Queenstown Central

Visit Queenstown Central, NZ

Queenstown is the largest centre in the Central Otago region, about 3.5 hours’ drive west of the city of Dunedin. Founded in the late 1800s, the town is situated on the side of Lake Wakatipu, beneath spectacular peaks.

Follow the links below to see New Zealand Ski Itineraries in the Queenstown region


The combination of unspoiled mountain, lakes and rivers makes Queenstown a visually memorable landscape, which has featured in moves such as Lord of the Rings. The region was the site of a gold rush in the late 1800s. Remnants of mines and buildings from this time add historical depth, contrasting with modern developments such as luxury hotels and golf courses.

Queenstown is known as the “adventure capital” of New Zealand, and offers a huge range of exciting tours and activities on lakes and rivers and in the mountains, such as white-water rafting, water-skiing, paragliding, climbing, mountaineering and skiing.

Accommodation in Queenstown Central (NZ)

Queenstown has a wide range of accommodation for travellers on any budget, from holiday parks, backpacker lodges and bed & breakfast establishments to luxury hotels and lodges, self-contained apartments and holiday homes.

Some popular activities provide overnight accommodation at farms, mountain huts, and on-board lake cruising vessels.

Transport around Queenstown Central

Queenstown’s remote location makes for a long journey by road from Christchurch or Dunedin. However, it is a very scenic journey enjoyed by those who travel by rental car or motor home.

Coach services regularly travel to and from Queenstown at all times of year.

Air travel is the best option for visitors who wish to maximise their length of stay. Queenstown International Airport serves flights daily from Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Sydney.

Shuttle and taxi services provide transport within Queenstown and to and from nearby destinations, such as Arrowtown. Water taxis are available for journeys to and from other locations on Lake Wakatipu. And mountain bikes are available for rental.

Tourist Activities around Queenstown Central

Adventure activities around Queenstown include bungy jumps, giant swing and zip line rides, rock climbing and abseiling, white-water rafting, river boarding and kayaking, and mountaineering.

Family entertainments include a trolley-luge, ice skating, mini-golf and cinema. There are also many interesting day tours suitable for people of all ages, including trips to historic villages. Queenstown also has great shopping, with numerous art and craft galleries selling fine art and local products such as wool knits and greenstone carvings.

Queenstown has a wide range of restaurants and bars, and is renowned for its vibrant nightlife, especially in ski season. There are also several health and beauty spas.

Water-based activities include water-skiiing, parasailing, jet boat safaris on fast-flowing rivers, and luxury cruises on Lake Wakatipu, some of which stay overnight at destinations such as Walter’s Peak Station.

Among the land-based activities available are mountain bike, motorcycle, quad bike (ATV), four-wheel drive, and horse trekking tours. Scenic flights by aeroplane or helicopter or hot-air balloon are a great way to see the lakes and mountains of the Southern Alps, and some helicopter operators will take passengers to mountain biking and skiing areas not served by road or chairlift.

The skiing seasons runs from late June to October each year. Queenstown is close to a number of well-equipped ski areas, with downhill and Nordic style skiing for novice and advanced skiers alike. Queenstown’s Winter Festival is a celebration of skiing and winter sports – a very popular time of year to visit.

Golfing in the Queenstown area is very popular, with four courses in the immediate area. Two of them considered among New Zealand’s best courses, and regularly host international tournaments.

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Queenstown Central