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A Guide to Queenstown
Know Before You Go
The restaurants in Queenstown aren't cheap. Save money by cooking your own food and keep your budget intact for the city's top attractions and experiences.
Drinking is expensive in Queenstown. If you must have a beer or a glass of wine, pick up a bottle from the supermarket and enjoy it back at your hotel.
Go to the Dorothy Browns boutique cinema. The theatre has two screens that show local and international films. You'll also get to enjoy the movie with a selection of wines and a cheese board.
Head out to the Central Otago region for a day trip. You'll find excellent wine farms and surreal natural beauty. If you have room in your budget, you can take a helicopter ride over the glaciers and Milford Sound.
Queenstown is the "Adrenaline Capital of the World". If you're looking for a rush, try New Zealand's highest and the first ever commercial bungee jump.
Explore Queenstown's natural beauty. There are a number of day hikes in the area that offer panoramic views. Tackle the Queenstown Hill or scramble up the Tiki Trail to the top of the Skyline Gondola.
Getting Around Queenstown
The best way to get around Queensland is by car. Many of the city's top attractions are spread across the city, and there are a ton of day trips outside of the city limits that are worth exploring. You'll find eight rental agencies at the airport, and you'll need an international drivers permit and a valid drivers license.
The Ritchies Connectabus operates six public bus routes between downtown Queensland and the neighbouring towns. Fares start at NZD 4.50, and you can get an unlimited day pass for NZD 33.
If you want to use a taxi, you can call ahead to arrange your ride or flag one down from the street. The base fare is NZD 4.75 and goes up by NZD 6.44 for each kilometre.
Walking is also an option, but only if you're staying in the CBD.
When is The Best Time to Visit Queenstown?
The best time to visit Queenstown is from December to February. The weather is warm and the days are long with the sun rising as early as 6:00 a.m. and setting as late as 9:30 p.m. The only downside is that the perfect weather attracts hordes of other travellers. If you're planning a trip during this period, book your flights and accommodation a few months in advance to lock in lower rates.
If you're a winter sports enthusiast, plan your trip to Queenstown between June and August. The weather is ideal for snowboarding and skiing on The Remarkables, and the visibility is excellent for helicopter tours.
September to November is the city's shoulder season. The unpredictable spring weather keeps adrenaline junkie travellers away as activities like skydiving or bungee jumping often have to be cancelled.
March to May also has fickle weather conditions, but seeing the landscape change with the autumnal hues is worth the trip. You'll also have more luck finding deals on hotels and airfare prices.
Airports in Queenstown
Queenstown Airport is located 8km from the city centre and is a 10-minute drive away. It's the fourth busiest airport in New Zealand and handles over one million passengers each year.
Getting to and from Queenstown Airport
The cheapest way to get from the airport into Queensland is with the bus. Fares start at NZD 8 for adults or NZD 2 if you have a GoCard. The buses run from 6:00 a.m. to midnight every day and you can use the Choice app to see when your ride will arrive in real-time.
Queenstown Airport also has a shuttle service for passengers. It costs NZD 10 per person and is a cost-effective way to go directly from the terminals to your hotel.
If you prefer to take a taxi, you'll find the stands outside of the arrival terminal. Fares cost around NZD 30, and it should take you about 15 minutes to reach the city centre depending on the traffic.
Car rental companies are located inside the terminal building. It's recommended to make a booking before you arrive, especially during high season.