Queenstown is a resort town in New Zealand, located on the shores of beautiful Lake Wakatipu. Queenstown is the third most populated town in Central Otago. But compared to many resort towns, the population there is quite small – about 30,000.
Queenstown’s population is predominantly European (80 percent) with racial minorities represented by Pacific Islanders (12 percent) and Maori (6 percent of the population). There are 2% more men than women, with over 9% of the population over 65 years old.
Speaking about the language, English is spoken in the capital of New Zealand, so going to this wonderful city you should not bother learning the main phrases in Maori or New Zealand Sign Language.
The climate in Queenstown is temperate and mild. The average annual temperature is quite low, 10.5 °C, and precipitation is low, 850 mm a year. January and February are the warmest months, while June and July are the coldest. You can come to Queenstown all year round, as the rainfall is evenly distributed, so there are no periods of rain.
The main advantage of the city is the scenery that surrounds it. Many tourists are attracted to this particular attraction in Queenstown, so it’s common to see visitors here with large backpacks or professional cameras, both of whom want to learn more about and dive into the local nature.
Among the places of interest first and foremost is the Maori Point in Skipper Canyon, which is located on the outskirts of town. A legend accompanies this place, according to which two Maori miners discovered gold in 1862. It is believed that this is where the gold rush began. Also in the vicinity is the Mangold Farm, which is famous for the most delicious wines. You can also have a picnic near the Farm, it will not only be unusual but also exciting.
Not far from the town is the famous Milford Sound Fjord, which captivates with its wildlife: grandiose waterfalls and impenetrable vegetation – a sight that takes your breath away.
Queenstown is captivating not only for its wildlife, but also for its wildlife. At Kaikoura, below Queenstown, you can watch whales. The giants consider the waters near this place their home, so at any time you can see their relaxed movement and appreciate the size of the largest mammal.
It is worth noting that there are no “classic” landmarks – monuments, town halls, temples or ruins of old settlements. Queenstown surprises with its other attractions, which may not be as ancient, but incredibly beautiful, and most importantly – natural.
Unlike the small variety of attractions in Queenstown, there are plenty of stores where you can buy everything from souvenirs to gold jewelry. One of the main places to shop is O`Connell`s, which is located on the corner of Kamp and Beach Streets. The mall has quite a few stores in different directions, so you should start your shopping stroll from there. The second place you should definitely visit is Steamer Wharf, also located on Beach Street. This is where the clothing stores are located. Sofitel Arcade, the third mall, can be found between Duk Street and Man Street, it is modestly sized, so it only has about 10 stores in its arsenal, but they are boutiques of famous brands only.
Hotels and Restaurants
Queenstown is a tourist town, so the hotels here are quite comfortable and for all tastes. Start with the Oaks Shores, which is on Frankton Road. It’s beachfront and offers everything from laundry services to a fitness center and restaurant. A stay at this hotel costs an average of 152 c.u.
The Pounamu Apartments is an amazing mirror hotel nestled at the foot of the mountain. It also spoils its visitors with services: spa, fitness room, jacuzzi, cozy apartments, and so on. The cost of living in such a hotel starts from 192 c.u. per day.
Most of the restaurants in Queenstown are focused on national or European cuisine. But vegetarians can also count on a delicious dinner, for example, the restaurant Bespoke Kitchen offers a strictly vegetarian menu. In a tranquil setting near the Fernhill Trail is a pleasant restaurant called Vknow, which offers New Zealand and modern cuisine. This cozy spot away from the center of Queenstown has peace and natural beauty all around. Among the wilderness, the herb meat cooked according to a traditional recipe takes on an even more subtle flavor, so despite the remoteness of the cafe, it is popular with tourists.
Near Warren Park is a cozy restaurant with a delicious menu at Pedro’s House Of Lamb. Only authentic New Zealand lamb steak with herbs and vegetables or fruit salad with national twists are worth a visit.
Queenstown’s geographic location is incredibly fortunate, with the Southern Alps, a lake, and beautiful nature all close by. In the winter, Queenstown is full of skiing enthusiasts. There are slopes of varying difficulty within a 1.5 hour drive of the town, so everyone – from beginners to professionals – can find a suitable slope. If you want to go skiing, it is worth going to one of two places – Remacbles (extreme slopes) or Vanaca (a small village with less difficult slopes). You can get to the village by bus, which costs from 15 c.u.
Also in Queenstown come fans of hiking, mountain biking, and of course, the extremists who want to “decorate” their stay in New Zealand jumping with a rubber rope. By the way, Queenstown is the birthplace of bungee jumping. It was here in 1988 that the first commercial enterprise offering this entertainment was founded. The site of the first jumps is the Kawarau Bridge.
To explore the surroundings of Queenstown you can choose a quieter, but no less exciting way – it is organized excursions by helicopter or plane with ski landing gear. In good weather, you can reach remote peaks that cannot be reached by other means.
In the summer time it is worth trying water activities: boat trips, river rafting in kayaks, fishing and cruises for a few days on the lake. In New Zealand were created unique and one-of-a-kind boats with gas turbines, they are able to speed up to 70 km / h, while they rotate, making the “ride” unforgettable.
Another unique attraction is the Luge ride. This is an 800-meter concrete ramp, from which go down on special three-wheeled karts, which are called “Luge”.
No less interesting will be a ride on “Kinston Flyer” – an old steam locomotive that pulls cars from Kingston to Fairlight, the site of the settlement of the “gold rush.
Queenstown also offers a host of cultural events. For example, every year the capital hosts the International Jazz Festival, which attracts listeners from all over the world.
- Queenstown is home to many famous movies: Baywatch in 1988, Willow in 1988, X-Men: Inception. Wolverine” and “Lord of the Rings”, the main character of which was placed a statue at Wellington International Airport.
- Intercity and intra-city transportation is almost exclusively by bus, and ferries run between the North and South Islands. Cabs and rental cars are very popular in the city. The cost of a city bus ticket varies from 1.05 to 1.7 c.u., the cost of a cab – 2.8-3.5 c.u. per kilometer. It is worth noting that the public transport is comfortable enough, so sometimes it is more convenient to use than a cab.
- Queenstown is an incredibly safe city. It is a tourist destination and all conditions have been created for visitors to stay safely, and the government has done everything to make tourists feel comfortable, so often in a misunderstanding between tourists and locals, the police take the side of the guests.
- Alcohol in Queenstown can be bought only in specialized Bottle Stores. However, a small portion of the town’s restaurants allow you to bring your own liquor. These establishments have a BYO (Bring Your Own) sign on their doors.
How to get there?
It is impossible to get to Queenstown in New Zealand from the CIS by direct flight, so you must change planes in Hong Kong, the UAE or several other countries. Flight time varies from 28 to 35 hours and you’ll land at Queenstown International Airport which is located near the city.