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Few towns in the world — if any — have so dramatic a setting as Queenstown, on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and backed by the constantly dramatic ‘Remarkables’ Mountains.

With a colorful history of Māori pounamu (jade) hunting and gold mining, Queenstown has always drawn on its surrounding landscapes to attract visitors and residents alike.

More recently it has proudly proclaimed itself the ‘adventure capital of the world’ and it’s hard to argue with this due to the sheer number of high adrenaline adventures available among the surrounding Southern Alps. While any trip to Queenstown should involve some form of outdoor adventure, there is every opportunity to witness the mountains first-hand without being suspended from a bungee cord.

Many visitors find it is quite enough to simply relax and drink in the ‘once in a lifetime’ scenery from one of the cafés on the lakeshore.

Local activities

Jet boat on the Dart RiverFrom Māori pounamu hunters to European gold prospectors, Queenstown has always been attractive for those in pursuit of bounty. Now this beautiful outdoor playground appeals to people seeking adventure and excitement, with a wealth of activities including mountain biking, bungee jumping, skydiving, hang-gliding, jet boating — the opportunities are endless.

Queenstown hosts a wealth of sporting events and festivals, of note the New Zealand Open golf championships and a selection of international skiing competitions. For those who prefer a more sedate pace there is still plenty of choice, from golfing and fishing to hiking and riding.

Regardless of how you choose to spend it, every day closes the same way, with the sight of the sun setting over the lake, casting a tincture of red across the Remarkables.

Nomad Safaris

Nomad Safaris are the local experts for getting you out and about in some of Queenstown’s most inaccessible scenery. With roads such as Skippers Canyon being closed to rental vehicles, this is the best way to explore the Queenstown backcountry.

Much of the landscape was used in the filming of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and there is also a wealth of gold-mining history in the area, putting a historical spin on an exhilarating experience. Nomad operate with the approval of the Department of Conservation, and are actively involved in the preservation of the historical areas.

Speak to someone
who's been there
Audley specialist Haley

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Queenstown by contacting one of our New Zealand specialists

Suggested itineraries featuring Queenstown

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Queenstown, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Queenstown

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Queenstown

    Accommodation choices for Queenstown

    We've selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Queenstown. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    Ideas for experiencing Queenstown

    Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Queenstown, and which use the best local guides.

    • Routeburn Track — 3 Days
      Lake McKerrow, Hollyford Track

      Routeburn Track — 3 Days

      Routeburn Track — 3 Days

      Climb a well-graded track to Key Summit, where you can sit among the alpine plants and partake in 'The Annual General Meeting of the Mountains'. You then descend to Lake Howden before gradually climbing through lush silver beech forest to the base of Earland Falls: quite a sight in wet weather!

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    • TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak High Country Farm
      TSS Earnslaw, Queenstown

      TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak High Country Farm

      TSS Earnslaw cruise to Walter Peak High Country Farm

      Affectionately known as the 'Lady of the Lake', the TSS Earnslaw has been steaming the length of Lake Wakatipu since 1912. You can watch sheepdogs in action, see the shearing or even try your hand at wool spinning. After morning or afternoon tea you then steam back to Queenstown.

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    • Shotover River Jet Boat
      Shotover River, Queenstown

      Shotover River Jet Boat

      Shotover River Jet Boat

      The Shotover Jet is an adrenaline fuelled jet boat trip through the Shotover Canyon, which towers over you on either side. Skim around crags and boulders and then enjoy the sensation as the boat spins around 360 degrees in its own length.

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    • 4x4 Safari of Scenes
      Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown

      4x4 Safari of Scenes

      4x4 Safari of Scenes

      The perfect tour for those who want the thrills of an off-road adventure but also want to discover exciting 'Lord of the Rings' film locations.

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    • Dart River Wilderness Safari
      Jet boat on the Dart River

      Dart River Wilderness Safari

      Dart River Wilderness Safari

      Board the Dart River jet-boat on a white-knuckle ride for an hour and a half up the narrow, meandering waterway, into real wilderness country.

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