all national rental car and campervan companies have offices in Queenstown.

Get Around[edit]

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

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

By Bus[edit]

Queenstown has recently launched a brand-new bus service for Queenstown, called Orbus. The easiest, most convenient, and most affordable way to get around Queenstown with flat-rate fares for just $2 (with a GoCard). That's $2 anywhere on the network including Queenstown Airport, Queenstown, Arthurs Point, Arrowtown, Jacks Point, and more. Note that you may be required to transfer buses at the Frankton Hub. The bus from Fernhill to Remarkables Park shops (via Queenstown Town Centre & Airport) is the most frequent, with a bus departing every 15 minutes.

You can find full details of the Queenstown bus routes and timetables on the Orbus website

You can get a GoCard from a bus driver (they accept only cash), at the Queenstown Airport Paper Plus or at the Stanley Street kiosk (in the Queenstown Town Centre) for $5. The minimum top up for GoCards is $10. GoCards can be topped up anywhere that they’re sold. You don’t need a GoCard to take the bus, you can pay for your fare with cash. However, a cash fare is $5 per trip for an adult and $4 for a child – and for trips that begin or end at the airport, the cash fare is $10. It’s cheaper with GoCard.

All buses on the Queenstown network have bike racks so you have more options for getting around town – and your bike travels for free.

To/From Wanaka: Ritchies Transport offers a 4x per day shuttle to Wanaka from Queenstown Town Centre (via Queenstown Airport and Cromwell), and also the other direction from Wanaka-Queenstown. Full details and pricing can be found on the Ritchies website.

By Car[edit]

While spending time in the city centre would not require a car, if you wish to explore beyond the city and go sightseeing or try out the thrilling experiences such as skydiving or zip lining than car hire may be a good option to consider. With so many attractions spread through the region, Queenstown has a variety of local car hire such as Queenstown Rental Cars for those that want the flexibility and personal space to enjoy their trip.

By Boat[edit]

A number of boat tours depart from the Steamer Wharf at the bottom of the Mall - including the historic steamship TSS Earnslaw, affectionately known as the "Lady of the Lake". Run by Real Journeys, The TSS Earnslaw runs guests out to Walter Peak Farm several times a day.

There is now a water taxi service.

See[edit][add listing]

Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown

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

One of the best views is from the top of Bob's Peak reached by the Skyline Gondola. Breathtaking views of Coronet Peak towards the mountain range and across Lake Wakatipu to Cecil and Walter Peaks. It's truly magnificent and awe-inspiring!

The drive to Glenorchy, 50 minutes north up Lake Wakatipu, is rated as one of the top scenic drives in the world. The Gibbston Valley wine area is 20 minutes drive from Queenstown by the ancient Kawarau Gorge.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • AJ Hackett Bungy, [1]. First commercial bungy jump established on the Kawarau Bridge.  edit
  • Appellation Central Wine Tours, +6434420246, [2]. 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.  edit
  • Body Sanctum Day Spa, Level 1, 10 Athol Street, Queenstown (Next to the Village Green), [3]. 09:00-21:00. Queenstown's longest-established day spa in the centre of Queenstown offering beauty treatments and therapeutic massage and infra-red sauna. Couples massage is a speciality and out-calls to major hotels can be arranged.  edit
  • Bungy Jumping.  edit
  • Canterbury Aviation, +64 3 359 8006, [4]. Provides scenic flights that gives you the best combination of coastal and mountain scenery with the option of stopping at either Mt Cook, Franz or Fox Glacier.  edit
  • Cycling, Arrowtown (just 15-minutes from Queenstown is at centre of the Queenstown Trail). More than 100km (60 mi) of trails await cyclists & walkers. Here are some ideas for a visit. Day 1, bike/walk to Gibbston Valley vineyards. Day 2, circumnavigate Lake Hayes, stopping at art galleries & cafes en route. Day 3, a spectacular route following Lake Wakatipu to Jacks Point. Enjoy lunch at The Clubhouse basking in the sun beneath the Remarkables Mountains. Those looking for more technical challenges want to consider visiting Macetown, A ghost-town from the goldrush era. One of New Zealand’s classic mountain bike rides. More than a dozen river crossings keeps riders focused!  edit
  • Cruising. lake cruises on Lake Wakatipu offer great views of the town, surrounding mountains, etc.  edit
  • Fishing. Lake Wakatipu is known for its trout. You can not buy fish that originated from in NZ lakes - you have to fish for them yourself.  edit
  • Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters, 35 Lucas Place, Queenstown Airport, 0800 801 616 (, fax: +64 3 442-3019), [5]. Glacier Southern Lakes offer a selection of daily scenic flights over the iconic landscapes of the Wakatipu and Fiordland and Mt 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.  edit
  • Glenorchy Air, Queenstown Airport, +64 3 442-2207, [6]. Scenic flights to Milford Sound, Mount Cook and the Glaciers  edit
  • Guided Nature Walks (NZWalks), Queenstown (Collection at your accommodation), +64 3 442-7126, [7]. 08:-18:00. Guided walks throughout the Queenstown Lakes District including glaciers, isolated miners' huts, lakeshore and the famous Routeburn Day Walk.  edit
  • Heli Tours (Heli Tours), Queenstown International Airport (At the end of the rental car pickup.), 0800 435486, [8]. 8am-6pm. Boutique helicopter operator specializing in visits to farms, wineries, ski fields, glaciers, fiords and to romantic picnic spots or fishing/hunting locations." (-45 01.278,44.173) edit
  • HeliWorks, Queenstown Airport, +64 3 441-4011, [9]. Exciting scenic flights in & around Queenstown & Milford Sound, Lord of the Rings flights with the pilots who filmed the trilogy.  edit
  • 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.  edit
  • 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.  edit
  • Luge, [10]. It is 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.  edit
  • Mad Dog Riverboarding, 37 Shotover Street, +64 442-7797, [11]. The most action packed and personally challenging white water activity you can do!  edit
View from the top
  • Million Dollar Cruise, Queenstown Bay (come to the kiosk), +64 3 442-9770, [12]. 11:00, 14:00, 16:00. 90 minute cruise around Lake Wakatipu and the Queenstown Gardens, Kelvin Heights, Queenstown Golf Course, the Kawarau Falls and Frankton Arm with views of native birds, salmon and trout. A Maori Culture experience is also available, offering insights into the history of Maori settlement of the Wakatipu. $25. (-45.032815,168.659094) edit
  • Mountaineering.  edit
  • NZONE Skydive, 35 Shotover St, 0800 DROPZONE (). First commercial tandem skydive company in New Zealand, operating since 1990.  edit
  • Off the Rails, [13]. operate guided cycle tours on the world famous Otago Rail Trail from Sept to May. Departing from Queenstown. Includes bike hire, accommodation, breakfasts and transport.  edit
  • Parapenting. launching yourself off a hill with a parachute to ride the "thermals.  edit
  • Parasailing.  edit
  • Queenstown Bike Tours (QT Bike), Buckingham Street, Arrowtown (Next to the Chinese settlement by the Arrow River), 64 3 442-0339, [14]. Selection of mountain bike and comfortable cruiser bikes for families, couples and corporate groups to ride around the Queenstown and Arrowtown trails or out to Gibbston for winetasting. Return transport by road on request. (-44.937808,168.829330) edit
  • Queenstown Golf Club, 759 Peninsula Road, Kelvin Heights, Queenstown 9300, +64 344 29169, [15].  edit
  • Queenstown Wine Trail, +643 441 3990, [16]. operate daily departing guided wine tours to renowned Queenstown & Bannockburn wineries. Small groups, wine and cheese tastings and superb scenery. Combo tours with some of Queenstown's most popular activities - jetboating, helicopters and spa combos.  edit
The shotover jet boat
  • Riverboarding. Boarding through rapids on a bodyboard.  edit
  • Shotover Jet. The original Shotover Jet is billed as "The World's Most Exciting Jetboat Ride"  edit
  • Sky diving. Tandem sky diving offered over the Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu.  edit
  • Skiing & snowboarding. Four world class ski fields.  edit
  • TSS Earnslaw Cruises (Real Journeys), Steamer Wharf, Queenstown Bay, +64 3 442 7500, [17]. 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00. 90 minute cruise on Lake Wakatipu aboard the vintage steamship the TSS Earnslaw to experience Queenstown’s famed scenic beauty. Plenty of time to explore a piece of Queenstown’s living history – the 100 year old TSS Earnslaw.  edit
  • Walking. 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.  edit
  • White water rafting.  edit
  • Wine Hopper Bus, +64 3 409 0808, [18]. Hop on hop off at iconic Queenstown wineries and enjoy the freedom to explore the Gibbston wine region at your leisure. 6 stops, 6 circuits daily. Choose wineries, cheesery, pubs, tasting rooms, restaurants, walking track and bike hires.  edit
  • Wine tasting. The southernmost vineyards in the world are close by. The Central Otago wine region has become famous for the production of Pinot Noir and other cool climate wine varieties of outstanding quality. Combined with spectacular scenery, a fascinating history and a true pioneering history this is a great wine region to explore for a few days.  edit
  • Ziptrek Ecotours, 45 Camp St, 034412102, [19]. Ziptrek Ecotours is a world leader in the design, development and operation of zipline-based eco-adventures. Ziptrek offers an entertaining combination of education and adventure coupled with spectacular views over Lake Wakatipu.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

Queenstown Mall

The town centre contains many tourist and souvenir stores, and 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.

Outdoor suppliers are plentiful, with equipment for trampers (hikers), mountain bikers, skiiers 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. Three large supermarkets are on the outskirts of town, As well as Two smaller supermarkets located in central Queenstown. The five mile shopping centre which opened in recent months boasts larger stores, As well as a new Supermarket being built - to be completed in August 2016

Most of the stores in Queenstown are open until 20:00 or 21:00, 7 days a week.

Queenstown is commonly know as 'The Adventure Capital of the World'.

Eat[edit][add listing]

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.

Fine restaurants serve world-class seafood (local mussels, oysters and deep sea fish such as blue cod), game, red meat (farmed venison, lamb and beef).

  • At Thai Restaurant, Air Nz Building Church St, Queenstown Town Central, Queenstown 9300, +64 3 442-3683, [20]. Thai cuisine  edit
  • Ballarat, Downstairs, 7 The Mall (At the lake end of the Mall underneath Winnies), +64 3-442 4222, [21]. Daily 12:00-04:00. Themed in the style of a goldrush era emporium, the Ballarat restaurant and bar is popular with locals and visitors alike. The eclectic gastro-pub menu is complemented by premium New Zealand wines and local and imported beers. (-45.032015,168.660850) edit
  • Bathhouse, 38 Marine Parade, Queenstown 9300, +64 3 442-5625, [22]. Fine dining  edit
  • Bella Cucina, 6 Brecon St, +64 3 442-6762, [23]. 17:00-23:00. Truly great Italian food, this small-scale restaurant won't disappoint.  edit
  • Botswana Butchery, 17 Marine parade (On the waters edge), +6434426994, [24]. A great restaurant with ambience, sensational service. The menu is extensive and specializes 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. They have smaller private room dinning opportunities as well as a great bar room for pre-dinner drinks.  edit
  • Bunker, 14 Cow Lane, Queenstown 9300, +64 3 441-8030, [25]. Fine dining restaurant  edit
  • Cow, Cow Lane, Queenstown, Otago, 9300, +64 3 442-8588, [26].  edit
  • Fergburger, 42 Shotover Street, Queenstown 9300, +64 3 441-1232, [27]. Legendary and large burgers takeaway  edit
  • Prime Waterfront, 8 Rees Street, Queenstown 9348 (Above K Jet next to the lake-side William Rees Statue), +64 3 442-5288, [28]. Lunch from 12:00, dinner from 17:00. Award-winning beef and lamb restaurant & bar with stunning lake and mountain views. Come for pre-dinner drinks on the sunny lake-side lawn in summer or upstairs by the fire in winter. (-45.032466,168.660533) edit
  • Public Kitchen and Bar, Steamer Wharf/Beach, Queenstown, Queen 9300, +64 3 442-5969, [29]. Fine dining restaurant  edit
  • Stratosfare Restaurant, Skyline Queenstown, Brecon Street, Queenstown 9300, +64 344 10101, [30].  edit
  • Thaitanium, Remarkables Park Shopping Centre Building 5 (behind Hamills, Queenstown 9300), +64 344 23322. Thai restaurant  edit
  • Vudu Cafe & Larder, 16 Rees Street, [31]. Open for breakfast, lunch and tea. If you're only 1 day in Queenstown, make this your breakfast spot for the day!  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

The wineries of the Gibbston Valley (20 minutes drive) are open for lunch.

Nightlife in Queentown is largely about drinking, and there are over a hundred licenced premises in Queenstown, with most in the downtown area. Most bars have licenses to remain open until 04:00 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.

Many bars offer food.

  • Bar Up, Upstairs, Cnr Searle Lane & Eureka Arcade, +64 340 90290, [32]. A boutique nightlife bar, the upstairs bar has a lounge feel about it, warmed by a open fire with a private deck. It has an extensive cocktail list.  edit
  • Winnies, The Mall 7 Ballarat Street, Queenstown Town Centre, +64 3-442 8635 ‎, [33]. 12 noon till late. Gourmet Pizza Bar in the centre of Queenstown in a former school cinema and one of the towns oldest buildings. Dining, drinking and partying under the sun and stars with an opening roof.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Accommodation ranges from backpacker camps and inns to luxury lodges, bed and breakfasts, apartments, and hotels.

  • Adventure Queenstown Hostel, 36 Camp St, Queenstown (Direct centre of town), 03 4090 862 (), [34]. checkin: 2pm; checkout: 10am. Small, boutique hostel, rated no.1 in NZ 6 times in 9 years and 4 times world's top 10 at the prestigious 'Hoscars'. Newly renovated in 2020. Mix of double, family, 4 bed & 6 bed shared rooms with or without ensuite bathrooms  edit
  • Aspen House, 34 Aspen Grove, Fernhill, Queenstown 9300, +64 215 20502, [35]. The highest-situated hotel in town, overlooking Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables.  edit
  • Aura Queenstown Limited, 8 Church Street, Queenstown 9300, [36].  edit
  • Blue Peaks Apartments, 8 Coronation Drive, Queenstown, +64 3 441 0438, [37]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 10:00. Luxury 2 and 3 bedroom serviced apartments in central Queenstown, with full designer kitchen, spacious, open-plan living and dining areas, free Wi-Fi internet, on-site parking and fabulous views across Queenstown Bay.  edit
  • Blue Peaks Lodge, 11 Sydney Street, Queenstown, +64 3 441 0437, [38]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 10:00. Bright, modern motel accommodation in studio, 1 & 2 bedroom units most with kitchen facilities an easy 5 minutes walk from the centre of Queenstown. Free WiFi & off street parking, guest laundry.  edit
  • Crowne Plaza Queenstown, 93 Beach St, +64 3 4502674 (), [39]. Central, lakeside location featuring lakeview rooms with full views of the Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu  edit
  • Evergreen Lodge, 28 Evergreen Pl, + 64 3 442-6636, [40]. checkin: 15:00; checkout: 11:00. Overlooking Lake Wakatipu. Bed and breakfast accommodation.  edit
  • Heritage Queenstown, 91 Fernhill Road, +64 3 442 4988, [41]. 4 star plus hotel with suites and 3 bedroom villas available. Free shuttle to town.  edit
  • Nomads Queenstown, 5-11 Church Street, +64 3 441-3922, freecall 0508-666237 (), [42]. checkin: 1pm; checkout: 10am. Voted the Best Hostel in New Zealand by backpackers at the Golden Backpack Awards in 2010, 2011 and at the Hoscars in Feb 2011. Open fire in lounge area, a sauna and ski storage available. SkyTV cinema, TV lounge, modern kitchen, wheelchair friendly, travel services, girls only dorms, high speed wi-fi. Free inclusions are tea and coffee, light breakfast.  edit
  • Oaks Club Resort, 171/179 Frankton Rd, +64 3 450 2700, [43]. checkin: 14:00 hrs; checkout: 10:00 hrs. 1,2,3 and 4 bedroom apartments are available with kitchen and laundry facilities, gas fireplaces, panoramic lake and mountain views. Suitable for a family or group holiday.  edit
  • Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel, 21 Robins Rd Queenstown 9300 New Zealand, +64 3 441 8441, [44]. checkin: 2pm; checkout: 11am. Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel stands alone as Queenstown’s newest luxury boutique hotel. Be awed and inspired by the incredible alpine views, luxuriate in the quality 5 star accommodation, appreciate the stylish design and sophisticated service of an urban boutique hotel.  edit
  • Rees Hotel, 370 Frankton Road (4km from Airport, 1.8km from town), +64 3 450 1100, [45]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 10AM. Established nearly 150 years ago, the hotel has king-size beds, NZ wool carpet and heated floors in the bathroom. $325-$425. (-45.028114,168.687822) edit
  • Shotover Lodge, 157 Arthurs Point Road, Queenstown (Just before Coronet Peak ski area turn off), 64 3 4413318, [46]. 96 spacious studios with ensuites, kitchenettes and balconies. Metres from the hot pools and ski area, minutes from Queenstown and Arrowtown. From $98 for a double studio room. (-44.979667,168.684492) edit
  • Spire Hotel (Spire Hotel), 3-5 Church Lane 3-5 Church Lane, +64 3 441-0004, [47].  edit
  • St James Apartments, 5 Coronation Drive, Queenstown 9300 (right in the heart of Queenstown), +64 3 442 5333, [48]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 10:00. Apartment complex right in the heart of downtown Queenstown, featuring standard and executive units with self-catering facilities, from studio to 4 bedroom apartment. The closest cafe is a mere 30 metres away. (-45.032452,168.663519) edit
  • Willowby Downs, 792 Malaghans Rd (Willowby Downs is .5 km off Malaghans Rd, Arrowtown down a driveway and approximately 5 km from Arrowtown passing Millbrook Resort on the way), + 64 3 442 1714. B&B  edit

Stay Safe[edit]

Queenstown is a relatively safe town. However, visitors should still take care to ensure their own personal safety. Many of the other people in town are also visitors.

The most common offence committed against tourists in the Queenstown are car break-ins. Remember to always lock your doors and do not leave valuables in your vehicle or unattended.

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.

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 i-SITE office, 22 Shotover Street, The Clocktower Building, 9300, New Zealand, +64 3 442-4100 (), [49]. Visit for visitor information and brochures.  edit

Get Out[edit]

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

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.

Note it is relatively easy to hitch-hike to other South Island Towns i.e. Wanaka, Milford Sound, Alexander, Dunedin etc. Your best bet is to stand after the "BP Roundabout" in Frankton in the direction of travel and try flag down a ride.

  • Goldfields Jet. Blast Into the Past - take a ride with Goldfields Jet and afterwards try your hand at gold panning or tour the historic goldrush site scattered with old mining relics, huts, tunnels and pathways. In the Kawarau Gorge between Cromwell and Queenstown. 11am and 2pm or charters by arrangement.

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