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QueenstownNew Zealand

This alpine resort town in New Zealand’s South Island is an adventure-lover's paradise and the birthplace of bungee jumping and jet boating.

The South Island of New Zealand is famous for its dramatic landscapes and adventure sports, and the hub for outdoor activity in the region is Queenstown. Nestled between the longest lake in the country, Lake Wakatipu, and the mountain Ben Lomond, Queenstown is one of the most popular tourist towns in New Zealand. The town attracts hikers, campers, mountain bikers, skiers and those who simply want to immerse themselves in the incredible natural beauty of New Zealand.

The town’s southern location means it has an oceanic climate. From May through to August snow-capped peaks surround the city. Skiers, snowboarders and wintersports enthusiasts flock to the town as the region offers some of the best slopes in the country. In summer Queenstown enjoys an average temperature of 77 F (25 C). While the nights are chilly, the days are long, allowing you to make the most of the region’s stunning sights in hiking boots or by mountain bike.

Outdoor activities can be found right on the edge of town, and many can be reached by foot. Cruise Lake Wakatipu aboard the historic TSS Earnslaw Steamship, then hop off at Walter Peak High Country Farm for a traditional farm experience. Take the Skyline Gondola up Bob’s Peak for stunning views across town and some of the best hiking in the Lake Wakatipu area.

Queenstown’s adventure-sport industry is world-class, and the area is known for pioneering many popular sports. Plunge 141 feet (43 meters) from the Kawarau Suspension Bridge at the first commercial bungee jumping platform in the world, or take a spin down the Shotover River aboard the Shotover Jet, the iconic jet-boat experience.

Central Queenstown has a youthful and energetic resort-town culture and is home to many bars, restaurants and hotels. Enjoy an evening of local food and wine at the Steamer Wharf entertainment precinct, or pack your own picnic and head to the sprawling Queenstown Gardens.

Queenstown has plenty of outfitters and rental companies that will help you with gear for the slopes or trails. Located in the southwest of New Zealand’s South Island, the town can be reached by plane, bus or car, and car rental is widely available. While Queenstown is popular year-round, the snow season brings an influx of visitors and accommodation can be booked out well in advance during this time

Queenstown Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Queenstown

Frankton showing a lake or waterhole, a small town or village and forest scenes

Frankton

4/5Very Good!(42 area reviews)

Frankton is known for its lake views, and you can plan a trip to Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown Event Centre while you're in town.

Frankton
Sunshine Bay featuring forests, mountains and a small town or village

Sunshine Bay

5/5Exceptional!(7 area reviews)

Mountain views and restaurants are just a few things travelers like about Sunshine Bay. A stop by Lake Wakatipu is also recommended if you've got time to explore the area.

Sunshine Bay

Top Hotels in Queenstown

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa
Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa
5 out of 5
Kawarau Village, 79 Peninsula Road, Queenstown
The price is $109 per night from Oct 7 to Oct 8

Situated on the waterfront, this luxury hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown Event Centre, and Remarkables Park Town Centre. Alpine Aqualand ...

4.4/5Excellent! (958 reviews)

"Wonderful stay, we have been to the Hilton Queenston before and would be happy to stay again. They upgraded our room for my daughter's 21st and gave us complimentary drinks at the hotel restaurant. An amazing stay all round."…"

Reviewed on Sep 6, 2020

Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa
Millennium Hotel Queenstown
Millennium Hotel Queenstown
4.5 out of 5
32 Frankton Road, Queenstown
The price is $77 per night from Oct 25 to Oct 26

Situated near the airport, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of St Josephs Parish, Lake Wakatipu, and Skyline Gondola. Queenstown Arts Centre and Queenstown ...

4.2/5Excellent! (968 reviews)

"An over all satisfying stay. There was nothing wrong with The hotel or staff. It was clean, comfortable, the staff were friendly and efficient. I would stay here again given the opportunity. Things I liked was no mini bar, so the fridge was usable for some drinks etc. The room was cleaned to a high ..."…"

Reviewed on Sep 20, 2020

Millennium Hotel Queenstown
Crowne Plaza Hotel Queenstown
Crowne Plaza Hotel Queenstown
4.5 out of 5
93 Beach Street, Queenstown, Otago
The price is $102 per night from Sep 29 to Sep 30

Located in the heart of Queenstown, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Steamer Wharf and Lake Wakatipu. Skyline Gondola is 0.5 mi (0.8 km) away.

4.4/5Wonderful! (985 reviews)

"Great, handy location. Staff super friendly as always"…"

Reviewed on Sep 24, 2020

Crowne Plaza Hotel Queenstown

Vacation Rentals in Queenstown

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Wyndham Garden Queenstown
Wyndham Garden Queenstown
4 out of 5
32 Red Oak Drive, Remarkables Park, Queenstown
The price is $72 per night from Sep 26 to Sep 27

Located in Frankton, this aparthotel is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from Remarkables Park Town Centre and 1.4 mi (2.3 km) from Lake Wakatipu. Queenstown Event Centre and ...

4.2/5Excellent! (322 reviews)

"Very clean tidy room.would recommend this hotel to any traveler."…"

Reviewed on Aug 16, 2020

Wyndham Garden Queenstown
Oaks Queenstown Club Suites
Oaks Queenstown Club Suites
4 out of 5
171-179 Frankton Road, Queenstown
The price is $99 per night from Oct 11 to Oct 12

Situated on the waterfront, this luxury apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of St Josephs Parish and Lake Wakatipu. Skyline Gondola is 1.4 mi (2.2 km) ...

4.2/5Excellent! (876 reviews)

"Beautiful views. And warm spacious interior! A wonderful stay"…"

Reviewed on Jul 17, 2020

Oaks Queenstown Club Suites
Peppers Beacon Queenstown
Peppers Beacon Queenstown
4.5 out of 5
34 Lake Esplanade, Queenstown
The price is $96 per night from Sep 26 to Sep 27

Situated on a lake, this luxury aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Lake Wakatipu and Skyline Gondola. Steamer Wharf and SKYCITY Wharf Casino are also within ...

4.2/5Excellent! (1,062 reviews)

"2nd stay at Peppers, perfect spot! Rooms are great, everything is easy & it's close to everything nearby."…"

Reviewed on Jul 27, 2020

Peppers Beacon Queenstown

Getting around Queenstown

Renting a car for your stay in Queenstown is the best way to get around, since you’re likely to travel out into the countryside. Car rental companies can be found in town or at the airport. Motorhomes and campervans are popular rental choices, and offer fun ways of seeing the beautiful landscape. In Queenstown itself, explore on foot, use the affordable public bus network or travel by taxi. Visit the The New Zealand Transport Agency website.Browse Queenstown rental cars.

Best time to visit

Queenstown’s draw is the range of outdoor activities available, and the beauty of the scenery you’ll get to do them in. It’s important to visit at a time when you’re likely to get good weather. Book your trip for summer (December to February) if you want the highest temperatures but keep in mind this is high season, so it will be busy. Spring (September to November) has cooler weather but fewer tourists.

Popular places to visit in Queenstown

Lake Wakatipu
Image for Lake Wakatipu

Lake Wakatipu

5/5(322 reviews)

Explore the great outdoors at Lake Wakatipu, a popular spot to commune with nature in Queenstown. Amble around the area's beaches or visit its shops.

Cardrona Alpine Resort
Image for Cardrona Alpine Resort

Cardrona Alpine Resort

4/5(20 reviews)

Take lessons on the baby slopes, tear up fresh power at a higher elevation or attempt daring stunts in the terrain parks at this popular mountain resort.

Skyline Gondola
Image for Skyline Gondola

Skyline Gondola

4.5/5(260 reviews)

Take one of the world’s steepest cable-car rides to the top of picturesque Bob’s Peak for views across Lake Wakatipu and beyond.

Coronet Peak Ski Area
Image for Coronet Peak Ski Area

Coronet Peak Ski Area

4.5/5(26 reviews)

A variety of slopes for all abilities and some excellent après-ski options are on offer at this ski field just minutes from central Queenstown.

The Remarkables Ski Area
Image for The Remarkables Ski Area

The Remarkables Ski Area

4.5/5(39 reviews)

Skiers and snowboarders will find plenty of inviting slopes at this ski mountain, known for being one of New Zealand’s best venues for freestyle snow riding.

Gibbston Valley Winery
Image for Gibbston Valley Winery

Gibbston Valley Winery

4.5/5(53 reviews)

You can enjoy a tasting or tour at Gibbston Valley Winery during your travels to Gibbston. Discover the mountain views and spas in this walkable area.

Top things to do in Queenstown

Milford Sound Coach & Nature Cruise ex Queenstown with Lunch
Image for Milford Sound Coach & Nature Cruise ex Queenstown with Lunch

Milford Sound Coach & Nature Cruise ex Queenstown with Lunch

$111
Per adult
92% of travellers recommend
TSS Earnslaw Cruise with Walter Peak Gourmet BBQ Dinner
Image for TSS Earnslaw Cruise with Walter Peak Gourmet BBQ Dinner

TSS Earnslaw Cruise with Walter Peak Gourmet BBQ Dinner

$84
Per adult
92% of travellers recommend
Shotover River Canyons Jet Boat Adventure
Image for Shotover River Canyons Jet Boat Adventure

Shotover River Canyons Jet Boat Adventure

$87
Per adult
98% of travellers recommend
TSS Earnslaw Cruise, Walter Peak Farm Tour & Barbecue Lunch
Image for TSS Earnslaw Cruise, Walter Peak Farm Tour & Barbecue Lunch

TSS Earnslaw Cruise, Walter Peak Farm Tour & Barbecue Lunch

$70
Per adult
94% of travellers recommend
Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise
Image for Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise

Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise

$162
Per adult
98% of travellers recommend
Self Guided Bike Experience - Arrowtown to Queenstown
Image for Self Guided Bike Experience - Arrowtown to Queenstown

Self Guided Bike Experience - Arrowtown to Queenstown

$58
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend

Reviews of Queenstown

4.7

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
312
5 - Excellent 72.55813953488372%
4 - Good
110
4 - Good 25.58139534883721%
3 - Okay
5
3 - Okay 1.1627906976744187%
2 - Disappointing
3
2 - Disappointing 0.6976744186046512%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 10, 2020

Adventures galore. So much outdoor activity and scenery is spectacular

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Mar 8, 2020

Typical seasonal resort town. Lots of sport shops and tour shops. Lots of young people. Beautiful location on the lake. Busy downtown area.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 4, 2020

A beautiful town with a 360 degree view. Nothing disappoints.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Mar 1, 2020

Varied activities are available as well as shopping, restaurants, and bars.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Feb 28, 2020

Jack’s Point Golf Club is spectacular!

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Feb 17, 2020

Busy and touristy We preferred Te Anau to Queenstown

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Queenstown

Image for Find Adventure on these Top Bucket List Trips

Find Adventure on these Top Bucket List Trips

Find Adventure on these Top Bucket List Trips
Image for Active outdoor adventures in Queenstown, New Zealand

Active outdoor adventures in Queenstown, New Zealand

Active outdoor adventures in Queenstown, New Zealand
Image for 10 of the world’s top-notch ski destinations

10 of the world’s top-notch ski destinations

10 of the world’s top-notch ski destinations

Cities near Queenstown

Wanaka featuring street scenes as well as a small group of people

Wanaka

South Island which includes jet skiing and boating

Arthur's Point

Arrowtown showing a park and hiking or walking as well as a couple

Arrowtown

Glenorchy which includes mountains, wildflowers and a lake or waterhole

Glenorchy