Queenstown, New Zealand, sits on the shores of the South Island’s Lake Wakatipu, set against the gorgeous Southern Alps. I’ve never loved a town so much as Queenstown, the people, the atmosphere, everything. Allow 2++ days to explore this magnificent city.
How to Get Around…
Photo Credit: Juicy Rentals
Renting a Car: This is a MUST while visiting New Zealand, as most of its sights are very spaced out. Be sure to rent/bring a GPS, especially if you won’t have wifi on your phone. For 2 weeks, we rented a car for about $600USD (around $40USD/day). Note: New Zealanders drive on the opposite side of the road as Americans, so this is a BIG adjustment and takes some serious concentration!
RV Rental: Many people rent a camper van/motor home and utilize that as both their transport and accommodation (we’ll be doing this next time!). Juicy Rentals is by far the most popular in town. A standard camper van will cost about $1470 for 2 weeks (around $105USD/day).
Where to Stay…
We had an incredible Airbnb, located just a little over a mile (15 minute walk) outside of downtown with breathtaking views from the balcony. $140USD/night
For $36 off your first Airbnb booking, click HERE:
Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa:
Central located and affordable. $130USD/night
Located a but outside of town, this is a less expensive option, with epic views and the outstanding service you’d expect with the Hilton franchise. $100USD/night
What to Do…
Queenstown is known as the adventure capital of the world, so there is no shortage of activities to do here!
Photo Credit: Google
Skyline Queenstown Gondola:
Cost: Gondala (child age 5-14 years, under 5 is free)
Cost: Luge (child age 5-14 years, under 5 is free)
|Gondola & 2 Luge rides||$47.00||$35.00|
|Gondola & 3 Luge rides||$50.00||$40.00|
|Gondola & 5 Luge rides||$55.00||$45.00|
|Gondola & 8 Luge rides (to share)||$129.00|
|Gondola & 10 Luge rides (to share)||$135.00|
|Gondola & 20 Luge riders (to share)||$175.00|
Hours: Gondala 9am-9pm, Luge 10am-(5pm-9pm)-Seasonal
Length of Stay: 2+ Hours
A cable car that takes you to the top of the town with the VERY BEST vies of the city! Arrive 1.5 hours prior to sunset to capture the day/night views. For dining, Stratosphere Restaurant sits at the top, although we wouldn’t recommend it (it’s overpriced and the food is mediocre). I’d definitely advise having a glass of wine up top with the view, though! There’s also a luge that you can ride down, which is super fun!
Shotover Jet Boat:
Cost: Adult $100USD, Child $53USD (age 5-15), Family $250USD
Length Of Stay: 25 min on boa, 1.5 hours return trip total
JetBoat riding through the iconic Shooter River Canyons…it doesn’t get much better than that! Great for adults and children! Note: The boat departs every 15 minutes. They allow infants (3-4 years), but all children must be a minimum of 1 meters high to be able to ride the boat.
Bungee at Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge:
Cost: $135USD Adults, $100USD Children (age 10-14)
Additional Cost: Photos/Videos $30USD each, Both $55USD
THE place to bungy in New Zealand! Located 20 minutes outside of Queenstown.
TSS Earnslaw Steamship Cruise on Lake Wakatipu
Cost: Cruise Only $40USD Adult, $15USD Child (5-14 years)
Cost: Cruise & Farm Tour $55USD Adult, $15USD Child (5-14 years)
Hours: Cruise Only- 12pm, 2pm, 4pm (&10am in summer)
Hours: Cruise & Farm Tour-12pm & 2pm (&10am in summer)
Length Of Stay: Cruise 1.5 Hours, Cruise + Farm Tour 3.5 Hours
Departs from the Steamer Wharf on Queenstown’s lakefront. This vintage steamship, nicknamed ‘The Lady of the Lake,’ is the best option to enjoy the stunning views of Lake Wakatipu.
Located 20 minutes outside of Queenstown, this is an awesome spot to taste some locally made wine!
Ski/Snowboard The Remarkables and Coronet Peak:
Cost: See Below
|QUEENSTOWN MULTI-DAY LIFT PASS||4 DAY PASS||6 DAY PASS|
$72 Per Day
$67.50 Per Day
$37.50 Per Day
$35.50 Per Day
Hours: 9am-4pm, 4pm-9pm F/S/S
Months of Operation: Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct
Length Of Stay: Half or full day
Located 30 minutes outside of Queenstown, this is THE mountain to ski/snowboard if you’re in town during the season.
Located 1 hour 10 minutes from Queenstown, this beaitufl, pristine lake is a great day trip to just stroll around and soak in the beauty of nature. There are almost many cafes and shops to eat and pick up various goodies.
Located 20 mints from Queenstown, this is another great day trip spot to eat, drink, walk, bike, shop, golf and enjoy winter sports.
Where To Eat…
Atlas Beer Cafe:
The BEST steak we’ve ever had, for an affordable price! Their 22 craft beers on tape are totally amazing too! This was by FAR our favorite restaurant in the city!
Flame Bar & Grill:
This place came highly recommended and far surpassed the expectations. You’ll definitely need a reservation. Be sure to get a table on the balcony overlooking the city. The rack of ribs and lamb are mouthwateringly delicious!
A trip to Queenstown is NOT complete without eating at Fergberger. Don’t be deterred by the large queue, as it goes quite quickly and the staff keeps you entertained with vibrant music, cookies and refreshments. We went at lunchtime and waited about 45 minutes total, including food. I’d recommend eating here for dinner or late night, as I was in a food coma for about 90 minutes afterward. Their hours are outstanding, which gives you a lot of options to go during non-peak times: 8:30am-5:00am.
There are MANY little boutique shops throughout the streets of QT. We even found a Lulu Lemon!
Things to Note…
This is one of the BEST places on Earth, so soak it all on and stay as long as possible! We wish we would’ve had 2+ more days in this incredible city!