Queenstown City Guide
Situated between the shore of Lake Wakatipu and several mountain ranges, Queenstown offers both warm water activities and snow skiing. Queenstown is New Zealand's adventure and skiing capital.
With all of those mountains, is it any wonder that Queenstown is a skier's paradise? While you're in the area, you will have your choice of 4 popular ski areas:
Coronet Peak: Just a short drive from Queenstown's city centre, Coronet Peak has beginners' trails and advanced long-groomed trails. There are even two halfpipes where you can show off your snowboarding skills! And if your legs will still carry you, there's even night skiing.
The Remarkables: True to its name, The Remarkables has trails that any member of your family can navigate. Plus there are some great steeps and chutes for more advanced skiers. Located right across the valley from Coronet Peak, the Remarkables are nice and close to Queenstown.
Treble Cone: About an hour and a half outside of Queenstown, you'll find Treble Cone - a ski area with more than 60 runs. There are beginner trails at Treble Cone, but most of the ski area is more suited to intermediate to advanced skiers. Treble Cone rises dramatically up out of the valley- the drive to the top is spectacular in itself and the view is incredible.
Cardrona: Located about 60km outside of Queenstown, Cardrona is a fantastic resort with something for people of all skiing abilities. There are wide valleys with easy runs for beginners down the middle but steep drop-ins off the side. And if you like deep snow skiing don't miss the powder bowls after a fresh dump of snow.
Queenstown offers plenty of other adventures. One of the most popular is bungy jumping.
At Queenstown Ledge Urban Bungy Jump, you'll find yourself jumping 400 metres above Queenstown. You can even jump at night for the ultimate high-air adventure!
At AJ Hackett Bungy, you can jump right over the heart of the city, or you can jump over more secluded areas - like the Nevis River or the Kawarau Bridge.
If you'd rather have your outdoor adventure on solid ground, you can do it at Cardrona Adventure Park. The park is home to monster truck rides, quad bike tours, and buggy rides.
Want to hit the water? Queenstown is famous for its jet boating. When you ride with locally-owned Kawarau Jet, you can hop onboard right at the Main Town Pier, then speed off towards the Kawarau and Shotover Rivers for a tour that is both beautiful and an adrenaline rush.
If you want to enjoy some water fun away from the hustle and bustle of the city, head about 40 minutes out of town to Glenorchy. While you’re there, you can go fly fishing, jet skiing, and even heliskiing!
Worn out? Jump into the Onsen Hot Pools . As Queenstown's only outdoor hot pools, you can sit and relax while your soak in the sights and the fresh mountain air.
To complete your Queenstown experience, head to the Skyline Gondola. It is a must-do for any visitor in Queenstown. Just a five minute walk from downtown, you can hop into a cable car that takes you all the way to the top of Bob's Peak. As you travel higher and higher, you will get to see some absolutely stunning views. On your trip, you will get to see panoramic views of the entire city, plus Lake Wakatipu. As an added benefit, there several Queenstown hotels near the Skyline Gondola, so you can watch the cable cars go by even after your tour is done!
No matter what kind of food you're in the mood for, you can find it in Queenstown. With more than 150 restaurants, bars, and cafes sprinkled around town, you can eat something different - and something delicious - at each meal!
If you love a good burger, you have to eat at Fergburger. What started back in 2001 as a "hole in the wall burger joint" is now a Queenstown institution. You can eat at Fergburger 21 hours a day!
Want something more upscale? Head to the Amisfield Winery, about 15 minutes from the centre of town. The building alone is worth the trip, but eat outside amongst the vines if you can.
Botswana Butchery offers fine dining in a setting that's cosy. The warm fireplaces and the cool wine cellar will make you comfortable enough to order anything - no matter what your diet says!
Joe's Garage started off downtown, but now it sits on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, surrounded by mountains. Known for its "kiwi classics", Joe's serves up good food, fast.
With a name like "The Cow", if you're expecting burgers, think again! Instead, The Cow is downtown Queensland's favourite Italian place. With its hand-made gourmet pizzas, handmade pastas, and homemade breads, is there any wonder why?
Once the sun goes down, the party in Queenstown really gets going. With dozens of bars and clubs to choose from, you'll be able to spend your late-nights in any kind of atmosphere you want!
Minus 5 Ice Bar really can claim to have the "coolest" nightlife in Queenstown. That's because everything - including the bar, the barstools, the glasses and even walls - are made completely out of ice!
The Bunker is Queenstown's answer to the classic underground nightclub. Hidden by a big wooden door in a back alley, The Bunker offers great cocktails and even gourmet food - along with super-swanky decor and music.
At Subculture, you'll find just that - not-yet-famous musicians and strong drinks - all set in a Church Street basement. You'll hear everything from Reggae to bass-heavy music, on a sound system that Subculture DJ's say is the best in town.
If you like funky, The World Bar is perfect for you. Located right in the heart of Queenstown, on Shotover Street, this wooden-clad building is home to unique decor, a ton of beers, their signature "Teapot" cocktails, and a DJ to get you up and moving.
Everyone loves the summertime, but the Summerdaze festival makes it even more fun! Throughout the month of January, Queenstown becomes home to artwork, wine, gourmet food, pool parties, sporting events, and even silly contests that the entire family can enter - like the hula hooping competition.
If you just want to sit back, relax, and take in the sights, you can do that, too - while the live concerts play in the background. The fun starts on New Year's Eve - complete with a fireworks show.
So, where you should you stay in Queenstown?
There are plenty of great Queenstown hotels along the lakeshore. If you are looking for less expensive accommodation, there is a variety of cheap
Queenstown hotels near city centre.
For some of the best cheap hotels in Queenstown, you don't have to look far from the centre of town. Both Stanley Street and Shotover Street offer Queenstown accommodation that can fit into virtually any budget.
If you head further north, down Gorge Road, you'll find some cheaper hotels. You might be able to get a view of the Queenstown Hill Recreation Reserve!