Queenstown is known as the adventure capital of the world, and you can choose from a huge number of local activities to pack some action into your holiday: Queenstown is famous for all things adrenaline, and jetboats, bungy jumping, skydiving, 4WD trips and ziplining are all popular experiences in the local region. If you’re looking for something a little more tailored to your personal taste, bespoke experiences are always an option: whatever your version of adventure looks like, a custom experience can be created to bring a little extra thrill to your Queenstown holiday.
But Queenstown is so much more than a thrill-seekers playground – scratch beneath the surface and you’ll find a metropolitan town, with world-class dining, boutique vineyards, exceptional golfing, fantastic hiking, extensive biking trails, and the dreamiest of photo opportunities at every turn. Queenstown really does offer something for everyone and is a holiday destination for all seasons.
In Summer, guests flock to a large number of hiking and biking trails to explore the great outdoors, and golfers can make the most of long summer days, by getting a few rounds in at one of the five individual golf courses in the area. If you’re wanting something a little more relaxed, spend lazy days hanging out by the lake, enjoying the sunshine (although be warned, the water in Lake Wakatipu is more than a little bit fresh!). The postcard-worthy landscapes that surround the area are screaming for some summer exploration and you won’t be left disappointed. The New Year celebrations in Queenstown are legendary, and the town can be rather busy with visitors, so if you want to see the New Year in amongst the mountains of Queenstown, make sure you book ahead to avoid disappointment.
In Autumn, enjoy a slow holiday watching the landscape change as the leaves burn in glowing Autumn hues. Autumn is a perfect time to enjoy visiting the local vineyards, to pick yourself a bottle of highly regarded local Pinot Noir to sip as you sit next to a crackling fireplace into the darkening evenings. Enjoy the peaceful vibes around town – Autumn is a great time to visit for a romantic minibreak or wellness getaway after an indulgent summer. The Arrowtown Autumn Festival is a great local event to enjoy, but make sure you get tickets early to some of the most popular events on the calendar so that you don’t miss out.
Queenstown in Winter is simply magical – one of the Southern hemisphere’s best snow destinations for ski holidays, there are two family-friendly local ski fields within an hour’s drive (Coronet Peak and The Remarkables) and another ski field about an hour away (Cardrona). The heli-skiing terrain in the Southern Alps around Queenstown caters to all levels intermediate and above, and if you’re a serious skier or snowboarder, you’ll find few activities that top this experience. Don’t worry if you’re not a snow-bunny, as the snow in winter (mostly) stays up on the mountains, making Queenstown’s town and roads easy to navigate without snow chains or winter driving experience and there’s nothing better than a winter’s afternoon curled up next to an open fireplace, with a warming mug of hot chocolate, looking out over the lake and snow-capped mountains. Queenstown’s Winter Festival is a great way to kick off everything winter, with family-friendly events and fireworks in the downtown area. The Winter school holidays are a popular time to visit, creating a bustling atmosphere in the town – this can limit the availability of accommodation, so we recommend booking ahead if you’re wanting to travel in this date range.
Queenstown in Spring is a fantastic mix of all seasons! Early Spring, the ski fields are still operating, but the warm spring sunshine takes the cold edge off of days on the hill. The luscious spring colours of nature pop out, and the landscapes around Queenstown change into bursts of fresh green. Whilst the air is still fresh, the days start to get longer and warmer, and all the popular outdoor activities around the town spring back into action – golf, hiking, and biking are all back onto the agenda, and Spring presents the perfect excuse to revisit the wineries for a long lazy lunch and to start sampling a few summer rosés in preparation for the warm months ahead. If you’re fit as a fiddle and enjoy a challenge, the Queenstown Marathon usually takes place in November, and is a popular event that will see the town packed with visitors – surely one of the most scenic marathons in the world!
Queenstown Airport (ZQN) offers both international and domestic flights and is located just 10 minutes drive from the town centre. Queenstown connects by road to Wanaka, Central Otago, South Canterbury, Southland and Fiordland.
During these dates, when the town fills with visitors, it will pay to plan ahead and book early to avoid disappointment:
A selection of some of our favourite places to dine out for a special treat:
Queenstown has no shortage of activities to keep you busy during your stay. Some of the most popular activities are:
With an abundance of day hikes around the local area, we suggest popping into the local Department of Conservation office when you arrive to discuss the current status of tracks and which would be best suited to your fitness level. Some of the more popular short hikes and day hikes include:
If you’d like some help planning a Queenstown holiday, you can browse our luxury Queenstown properties here or contact us now to discuss your needs and we’ll do all the hard work for you.