Queenstown in New Zealand is a resort town in Otago in the south-west of New Zealand's South Island. ... more

Tourist orientated towns are often expensive, and Queenstown is no exception. ... more

With four parks to choose from, the ski grounds located in and around Queenstown provide something for all tastes and abilities. ... more

Not only is New Zealand a friendly, diverse and beautiful country. You can learn so much from just being in this country as it is so culturally diverse. ... more


Queenstown Travel

Budget Plans to Enjoy Queenstown Thoroughly at All Seasons
Why spend a fortune to travel the picturesque city of Queensland when you can easily do it through intelligent budget travel plans? The city has pictorial mountains of varied topography, gardens, forests, and golf courses. A panoramic view of the city is simply splendid with Lake Wakatipu alongside the hills – making it one of the scenic beauties in New Zealand and a photographer’s blue-eyed spot.

During summers you can para-glide, bungee jump, and bike while in winters, you can ski, ski-board, and skate board. In short, for every season, Queenstown is an attractive place to visit. With wining and dining facilities along with adventure sports facilities, travelers require a good amount of cash to enjoy such entertainments. As the city is well equipped with cheap transport facilities, hostels and cost-effective backpacker’s accommodations, the travelers can easily save money on comfy budget travel plans. Here are some ways you can do so comfortably.

Budget Flights
Most tourists plan early as early birds have a chance to bag the lucrative discounts on flights. On the other hand, those picking up last minute flights also gain good rebates from the airlines. Round trips would further lower the price. Often, travel deals are clubbed along with the flight tickets. In Queenstown, innumerable flights land each day from Australia. If you can catch such cheap flights to Queenstown from any of plush locations of Australia, such as Adelaide, Melbourne, or Sydney, you would get a comfy yet affordable flight to the city. A flight ticket from Brisbane would cost around 500 Dollars while ticket from Melbourne would be around 400 Dollars.

Budget Accommodation
Queenstown is a coveted zone for youngsters. It is common to find a team of youngsters coming over from various colleges across the globe to pursue adventure sports. To accommodate such tourists, Queenstown has many hostels, backpacker’s inns with dormitories, community cooking, camp sites, affordable bed-n-breakfast hotels, and home-stays. A dormitory bed at Butterfly Lodge would be around 25 Dollars only while Base Queenstown hostel situated near the Lake Wakatipu would be around 30 Dollars. Others in the list that offer similar accommodation include Pine wood, Base Wanaka, Nomads Backpacker’s hostel, YHA Queenstown Lakefront hostel, Hippo Lodge, and Bumbles Backpackers. Lodges facing Southern Alps and other hilly terrain enable backpackers to access the skiing venue quickly and effortlessly.

Budget In-City Journeys
In-city journeys have also been made affordable for backpackers on a shoestring budget. For instance, travelers on budget travel plans choose "campervan" rentals, affordable car rentals, buses, and ferries to ply from one place to another. Backpackers looking for night skiing, can book less costly ski-shuttles. Regional shuttles take people at nominal charge from one location to another in the same locality. Some lucrative affordable car rentals offer a price of 39 Dollars per day for hiring a car. If you are going for a shorter distance, you can hire a bike instead for comfortable yet low cost travel.

Tips and Tricks to Reduce Travel Costs
Look for deals, complimentary services, and special rebates to reduce cost on traveling and staying in Queenstown. With little intuitive thinking and well-made itinerary plan, you would end up saving useful money.

Queenstown New Zealand

Queenstown in New Zealand is a resort town in Otago in the south-west of New Zealand's South Island. It is built around an inlet on Lake Wakatipu, a long thin lake shaped like a staggered lightning bolt, and has spectactular views of nearby mountains.

There are various apocryphal accounts of how the town was named, the most popular suggesting that a local gold digger exclaimed that the town was "fit for Queen Victoria". It is now known for its commerce-oriented tourism, especially adventure and ski tourism. It is popular with young international and New Zealand travellers alike.

The town is the largest centre in Central Otago, and the second largest in Otago, but for a few administrative purposes (such as primary healthcare) it is administered as part of Southland. According to the 2006 census, the usually resident population of the Queenstown urban area (including Frankton and Kelvin Heights) is 10422[1], an increase of 22.1% since 2001.

Its neighbouring towns and districts include Arrowtown, Wanaka, Alexandra, and Cromwell. The nearest cities are Dunedin and Invercargill.

The Queenstown-Lakes District has a land area of 8,704.97 km² (3,361.01 sq mi) not counting its inland lakes (Lake Hawea, Lake Wakatipu, and Lake Wanaka). It had a 2006 census population of 22,956 usual residents.

A resort town, Queenstown is a centre for adventure tourism. Skiing, jet boating, bungy jumping, mountain biking, tramping and fly fishing are all strong promotional themes.

Along with Mount Ruapehu, Queenstown is a major centre for snow sports in New Zealand, with people from all over the country and many parts of the world travelling to ski at the four main mountain skifields (Cardrona Alpine Resort, Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Treble Cone).

In recent years Queenstown's hostels have become a popular destination for young Australian and American tourists. Queenstown provides adventure tourism during the day and a vibrant nightlife scene during the evenings.

Locally, Queenstown has a reputation as one of New Zealand's wine and cuisine centres. Neighbouring, historic Arrowtown features excellent restaurants and bars, and Queenstown lies close to the centre of a small wine producing region, reputed to be the world's southernmost. Pinot noir produced in this area fetches premium prices.

Queenstown Airport has scheduled flights to Auckland, Christchurch and Sydney year-round and Wellington, Melbourne and Brisbane seasonally.

Queenstown and the surrounding area contain many locations used in the filming of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy.

Queenstown has an alpine climate with winters that have clear blue skies and snow capped mountains. Summer has long warm days with temperatures that can reach 30°C.

Queenstown Tourism

Queenstown Tourism on a Budget

Tourist orientated towns are often expensive, and Queenstown is no exception.  Savvy tourists can save money by asking questions and shopping around.  If you are planning on undertaking any extreme activities, such as bungee jumping, ask for an itemised account of the charges.  Often, these organisations will charge you extra for a certificate, T-shirt or video tape of the experience.  You can choose not to purchase these items, making the cost significantly lower.

If you are planning on taking a jet ride or helicopter sight-seeing tour, research the different companies before committing to one.  Some companies charge higher prices for a shorter or less varied experience.

When purchasing souvenirs, always shop around.  Some tourist stores charge exorbitant prices for items that are a lot cheaper in another store.
Queenstown is renowned for its vibrant nightlife and while many aspects of Queenstown living can be costly, this is one facet that is not.  With many bars and clubs offering nightly happy hours and discounted drink deals, a night out in Queenstown can be very affordable.

Swedish Rounding

Many businesses in Queenstown have adopted the practice of Swedish Rounding, where prices that end in increments of one cent are rounded up or down to the nearest ten.  Anything from one to five cents is rounded down, while anything from six to ten cents is rounded up; so an item that is marked at $5.52 will come to $5.50 at check out, while an item marked $5.57 will come to $5.60.

Most businesses post signs at the front of the store notifying customers that they use this practice.  Not all do, so as a rule of thumb, you should keep this in mind when calculating purchases.

Queenstown Travel

Transport in Queenstown

Queenstown is not accessible by rail, but has one airport and many bus companies.  Drivers can also access the town by road.

Queenstown has one public bus company.  Connectabus has routes throughout the township, and also does trips to the airport and to neighbouring towns.  To distinguish public transport from private bus companies, Connectabus vehicles are distinctly yellow.  Fares differ depending on the length of the trip.

If you would prefer to travel in style, consider one of Queenstown’s unique private bus companies.  A replica of the British double decker bus departs twice daily from the Queenstown Mall and passes through popular sightseeing destinations in the Wakatipu Basin.  Your trip includes a driver’s commentary.

The Milford Sound BBQ Bus travels through similar tourist areas and provides facts and stories about Queenstown’s fascinating history.  The bus stops at the beautiful Fiordland National Park for a barbeque lunch.

The TTS Earnslaw, a vintage steamship, carries tourists and passengers across Lake Wakatipu.  This vintage ship provides a quaint experience for tourists.  Interested parties may also undertake a one and a half hour tour exploring the workings of the ship.

The Queenstown Airport offers domestic flights and direct flights to and from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney in Australia.

Queenstown Nightlife

Queenstown has an incredibly diverse and thriving nightlife in comparison to its small size.  This can be attributed to the large student population and glut of young backpackers who are attracted to the neighbouring snowfields.  Most of Queenstown’s pubs and clubs are located in and around Shotover Street, in the townships major centre, making a pub crawl a fairly cheap and easy experience.

For a good beer, try... the Mini Bar, which boasts over one hundred beers from around the world.

For a good cocktail, try... Subculture, a very stylish cocktail bar that provides quality live music.

For a good dance, try... Tardis, Queenstown’s original hip hop bar.  Whether you’re a fan of the genre or not, you have to admit that it’s great to dance to!

For a good time, try... Altitude Bar.  With nightly Happy Hours and activities like fish racing and blind date shoes, there’s never a dull moment!

For a gay friendly bar, try... 12 Bar.  While Queenstown has many gay and lesbian friendly bars, 12 Bar is the town’s official gay club.

And for a teapot cocktail, try... The World, a popular backpackers bar where, for NZ$15, you can purchase a cocktail served in a teapot.  Sounds like a bargain to me!

Believe it or not, this is only a small sample of the venues on offer.  Queenstown’s night life really has to be seen to be believed.

Queenstown Driving

Driving in Queenstown

The icy conditions and steep roads that service Queenstown can be perilous for those who aren’t used to such conditions, especially if you are driving at night.  If you plan on driving through Queenstown, always drive to suit conditions.  Many of the mountain roads have luminous white crosses on the sides of the road to guide travellers safely to their destination.  Poor visibility and steep mountainous inclines can lead to disastrous crashes, so always drive carefully and safely.

The street signs in Queenstown can be confusing for foreigners and many visitors find themselves stung by parking fees.  Typically, parking signs will be marked with a P (for Parking), followed by a number that tells you how long you are allowed to park in that area; for example, a P10 sign is notifying drivers that they may park in the area for 10 minutes.

Queenstown Snow Fields

Queenstown Snow Fields

With four parks to choose from, the ski grounds located in and around Queenstown provide something for all tastes and abilities.

Coronet Peak

The snow fields of Coronet Peak are situated on the southern slopes of the mountain that shares its name.  This was New Zealand’s first commercial ski resort and remains one of its most popular, due to the resorts close proximity to Queenstown and its excellent skiing and boarding terrain.  The park is also renowned for its high speed, six seater lifts.

Coronet Peak enjoys a long ski season and is the last snow field in the southern hemisphere to lose its snow, with the season typically running from June to mid October.  Coronet Peak is the only snowfield in New Zealand to offer night skiing, on Friday and Saturday nights.


Summit: 1650m
Adult Day Pass: NZ$84
From Queenstown: 18 kilometres (roughly twenty five minutes)


Cardrona is situated on the Crown Range Road between Queenstown and Wanaka.  The township of Cardrona was established as a gold rush settlement in the 1860’s and today boasts a gold rush museum that is popular with tourists.  The snow fields of Cardrona are typically frequented by thrill seekers, who enjoy the multiple snowboarding facilities and the twisting and turning Gravity X ski track.
Cardrona is home to the international Race to the Sky hill climb.


Summit: 2 059m
Adult Day Pass: NZ$74
From Queenstown: 57 kilometres (roughly one hour)

The Remarkables

The Remarkables are a mountain range located on the southeastern shore of Lake Wakatipu that dominates the Queenstown skyline.  Rumour has it they were so called because they are one of the few mountain ranges in the world that run north to south.

The ski fields of the Remarkables cover 540 acres of land over three mountain bowls.  As well as skiing, visitors to the Remarkables also enjoy the snow tubing park.  In 2007, park officials introduced automated snowmaking.


Summit: 2 314m
Adult Day Pass: NZ$79
From Queenstown: 28 kilometres (roughly forty five minutes)

Treble Cone

Treble Cone is a steep and challenging snow field located about ninety minutes south of Queenstown.  Recent inclusions to the park, like the creation of a small terrain park, have made the ski field more beginners friendly.  Treble Cone’s ski academy is one of the best in the world, and the snow fields of Treble Cone provide an off season training ground for the national ski teams of Austria and Norway.
At NZ$2200 for a season pass, Treble Cone is believed to be one of the most expensive ski fields in the world.


Summit: 2 100m
Adult Day Pass: NZ$89
From Queenstown: 90 kilometres (roughly ninety minutes)

Queenstown Weather

As you would expect with a town that services four snow fields, Queenstown has a chilly, alpine climate.  Despite this, residents frequently experience clear, blue sky days.  Summer days are long, and can get rather warm, while the temperature in winter often drops below zero degrees Celsius (and in July and August, rarely climbs above zero.)  Queenstown receives steady rain.

Queenstown Earthquakes

The Queenstown region is susceptible to earthquakes although no major event has hit this particular town in times of modern settlement.

Many small tremors occur that are generally not felt but as with much of New Zealand the increasing frequency is an accepted fact of life.

Queenstown is located in the southern portion of the South Island in dramatic and picturesque  alpine scenery. It is a lakeside town on Lake Wakatipu – a jagged 's' shaped and very deep lake at over 1000 ft(378 metres).

Although it lies on no known active fault, Queenstown is however situated between two fault lines, the major Alpine Fault running up the west coast Alps and the smaller Akatore Fault to the east also in a coastal setting.

The most recent earthquake of June 9, 2011 was felt throughout the surrounding regional towns of Arrowtown and Wanaka registered 4.5 at Queenstown. It should be noted that minimal damage or impact was experienced in terms of infrastructure and buildings.

The general advice given by New Zealand authorities as to measures one can take during an earthquake in Queenstown are standard for all New Zealand – except for one notable exception: tsunami. Since Lake Wakatipu may well react in a sizable earthquake to produce a tsunami, people are advised to immediately move to higher ground.

Other measures during the quake include: if inside, drop down and take cover under an available table etc; if outside drop down and cover ones head; if at lakeside drop down and then quickly move to higher ground.

© 2017 Go to New Zealand Agency


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