On the South Island of New Zealand, between Lake Wakatipu and Ben Lomond, lies one of the world's most popular hubs for outdoor activities. People are drawn to Queenstown by the area's manifold opportunities for hiking, camping, mountain biking, skiing, and exploring. And all this sits amidst the unique natural splendour of New Zealand.
Despite its oceanic climate, visitors can benefit from the snow-capped peaks which surround the city for four months from May to August. At this time of year, you'll see a wealth of skiers and snowboarders speeding down some of the best slopes in the country. If you'd rather take your time to marvel at the glorious scenery, you can always ditch the board in favour of a hike or cycle. You don't even have to bring your own equipment for any of these activities as there are plentiful professional rental companies and outfitters in the area who will cater to your every need. A word to the wise: given the influx of tourists during the snow season, it's wise to book accommodation well in advance if you plan on travelling at this time.
During the long summer days the average temperature in Queensland is a pleasant 25° C meaning that you can walk to many of the recommended tourist sites. When you reach Lake Wakatipu, take a break from all that walking and board the historic TSS Earnslaw Steamship for a short cruise to Walter Peak and a visit to High Country Farm, where you'll get an insight into traditional New Zealand farming. Bob's Peak offers one of the best views in the area and, even if you're not interested in hiking, you can still partake of the view via the Skyline Gondola which whisks visitors up to the top.
If you're in Queenstown for adventure, you may want to take a leap from the first commercial bungy jumping platform in the world; Kawarau Suspension Bridge gives you the thrill of 43 metres of freefall. Adrenaline junkies won't want to miss the Shotover Jet experience either. If you have enough energy left to organise your own picnic, head to the sprawling Queenstown Gardens to round out your outdoor itinerary.
After a busy day, central Queenstown's many bars, hotels and restaurants will replenish your energy for the night ahead. The Steamer Wharf entertainment precinct is the most popular spot in the city to go to unwind.
Although Queenstown can be reached by plane as well as by bus, car rental is the most common way to get around here and is therefore widely available.
Tour, Skiing and Lakes
A variety of slopes for all abilities and some excellent après-ski options are on offer at this ski field just minutes from central Queenstown.
A great location for water sports, New Zealand’s third-largest lake is an impressive natural landmark framed by soaring mountains and encircled by walking trails.
Take lessons on the baby slopes, tear up fresh power at a higher elevation or attempt daring stunts in the terrain parks at this popular mountain resort.
Experience one of the world's steepest cable-car journeys and enjoy stunning views from Bob's Peak across Queenstown and the beautiful Lake Wakatipu.
Skiers and snowboarders will find plenty of inviting slopes at this ski mountain, known for being one of New Zealand’s best venues for freestyle snow riding.
Speed down the winding Shotover River in one of Queenstown's most beloved attractions.
The beautiful setting of Milford Sound is waiting to be discovered on this comprehensive tour. Explore for yourself on this scenic coach ride and fjord cruise. With glacial features, wild flora and fauna, and picturesque backdrops, this full-day tour offers all the allure this region has to offer.
For Lord of the Rings fans, this is the trip where Nomad Safaris really does take you There and Back again. Bring the films to life with our authentic replica props, dress up and take photos, or simply soak up the scenery.
Join our seamless day trip to Milford Sound on board brand new glass-roofed coaches connecting with a spacious purpose built catamaran. Board the coach in Queenstown and travel alongside Lake Wakatipu and through farming countryside to Te Anau where you will enjoy a short rest stop.
For thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies alike, embark on a high-octane ride deep into the narrow canyons of the fast-moving Shotover River on this heart-pounding jet boat adventure. Climb aboard your custom-designed vessel, specifically built for maximum speed and agility, and hang on tight.
Ride through the Gibbston Valley's rolling vineyards to discover the area's exquisite local wines. On this fully self-guided bike tour, cruise along the stunning Arrow River Trail to reach the fertile valley at your own pace, and then spend the rest of the day visiting the wineries of your choice.
Explore the far-flung corners of Lake Wakatipu with a cruise to Mount Nicholas High Country Farm, taking in magnificent views along the way. With entertaining commentary and breathtaking vistas of the local landscape, get an unforgettable look at some of New Zealand's greatest sights.