Located on the South Island of New Zealand, Queenstown is host to some of the most stunning landscape in the country. The town itself overlooks Lake Wakatipu and is surrounded by towering mountain ranges, including the ski resorts Coronet Peak and The Remarkables. Queenstown is guaranteed to take your breath away as you wake up to the sun breaking over the lake and mountains, and in the evening as the sunset lights up the mountains in glorious colours. Queenstown is one of New Zealand’s most breathtaking destinations, always buzzing with activities such as jet boating, sky diving and bungee jumping as well as the world class winter activities such as skiing and heli-skiing. Queenstown is a perfect destination for singles, couples, families, groups of friends and work getaways, with a range of options to suit all types of traveller from budget accommodation through to 5 star luxury hotels. There is plenty to do for both the avid skier or snowboarder, as well as the non-skier. Queenstown itself is a year-round town offering an abundance of shopping, restaurants, nightlife, and adventure activities.
Queenstown has huge variety of accommodation options to suit all styles of travel. From budget accommodation, Queenstown hostels and lodges cater to single and price conscious travellers. Queenstown hotels are also available, ranging from 2 star to 5 star and ideal for couples or friends who are looking to eat out at any of the restaurants in Queenstown. For couples, families and groups who want self-contained facilities or need extra space, there are a variety of Queenstown apartments ranging from 2 star to 5 star or holiday homes to choose from. There are so a great selection of luxury resorts in Queenstown offering 5 star service. Queenstown accommodation deals are available through-out the winter holiday season, however the cheapest pricing is usually early or late in the ski season. It is often better value to book a package and always advisable to book early to get the best price, especially if travelling over peak dates.
Queenstown Ski Resorts
Queenstown is arguably one of the most picturesque destinations in New Zealand, with beautiful Lake Wakatipu in town, surrounded by contrasting mountain ranges for panoramic views from every angle. Due to the fact Queenstown has multiple peaks within close proximity, it truly is a skier or snowboarders dream winter holiday destination! Skiing and snowboarding are the most popular winter activity in the region and Queenstown offers an abundance of options for New Zealand Skiing. Coronet Peak Ski Resort is located about 20 minute drive from Queenstown. The Remarkables Ski Resort is located about 45 minute drive from Queenstown. Cardrona Ski Resort is located about 1hr drive from Queenstown. Treble Cone Ski Resort is located about 1.5hrs drive from Queenstown. Both Coronet Peak & The Remarkables ski resort are available on one lift pass, while each resort has its own unique terrain - they are suitable for all levels of experience and both peaks have learning facilities. For intermediate to experienced skiers or snowboarders we recommend checking weather conditions before choosing where to ski fo rht best snow conditions. For those that don’t mind a slightly longer commute, both Cardrona Alpine Resort & Treble Cone Ski Area are located within an 1 hour 20 to 1 hour 45 from central Queenstown.
Getting Around in Queenstown
If you do not have a car, there are shuttles to get you around town and most Queenstown accommodation is only a short walk from the centre of town. Where possible, avoid driving into town as parking is very limited and is most is metered. The local shuttle to get around Queenstown picks up and drops off from most hotels & resorts. There is a small charge for the local shuttle bus. Queenstown does offer transfers from most Queenstown hotels to Coronet Peak Ski Resort, The Remarkables Ski Resort, Cardrona Ski Resort and Treble Cone Ski Resort on a daily basis. These can be pre booked for guaranteed seating.
How to get to Queenstown
Flight time to Queenstown is roughly 3 hours from Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney. Flying into Queenstown can be quite expensive and often it is recommended to compare prices flying into Dunedin and Christchurch. Queenstown is located in the South Island of New Zealand. It is 55 minutes’ drive from Wanaka, 3.5 hours’ drive from Dunedin, and about 6 hours’ drive from Christchurch. Queenstown has the convenience of flying directly into the town, with most accommodations only a 10 minute shuttle from the airport. There are coach or private airport transfers available to/from Queenstown Airport. There is limited transportation between Christchurch and Queenstown and Dunedin and Queenstown, therefore it is recommended to hire a car if not flying direct. Make sure to get vehicles with snow cover, roof racks and snow chains. Ski season is from late June through to early October. Each resort has slightly different opening dates & dates may vary slightly each year. Peak travel to Queenstown is in July and August, so if you are looking to avoid the crowds early or late in the season or outside of school holidays is recommended.
Things to do in Queenstown in Winter
Queenstown is known as the adventure capital of the world. Jetboating, sky diving, bungee jumping, heli skiing, luge rides and rafting. If you are looking for activities at a slower pace, there is an abundance of shopping, dining, hiking, bike riding, Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound, Te Anau Glow Worm Caves and more. Visitors also love the variety of local Wineries & Breweries around Queenstown and Otago, make sure to check out the Amisfield Winery & Bistro, Altitude Brewing or the take a Queenstown Wine Trail tour. If relaxation is more your thing, the Onsen Hot Pools are one of Queenstown's most iconic activites off the slopes, book early as the experience does sell out. If you prefer to have a little luxury in private, The Hilton Queenstown has rooms with private outdoor hot tubs and Kamanana Lakehouse also has the option to enjoy private hot pools during your stay.
Queenstown Destination Tips:
Best Après in Queenstown: Queenstown is well-known for having a lively après ski scene, with a huge selection of venues sometimes it is hard to know where to start, so we asked our team of ski specialists for their favorites! Make sure to check out 1876 for a happy hour drink. Visit Perky’s Bar for a unique floating bar experience on Lake Wakatipu. Stop in for a teacup cocktail at World Bar, sit outside for a relaxed atmosphere or head inside to dance the night away. Or for something quaint, cozy, tucked away option head to The Bunker. Best Restaurants in Queenstown: A foodie’s paradise, not trip to Queenstown is complete without a visit to at least one of Queenstown’s best restaurants! For the carnivores, nothing beats a meal at Botswana Butchery, a deliciously succulent way to end a day on the slopes. If you are chasing a casual meal, late night fix or you are just hungry, Fergberger is a Queenstown institution. Trust us, even when there is a long line, it’s worth the wait (or order online before you leave, and your burger is ready when you arrive). When it’s cold nothing beats a hot pizza and a good beer, so for the best pizza in Queenstown head to Winnies. Make sure to make your dinner reservations early during peak winter dates, many Queenstown eateries book out well in advance. This is especially important if travelling in a group.