A true nature lover’s paradise, surrounded by high snow capped mountains and dense evergreens and situated on the banks Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown offers the best in winter and summer activities. Outdoor life here includes everything from jet-boating to skydiving, skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, or simply just walking around town.
Queenstown is a tourist hot spot, appealing to all sorts of travellers with ranging budgets and needs – from backpackers to luxury travellers. And like most ski village towns, Queenstown is also known for having plenty of restaurants and pubs. Its reputation as a party town coincides with the 50 bars and clubs on offer! But, if you’d like to leave the party scene behind you when you call it a night, we suggest you book your accommodations just outside the downtown core. Parties can last till the wee hours of the morning!
Places to Visit in Queenstown
- Lake Wakatipu
Unique Things to See and Do in Queenstown
- Bungy jump at Kawarau Gorge
- Eat a Fergburger – yes it is a must
- Go jet-boating up the Shotover River
- Ride the Skyline Gondola up Bob’s Peak
- Helicopter over Milford Sound
- Take a Lord of the Rings tour!
The “Jewel in the Crown”
Not talking about the outdoor activities here is next to impossible, it is the reason most travellers visit Queenstown other than the Lord of the Rings tour (which, FYI, is stunning and well worth it). There’s just so much to do in Queenstown and most entrepreneurs and business owners have made it their quest to ensure travellers have the best experiences possible. No really, the hospitality here is incredible. The town swells with tourists during the spring and summer months and essentially stays open 24 hours a day. But truly it the physical environment that makes this NZ’s “jewel in the crown.”
The landscape is what brings everyone together, whether you’re an adventure seeker or not, the snow capped mountains, clear deep waters, and lush rainforests invigorate anyone’s soul. And there are so many ways to enjoy it. You can take to the skies in a hot-air balloon, a helicopter, hand gliding, or skydiving. If that’s a bit too high then you can cast your eyes across the landscapes by taking gondolas up the mountain sides, or for the hearty souls, hike your way up. Jet-boating is an amazing way to see some remote areas of the Shotover River. Whizzing through the canyons is quite the experience on its own, and the canyons are beautiful.
A must-do for everyone is taking a day trip to Milford Sound in the Fjordlands. The scenery to get there is impressive and once you’re there you’ll be blown away with the magnitude of the rock faces and the waterfalls.
Getting Around Queenstown
Spotting a bus in Queenstown is quite easy, just look for the big bright yellow bus! Connectabus is the local bus service which offers several services including in-town transit, longer runs to ski resorts/mountains, and airport trips. The scenery around the city is amazing which makes it difficult to leave, so bearing that in mind, pick up a weekly bus pass. It’s worth it and less expensive than other alternatives.
Spotting a taxi is just as easy. Just look for the Blue Bubble cars! The taxis do in fact have blue bubbles on the roof. The two main taxis are Queenstown – Blue Bubble Taxis and Corporate Cabs.
Did you know…?
The Shotover River is known to be the richest gold bearing river of its size in the world.
Did you ALSO know…?
80% of the grapes grown in Queenstown are Pinot Noir.
Best Time of Year to Travel to Queenstown
Springtime in Queenstown offers some great skiing, beautiful sunny days, and temperatures ranging from 8˚C to 22˚C. For the northerners don’t forget that the spring months are from September to November. All the lush greenery means spring showers are needed, so bring some light rain gear especially if you plan on hiking (yes!). This is also a great time for activities like golf, water sports, and snowboarding.
Summers are perfect with the temperatures ranging between 20˚C to 30˚C and long daylight hours lasting until 10 pm. Summer months are from December to February. This is the best time for hiking and walking trails, boating adventures, and winery tours!
Autumn months are from March to May with variable temperatures ranging from 0˚C to 25˚C. This time of year is Pinot Noir time so plan on spending a stunning afternoon at one of the many picturesque wineries.
Winter months are amazing for skiers and snowboarders. Winters last from June to August and the temperatures range from 0˚C to 8˚C. This is a popular time for festivals, the best being the 10-day event of the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival taking place in June.
Ready to plan your visit to Queenstown? Check out these popular guides and trips.