With its glorious scenery and exciting adventure sports, New Zealand’s South Island is a much-visited destination for lovers of the great outdoors from across the globe. Situated between the country’s longest lake, Lake Wakatipu, and the Ben Lomond mountain, Queenstown is the region’s hub, attracting everyone from hikers and campers to mountain bikers and skiers, all of whom come to enjoy the captivating beauty of the country.

With its temperate oceanic climate, Queenstown benefits from warm summers with average temperatures reaching 25°C, long days and cool nights perfect for exploring the landscape. Between May and July, you’ll see the snow-capped peaks that envelop the cityscape, making the region ideal for anyone with a passion for the white stuff.

You don’t have to go far to find somewhere to explore. Board the TSS Earnslaw Steamship, take a cruise to Walter Peak, or visit High County Farm for a taste of traditional farm life. Or for incredible views around the region and some great hiking around Lake Wakatipu, take the Skyline Gondola up to the top of Bob’s Peak.

With world-class facilities across Queenstown, adventure sports enthusiasts flock from all over the world to enjoy the thrills on offer. Head for the Kawarau Suspension Bridge where you can go bungee jumping at the first such commercial platform in the world, and take the plunge some 43 metres down. Or you can take a ride down the Shotover River on the Shotover Jet, an exciting and heady jet-boat experience.

Even if you choose to stay in Queenstown, you’ll feel the great vibe around the city in its bars, restaurants and hotels. Check out Steamer Wharf for some fun entertainment as well as plenty of fine local cuisine and wines available for you sample. For a more peaceful day out, pay a visit to the Queenstown Gardens for a leisurely stroll and a picnic in the sunshine.

Situated to the southwest of South Island, you can reach Queenstown by plane, bus or car. Cars are widely available to hire, making it easy to explore the region. Popular throughout the year, the snow season is the area’s peak time with accommodation selling out fast. If you need gear for your hiking or skiing adventures, there are plenty of local shops offering equipment around town.

Known for

Tour, Skiing and Lakes

Explore map

Where to stay in Queenstown

Frankton
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Frankton

Lakes, Romantic, Mountains

4.5/5 (165 Ratings)

Stay in this picturesque part of Queenstown where the airport is located to enjoy spectacular mountain views and relaxed lakeside walks.

Sunshine Bay
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Sunshine Bay

Romantic, Skiing, Skyscrapers

4.5/5 (3 Ratings)

Go for a scenic walk along the shores of Lake Wakatipu in this peaceful suburb in the foothills of Ben Lomond, one of Queenstown’s most iconic mountains.

Top hotels in Queenstown

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Ramada Queenstown Central
Ramada Queenstown Central
3 out of 5
24 Frankton Road, Queenstown
NZ$153
per night
12 Oct. - 13 Oct.
4.4/5Wonderful! (7 reviews)

"Property is still finishing its constructions, but an appealing facility nonetheless."…"

Reviewed on 20 Sep. 2019

Ramada Queenstown Central
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Oaks Club Resort
4 out of 5
171-179 Frankton Road, Queenstown
NZ$189
per night
13 Oct. - 14 Oct.
4.3/5Excellent! (786 reviews)

"House keeping was not up to standard , not enough Carparks and to use the gym/ sauna, need to go to the reception to get the doors open."…"

Reviewed on 25 Aug. 2019

Oaks Club Resort
Image for Heritage Queenstown
Heritage Queenstown
4.5 out of 5
91 Fernhill Road, Queenstown
NZ$204
per night
22 Sep. - 23 Sep.
4.4/5Wonderful! (2,449 reviews)

"Great staff! Very friendly and accommodating.Everyone strives to make certain the guests needs are met.Food is excellent."…"

Reviewed on 15 Sep. 2019

Heritage Queenstown

Popular activities in Queenstown

Coronet Peak Ski Area
Image for Coronet Peak Ski Area
Photo provided by Miles Holden/Ski Area - NZSki Ltd

Coronet Peak Ski Area

4.5/5 (160 Ratings)

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.

Lake Wakatipu
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Lake Wakatipu

4.5/5 (720 Ratings)

A great location for water sports, New Zealand’s third-largest lake is an impressive natural landmark framed by soaring mountains and encircled by walking trails.

Cardrona Alpine Resort
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Cardrona Alpine Resort

4.5/5 (148 Ratings)

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
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Skyline Gondola

4.5/5 (503 Ratings)

One of the steepest cable-car rides in the world, offering incredible panoramic views of the Queenstown region.

The Remarkables Ski Area
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The Remarkables Ski Area

4.5/5 (161 Ratings)

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.

Shotover Jet
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Shotover Jet

4.5/5 (178 Ratings)

Explore the Shotover River and race through the water at high speed on this thrilling attraction.

Top activities in Queenstown

Milford Sound Cruiser - Coach & Cruise Full-Day Tour
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Milford Sound Cruiser - Coach & Cruise Full-Day Tour

NZ$149

The beautiful setting of Milford Sound is waiting to be discovered on this comprehensive tour. Explore for yourself on this scenic coach ride and fjord cruise. With glacial features, wild flora and fauna, and picturesque backdrops, this full-day tour offers all the allure this region has to offer.

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

Milford Sound Coach & Nature Cruise with Lunch

NZ$189

Join our seamless day trip to Milford Sound on board brand new glass-roofed coaches connecting with a spacious purpose built catamaran. Board the coach in Queenstown and travel alongside Lake Wakatipu and through farming countryside to Te Anau where you will enjoy a short rest stop.

Lord of the Rings Glenorchy Safari Tour
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Lord of the Rings Glenorchy Safari Tour

NZ$195

For Lord of the Rings fans, this is the trip where Nomad Safaris really does take you There and Back again. Bring the films to life with our authentic replica props, dress up and take photos, or simply soak up the scenery.

Skyline Gondola Admission & Dining in Stratosfare
Image for Skyline Gondola Admission & Dining in Stratosfare

Skyline Gondola Admission & Dining in Stratosfare

NZ$79

No restaurant in Queenstown can compete with Stratosfare for views. See for yourself with a memorable dining experience high above town. Take a ride up the Skyline Gondola to the summit of Bob’s Peak, and enjoy a sumptuous meal in spectacular surroundings.

Shotover River Canyons Jet Boat Adventure
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Shotover River Canyons Jet Boat Adventure

NZ$100

For thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies alike, embark on a high-octane ride deep into the narrow canyons of the fast-moving Shotover River on this heart-pounding jet boat adventure. Climb aboard your custom-designed vessel, specifically built for maximum speed and agility, and hang on tight.

Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise
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Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise

NZ$249

Step aboard a spacious catamaran to cruise into the untouched waters of Doubtful Sound. With knowledgeable guides describing this pristine landscape's landmarks and wildlife, take in the remote majesty of the waterways and mountains in the heart of Fiordland National Park.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Queenstown

Find Adventure on these Top Bucket List Trips
Image for Find Adventure on these Top Bucket List Trips

Find Adventure on these Top Bucket List Trips

Unlike in stories, adventure doesn’t always come knocking on your door—you have to make it happen.

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