Spend a day enjoying water sports and dining with unbeatable views at Queenstown Beach. This small beach is at the water’s edge of Queenstown’s town centre on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Queenstown Beach is a short strip of sand and shingle beach, framed by a lush green lawn that’s ideal for those that don’t want to get sand in their shoes.
The beach is perfect to enjoy on one of Queenstown’s long summer days, when the sun stays up until late in the evening. Lay down a towel and bask in the sunshine and take a swim in the cool, shallow water. Admire the views of jagged mountain peaks, such as Mount Nicholas and Walter Peak. In winter months, heavy snowfall on the mountains makes the views even more spectacular.
Go to the Main Pier, at the northern edge of the beach, to find tour operators and water sport centres. Rent aqua bikes, kayaks, paddleboats and stand-up paddleboards to explore the lake at your own pace. Half- and full-day guided kayak and stand-up paddleboard tours are also possible. While you are on the water, visit neighbourhoods on Lake Wakatipu, including Kelvin Heights and Sunshine Bay.
Sign up for one of the jet boat rides that depart from the pier. Zip across the lake and along the Kawarau and Shotover rivers at speeds of up to 85 kilometres (53 miles) per hour. Experience 360-degree spins and catch a glimpse of the surrounding mountain landscape. Change the pace and join fishing excursions to cast a line into the lake for salmon and trout.
Running behind the Main Pier is Beach Street, a commercial zone lined with bars, restaurants and shops. Eat and drink at Chinese and Indian restaurants, pubs and an ice bar. Browse the work of local artists at independent galleries. Nearby is The Mall where you will find a range of bars and restaurants.
Queenstown Beach is just a short walk from the accommodation options located in Queenstown’s town centre. Parking is available for a fee on the town centre streets. At the southern end of the beach is a path that connects to pretty Queenstown Gardens.