Queenstown, or Lakes District in New Zealand, is a stunning place with plenty to see and do – so there’s no wonder why this place has such a profound impact on people from all over the world that visit. With more than 2000 sunny days per year and Coronet Peak at 1458 meters, it’s hard not to fall in love with this spectacular island!
If you’re looking for a place to relax and enjoy the wilderness while soaking up some New Zealand scenery, look no further than Queenstown. This popular tourist destination contains plenty of attractions that will keep you entertained all day long. Highlights include skiing at the Hanging Rock ski area, hiking in the Glades Valley, adventuring on the Westlandia mine train and touring the extraordinary gorge system on the South Island’s Waterville Valley Railway. There’s also plenty of activities to keep you busy during your stay, such as skydiving, golfing and shopping at local boutiques. So whatever your interests are, Queenstown has something for you.
The Amazing Cliffs
Queenstown is a ski resort town in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. It is well known for its dramatic scenery, awesome skiing and great summer holiday opportunities. With over 1000 metres of vertical descent, Queenstown has something to offer everyone. If you’re looking for adrenalin-pumping adventure, Queenstown is the place for you!
The town centre sits at around 1300 metres and features an abundance of shops, cafes and restaurants as well as a few boutiques, galleries and specialist stores. The main street runs north-south and takes in both the pedestrian shopping precinct and the main ski lift station.
Queenstown’s stunning scenery is attributed to its geology – the area sits on a rift zone where the earth’s two plates are moving apart. As a result, there are big cliffs, deep valleys and rolling hills all around Town. There are also plenty of walks to be enjoyed – try the Northcliff Track or climb up to the Remarkables Views from Luggondale Road. In summertime, head out toisa busy swimming spot or grab a bite at one of the town’s many restaurants. You really can’t go wrong in Queenstown!
Queenstown is an amazing place with so much to see. One of the things you should do is go hiking and see some of the waterfalls in the area. Some of the best hikes in Queenstown are a few minutes away from downtown, which makes them perfect for a quick break or afternoon errand.
Some of the waterfall hikes you can take are Arrowtown Falls (0.5 km), Castle Hill Falls (2.5 km), and stone steps waterfall (1 km). If you’re feeling more ambitious, you can also try a longer hike such as Tongariro Crossing (14 km) or Milford Sound Hike (15 km). No matter which waterfall hike you decide to take, be sure to bring your camera because there’s no way to forget how stunning these spots are!
The Queenstown Funicular Railway runs uphill from the downtown core, through lush alpine gardens, to the top of Mount Aspiring National Park. At an elevation of 950 meters (3,010 feet), it’s one of the most scenic means of getting around town. The ride lasts about 20 minutes and is moderately priced at NZ$4 for adults, NZ$2 for seniors, and NZ$1 for children.
Queenstown’s nightlife is world-renowned and diverse, with something for everyone. With a population of just over 16,000 people, Queenstown has ample opportunities to dive into the city’s nightlife. There are plenty of pubs and nightclubs within walking distance from each other, so finding the right spot to party isn’t a problem. In the summer months, Queenstown boasts some of the best nightlife in all of New Zealand, with endless options for outdoor seating and live performances.
Some popular places to party in Queenstown during the summer include The Roxy Bar & Grill, 2 Broke Girls Pub & Pizzeria, The Bistro at Elk & Moose Lodge, and The Bottle Shop. In the winter months, things get a little quieter, but there are still plenty of places to go out. Try heading to The Lazy Fox Tavern or Pinchgut Brewery for some Yuletide cheer. Any time of year is great for catching a show at one of Queenstown’s theatres.
So whether you’re in the mood for clubbing or catching a show, Queenstown has something for everyone during the nightlife
A Taste of Things to Come: The World’s Largest Skate Park
Queenstown, aptly nicknamed the Adventure Capital of the World, has it all – from world-famous ski resorts to stunning lakeside settings and plenty of activities for those who love the outdoors. The town is home to everything from a world-class ski academy to a skate park that locals and visitors alike can enjoy.
Located just over an hour’s drive from Christchurch, Queenstown is New Zealand’s most popular winter resort and offers amazing scenery with plenty of activities for all ages. Visitors will find world-class ski slopes, many different types of snow parks, more than 40 golf courses and 50 adventure activities including heli skiing and tubing explorations in crystal clear glacial waters.
With its mild climate year-round and endless adventures on offer, Queenstown is the perfect destination for skiers, snowboarders, hikers and mountain bikers of all levels of experience. The town also offers an array of delicious food options ranging from top restaurants serving international cuisine to local cafes with creative menus that reflect the surrounding landscape.
Activities in Brewed Perfection and in IODA Water Park
Brewed Perfection: A must-visit destination for beer lovers, Brewed Perfection is a brewery and distillery that offers tours and tastings, as well as a retail store. The complex also includes a restaurant and pub.
IODA Water Park: With slides, a lazy river, mini-golf, and a playscape for kids, IODA Water Park is an ideal spot to cool off on hot days. It’s also home to the world’s longest indoor pool, which is 55 metres long and 13 metres wide. The water park closes for winter only from mid-December to the following January, but you’re welcome to come visit Year Round.
Nature lovers will want to head up to Salmon River Provincial Park in Raspberry (about 30 minutes northeast of Denare Beach). Here they will find an extensive network of hiking trails and opportunity for birding and fishing. There is also a popular swimming area, which is north of the park. It’s known as Raspberry Rocks and has an easy swimming beach and low tide access, along with camping sites.
To reach it, follow Rte 58 eastward towards Denare Beach until you see Salmon River on your left. From there, bear left down a gravel road which follows the river into the park. The easy waterfront swimming beach is paradise for all aquatic wildlife to dive, swim and feed on small fishes. You’ll also find a lot of rather large stones up and down along the shoreline, which is known as hermit crab habitat.
In this area alone hundreds of hermit crabs are discovered every year. Take a walk back up our main road and look out at two amazing sites: a deep marble pit (inhabited by 5 species of fish) at an abandoned quarry, and the limestone split where Tancook River flows into Salmon River (can be reached entirely on land), which has views to be stunned by! We also have private cabins for those who want the perfect spot to get away with close friends and relax, only yet again a 20 minute drive away at the end of the path.
In summer weekends I can also recommend hot air ballooning or rafting trips along the Salmon River if you are up for some tough physical activities.
Tongariro National Park
If you’re in Queenstown for any length of time, you need to visit Tongariro National Park. With an area of more than 2,000 square kilometers, the park is jam-packed with geology, flora, and fauna – all of which you can see up close and personal on your hike or bike tour. Some of the highlights include the dramatic ski slopes of Skaha Lake and the panoramic views from Mount Aspiring National Park.
Hakataramea Falls viewpoint up on the South Island’s West Coast
Hakataramea Falls is a viewpoint up on the South Island’s West Coast, overlooking the village of Queenstown, located in the Kepler District. The falls are currently not open to the public because of unstable ground.
The English Garden in Tai Tapu
Queenstown is known for skiing, but there’s so much more to it! Head to Tai Tapu for a day of relaxation at The English Garden, which has beautiful gardens and ponds surrounded by Zealandia natural bush.
The gardens have an interesting history – in the 1870s, it was owned by a group of wealthy Englishmen who came to New Zealand to get away from the wars back home. It was originally designed as a private golf course, but when the golf club closed in 1977, the gardens were opened to the public. If you’re short on time and want to avoid the tourist traps, head to Tai Tapu for some refreshing walking and bird-watching!
Leisurely nature walk near Lake Wakatipu
Thirteen kilometers from Queenstown, this peaceful nature walk winds its way through native bush and passes by a small lake. If you’re looking for a short but scenic outing, take the 3-kilometer loop starting from Lake Wakatipu car park.
1. Enjoy the natural beauty of Lake Wakatipu.
2. Relax on a tranquil nature walk near Lake Wakatipu.
3. Take a short walk around Lake Wakatipu for some fresh air.
Glow Hot Potatoes: A perfect end to the night out in town
If you’re looking for something to do on a Saturday night in Queenstown, Glow Hot Potatoes is definitely the spot for you!Located in the heart of town, this hotpot restaurant is perfect for groups of friends or couples. The atmosphere is hip and modern, with delicious vegan and meat options on the menu. Plus, they host live music several times a week, so there’s always something exciting happening. Whether you’re in the mood for Asian-inspired fare or something a bit more hearty, Glow Hot Potatoes has something for everyone!
Visiting National Park or Ouranga Cordery Reserve
Queenstown is a top destination for travelers looking to experience the outdoor activities available in New Zealand. While there are plenty of places to visit in Queenstown, one should not miss experiences at the National Park or Ouranga Cordery Reserve, both located about an hour from Queenstown.
The National Park protects some of the most impressive landscape and wildlife in New Zealand. The 75km2 park is home to native forest, alpine lakes, river rapids and rugged countryside, as well as a variety of birds and mammals including tui, tuatara and kiwi. The Ouranga Cordery Reserve provides an opportunity to view more than 150 types of plants and 16 species of bird.
Whether visitors are looking for a day hike or simply want to relax on a beautiful lake surrounded by nature, Queenstown has something for everyone.
Have Your Footloose in Queenstown
Queenstown may be known for its ski slopes and adrenalin-pumping adventures, but there is so much more to see – from the spectacular snow-capped mountains and glaciers to charming colonial towns and stunning lakeside scenery. Here are five things you don’t want to miss when exploring this Top 10 ski town in New Zealand:
• Take a walk through the colourful Botanic Gardens, filled with cacti, eucalyptus, palms and ferns.
• With views of the Remarkables mountain range, take a hike on the Otago Central Rail Trail.
• Try your hand at trout fishing in one of the beautiful lakes around town – Diamond Lake, Porters River or Wanaka Dry.
• Marvel at the intricate architecture of Dunedin’s city centre, with its prominent kirk and churches dating back to the 19th century.
• Stroll along quiet streets in Picton and explore itsVictorian architecture before sitting down for aqueous bliss at one of Queenstown’s many waterfront cafés.
If you’re looking for some fun things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand, be sure to check out some of the city’s favorite spots. Here are five of our favorites:
1. The Remarkables – Queenstown’s iconic mountains offer hikers and climbers access to a range of spectacular peaks and valleys. If you’ve never climbed before, the Remarkables are a great place to start with some beginner trails.
2. The Coronet Peak Aerial Cableway – If speed is your thing, then take the thrilling ride up Coronet Peak on the world’s second longest aerial cableway. You’ll be reaching speeds of up to 90 kilometers per hour as you journey over Te Anau Lake.
3. The Alpine Cable Car – For views that will take your breath away, board the Alpine Cable Car up Mount Aspiring National Park. Climb up 1,419 meters (4,676 feet) over 27 kilometers (17 miles) of glorious mountain ranges before arriving at the summit.
4. Milford Sound – On a clear day, you can see 115 kilometers (70 miles) out to sea from Milford Sound – making it one of the world’s most photographed destinations.
Things to see in Queenstown, New Zealand include the majestic mountains, lakes and forests. There are plenty of activities to keep visitors entertained, from fishing, skiing or cycling to history tours and nature walks.