Are you ready to visit the adventure capital of the world? Queenstown, a resort town in New Zealand's south island, has well earned this title which comes as no surprise, given that it is the birthplace of bungee jumping. Or how about skydiving, ziplining, or flying on the world's biggest swing? If death-defying acts aren't your cup of tea, that's no problem.
Queenstown is also the gateway to some of the most spectacular natural vistas in the world, such as Milford Sound, the Southern Alps, and Lake Wakatipu.
You can fly directly to Queenstown from Melbourne, Sydney, the Gold Coast, and Brisbane. While flights departing from other cities require a stopover in Melbourne or Sydney, Jetstar offers the most competitive return airfares.
Air New Zealand-
Queenstown Airport is located a convenient 10 minute drive from central Queenstown. There are several transfer options available.
Bus: The Orbus is a cost-effective service that can transfer you to any major hotel or motel in Queenstown. The trip takes about 25 minutes and costs $12NZD. The bus operates every 15 minutes and reservations are not required.
Shuttle: Catching the shuttle is an affordable option for people travelling in groups or willing to rideshare with other travellers. Fares are subject to the number of passengers but expect to pay about $10 per person. The trip takes about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the number of stops along the way.
Taxi: Taking a taxi is the fastest and most flexible option, but expect to pay about $45ZND for the 15-minute journey.
Rental Car: Several major car rental companies operate in the arrivals hall of the airport. Make sure you book in advance to ensure that you get the best deal.
With so many gorgeous natural attractions within easy driving distance from Queenstown, renting a car or campervan is one of the best ways to maximise your time in the beautiful South Island. However, if you're only planning to stay around the city, then Queenstown has an excellent public bus network that can get you where you need to go. Fares start from only $2 when you use the 'GoCard', which is available from the Queenstown Council office.
Queenstown Skyline Gondola: Soak up the view of the spectacular crystal blue Lake Wakatipu as you ride the gondola up to Bob's Peak. When you reach the top, 450m above Queenstown, the panoramic view of the snow-capped Southern Alps will take your breath away. While you're at the top, have fun riding a luge, or if you're feeling extra adventurous, paraglide back down!
Kawarau Bridge Bungy: Take a leap of faith at the world's first, and most famous, bungee jumping spot. Plunge 43 meters towards the gorgeous turquoise waters of the Kawarau River, and even touch the water!
Jet Boating: Queenstown is home to the original Shotover Jet ride that has been operating for over 50 years. Speed in style through the gorgeous Shotover Canyon and be thrilled by gravity-defying stunts!
Milford Sound: Without a doubt, Milford Sound is New Zealand's most sensational natural attraction. Dubbed by Rudyard Kipling as the 8th wonder of the world, visiting Milford Sound should be at the top of your New Zealand bucket list! The fjord's landscapes include the stunning Mitre Peak, gorgeous waterfalls, ancient rainforests and more. The best way to take in the scenery is with a cruise through the sound. Make sure to keep watch for penguins, dolphins, and sunbathing seals!
TSS Earnslaw: Ahoy there! Take a cruise on Queenstown's iconic steamship, the TSS Earnslaw. This retired cargo ship is still going strong. Now it's the only coal-fired steamship in the Southern Hemisphere on which you can enjoy a gourmet meal and spectacular scenery.
Chill out in an ice bar: As Outkast said, "What's cooler than being cool? Ice-cold!" Minus 5 and Below Zero are, technically speaking, the coolest bars in Queenstown. Both are intricately carved ice bars with a showcase of impressive ice sculptures. Puffer jackets are provided on entry, so no need to worry about dressing for the occasion.
Ferburger: This unpretentious burger bar is a Queenstown institution. Savour mouth-watering local NZ beef burgers in the quirky bar, or take away to picnic in one of Queenstown's picture-perfect parks.
Botswana Butchery: Botswana Butchery is an elegant restaurant that offers a range of premium meat and seafood. Enjoy fine fusion dining with an expertly matched Central Otago wine from their abundant 1800 bottle cellar.
Taco Medic: This casual Mexican taqueria serves up delicious fusion Mexican fare using fresh, local seafood. The taco tortillas are made fresh daily with Mexican masa for a delightful authentic flavour. Try the "fish of the day" tacos for a taste of Queenstown.