World Travel Guide > Guides > Oceania > New Zealand > Queenstown

Local time Queenstown



Queenstown Travel Guide

About Queenstown

Queenstown’s mind-blowing lakeside setting, beneath the splendid Remarkables mountain range, turns the adrenaline radar up to the max - and that’s before you’ve even booked your first bungee jump.

Adventure junkies flock to this sublime New Zealand town on the South Island to test its claim as the adventure capital of the world. The array of excitement-inducing activities on offer is mind numbing: you can fling or swing yourself from pretty much any available ledge or peak. A bungee jump off the Kawarau Bridge is virtually a rite of passage for any self-respecting visitor (this is the birthplace of the bungee, after all, invented here in 1988 by AJ Hackett). Then there’s jet boating, flying foxes, the world’s highest swing, canyoning, river surfing, acrobatic flights - you name it. In winter, meanwhile, skiers and snowboarders hit the slopes by day and take advantage of the town's legendary bars and clubs by night.

And if all that high-velocity action gets your heart beating a little too fast, you can take it easy on a laid-back vintage steamship cruise on S-shaped Lake Wakatipu or calm your nerves with a few swigs of Pinot Noir on a winery tour. Discover the region’s gold-mining heritage in nearby Arrowtown, or sink into a private cliff-side pool peering over the Shotover River canyon.

From Queenstown, it’s a short drive to Mount Aspiring National Park, a heady mixture of remote wilderness, pristine river valleys and soaring peaks. The park is home to the beautiful Routeburn Track, a two- to four-day hike weaving through beech-forested valleys and alongside clear green rivers, glistening alpine lakes and breathtaking views from a mountain pass. Further south, a kayak paddle through magnificent Milford Sound is an experience you’ll be telling your grandchildren about.

With such a mesmerising panorama, it’s little surprise that native New Zealander, Peter Jackson, decided to use Queenstown and some of its unspoilt surroundings as the backdrop for Middle Earth in The Hobbit movies and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. This is the one set where you’ll want to be the star.

Key facts

A digital image at

Book Accommodation

Featured Hotels


Tanoa Aspen Hotel

This Alpine-style resort offer 87 rooms ranging from lake-facing rooms, some with private balconies, to homely, two-bedroom apartments. There's also 24 hour service, a stoage area for skis, snowboards and bikes, laundry facilities, two spas, complimentary parking, Wi-Fi and a restaurant with fantastic views.

Hotel St Moritz

Within easy walking distance of the central area, this hotel enjoys a dramatic setting with panoramic lake and mountain views. Every sumptuously decorated room boasts a 40" LCD television with i-pod docking station, while there's a stylish bar, dining room and library featuring a stunning stone fireplace.

Four Seasons Motel

All 15 rooms are equipped with kitchen facilities, DVD, stereo and flat screen TVs. There's a 15m (45ft) outdoor swimming pool, spa pool, BBQ, grassed play area, guest laundry and drying room for skis. Best of all, it's a short walk into the centre of town.

Hippo Lodge

This backpackers hostel offers a mix of shared and private accommodation. It has a homely friendly, with accommodation split into three separate houses. Good option for those on a budget.

The Black Sheep

One of the better hostels in town, The Black Sheep is located just a short walk from the city centre. Secure car parking is available. There is a spa pool, two BBQ areas, a pool table and a bar on site, plus free breakfast in the morning. Wi-fi is available throughout.

The Diary

The Dairy is a classy operation - formerly a corner store, this sumptuous guest house contains 13 intimate rooms, all kitted out with designer touches and a contemporary feel. Breakfasts and afternoon teas are a treat, and there are open fireplaces for those chilly evenings. Great packages are available for skiers in winter.