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Queenstown – travel guide & visitor info

Queenstown, New Zealand (photo: Destination Queenstown)
Queenstown, New Zealand (photo: Destination Queenstown)

Queenstown, New Zealand (South Island)

Known as the adventure capital of New Zealand, the resort town of Queenstown is set amidst some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world, nestled around Lake Wakatipu with the snow-capped Remarkables mountain range in the background.

Queenstown – what to do

Find our article here: What to do in and around Queenstown: Sightseeing, Activities

Queenstown Overview

Queenstown is situated on the shores of beautiful Lake Wakatipu, in the Southern Alps of New Zealand’s South Island, 310 (1020 ft) above sea level. Latitude 45 degrees South, Longitude 169 degrees West.

Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu from Remarkables Lookout (photo: Destination Queenstown)
Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu from Remarkables Lookout (photo: Destination Queenstown)

Queenstown: Alpine & Lake Magic

Queenstown is a four season alpine and lake resort, perfect for adventurers, leisure seekers and business travellers.
Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and looking out to the majestic Southern Alps the town was so named because “…it was fit for a Queen”. Queenstown is recognised internationally as New Zealand’s premier visitor destination.

Queenstown enjoys four distinct seasons. Summer burns hot under blue skies before cool autumn mornings turn the leaves to vivid reds and gentle gold’s. With crisp, clear days and acres of snow covered mountains, winter is a time for snow enthusiasts, before nature bursts into colourful life during spring.
The resort offers an infinite range of activities for visitors, all easily within reach from the compact town centre. The town centre is just one square kilometre in size and is within walking distance of most major commercial accommodation.

There is gold in the hills and trout in the steams, so try your hand with a gold pan or fishing rod. Alternatively, discover the award-winning wines from the world’s southern most vineyards. Return to town and get ready to experience the resorts buzzing nightlife.

Queenstown’s reputation as the adventure capital of the world is well earned and you can choose to join in or watch the massive selection of safe, yet breath taking activities. In the home of bungy there is something to challenge any adventure seeker – on the earth, in the water, or through the air.

Long walks, four wheel drive treks, lunch on a majestic steamboat or at a fabulous winery. Take a short drive back in time to the historic gold mining settlement of Arrowtown, or drive around the shores of Lake Wakatipu and discover the beautiful village of Glenorchy, the gateway to Paradise Valley and the famous Routeburn walking track.

Just a little over an hour’s drive away from Queenstown you can find the peace and tranquillity of Lake Wanaka with its crystal clear lake, dramatic mountain landscape and charming lakeside town. Further abroad, discover the mysteries of stunning Fiordland (Fiordland National Park & Milford Sound). Enjoy a cruise and have a close encounter with the seals and dolphins which frequent the area.

Queenstown Dining-out in The Mall (photo: Destination Queenstown)
Queenstown Dining-out in The Mall (photo: Destination Queenstown)

Climate, Temperatures & Weather in Queenstown


  • Summer: Hot and dry, daytime high 18-30 Celsius nights generally cool.
  • Autumn: Clear warm days, daytime 12-25 Celsius, nights cool to cold.
  • Winter: Crisp clear days, daytime 5-10 Celsius, nights cold.
  • Spring: Crisp morning and evening, 9-20 Celsius, nights cool.

Annual Rainfall: 832 mm (33 inches)
Queenstown is renowned for its four distinctive seasons. Long summer twilights and brilliant autumn colours are a special feature.

Queenstown Average Temperatures:

Precipation in mm: 913
wet days (>=1mm): 100
Sunshine hrs: 1921
Avg Temp: 10.7 C (51 F)
Highs: 34.1 C (93 F)
Lows: -8.4 C (16.9 F)
Ground frost days: 107
Avg wind speeds: 12 km/h
Days with wind speed > 63 km/h: 2

Weather Source: NIWA

Busiest time of the year

Queenstown currently hosts 900,000 international and 500,000 domestic visitors each year. The average length of stay fluctuates between two and a half to three nights. The busiest season for Queenstown, in terms of actual visitor numbers, is late December to mid February.

Read also our article: What to do in and around Queenstown: Sightseeing, Activities

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