Queenstown is built around an inlet on Lake Wakatipu, a long thin lake shaped like a staggered lightning bolt, and has spectactular views of nearby mountains.
There are various apocryphal accounts of how the town was named, the most popular suggesting that a local gold digger exclaimed that the town was “fit for Queen Victoria”.
Queenstown is a centre for adventure tourism. Skiing, jet boating, bungy jumping, mountain biking and tramping are all strong promotional themes. During August 2009, the New Zealand Winter Games will be held at various venues around the Queenstown and Wanaka area.
Along with Mount Ruapehu, Queenstown is a major centre for snow sports in New Zealand, with people from all over the country and many parts of the world travelling to ski at the four main mountain skifields (Cardrona Alpine Resort, Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Treble Cone).
Queenstown provides adventure tourism during the day and a vibrant nightlife scene during the evenings.
Locally, Queenstown has a reputation as one of New Zealand’s wine and cuisine centres. Neighbouring, historic Arrowtown features excellent restaurants and bars, and Queenstown lies close to the centre of a small wine producing region, reputed to be the world’s southernmost. Pinot noir produced in this area fetches premium prices.
Queenstown and the surrounding area contain many locations used in the filming of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
Queenstown Airport has scheduled flights to Auckland, Christchurch and Sydney year-round and Wellington, Melbourne and Brisbane seasonally.
- Lake Wakatipu – TSS Earnslaw, Kingston Flyer
- Adventure Tourism, jetboats, bungy jump, skiing, river surfing, sky diving,mountain biking, paragliding
- A round of golf at Millbrook Resort – 150-year-old wheat farm, now a luxury resort
- Cricket (new One Day International venue) and Golf
- Queenstown Airport at Frankton
- Skyline Gondola and luge
- Winter festival
- Goldmining, Arrowtown, Central Otago history, sheep farming and Walter Peak station
- Southern Lakes District & Milford Sound/Homer Tunnel
- Glenorchy & Routeburn track
- NZ Golf Open