Taxis are a quick and reliable way of getting to those hidden places outside the city centre. You can find taxis all over the city either lined up at designated ranks or waiting for you to hail them on the street. During the ski season, special shuttle buses operate throughout the day to take skiers and snowboarders to the main skiing fields.
The public transport system in Queenstown is bus-centric. You will easily spot the red Connectabuses running around town. They travel from the airport to Queenstown centre and Frankton to Arthur's Point – some even travelling as far as Arrowtown. An all-day pass is NZD$17 and lets you hop on and off at all the main sites.
Queenstown's city centre is relatively small and many of its attractions are within walking distance. However, being in moutainous territory there are lots of steep hills outside of the flat CBD. Be sure to take comfortable walking shoes – hiking boots if you have them – and be prepared for a small trek if you are going further afield.
In an area with some of the world's most magnificent scenic routes and landscapes, driving around Queenstown is an unforgettable experience in itself. Car hire will give you the freedom to roam wherever you please. Parking in the CBD can be tricky because of its size, but there are special zones costing up to NZD$2 an hour.
The Remarkables is one of Queenstown's most famous ski fields, just 40 minutes from the town centre. Pay NZD$95 per adult for a one-day pass and wind or race your way down exhilarating snow tracks. The relaxed resort caters for all ages and abilities and kids under 10 can ski for free. If you prefer something different, go snow tubing in the purpose-build park instead!
Experience the tranquility of snowy plateaus by foot using special snowshoes. A guide will lead you through the beautiful alpine ranges on a half-day, full day or even overnight nature walk where you'll get to experience breathtaking views in total serenity. Make your own tracks, stop for hot cups of tea and learn about the fascinating geography of the area.
Spend an extraordinary evening skiing under the moonlight at Coronet Peak ski field. The slopes stay open on Friday and Saturday until 9pm. With the snow dazzling under the track lights and the stars sparkling above, this is a truly memorable experience. Warm up with a mulled wine or hot chocolate at the bar afterwards, which also stays open late.
Take an exhilarating helicopter ride over the Southern Alps, marveling at the scale of the mountains beneath. Get dropped off at the top and you'll find there's only one way out! Glide over the virgin snow at a thrilling pace all the way to the bottom on skis or snowboard. Then start all over again! Harris Mountain Heli-Ski prices start at NZD$795 per person
Dive feet first into your ski trip at The Remarkables, forty minutes from Queenstown centre by snow shuttle. Start off on some gentler terrain and ease into the day. Before long you'll be soaring down the slopes at exhilarating speeds. Stop for a break around lunch at the resort cafe to refuel, before getting back onto the powder in a snow tube and whizzing down the man-made lanes. That evening, head to Wai Waterfront to indulge in some oysters and champagne. You'll see the fields from a different angle in all their brilliant splendour.
Today you'll be soaring through the air as well as down the slopes. Take a helicopter over exquisite Southern Alps ranges before being dropped on a mountain peak. Next thing you know you're flying down the mountain on skis, roaring across fresh powder. After such a thrilling few days you'll need to give your body some well-deserved time off, and the best place to do this is Onsen Hot Pools. Soak your muscles in a bubbling hot bath, gazing at the stars above as you bathe in moonlit mountain surroundings.
Give your ski legs a rest today, but not your feet. Spend the day and night exploring the stunning mountain ranges by way of the snowshoe! On your overnight guided tour you'll learn all about this magnificent region at a leisurely walking pace, stopping for cups of tea along the way and drawing in some fresh alpine air. That night you'll huddle around a log fire and feast of warming camp food. This experience is totally unique, spectacular and the sight of the sunrise over the mountaintops is absolute bliss.
Today, head over to exciting Coronet Peak, just 20 minutes' drive from the town centre. Most of this terrain is for thrill-seekers, not the faint-hearted. Speed left, right, up and around this rollercoaster of a field that has world-class facilities to suit a seasoned skier. For those that aren't as confident, there are some dedicated learner fields as well. If you're there on a Friday or Saturday, stay until 9pm to experience skiing by night, where the paths are lit up and the ski fields look magical.
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