Must see places in Queenstown for visitors
Queenstown is a location with so much to offer. Queenstown is the acclaimed adventure capital of New Zealand as there is the possibility to experience every adventure here from canyoning in Skippers canyon which allows you get great views of Coronet Peak, the famous Shotover river where jetboating and kayaking is loved by tourists, bungee jumping and skiing is also taken on by tourists here. There is also a lovely main town beach where you can just relax and enjoy your time and last but not the least while in Queenstown you should indulge in the famous humongous Fergburger.
One can take on as many activities and places to visit while here depending upon their schedule and preferences. The recommendations here are purely an attempt to bring together the diverse beauty and opportunities for tourists to explore in one place.
Places to visit
The peaks are considered to be the best ski-fields in all of New Zealand. It also offers great trails and tracks to hike and a mountain bike for those who enjoy mountaineering. The views from the peak are spectacular and provide a stunning spectacle of Queenstown and the surrounding countryside. The best time to visit would be in winter from June to August but fair warning, it could get crowded during these months as well.
This peak is one of the highest in Queenstown and there are a few ways to get up to the top ranging from hiking and biking to a Skyline Gondola if you want to bask in the views and beauty of the city. The Tiki trail is the free route to climbing up the peak that begins at the gondola base on Brecon Street. While coming back you can take a detour and take on the One Mile Creek track which takes you through the beautiful landscape of the beech forests and waterfalls. This cable car ride is one of the steepest in the Southern Hemisphere and once at the top, you can engage in a plethora of activities.
This peak is the ultimate destination for every adventure sport involving snow is a haven for those who love winter sports. Snowboarding, skiing, and even night time skiing are taken on by tourists here. The peak has trails available for skiers of all levels. As it is usually best to visit this peak also in winter the best time to visit would be from June to early October.
The longest lake and the third largest in New Zealand known for its distinctive z shape forms the shore of the city of Queenstown. The lake is a great place to go fishing, jet boating, kayaking or just to sit by the lakeside and enjoy the pristine colour and beauty of the lake and its surrounding landscape. The lake is known for its unique ‘heartbeat’ where the water level rises and falls once every half hour for about 20cm. One can explore the lake through the Frankton track which is both wheelchair and bike-friendly for people to access.
Mt Crichton Hike
The track begins about 10km outside of Queenstown. It is a loop-track which takes around two to hours to tackle depending upon the level of fitness of the person. The track takes you through the Mt Crichton Scenic Reserve and the landscape of the sky-high beech forest and you get to the Twelve Mile Creek Gorge while on this hike. Finally when at the summit you get great views of the Lake Wakatipu and the mountainous regions in the Southern islands
This is a very long 110km track but does not require major fitness as throughout the track you mostly explore plains and do not include very steep climbs. It takes you through all the surrounding countryside near Queenstown and you can explore the nearby Arrowtown or even the famous ‘Paradise’ from the Lord of the Rings. You walk by the magnificent lakes Wakatipu and Hayes over huge and picturesque bridges. The track also includes a visit to the famous Gibbston Valley vineyard on the South Islands. The track has around 8 routes and you can take on one depending upon the time you have, the places you want to explore or you could bicycle the entire track as well.
Ben Lomond Track
This is a track recommended only for those with a good level of fitness as this track requires quite a lot of climbing. The track takes you to the highest point in all of Queenstown. The hike takes almost a whole day with a minimum of six to eight hours of walking. The landscape is filled with the beech and fir forests of the region. The only experience of a proper backcountry hut and this is a walk worthy of being one of the great walks in Queenstown. It is an easier walk to take on during the summer months as the peak tends to get very slippery and is heavily covered with snow in the winter. The best time to take this hike is from early December to late February.
This hike will be a test to your fitness as from the get-go on Belfast street the trail is quite steep until you reach the top of the Hill. You go through dense forests and get great views of the grasslands and countryside surrounding the city while on this hike and once you summit the peak.
The garden is the most tranquil and serene spot to be at to enjoy beauty and scenery away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is filled with greenery ranging from trees and plants to bushes and shrubs. The garden is known for its iconic and historic Douglas oak and fir trees and the rose garden is a perfect spot to get a great picture. The water features like a small pond and the fountains are also marvelous to behold in the garden and the location of the garden being at the shore of lake Wakatipu with great views of the lake as well make it worth the visit. For those who want to engage in a fun activity at the park playing Frisbee golf in the Garden is highly recommended.
Kiwi Birdlife Park
The Birdlife Park is located in the heart of Queenstown and is a must-visit place for bird lovers who enjoy spotting and watching birds. The park offers tourist’s opportunities to not just watch kiwis but also feed them. You also get to see the native endemic tuataras of New Zealand.
Recommendations for Lodging
- YHA Queenstown Lakefront is known for its central and accessible location
- Nomads Queenstown Hostel
- Flaming Kiwi Backpackers
Mid range stay
- Mi-pad smart hotel
- Sherwood hotel
- Sunshine Bay
- The Rees Hotel
- Sofitel Queenstown
- Azur Luxury Lodge
Ensure that you have checked the eligibility for your New Zealand eTA. If you are from a Visa Waiver country then you can apply for an eTA regardless of the mode of travel (Air / Cruise). United States citizens, French citizens, Dutch citizens, and United Kingdom citizens can apply online for New Zealand eTA. United Kingdom residents can stay on New Zealand eTA for 6 months while others for 90 days.
Please apply for a New Zealand eTA 72 hours in advance of your flight.