Queenstown Visitor Guide 2024: Everything you need to know

Published by: BouncePosted
Boat on Lake in Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, New Zealand is known as the ‘adventure capital of the world’ and it certainly has earned the title. With a range of activities including bungee jumping, jet boating, white water rafting, and paragliding, there’s no shortage of ways to get your adrenaline pumping. While many people flock to the destination for the action, the town is so much more than that. It’s a charming place nestled between mountains and overlooking the lake. Offering a relaxed ambiance, stunning views, excellent food, and close proximity to several excellent ski slopes, there really is something for everyone in Queenstown.

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9 Best Ways To Experience Queenstown In 2024

If you've managed to get as far as New Zealand's South Island and are in Queenstown, forget recovering from your journey by having a lengthy lie-in. Get out and about as soon as you can to discover all of the marvels, natural or otherwise, in this truly incredible location. Whether you go off-road or on, by helicopter, by bicycle, or by hop-on hop-off bus, the nine companies listed here will make sure your time in Queenstown is totally unforgettable.

Best Brewery Tour – HOHO Bus

You can take as long as you like sipping the samples at several different breweries when you use the HOHO Bus for transport. The bus runs a continuous circular route past Queenstown's best breweries and stops right outside all of them. Get off where you feel like it, visit the brewery, then get back on the next bus passing. The HOHO Bus also runs various other routes of interest which include wineries as well as regular sightseeing to see all the major Queenstown landmarks.

Prepare to hop on the HOHO Bus by emailing them at enquiries@hoponhopoffwinetours.com or give them a call at 64-357-35508 for details of their tours.

Best Lord of The Rings Tour - Pure Glenorchy Scenic Lord of the Rings Tours

No fan of the Lord of the Rings, X-Men, and The Chronicles of Narnia films could ever be on South Island and not visit the filming locations of these epic movies. Pure Glenorchy Scenic Lord of the Rings Tours is a company that specializes in touring film locations and has access to many spots on private land where other companies aren't allowed. If you want to make it a personal experience for you and your family you can by asking for a private tour.

Plan your hobbit hunting with Pure Glenorchy Scenic Lord of the Rings Tours by emailing them atkate@pureglenorchy.com or call them on 64-344-11079 for more information.

Best Bike Tour – Around The Basin Bike Tour

Forget cycling around the city streets, although you can do that as well, and head to the hills to cycle the one-hundred and twenty kilometers of trails running around the Wakatipu Basin. Your hard work will be rewarded with indescribable views of the New Zealand countryside where there are bridges, lakes, gorges, and mountains. While drinking and pedaling isn't highly recommended, you can also take a cycling tour around the wineries of the Gibbston Wine Region.

Plan your cycling adventure with Around The Basin Bike Tour by emailing them at info@aroundthebasin.co.nz or give them a call on 64-279-525801.

Best Helicopter Tour – The Helicopter Line Queenstown

Make your stay in South Island even more spectacular by taking a scenic flight over the volcanic landscapes by helicopter. A helicopter flight doesn't come cheap, but it'll be a once-in-a-lifetime experience and that's mostly because the cost will probably bring on a heart attack. If you've money to blow, try the four-hour flight to Fjordland or take a full-day charter for a heli-hike on the glaciers.

Get ready to take off with The Helicopter Line Queenstown by calling them on 64-344-23034 or email queenstown@helicopter.co.nz for more in-depth details.

Best Off-Road Tour – Off Road 4x4 Queenstown

Get down and dirty by going on a wild and adventurous tour with Off Road 4x4 Queenstown. Set off in Landcruisers to traverse mountain trails crisscrossed by wheel-high creeks where you can pan for gold. Halfway through the day, you'll swap transport modes to sports buggies which, if you're up for it, you can drive for yourself over a specially constructed course.

Get ready to get adventurous with Off Road 4x4 Queenstown by calling them on 64-344-27858 or drop them an email to offroad4x4@offroad.co.nz.

Best Sightseeing Tour – Queenstown Highlights

There are some things in Queenstown you can't leave without seeing. Go on a half or full day tour with Queenstown Highlights and they'll make sure you get to see all the city has to offer. Don't expect just static buildings and landmarks. Depending on which tour with Queenstown Highlights you choose, you'll go to Bungy Bridge to see the jumpers, go gold panning in Arrowtown, take a ride on a jet boat, and maybe even get to shear a sheep so be prepared for some serious fun and frolics.

Plan to sightsee with Queenstown Highlights by calling them on 64-344-29299 or send an email tobookings@queenstownhighlights.co.nz for more information.

Best Winery Tour – Appellation Wine Tours

Queenstown is surrounded by first-class vineyards where grapes are grown for the production of top-quality New Zealand wines. Wine is a diverse and often complex topic so on an outing with Appellation Wine Tours you'll get insider knowledge that will pay you dividends when you next go out to buy a bottle or two. Alongside all the information about wine and its making, you'll also get an insight into the area's pioneering history and get to see some impressive scenery too.

Contact Appellation Wine Tours for more details by emailing them at bookings@appellationwinetours.nz or give them a call on 64-344-26920.

Best Scenery Tours – Remarkable Scenic Tours

The scenery in New Zealand is truly something else. Go out for the day with Remarkable Scenic Tours and they'll take you to spots that will literally take your breath away. There'll be some like the Wanaka Tree and Arrowtown which you may already have heard of and others that will catch you by surprise with their beauty. You'll get to do amazing things like visit a bee farm and a cheese factory as well as tasting some of the local wine.

Book a place with Remarkable Scenic Tours by emailing them at info@remarkablescenictours.nz or call them on 64-344-18867.

Best Combo Tour – Queenstown Wine Trail

When you can't decide what you want to do or don't have enough days left to do everything you want to, fit more into the time you have left by taking one of Queenstown Wine Trails' combo tours. You can mix and match the activities, although they do have a great selection of pre-organized tours available. Think spa treatment with wine tasting, a jet boat ride and wine tasting, and even a helicopter ride with wine tasting. They're all fantastic – if you like wine.

Plan your combo tour with Queenstown Wine Trail by emailing them at info@queenstownwinetrail.co.nz or give them a call on 64-344-13990.  

A weekend in Queenstown

If you ever have the opportunity to spend a weekend in Queenstown, take it. The town is beautiful and has plenty of attractions to keep you entertained. To ensure you don’t waste a second, make the most of local facilities like a luggage storage service in Queenstown. You’ll be able to hit the charming streets straight away, even if you’re facing a late check-in.

To ensure you don’t miss the top sights during your short getaway, add these attractions to your itinerary.

  • Bob’s Peak and Skyline Gondola - For the best views of Queenstown, head to Bob’s Peak. You can get there on the Skyline Gondola and will be rewarded with unbeatable panoramic views. You can even add to the fun with a ride on the luge track.
  • Lake Wakatipu - It’s impossible to drive into Queenstown without noticing the spectacular beauty of Lake Wakatipu. While there are plenty of places to admire the views, the lake will be calling so get out and go for a walk or cycle around its edge.
  • Bungee jumping - Travelers from all over the world head to Queenstown to tackle the adrenaline-pumping bungee jumps, so if you have the nerve you might want to give it a go. You’ll be rewarded with views over the valley.

Queenstown Lockers

Queenstown is no stranger to tourists and is well designed to cater to visitors. This includes luggage storage lockers in Queenstown, which will take care of your bags when you don’t want to. Say you arrive in town only to be faced with a late check-in, or perhaps you have an early check-in but a late flight. You won’t want to waste time in Queenstown, so drop your bags at Bounce and head out to explore. 

Off the beaten path in Queenstown

Queenstown is filled with tourist attractions, and trust us when we say there’s plenty of them. While there’s nothing wrong with these sites and activities, there are some off-the-beaten-path activities that will show you a different side to this great town. 

  • Perky’s Floating Bar - Looking for a happy hour with a difference? Head to Perky’s Floating Bar. You can enjoy the lake views while sipping on cheap drinks.
  • Photo Safari - Whether you are a beginner photographer or a total pro, this photo safari will ensure you get some great shots of Queenstown. The tour takes you to some of the best-hidden photo spots so you can take home some special memories.
  • Central Otago Arts Trail - Venture a little out of town by following the Central Otago Arts Trail. You’ll be rewarded with the work of local creatives, while also getting to see some of the beautiful New Zealand countryside.

What to do alone in Queenstown

Queenstown is a great destination for solo travelers as it offers many activities to do alone, as well as unlimited opportunities to meet new friends. The town is easy to get around and you can store suitcases in Queenstown at a luggage storage facility if you have nobody to watch your things. 

Whether you’re looking to join a group or enjoy the scenery on your own, here are some great ideas for solo travelers. 

  • Jetboating - This epic adventure is not to be missed. Race down the river in a jetboat, narrowly missing the towering cliffs of the valley that are located on either side. The surroundings are stunning and it will be sure to get your heart racing.
  • Skiing/snowboarding - Queenstown is a premier ski destination, with a range of mountains in the area to choose from. Simply jump on a bus and head up to enjoy the powder.
  • Arrowtown - This quaint town will transport you back to a past era. Take a wander down the main street, enjoy the historic stores, and even stroll down to the river. 

The best souvenirs in Queenstown

There’s a range of classic tourist shops scattered through Queenstown offering things like tea towels, key chains, and caps. If you are looking for gifts or something for yourself, try DF souvenirs in Queenstown Mall, or Aotea Gifts or Mary Sheep Souvenirs on Beach Street. 

For something a little different, you could pick up some Maori artwork from the stalls alongside the lake, or some artwork from Silver Fern Gallery.

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