Queenstown Ski Information
Queenstown is a major party town, thanks in part to its laid-back culture and backpacker community; so visitors won't have to walk far before stumbling across a bar.
For a truly wintry experience, wrap up in a hooded Eskimo jacket (provided) and step into Queenstown's own Minus 5 Ice Bar (tel: +64 3 442 6050; www.minus5icebar.com), which stays at a chilly -5˚C (23˚F) and is made entirely of ice.
Après-ski in Queenstown doesn't come much quirkier than The Find (tel: +64 3 442 6757; www.theworldbar.com/queenstown), which sells cocktails by the teapot.
If you're after a more relaxed vibe, curl up on the great leather sofas in The Bunker (tel: +64 3 441 8030), which has an open fireplace.
There are nearly 200 different venues to dine out in Queenstown so it's no surprise that it's possible to find a different type of cuisine every night of the week; be it sushi, Thai, Turkish, pizza, pub food, fine dining or hearty New Zealand fare.
For delicious gourmet burgers with creative names such as Tropical Swine and Cockadoodle Oink, head to Fergburger (tel: +64 3 441 1232; www.fergburger.com). Or, try Winnie's (tel: +64 3 442 8635; www.winnies.co.nz), which is famous not just for its tasty pizzas but also for its retractable roof.
For something a little different, Lone Star Cafe & Bar (tel: +64 3 442 9995; www.lonestar.co.nz) gets consistently good reviews for its eclectic menu, with a South West North American theme.
If you are craving more of a local flavour, Vknow (tel: +64 3 442 5444; www.vknow.co.nz) serves tasty meat dishes perfectly complemented by an excellent New Zealand wine menu.
Beyond the slopes
Queenstown is a buzzing city, and major year-round tourist destination with winter sports just one of many activities and experiences available.
The city is of course world famous for its high adrenaline options. It is home to the world's first permanent commercial bungee jump (www.bungy.co.nz) and its modern variants, such as the giant bungee swing. But the fun doesn't stop there; pulses will race during an aerobatic flight, or while jet boating, skydiving, snowmobiling, canyoning, heli-skiing or paragliding.
More sedate activities include a ride in the Skyline gondola in the town for wonderful views, a steamer trip on the lake, or a bus ride to nearby Arrowtown (www.arrowtown.com) with its picturesque Main Street and old gold-mining town charm.
Queenstown is also at the heart of a major wine making region, known in particular for its Central Otago Pinot Noir, with more than 200 vineyards in the vicinity, several of which are open for winter visitor tours. The Chard Farm Winery (+64 34 418 452; www.chardfarm.co.nz) for example is open seven days a week for wine tastings.
Further afield, it's worth visiting Milford Sound (www.milford-sound.co.nz), the site of a fabulous fjord, which is best seen on a boat or sea-kayaking tour.
Queenstown is an excellent choice for families. The gentle slopes are ideal for young skiers, and there are plenty of affordable eating and sleeping options within the town. There are also plenty of activities, such as a fun tubing park for the whole family to enjoy.
On both mountains, the Skiwiland Early Learning Centres (tel: +64 3 442 4692 in Coronet Peak; tel: +64 3 442 4928 in The Remarkables) have crèches for children aged three months to five years. Kids aged between six and 17 can enjoy full-day programmes, including lunch and supervision or afternoon-only kids' group lessons.
Lift passes are free at Coronet Peak to those aged six and under, while at The Remarkables kids aged 10 and under receive free day lift tickets.
Queenstown has more than just ski shops (although there are plenty of those too). The town has a host of photographic shops, art galleries, jewellers, fashion boutiques, bookshops and craft shops to explore.
Among the many retail options is In the Pink (tel: +64 3 441 1525; www.inthepink.co.nz), a funky design store selling an eclectic range of gifts.
No visit to Queenstown is complete without doing the original commercial bungee jump at Kawarau Bridge. Alternatively, dive headfirst from the 134m-high (440ft) Nevis Highwire, one of the highest bungees in the world. Both adrenaline-fuelled experiences are available from AJ Hackett Bungee (tel: +64 800 286 4958; www.bungy.co.nz).
Although it's failed to diminish its great beauty, Queenstown has been a hotbed of property development in the past few years with many new lakeside luxury apartments and accommodation options on offer. Among these is a large choice of large, luxury hotels, all boasting great facilities.
Eichardt's Private Hotel
Eichardt's Private Hotel is made up of five opulent suites in a historic lakefront building. Its cocktail bar is popular with locals and visitors alike.Address: , Marine Parade, Queenstown, 9300
Telephone: +64 3 441 0450
The Dairy Private Luxury Hotel
This private luxury accommodation houses 13 en-suite bedrooms and is located just one minute from Queenstown centre.Address: , Cnr Brecon and Isle Streets, Queenstown, 9300
Telephone: +64 3 442 5164
The Bella Vista is an affordable motel with the added luxury of heated blankets (ideal for winter!). The hotel is located within minutes of the resort centre but still boasts a relatively quiet location.Address: , 36 Robins Road, Fernhill, 9300
Telephone: +64 800 235 528
Tanoa Aspen Hotel
Tanoa Aspen Hotel offers hotel rooms and apartments (including kitchen/dining facilities) with fantastic views over Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables mountain range.Address: , 139 Fernhill Road, Fernhill, 9300
Telephone: +64 3 441 0097
A complex of nine self contained villas with a central building containing a restaurant, the Azur is situated within a 1.4 hectare (3.5 acre) private site off Lake Wakatipu, a five-minute drive from downtown Queenstown.Address: , 23 MacKinnon Terrace, Queenstown, 9300
Telephone: +64 3 409 0588
A comfy backpacker hostel with an open fire in the communal living room, Alpine Lodge provides ski/board storage and free internet access. Doubles, twins and dorms are available.Address: , 13 Gorge Road, Queenstown, 9300
Telephone: +64 3 442 7200