Queenstown Information, Attractions And Activities

Get all-you-need-to-know travel info for Queenstown and recommendations on places to visit and things to do in and around Queenstown, New Zealand.

About Queenstown

Queenstown is a town that is located on the South Island of New Zealand, approximately 483 km (300 mi) from Christchurch, 282 km (175 mi) from Dunedin, and 287 km (178 mi) from Milford Sound.

Queenstown is a popular tourist destination, which has become more popular in recent years. Its popularity is also evident from its growth.

More and more development is taking place in Queenstown, and in a short amount of years it has grown from being a busy little town to a busy city, so much so that it is almost always peak season in Queenstown.

There are approximately 28,224 people living in the Queenstown-Lakes district, so it can still be seen as a town when you compare it to Christchurch. The reason I call it a small city is because it has several fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s, KFC, and Burger King – something many other towns in the neighbourhood do not have.


How To Get To Queenstown

You can get to Queenstown either by road or by air. It takes about 6 to 7 hours to drive from Christchurch to Queenstown.

You can avoid spending so much time on the road by flying to Queenstown because it has a small international airport with flights arriving from Australia and from within New Zealand.

The airport is located in a suburb called Frankton and lies about 8 km (5 mi) from the city center. You can get from the airport to the city center by bus, taxi, or car.

If you want to catch a bus, there are Queenstown buses available. Catching a taxi to the city center will generally cost around $20 to $30.

You can also drive yourself by renting a car and picking it up at the airport.

There are no train services to or from Queenstown. Refer to the article Traveling New Zealand without a car for information on how to get to Queenstown if you do not have a car.


Queenstown Attractions And activities

The main attractions in Queenstown are Lake Wakatipu, the Remarkables, and other mountains and ski fields in the area such as Coronet Peak, Cardrona, and Snow Farm.

Queenstown can be visited during any season of the year because there is almost always something going on in Queenstown and/or many activities you can do.

But my favorite season to visit Queenstown is definitely during winter in New Zealand.

Most tourists visit Queenstown for skiing and snowboarding in winter, but you can do much more in Queenstown year-round.

Queenstown is the bungy jumping capital of New Zealand and the location to be for other adrenaline pumping activities such as canyon swinging and paragliding.


In addition, many activities can be booked and start in Queenstown, with activity operators offering pickups from hotels and motels.

For example, while you could drive all the way to Milford Sound to experience a cruise, if you’re short on time, you could fly to Milford Sound, do the cruise, and then fly back.

All with pick-up and drop-off at the Queenstown hotel you’re staying at. And it only takes you half a day. I did the Fly-Cruise-Fly tour when I traveled to New Zealand alone and must say it was great!

Queenstown is also a good destination for day walks (for example, Queenstown Hill Time Walk) that take you up in the mountains and provide some scenic views around Lake Wakatipu.

And if you happen to get bored in Queenstown, you could always do one of several scenic drives around Queenstown to enjoy spectacular New Zealand scenery, or drive to Wanaka and have fun there.

From Queenstown, you can go on several scenic drives such as the Queenstown – Kingston scenic drive, the Queenstown – Cromwell scenic drive, the Queenstown – Glenorchy scenic drive, or the scenic drive up to Crown Range.

You can even go as far a Central Otago for scenic driving, because it is not that far away.


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