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Queenstown (New Zealand)

Practical information on Queenstown

  • Viewpoint
  • Mountain
  • Ski resort
  • Lake
  • Festivals
3 / 5 - 3 reviews
How to get there
30min by car, to the west of Cromwell
When to go
Summer so as to avoid hoards of tourists, winter if you're after good pistes
Minimum stay
1 to 2 days

Reviews of Queenstown

Delphine Teisserenc Seasoned Traveller
46 written opinions

Hidden in a mountainous region, Queenstown is a buzzing winter resort, both day and night

My suggestion:
If winter sports or a jet set ambience aren't for you, then don't hang around!
My review

After having visited numerous towns in New Zealand, I immediately saw, on arriving in Queenstown, that it isn't archetypal. Queenstown's setting is idyllic, bordered by a lake and surrounded by magnificent mountains that gleam at the first sight of snow. As soon as the winter season arrives, however, Queenstown becomes inundated by tourists looking for a fun nightlife and good pistes...but who mainly want to be seen.

Even if I don't think the town is worth staying in for long (unless you're looking to party), I do think that Queenstown's surroundings are spectacular and worth the while. On a sunny day there's nothing better than doing a tour along the banks of Lake Wakatipu towards Glenorchy, a little village, nestled in a valley between stunning mountains. The walk offers amazing views over a breathtaking landscape.

If you leave Queenstown and head south by foot, you'll find paths that are dotted with picnic spots next to the lake, perfect for a relaxing outdoor meal. 

Floriane Seasoned Traveller
37 written opinions

On the shores of Lake Wakatipu, against the backdrop of the Remarkables mountain range, the town will delight walking enthusiasts and thrill-seekers alike.

My suggestion:
Climb high for breathtaking views of the lansdcape.
My review

A favorite tourist destination, Queenstown attracts visitors all year round. During the summer, tourists partake in hikes and the other activities that the region has to offer. During the winter, ski enthusiasts flock to the slopes of the surrounding area. Queenstown is also known as the "capital" of extreme sports. If you have adventure in your heart, make sure that you try jet boating, parachuting, bungee jumping, white water rafting and other high-adrenaline sports.

I spent a few days there, and I enjoyed the city's lively, yet relaxed atmosphere. To make the most of Queenstown, I recommend that you climb as high as you can in the surrounding mountains. You can take the Gondola cable car or even climb on foot to get to Bob's Peak, where you can look down on the city and its surroundings and enjoy the superb view. 

Be careful though: if you have a tight budget like me, don't spend too long in Queenstown. With its wide range of restaurants and shops, as well as its expensive sporting activities, it is difficult to resist the temptation of spending money in beautiful Queenstown. One temptation you should give in to is the desire to try Fergburger's famous burgers, which are often referred to as "the best in the country." I can't guarantee that they're worthy of quite such high praise, but after a month spent eating stodgy white bread sandwiches, I found them exquisite! 

Emmanuelle Bluman Seasoned Traveller
157 written opinions

New Zealand's maximum adrenalin destination is nestled against a spectacular backdrop of mountains and a lake. Hiking, skiing, extreme sports... whatever happens, there's no danger of boredom!

My suggestion:
If you intend to explore Milford Sound, try to stay a bit closer to places such as Te Anau, as the journey from Queenstown involves lots of bus travel!
My review

Queenstown could be called the city that never sleeps,, with the activities that it offers during the day, and followed by the nightlife that picks up the baton once the sun goes down. The city attract an enormous number of young visitors, especially backpackers craving adventure - and booze!

Queenstown remains a charming city, with a wide choice of venues for going out, and I particularly like the view over the lake and the walks you can take there. I've also had the chance to enjoy a few activities, including a visit to the locations where Lord of the Rings was filmed (a classic) and canyoning in the frigid waters of a nearby river.

The only problem is how expensive everything is - although there are often combination deals that save money if you want to do several things. Finally, just like everywhere in New Zealand, the natural beauty is free, and with both the lake and the mountains here, it is absolutely superb. In winter, Queenstown is also famous as a ski resort!

Tours and travel ideas Queenstown

  • Highlights
New Zealand for families 
Length 13 days Approx. $4,300
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