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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 colourful history of Maori 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 amongst 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 bungy 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 Maori 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, bungy jumping, sky diving, 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 back country.

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 Travel Specialist Vicki

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.

    • Kinross Cottages in Autumn, Queenstown

      Kinross Cottages

      Medium

      Fine wine, good food and stylish lodgings make Kinross Cottages an enviable place to relax and sample the wines of the central Otago region. Set on a vineyard with sweeping views, it makes a good base for exploring the area.

    • The Rees Apartment Hotel, Queenstown

      The Rees Hotel & Luxury Apartments

      First Class

      Enjoying a delightful lakefront location on the approach to Queenstown, the Rees is an excellent value hotel with spacious rooms and apartments.

    • Novotel Queenstown Lakeside, Queenstown

      Novotel Queenstown Lakeside

      Medium

      This modern hotel offers a comfortable stay in the heart of Queenstown, next to the shores of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by the stunning Southern Alps.

    • Azur Lodge, Queenstown

      Azur Lodge

      Deluxe

      Azur Lodge enjoys a great location just outside Queenstown, truly maximising its breathtaking lake views. The main lodge building is perched on the hillside, with every room facing out towards the lake and the mountains beyond.

    • Matakauri Lodge, Queenstown

      Matakauri Lodge

      Deluxe

      Overlooking Lake Wakatipu, Matakauri is luxury lodge offering fine dining, superb service and beautiful accommodation in a wonderful setting.

    • Heritage Hotel, Queenstown

      Heritage Hotel

      Medium

      With an elevated position on a forested hillside, the Heritage Hotel overlooks Lake Wakatipu. Its modern and spacious rooms offer a variety stunning views.

    • View from the Tahi Room at Hidden Lodge

      Hidden Lodge

      First Class

      Hidden Lodge is elegant and luxurious and provides a unique experience by combining the sophistication of a small private hotel with the warmth of a large family home.

    • Browns Boutique Hotel, Queenstown

      Brown's Boutique Hotel

      Medium

      Browns Boutique is a friendly and intimate hotel with great views over Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu, and is only a short walk away from the town centre and waterfront.

    • Alfresco breakfast, Queenstown House, Queenstown

      Queenstown House

      Medium

      Overlooking Queenstown Bay, with spectacular lake and mountain views, Queenstown House offers charming B&B accommodation with a genuine commitment to providing New Zealand hospitality at its best.

    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.

    • 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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    • River and Rings Horseback Ride
      Hobbiton

      River and Rings Horseback Ride

      River and Rings Horseback Ride

      Dart Stables provide a superb riding experience through some of New Zealand's most breathtaking scenery. You will journey through locations used in such films as 'Lord of the Rings' and 'Willow' whilst taking in the spectacular surroundings.

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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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    • 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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    • 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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    • 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 know 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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    • Hot Air Balloon Flight
      Sunrise Balloon Flight, Queenstown

      Hot Air Balloon Flight

      Hot Air Balloon Flight

      Depart early this morning on your hot air balloon flight over the magnificent scenery surrounding Queenstown. Lift off usually takes place in the valleys between Queenstown and Arrowtown with magnificent views of the unique terrain.

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