Queenstown is a popular destination for international and domestic tourists, particularly those who enjoy New Zealand's great outdoors. In the southern lakes district of the South Island, Queenstown has a resident population of 26,400 but numbers swell during peak holiday periods.
Reasons to visit include:
The township of Queenstown is located on the shores of beautiful Lake Wakatipu which offers visitors activities such as boating, fishing, swimming and trips aboard the coal-fired steamship TSS Earnslaw which is more than 90 years old.
Queenstown attracts skiers and snowboarders from all over the world and offers four main mountain skifields - Cardrona, Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Treble Cone. Cross country skiing is also available at the Waiorau Snow Farm near the village of Cardrona. Snows sports are celebrated annually during the Queenstown Winter Festival.
Queenstown is often promoted as the Adventure Capital Of The World with activities available such as snow sports, jet boating, whitewater rafting, bungy jumping, mountain biking, tramping and fly fishing. The bungy jump was first commercialised at nearby Kawarau Bridge where A.J.Hackett established the first of many jump sites.
Queenstown has many bars and restaurants and visitors can enjoy some superb locally-grown wines. Wineries produce some high class pinot noirs and one local winery is owned by international actor Sam Neill. Nearby Arrowtown has some outstanding restaurants including some that regularly feature in the country's best eateries list.
If you base yourself in Queenstown, you can enjoy a number of day trips in different directions. Travel along the side of the lake to beautiful Glenorchy and you'll enjoy an hour of stunning views with plenty of photo opportunities. Or you can drive over the Crown Ranges to Lake Wanaka, via Cardrona. A stop at the historic Cardrona Hotel is a must. Arrowtown is well worth a visit while Cromwell is the region's fruit producer (to the extent that its welcome sign is a giant bowl of fruit).
If parts of Queenstown and its surrounds appear familiar, don't be surprised to learn you may have seen them at the movies. The area provides excellent backdrops for many international films and these include the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Rescue, Willow and Race for the Yankee Zephyr.