Trips to Queenstown

Queenstown for active holidays

Queenstown is located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, amidst the stunning Alpine mountains. It is a popular town with an interesting history. It is believed that early prospectors were so enchanted by the majestic beauty of the surrounding mountains and rivers that they named the town after it.

Queenstown is known for its many activities: you can start your Queenstown trip by taking a gondola up the mountain directly from the town centre. From there, you can see the town, the lake and the mountains in stunning views. Or if you’re looking for a waterfront experience, take a steamer cruise on Lake Wakatipu.

For the more adventurous, there are options ranging from bungee jumping and skydiving to jet boating, rafting, zip-lining or mountain biking, but you can also try more leisurely activities such as fishing, kayaking, cycling or visiting the region’s vineyards on your way to Queenstown. To balance all this activity, the city also offers a wide range of pampering treatments: relax with spa treatments, a relaxing shopping spree or great food and wine. 

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Active things to do and Central Man landscapes

Queenstown is a year-round destination, offering a wide range of outdoor activities such as downhill or cross-country skiing, bungee jumping, skydiving, parasailing, jet boating, horse riding and rafting. The city is also a renowned cycling destination, offering a range of cycling opportunities from easy scenic routes to road rides, helicopter cycling and the steepest gondola in the southern hemisphere.

The Skyline Luge, Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown Golf, New Zealand

Queenstown for the golfer

A trip to Queenstown is also ideal for golfers, as there are six great golf courses in the surrounding area just 20 minutes’ drive from the town centre, three of which are internationally renowned courses. Queenstown is home to three championship-level Marquee golf courses, known for their unique design and breathtaking beauty, and considered to be the best golf courses in New Zealand. 

Trips to the countryside

As you leave Queenstown, the Central Otago landscape reveals itself in all its dramatic splendour. If you’re a fan of the Lord of the Rings movies, you’ll probably recognise many of the landscapes of Central Otago from this region.

Nearby Arrowtown has a rich and vibrant gold mining history. Here you can learn about history by visiting the Lakes District Museum or try your hand at gold panning. At the northern end of Lake Wakatipu, you’ll find rural Glenorchy and Paradise Valley, a quick drive from Mount Aspiring National Park, where you can embark on one of New Zealand’s most famous hikes.

Amstrong National Park, Mount Aspiring, Queenstown, New Zealand

Shopper’s Queenstown

Queenstown is one of the country’s most beautiful shopping destinations, with quality boutiques, big-brand stores, charming streets and stunning views of the mountains and turquoise blue lake. 

We also recommend a visit to the downtown shopping area on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. It’s a compact area that’s easy to navigate and where you’ll find a mix of big brand stores, local boutiques, jewellery shops, art galleries and souvenir shops. This is an ideal place to buy local products such as woollen clothes.

Along the charming streets of Arrowtown you’ll find fine wool shops, local art, high quality fashion and delicious food options. Just a 20-minute drive from Queenstown, this village feels like a trip back in time. It’s a historic gold rush village, offering visitors tree-lined streets and gold rush-era architecture. That makes it a unique shopping destination.

Gibbston, also known as the “Valley of the Wines”, is a picturesque region famous for producing pinot noir wines. Located just a short drive from Queenstown, it is an ideal destination for the foodie traveller. Here you can enjoy wine tastings at renowned wineries such as Amisfield Winery, Gibbston Valley Winery and Peregrine Wines. Don’t forget to sample the sheep’s milk cheeses made by local cheesemakers. 

The best way to get a sense of the creative culture on your Queenstown itinerary is to visit some of the town’s lively markets. Surrounded by breathtaking scenery, local people are inspired to create unique and beautiful products made entirely in New Zealand.

Every Saturday morning, the Creative Queenstown Art & Craft Market welcomes visitors to enjoy live music and find unique, quality gifts. These markets are held all year round in Earnslaw Park. During the summer months, Remarkables Market offers a delightful mix of locally made crafts, gifts and tasty local produce. With a wide range of stalls, it’s the perfect way to spend a sunny Saturday morning.

Queenstown, New Zealand

Day trips from Queenstown

The stunning Queenstown area is surrounded by breathtaking neighbourhoods, each with its own unique beauty. The Southern Lakes region, located in the south-west corner of South Island, is full of diverse landscapes and charming towns. The Southern Lakes region includes Queenstown, Arrowtown, Gibbston, Glenorchy, Kingston, Wanaka, Central Otago and Fiordland.

Beautiful scenery near Queenstown

Must-do activities on New Zealand’s South Island include scenic tours of Milford Sound or Doubtful Sound, exploring the gold mining history of Arrowtown, immersing yourself in the mountain scenery of Glenorchy, tasting award-winning wines in Gibbston or cycling the historic trails of Otago.

Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand

Getting around Queenstown

Public transport options in Queenstown include buses and ferries. You can pay for your bus ticket with cash or a Bee card. Debit and credit cards cannot be used on buses. 

Queenstown Ferries operates a regular ferry service between Queenstown Bay and Frankton, stopping at Bayview and Frankton Marina. You don’t need a Bee card to travel on the ferry, but it’s cheaper to travel with a card.

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