Attractions And Things To Do In Queenstown, New Zealand
Location: South West of New Zealand’s South Island
Currency: NZD, New Zealand Dollars
Short History: Before the Europeans settled in Queenstown, the Maori used to visit seasonally to hunt Moa (an extinct bird) and gather green stone. When gold was discovered in the Arrow River in 1860, people came from across the world just to dig for gold. Today it’s known as the adventure capital of the world and draw thousands of tourists every year.
Queenstown Travel Guide
What used to be a small village has now turned into the bustling hub for nature-loving adventures.
Beautiful nature surrounds the town and you will find many adventure attractions:
Skydiving, skiing, mountain climbing, bungy jumping, mountain biking – you name they have it - but don’t worry Queenstown isn’t just about the fun, crazy adventures, there are also many beautiful things to see and fun things to do without added adrenaline.
Attractions – What To See & Do:
Most activities here include some type of outdoor adventure, and for the fearless this is pure paradise. Queenstown itself is a very small town, and many of the things to see and do are within the wider Queenstown area, so be aware that you’ll have to get yourself outside the actual city center to enjoy many of the activities and history.
Here are some great things to do and places to visit on your stay in Queenstown:
Queenstown Hill: Queenstown hill is a great place to spend a day. Take the gondola or hike up the Queenstown hill (it takes about 2 hours to walk the whole way up – yup we tested this!), enjoy the amazing scenery and take a few rides on the Luge. If you dare you can also try bungy jumping over the trees, or paragliding from the hill.
Sheep Farm: Take the 98 year old steam ship (coal-fired) TSS Ernslaw over Lake Wakatipu to visit Walter Peak High Country Farm. At the farm you get an insight in what farmer life is like in New Zealand. You get a tour around the farm, have ‘afternoon tea’ and watch a sheep shearing show.
Arrowtown: Only 20 minutes away from Queenstown is Arrowtown, an old gold mining town. Try your luck with gold panning, take a tour around historic buildings and the Chinese Miners Settlement where some houses are still intact. This is a great place to buy gold jewelery and learn more about New Zealand gold mining history.
Adventure Sports: Queenstown is the perfect location for adventure with its lake, rivers and mountains. Here is a small list of thrills (with a link to each company) you can find in Queenstown:
- Jet boating
- Bungy jumping
- Mountain biking
- River surfing
- 4wd Rally Driving
You can get to Queenstown by car, bus and they also have an international airport.
By Bus – Most major NZ bus companies operate routes to and from Queenstown. Intercity, Naked Bus, Magic Bus are a few examples.
By Air – The airport is only 10 minutes away from town, and you can fly here with Qantas and Air New Zealand. Domestically, there are several connections each day from main New Zealand centres. Air New Zealand flies direct from Sydney and Melbourne year round with Qantas offering a winter services out of Sydney and Brisbane.
An airport to town center bus operates daily between 6:30am and 11pm. Service to and from all major Hotels & Motels, Airport, Sunshine Bay, Fernhill, Frankton, Remarkables Park Shopping Centre & downtown Queenstown. Bus shuttles cost 10 dollars (discounts when you’re more than one person) and a bus 6 dollars.
However, if you’ve booked a tour package for adventure activities the transport is usually included in the price.
Queenstown also has a small local bus operating system called connectabus, which runs in 3 routes. The price depends on how many zones you travel through.
Where To Eat – The cheapest option would be to buy food from the supermarket and cook it at the hostel, but if you want to eat out I really recommend Sombrero’s Mexican Restaurant. Cozy environment and great food that fills you up! You can find the restaurant on the main street among many other pubs, restaurants and eateries.
Where To Stay – A popular hostel with a young atmosphere is Nomads Queenstown Backpackers. It’s nice and clean, has a lounge area with a fire place, free breakfast and even a sauna! It also has a really good location in town, which is always a big plus. Room rates start from 25 NZ dollars.
We hope you have a great trip! Where are you off to next? maybe one of our free travel guide below will come in handy!