Continually ranked as one of the world’s leading destinations, Queenstown is an unforgettable experience. The four international-standard ski fields (all within a 90 minute drive) will impress the most discerning visitors, and the scenery will knock your socks off. Throw in an abundance of off-mountain attractions and you have the recipe for a getaway that ticks all the boxes.
The region is an outdoors-activity mecca, renowned for its hair-raising adrenaline adventures – bungy jumping, skydiving, canyoning, white water rafting, jet boating, and much more… If you want to get that pulse racing, you’re in the right place! To experience the stunning landscape at a slower pace there are a myriad of walking tracks to suit all ages and abilities.
You will find the compact downtown area packed with designer shops and exceptional eateries. Curved around the shores of Lake Wakatipu and overlooked by craggy mountain ranges, the town hums with energy year round. Night time turns up the vibrant bar scene, and the water lapping at the lakefront sparkles with reflected light.
Accommodation comes in a vast range of all shapes and sizes. From cheap and cheerful backpacker hostels to indulgent luxury lodges and everything in between, you’ll find the perfect place to rest your weary bones after long hours of play.
Once you arrive in Queenstown you have the local support of Ski Express staff at the Snow Centre (view address here). Whether you need to check your documentation, add extra ski hire, or book a sightseeing activity, there is someone at the Ski Express service desk ready to help.
5 More Reasons to Choose Queenstown
1. Over 75 local wineries – Central Otago is known particularly for its world class pinot noir. Many wineries offer tours or tastings, and several have excellent on-site restaurants.
2. Historic Arrowtown – charming and beautifully preserved, and overflowing with stories from its beginnings as a gold mining settlement in the 1860s.
3. The steepest gondola in the southern hemisphere – running to the top of Bob’s Peak for breathtaking panoramic views of the lake and mountains.
4. Lake Wakatipu – explore the pristine waters by steamship, kayak, or cruiser.
5. The acclaimed Queenstown Winter Festival – a four day extravaganza of music, fireworks, comedy, street parties, and plenty more merriment to boot.
Where to Eat
Serving super fresh gourmet burgers of legendary proportions, Fergburger is world famous, and no visit to Queenstown is complete without a meal here.
Right next to Fergburger (funnily enough), this is a great place to grab something tasty to tuck in your backpack if you’re planning a day on the go.
Left Bank Cafe
A French brasserie located in the swanky Sofitel Hotel, offering a decadent menu and an atmosphere of unpretentious luxury.
The place to go for a low-key homestyle breakfast, award winning Vudu Cafe is a long-time favourite with locals and visiting celebrities alike, known for its organic menu and superb coffee.
If you need to ease the ill-effects of an epic night on the town, the breakfast burrito from Halo is a saviour (and just as delicious for anyone not suffering self-inflicted miseries).
For breakfast on a budget, the NZ$10 Big Breakfast from Brazz is the best way to power up for a day of action.
Winnie’s Pizza Bar
Head upstairs to Winnie’s, and start your night right with one of the finest pizzas in town. Extra points awarded for the opening roof, adding serious novelty factor to your meal.
Queenstown is celebrated for its dynamic after-dark scene, boasting an impressive number of bars all within close proximity.
Searle Lane Bar & Rotisserie
A laid-back social hub – grab a drink and trounce your mates at a game of pool in front of the fire.
Pub on Wharf
A classic kiwi establishment hosting local live music every night, and toothsome NZ$20 dinner mains.
All about classy cocktails and Cards Against Humanity early in the evening, then live music or a DJ will have you dancing the night away.
Expect nothing less than all-out wild west – saddle-style bar stools, rollicking country music, shuffleboard, and a mechanical bull.
Below Zero Ice Bar
Like some kind of peculiar fairytale, everything in here is hand sculpted from ice – the bar, the furniture, the drinking vessels… Set to a chilly minus five degrees, you’ll be provided with cosy outerwear before you step inside for a frosty drink.