Hiker in front of lake looking at snow capped mountains
Mt Cook

Few cities command such natural beauty as this New Zealand adventure hotspot. Surrounded by the dramatic scenery of the Remarkables and crystal-clear water of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is the perfect playground for thrill seekers, nature lovers or those simply after a weekend away. Plan the best things to do in Queenstown with our travel guide.

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Places to stay

If you’re visiting Queenstown for a winter ski trip, there’s plenty of accommodation options on offer near the stunning snow capped mountains. Cardrona is a family-oriented resort with lessons available for beginners plus advanced ski runs and snowboarding pipes for those after more adventure. Treble Cone, Coronet Peak and Arrowtown are popular resorts to stay near the snowfields with a variety of ski lodges, chalets, apartments and motel style accommodation available, some with free transport to the mountains.

Central Otago is the best area to stay to visit New Zealand’s top vineyards or to explore the historic mining town. Head to the South Island and admire the stunning scenery or world-class hiking of Milford Sound and Fiordland. Our tip is to book Milford Sound Lodge or Knob’s flat in advance as camping options are limited.

Things to do

Known around the world for being the adventure capital of New Zealand, Queenstown also offers a softer side, with its emerging restaurant scene, internationally renowned golf courses and vibrant new wineries. The younger crowd head to Queenstown to ski, throw themselves out of planes, bungee jump off Nevis Bridge or take an extreme jet boat ride, however if you're looking for a relaxing weekend getaway you won't be disappointed either.

Find a spot at the edge of Lake Wanaka and drink in the views, take a scenic plane ride over Milford Sounds, ride the Skyline Gondola or head further up the lake at Glenorchy for some stunning wilderness. A popular year-round destination, there's a reason Queenstown has such an exciting reputation. It's time to plan the best sights to visit and add to your NZ holiday itinerary.


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Mt Michael Lodge
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Hike Queenstown Hill
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Where to go

Romantic stay in Queenstown Mankuka Lodge
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Skiing near Queestown

Queenstown and the surrounding mountains provide a winter playground for snowboarders and skiiers looking for adventure. Cardrona is located between Queenstown and Wanaka and best for family ski trips. Treble Cone is the largest ski resort with a huge variety of terrains for the beginner to the most advanced skier. Coronet Peak is one of the most popular resorts in the regions with a tubing park, making the area a great choice for all the family.

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Lake Wanaka

In winter you'll find the town bustling with skiiers making the most of the famous peaks that are all within an easy (and stunning) drive. The town is more than just a winter destination with fishing, hiking, canyoning, climbing and skydiving all on offer. The nearby towns of Queenstown, Cromwell and Alexandra all offer an interesting insight into the local history of the area. Or for those looking to truly relax, do nothing more than sit back and soak up the incredible peaks and soothing waters of the lake. 

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Getting around

From the airport: you'll find the airport on the eastern edge of Queenstown with bus, hire car or taxis, all readily available at the airport to get you to town.

In and around the city: Queenstown is small enough that you'll be able to walk around town to discover the highlights. There are buses to get to the other parts of town and many hotels have shuttle buses that will ferry you at regular intervals. Hiring a car is highly recommended so you can enjoy the wider region at your own pace.

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