Queenstown, New Zealand is an alpine destination worth visiting for many reasons, if not only for the breathtaking view.
On the shores of stunning Lake Wakatipu and at the base of the high-reaching Southern Alps, Queenstown is a resort town simply soaked in beauty!
Queenstown is full of adventure sport experiences, ski fields, famed restaurants and shoreline accommodations. It is a perfect destination in any season.
When to Visit
Queenstown is special in that it truly is a destination for all seasons.
The winter months of June, July, and August provide wonderful Southern Hemisphere skiing. Spring in September, October and November are less-crowded months and full of blooming beauty. December, January, and February of summer give travellers a chance to explore the mountains and lake in warmth. March, April, and May bring autumn colours with slightly more unpredictable weather.
If you are trying to decide when to go to Queenstown, we suggest choosing what activities you most want to enjoy there and go in the corresponding season. Whatever you choose, you’re sure to have an amazing experience.
What to Do and Experience
The area of Queenstown is known for its “adrenaline activities”!
One such adventure is tandem skydiving offered by the first and longest running skydiving operation in New Zealand: NZONE. This experienced company has been offering exhilarating plunges to earth for the past 25 years and given 350,000 tandem rides to visitors. One exciting perk they offer is a free-fall photographer who can jump along with you and your instructor to take pictures of your descent! NZONE offers jumps January through December.
The Black High Country Experience is one of many famed jet boating operations in Queenstown. You will be taken into the back-country mountains in a 4WD vehicle and board the Skippers Canyon Jetboat at Deep Creek. Then hold on as you make your way down the canyon! Intriguing mining ruins and beautiful scenery will accompany you as you follow the twists and turns. This fun water trip is available January through December.
Coronet Peak and The Remarkables
Queenstown boasts 4 ski areas (or “ski fields”) which are open from June to early October. Sister mountains, Coronet Peak and The Remarkables offer over 665 hectares of skiing between them. A multi-day pass allows entrance to both ski areas where you can enjoy impressive lodges with floor to ceiling windows, terrain parks, a high-speed six-seater chairlift and three ski bowls.
Where to Stay
With accommodations for every budget and style, Queenstown offers a range of motels, resorts, and camping. If you are looking to stay conscious of your budget, the holiday parks in town offer great motorhome and tent sites.
If you are wanting a little more seclusion and privacy, Queenstown offers many bed and breakfasts in various styles such as: lake houses, a 145 year old former hotel, country lodges and exquisite chalets. As for resorts and hotels, there is also no shortage. Many of them are located close to the town centre and some are even positioned perfectly along the shores of Lake Wakatipu.
What to Eat
Being a hub of international travel and tourism, Queenstown has many renowned restaurants serving up genuine gourmet food.
With over 150 bars and cafes in the area, there is something for everyone regardless of taste and style.
For a light breakfast, lunch or to grab a cup of coffee with a muffin or biscuit, be sure to make your way down to Vudu Café & Larder on Rees Street. If you are wanting a casual dining experience for dinner, check out The Grille at Eichardt’s along the shoreline where they use local produce to serve up the flavours of the region. For a spectacularly special evening, climb aboard the TSS Earnslaw Vintage Steamship for a voyage in the moonlight to Walter Peak High Country Farm. Here you will experience rotisserie and grilled meats, New Zealand cheeses and be entertained with a farming demo after dinner, all before riding the steamship back to Queenstown.
How to Get Around
The alpine resort area is well serviced by transportation. Their public transport system includes busses which leave the Queenstown Airport every 15 minutes and take you directly to downtown. You can even get a seven day unlimited pass for all the destinations on the pubic network routes. If fast and luxurious is your style, don’t miss out on Ignition Self-Drive Adventures! This company puts the likes of Lamborghini, Aston Martin, and Porsche in your hands for the day and allows you to explore the Queenstown area at your will. Just remember that roads in the region can be curvy. For a tamer way to see the countryside, hop on the Resort Transport for sight-seeing guides throughout New Zealand’s South Island.
Things to Remember
New Zealand is a spectacularly beautiful country with somewhat unpredictable weather. While mostly mild, there are times that changes in temperature can occur rapidly. In any season there is a chance of a cold spell in the mountainous region of Queenstown, so be sure to pack appropriately with a wide variety of clothing.
As for currency, New Zealand uses the New Zealand Dollar (NZD). Check current exchange rates before you go. There are several places where you can exchange your currency for the NZD in Queenstown. International credit cards can also be used at many places in the area.
If you are budgeting your trip, check out Queenstown’s official website as they conveniently list many of the usual fee ranges for services, activities, and accommodations.
Now you’ve got some great ideas for your trip to the Queenstown, don’t forget to arrange travel insurance as soon as you’ve made a booking. Get a quote today or call one of our friendly team on 1300 819 888 to discuss your requirements.
Categories: Travel Advice