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Queenstown Tourism: Plan Your Trip to Queenstown

A playground for adrenaline-junkies, oenophiles, and nature-seekers
Staggering beauty and heart-pumping thrills await in the resort town of Queenstown, which is also known for its Hobbits—much of the Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed in the area. Outdoor enthusiasts come here for the kayaking, bungee jumping, jetboating, white-water rafting, hiking, and skiing. More mild-mannered adventurers can take a quiet cruise through nearby Milford Sound, part of the Fiordland National Park World Heritage area, or sample South Island pinot noir from one of the region's 75 wineries.

Travel Advice

Essential Queenstown

Queenstown Is Great For

A shot of adrenaline

Easygoing exploration

Flying like a bird

Queenstown Travel Guide

Travelers' pro tips for experiencing Queenstown

Chris O
Spend as much time outdoors as possible in this gorgeous patch of paradise.
When skiing, hire boots and skis for 2-3 days in Queenstown and take them to the ski-fields. Much better than queuing up each day at the ski resorts.
Madison S
Remember to carry water, sunscreen, and bug spray with you, especially in the harsh heat of summer.
Hills, hills and more hills. Carefully check where your accommodation is located if you do not like to walk up and down steep hills. There are lots of places on the flat area and even more up the hills.
Chris O
Whenever a Kiwi offers a suggestion on where to get the best coffee, take note! They take their cuppa extremely seriously.

In the words of those who've been there before ...

Madison S
A visit to Queenstown is usually a high-energy adventure. With sunny vineyards, beautiful terrain, and tons of outdoor activities — from extreme sports to leisurely hikes — Queenstown offers something for everyone.
Chris O
Queenstown is one of the world's most beautiful places and a premier destination for lovers of practically any outdoor activity imaginable.
Queenstown is full of fun, adventure and chill-out time for the whole family; travelers and locals alike.
Monica U
Queenstown has been branded "the adventure capital of New Zealand," for activities that range from adrenaline-pumping bungy-jumping to canyon swinging, and whitewater rafting. Plus, you can get back to nature by trekking or canoeing in Lake Wakatipu. All in all, Queenstown is the place to go if you love the great outdoors.

What is the best way to get there?


Queenstown Airport is around a 10-minute drive from downtown Queenstown and served by domestic and international flights.


It’s around a six-hour drive—through some of the South Island’s most spectacular scenery—from Christchurch to Queenstown.


Operators including InterCity and Newmans Coach Lines provide daily connections from Christchurch, Dunedin, and beyond.

Do I need a visa?

If you’re visiting New Zealand from overseas, check the New Zealand Immigration authority to see if you need a visa.

When is the best time to visit?

The southern hemisphere’s summer (December through February) is the best time to visit Queenstown. This time of year promises long, sunny days and plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoor activities for which Queenstown is known. Average summer highs are between 68°F (20 °C) in December to 71°F (22 °C) in March. You should also consider a visit in the spring; it's less crowded and the temperatures (between 55 and 64 °F, or 13 and 18 °C) are still comfortable.

By Foot

Queenstown’s compact downtown area is very walkable.


While unnecessary within Queenstown itself, if you are planning to venture farther into the surrounding region, renting a car is a good idea.


Orbus is Queenstown’s local bus service. You can pay a flat rate fare or get a refillable card (GoCard), which gets you discounted fares. If you intend to take two or more bus trips, you’ll save money with the card.

More information here.


Taxis are generally inexpensive in Queenstown and many have capped fare rates. Call ahead of time.


Uber is available in Queenstown on your smartphone.

On the ground
What is the timezone?
Pacific/Auckland Time Zone
What are the voltage/plug types?
The standard voltage in New Zealand is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. The plug has two flat pins in a V-shape with a grounding pin. The plug has two round pins.
What is the currency?
The New Zealand Dollar.
Are ATMs readily accessible?
Are credit cards widely accepted?
How much do I tip?
Tips are not expected but New Zealanders typically give 10 percent for exceptional service.

Are there local customs I should know?

The federal legal age for buying and drinking alcohol is 18 years old.
Walk to the left of the sidewalk and step off to the side of the sidewalk if you want to stop to check your phone, look up directions or want to take in a view.
It is free to camp around most of New Zealand. But take your trash with you; the fines are heavy.
New Zealanders are generally respectful of the environment and expect the same of visitors.
Public transit
Let passengers off before boarding. Offer your seat to elderly and pregnant people and to those with disabilities.
Say Hello
New Zealanders are friendly and happy to strike up a conversation with strangers.
Take off your shoes when entering a local’s home.

Find more information about local customs and etiquette in the New Zealand generally here.

Frequently Asked Questions about Queenstown

Some of the most popular restaurants in Queenstown include:

Queenstown is known for some of its popular attractions, which include:

If you're a more budget-conscious traveler, then you may want to consider traveling to Queenstown between March and May, when hotel prices are generally the lowest. Peak hotel prices generally start between September and November.