Queenstown travel - Lake WakatipuLake Wakatipu


Queenstown travel an an adventure seeker's dream come true. If you're coming to New Zealand for an adrenaline rush, Queenstown is the perfect little paradise. Rightfully known as the adventure capital of NZ, you can experience skydiving, bungee jumping, jetboating, paraflights, luging and canyon swings all in one place.

There's more to it than that though – Queenstown is a tourist hotspot and the vibe reflects that, with a constantly rotating population of visitors from all over the world passing through.

As a popular backpacker spot, it has a very young vibe and the nightlife tends to be good all year round. November to February is the busiest time, but as a skiing and snowboarding spot Queenstown and the nearby towns like Wanaka are also popular during winter.

Things to Do in Queenstown – Tourist Attractions and Activities

There are so many choices of things to do in Queenstown, it can be a little overwhelming – and when you see the price tag on some of the activities, you may fear for your bank balance.

It is an expensive place, but if you plan well and make the most of discounts and deals you can get a lot more bang for your buck.

Check out the Things to Do in Queenstown Guide for an intro to all the activities, or check out more in-depth guides to each of the activities listed below.

  • The Queenstown Luge
  • Skydiving (one of the best places in NZ to do this)
  • Bungy Jumping
  • The Canyon Swing
  • Jetboating
  • Paraflights
  • Queenstown Gondola
  • Skiing in Queenstown - Coronet Peak, Treble Cone and more
  • Lake Wakatipu
  • Visiting Arrowtown
  • Wine tours
  • Lake cruises
  • Scenic flights
  • the Kiwi Birdlife Park
  • Quad bike adventures

Check out the full guide for more info on all these activities.

Queenstown Nightlife

As I mentioned above, Queenstown is very backpacker friendly and with a high concentration of young travellers, it's great for nightlife. Check out the Queenstown nightlife guide for a breakdown of some of the best bars and clubs to visit.


The key to keeping your costs down in Queenstown is taking advantage of deals and specials - check out the full guide to scoring Queenstown Deals on accommodation, activities, food, tours and more.

Where to Stay - Cheap Accommodation in Queenstown

As I say, Queenstown is a tourist town and as a result, accommodation here can be more expensive than other parts of the country, especially during peak season.

If you plan carefully though you can find accommodation deals, or stay in one of the surrounding towns where accommodation is cheaper than in Qtown itself.

Check out the overview guide to Cheap Accommodation in Queenstown, or zoom in on one of the accommodation types below for more detailed guides to each.

  • Backpacker Hostels – best no-frills option if you want to meet other travellers
  • Camping – can work out cheaper than hostels
  • Cheap Motels – more private and comfortable than many hostels, can work out cheap if you split the bill (also best option for families on a budget)
  • Cheap Hotels and Deals – sometimes it's possible to score hotel deals that make this a potentially affordable option

Queenstown Tours

Queenstown itself is a small town, but there are several other towns and cool outdoors sights and activities to check out in the surrounding area.

If you're pressed for time or not interested in hiring/buying your own vehicle, taking one of the many tours on offer in Queenstown – such as the tour/cruise packages to Milford Sound – might suit you.

To find out about the best tours that are budget-friendly, check out the Queenstown Tours Guide, which covers everything from segway tours of the town itself to the day trips to surrounding areas.

Cheap Car Hire in Queenstown

Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown, NZExploring around Lake Wakatipu is a fun cheap activity if you have a vehicle

There's a lot of cool stuff to explore from Queenstown, but it's quite hard to do right if you don't have your own vehicle, and taking tours to see everything can get pretty expensive.

Even if just for a few days, I'd recommend hiring a car or camper to check out the surrounding areas like Wanaka, Lake Hawea, Arrowtown and Milford Sound/Te Anau.

Take a look at the guide to Car Hire in Queenstown to find out which companies tend to offer the best deals, and which websites to watch for discounts and specials on vehicle hire – including how to get rentals for as little as $1/day on relocation vehicles.

Getting There: Cheap Buses and Flights to Queenstown

Getting to Queenstown by plane can be pretty expensive – despite the high tourist numbers, it's a small place with a relatively small airport which doesn't process the same kind of flight volumes as Auckland, Christchurch or Wellington. If you want to get there on the cheap, usually a bus will be your best option.

That said, it's possible to pick up cheap flights to Queenstown from other main centres in NZ, or from Australia, if you keep an eye out for discounts – check out the Cheap Flights to Queenstown guide to learn how, or go ahead and check out the flight specials on Air New Zealand's Grab-a-seat.

› Queenstown Travel Guide

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