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Queenstown (Māori:Tāhuna) is a resort town in Otago in the south-west of New Zealand's South Island.
It is built around an inlet called Queenstown Bay on Lake Wakatipu, a long thin Z-shaped lake formed by glacial processes, and has spectacular views of nearby mountains such as The Remarkables, Cecil Peak,Walter Peak and just above the town; Ben Lomond and Queenstown Hill.
Queenstown has an urban population of 13,150 (June 2015 estimate), making it the 29th largest urban area in New Zealand, and the third largest urban area in Otago, behind Dunedin and Oamaru.
The Queenstown-Lakes District has a land area of 8,704.97 square kilometres (3,361.01 sq mi) not counting its inland lakes (Lake Hāwea, Lake Wakatipu, and Lake Wanaka). The region has an estimated resident population of 32,400 (June 2015 estimate). Its neighbouring towns include Arrowtown, Glenorchy,Kingston, Wanaka,Alexandra, and Cromwell. The nearest cities are Dunedin and Invercargill. Queenstown is known for its commerce-oriented tourism, especially adventure and ski tourism.
|POPULATION :||• Urban 13,150|
• District 32,400
|FOUNDED :||January 1863|
|TIME ZONE :||• Time zone NZST (UTC+12:00)|
• Summer (DST) NZDT (UTC+13:00)
|LANGUAGE :||English (official), Maori (official), Sign Language (official)|
|RELIGION :||Anglican 13.8%, Roman Catholic 12.6%, Presbyterian, Congregational, and Reformed 10%, Christian (no denomination specified) 4.6%, Methodist 3%, Pentecostal 2%, Baptist 1.4%, other Christian 3.8%, Maori Christian 1.6%, Hindu 1.6%, Buddhist 1.3%, other religions 2.2%, none 32.2%, other or unidentified 9.9%|
|AREA :||• Urban 25.55 km2 (9.86 sq mi)|
• District 8,704.97 km2 (3,361.01 sq mi)
|COORDINATES :||45°01′52″S 168°39′45″E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 49.1%|
• Female: 50.9%
|AREA CODE :||03|
|POSTAL CODE :||9300|
|DIALING CODE :|
Queenstown is a world renowned resort town in the South Island of New Zealand. The town sits on the edge of Lake Wakatipuand is surrounded by the Southern Alps.
What was once a small, remote, South Island town has transitioned since the 1980s, first to a busy ski destination, and now to a year round tourist mecca and centre for adventure tourism. It is a world famous destination attracting around 1.9 million visitors every year, undoubtedly the tourism capital of the South Island if not New Zealand, and a must-see stop for most visitors to New Zealand.
Situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, one of Otago and New Zealand's most scenic lakes, surrounded by mountains, it's not hard to see why its stunning scenery draws people here year round. Queenstown happily caters for all visitors with a full range of attractions, activities, accommodation and eating options for any budget, from backpackers to five star luxury. This popularity is not without its problems though - in many respects Queenstown can be a tourist trap. However, reasonable prices and a few bargains can be found for those prepared to look for them.
Queenstown is a bustling town throughout the year, peaking over summer and during the ski-season. There is a vibrant night life with the town's small central area packed with bars and restaurants. If you plan on getting a good nights sleep, then you might consider staying slightly out of town. It's common to see people on the streets up to 05:00 returning from disco or pub. If you're looking for a relaxing scenic holiday, Wanaka (just over an hours' drive away) is smaller and more tranquil with less of a manic teenage party atmosphere.
Māori settlement and presence
The area was discovered and first settled by Māori before non-Maoris arrived. The first non-Maori to see Lake Wakatipu was European Nathanael Chalmers who was guided by Reko, the chief of the Tuturau, over the Waimea Plains and up the Mataura River in September 1853. Evidence of stake nets, baskets for catching eels, spears and ashes indicated the Glenorchy area was visited by Māori. It is likely Ngāi Tahu Māori visited Queenstown en route to collect Pounamu (greenstone). There was a settlement called Te Kirikiri Pa occupied by the tribe of Kāti Mamoe which was situated in the location of the current Queenstown Gardens, but by the time European migrants arrived in the 1860s this settlement was no longer being used.
Subsequent European settlers
European explorers William Gilbert Rees and Nicholas von Tunzelmann were the first non-Maoris to settle the area. Rees established a high country farm in the location of Queenstown's current town centre in 1860, but the discovery of gold in the Arrow River in 1862 encouraged Rees to convert his wool shed into a hotel named the Queen's Arms, now known as Eichardt's. Many Queenstown streets bear names from the gold mining era (such as Camp Street) and some historic buildings remain. William's Cottage, the Lake Lodge of Ophir, Queenstown Police Station, and St Peter's Anglican Church lie close together in a designated historic precinct.
There are various apocryphal accounts of how the town of Queenstown was named however the following is the most likely:
When William Rees first arrived in the area and built the homestead the area was known as The Station although miners soon referred to it as The Camp from 1860 to 1862.
The miners and especially the Irish had taken an interest in the ceremony held for a small town called The Cove in Ireland which was renamed to Queenstown in honour of Queen Victoria in 1850. They may have had their own ceremony at the intersection of Rees and Beach Streets replicating some of the elements in the renaming of the Irish town.
Subsequent to this a public meeting was held for the purpose of naming thetownship on the lake in January 1863 (probably the weekend of the 3rd and 4th) in which the town was officially given the name of Queenstown in reference to Ireland's Queenstown. By the 9 and 10 January 1863 the town was being reported with the name of Queenstown from several reports written by a correspondent in the Otago Witness on Monday the 5th and Tuesday the 6th. It was during the meeting there may have been a reference by a miner of the town being "fit for a Queen" (this is one of the most popular accounts of how the town was named).
The Māori name for Queenstown of Tāhuna means shallow bay.
Because of its relatively moderate altitude ( 310 metres) but with high mountain surroundings, it has an oceanic climate . Summer has long warm days with temperatures that can reach 30 °C while winters are cold with temperatures often in single digits with frequent snowfall, although there is no permanent snow cover during the year. As with the rest of Central Otago, Queenstown lies within the rain shadow of the Southern Alps, but being closer to the west coast the town is more susceptible to rain-bearing fronts compared to nearby Cromwell, Wanaka and Alexandra. The hottest recorded temperature in Queenstown is 34.1 °C (93 °F), while the coldest is −8.4 °C (17 °F).
Climate data for Queenstown
|Average high °C (°F)||21.8|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||15.8|
|Average low °C (°F)||9.8|
|Source: NIWA Climate Data|
Queenstown is situated on the shore line of Lake Wakatipu, the third largest lake by surface area in New Zealand. It is at a relatively low altitude, for a ski and snowboarding centre, just 310 metres above sea level, on the shores of the lake, but nestled among mountains, and there are close-by gorges and some plains suitable for agriculture.
Residential housing in the Queenstown is quite expensive due to the town being a tourist destination and it is rated the second highest average cost per property in New Zealand with only Auckland being higher as of 2016.
Central Queenstown contains many businesses, apartments and homes but is near many suburbs or large areas of housing which are: Fernhill,Sunshine Bay, Queenstown Hill, Goldfield Heights, Marina Heights, Kelvin Heights, Arthurs Point and Frankton. Just outside Queenstown are the areas of: Arrowtown, Closeburn, Dalefield, Gibbston, Jack's Point, Lake Hayes Estate, Shotover Country and Quail Rise.
There are several internet cafes to be found in Queenstown with cheap rates. Some hotels charge plenty for internet, others offer it free. Most of the town is covered by Wi-Fi. Pick up a prepaid card at reasonable rates.
Prices in Queenstown
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||$4.30|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||$12.00|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||$40.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||$57.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||$96.00|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||$7.20|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||$5.70|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||$5.40|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||$11.00|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||$|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||$0.34|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||$14.00|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||$1.20|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||$92.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||$45.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||$107.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||$|
74 $ per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
266 $ per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
Queenstown Airport (IATA: ZQN) is the country's 4th busiest airport by passenger numbers. It is served by Air New Zealand, Jetstar, Qantas and Virgin Australia. There are direct flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbaneand Gold Coast in Australia, and from Auckland, Wellington andChristchurch in New Zealand. The frequency of flights varies seasonally, with the biggest number during the winter ski season. Typically, flying to Queenstown is more expensive than to other South Island destinations from Australia.
Queenstown Airport is known for its spectacular approach, the snow-covered mountains of the Southern Alps surround it on four sides and there is a complicated path to the runway. Low cloud and cold weather can close the runway, especially in winter, resulting in cancelled flights; however new precision approach equipment has considerably reduced this.
Queenstown Airport also provides for private jets and other aircraft, and there is a huge number of helicopter take-offs and landings each day. Scenic flights and heli-skiing are a popular attraction for the region.
From the airport, the cheapest way into town is on the Connectabus service 11/12, which runs every 20 minutes (check that it's going straight into town and not via Arrowtown) and this costs $8 one way - pay the driver when boarding (Jan 2014). Taxis into town cost about $30-40 while shared shuttle vans work out almost as cheap as the bus if you can get a big enough group together and these will take you straight to your accommodation.
Daily services from Christchurch, Dunedin, Invercargill, Te Anau, Wanakaand the West Coast (Fox Glacier, Franz Josef and Greymouth) .
National bus operator InterCity Coachlines and Newmans Coach Linesprovide daily services in and out of Queenstown with connections throughout the South Island. Fares start from just $1 and can be purchased on-line or via numerous local ticketing agents including the i-SITE information network. Services arrive and depart from the Athol Street car park located in the main retail shopping area.
National sightseeing tour operator GreatSights New Zealand has daily tour options to Queenstown from Christchurch via Mt Cook and operates daily services to the West Coast including (Fox Glacier Franz Josef and Greymouth).
There are also a number of smaller shuttle operators who connect to and from Queenstown including 'Atomic Shuttles' and 'nakedbus.com'.Connectabus, the local Queenstown transport provider, also has 2 return trips to Wanaka a day.
Many international tour companies carry holidaymakers into Queenstown by coach.
Queenstown is 6 hours non-stop from Christchurch via the Mackenzie Country and the Lindis Pass, so allow a full day driving. The drive is spectacular, through the diverse countryside of New Zealand's South Island, with vast plains, rolling hills, multicoloured lakes and mountain passes. The Lindis Pass does occasionally closes in winter due to snow; a slightly less scenic detour via Oamaru and Alexandra will add 2–4 hours to your journey.
Major international and all national rental car and camper van companies have offices in Queenstown.
The Taieri Gorge Railway scenic tourist train seasonally operates to Pukerangi and Middlemarch, with a coach connection for the remaining distance to Queenstown.
Transportation - Get Around
The Queenstown town centre itself is small enough to walk around. Parking is at a premium and can be hard to find during the day. For further distances a bus or car is necessary.
There are a number of tour operators to be found in the CBD of Queenstown. Transport from Queenstown's CBD to adventure activities is often part of the tour package. Some operators may pick up from your tourist accommodation.
A number of boat tours depart from the Queenstown Wharf at the bottom of the Mall - including the historic steamship TSS Earnslaw, affectionately known as the "Lady of the Lake".
There is also a water taxi service.
Queenstown has a small local bus service operated by Connectabus . There are three routes - the most useful for tourists being services 10/11 which run every 30 minutes to the airport and the Remarkables Park shopping centre and alternate services continue to Arrowtown. Fares are expensive eg, $6 single/$10 return from the airport to Queenstown, or $13 for a network day pass. All buses stop on Camp Street outside the O'Connell shopping mall.
A door to door Night Bus now operates in the weekends from in front of O'Connell shopping mall to Frankton, Arrowtown and Kelvin Heights. The service runs every hour on the hour 24:00-05:00 and provides an economical alternative to taxis.
Renting or buying a vehicle is convenient for getting around town, and to nearby areas. Many budget and premium car rentals provide services in Queenstown.
- BEST RATED -
- BEST VALUE -
The town centre contains many tourist and souvenir stores but bargains can be hard to come by.
Top quality knitwear, Sheepskin and Possum Fur products, Greenstone (Jade) and bone carvings, and fine New Zealand wine is available for a price.
Outdoor suppliers are plentiful, with equipment for trampers (hikers), mountain bikers, skiers and snowboarders, and many others who use Queenstown as the launching-pad for expeditions into the nearby National Parks.
There are a handful of convenience food stores in the town centre, most open until midnight and beyond. Two large supermarkets are on the outskirts of town.
Most of the stores in Queenstown are open daily until 20:00 or 21:00.
There are a huge variety of numerous eating establishments to be found in Queenstown, from all-hours takeaways to fine dining. Reservations for dinner are important at the best places most times of the year, and most nights of the week.
Due to the large number of restaurants, Queenstown is a culinary hub for New Zealand, and you will find regional produce such as pinot noir wine and Canterbury lamb on display in many of the restaurants. Fine restaurants also serve world-class seafood (local mussels, oysters and deep sea fish such as blue cod), game and red meat (farmed venison and beef).
There are also a number of wineries in the Gibbston Valley (20 minutes drive) with restaurants attached, most of which are open for lunch.
Budget food is a little harder to come by in Queenstown. There are a few small fish and chip shops, kebab joints, and the usual KFC and McDonald's. Your best bet if your looking to save a few dollars is to hit the supermarket. The other option is to wander around and check out daily specials on the sandwich boards of restaurants.
- Fergburger Takeaways, 42 Shotover St, Queenstown Central, . Daily 08:30-05:00. Legendary, large burgers, insanely busy most of the day.
- Fergbaker, Shotover St, next to Fergberger, serving pies, coffee and other bakery goods
- At Thai, Church Street, +64 3 442-3683 (Thai cuisine)
- Hamills Restaurant (casual dining) Remarkables Park, Frankton
- The Cow Pizza & Spaghetti House, Cow Lane +64 3 442-8588 (pizza)
- Fishbone Bar & Grill, 7 Beach St, . From 17:00.Queenstown's seafood restauarant, serving South Island fish & shellfish.
- The Lone Star, 14 Brecon St, . Su-Th from 16:30, Fr-Sa from 16:00. tex-mex, casual dining
- Minami Jujitsu (Japanese)
- Memories of Hong Kong, inside the mall near the casino (chinese)
- Skyline Queenstown Restaurant. Taste of New Zealand buffet offers delectable fresh seafood, salads, roast meats and delicious desserts.
- Winnies Gourmet Pizza bar, Upstairs, 7-9 The Mall (next to the cinema), . Competitor for the best pizzas in town, caters for everyone and family friendly (before the drinkers start to come in the evening)Splurge
- Botswana Butchery, 17 Marine Parade (On the waters edge), . A great restaurant with ambience, sensational service. The menu is extensive and specialises in meat. The whole leg of lamb for 2 could feed 3! The wine list is very good. Prices are at the higher end but sensational for a special occasion. They have smaller private room dinning opportunities as well as a great bar room for pre-dinner drinks.
- The Bathhouse Fine Restaurant, Esplanade +64 3 442-5625 (fine dining)
- The Bunker, Cow Lane +64 3 441-8030 (fine dining)
- Public Kitchen & Bar Steamer Wharf +64 3 442-5969 (previously Wai Waterfront Seafood Restaurant).
Sights & Landmarks
The spectacular mountain scenery and Lake Wakatipu dominate the view from most parts of town. Most attractions in Queenstown make the most of the view and it's enough reason to spend time in Queenstown even if you choose not to do anything else.
After that though, there are not a lot of things to 'See'. Its in the 'Do' category below where Queenstown really excels. Nevertheless, there are a few sights around the town to check out:
- Skyline Gondola. One of the best views is from the top of Bob's Peak reached by the Skyline Gondola. Breathtaking views of Coronet Peak, The Remarkables mountain range and across Lake Wakatipu to Cecil and Walter Peaks. It's truly magnificent and awe-inspiring!
- Queenstown Gardens (adjacent to centre of town). jutting out into lake Wakatipu, these botanical garden contain a variety of exotic and native trees and plants as well as a large pond and a range of facilities.
- Kiwi Birdlife Park, Upper Brecon St. Wildlife attraction featuring native New Zealand birds
Things to do
Getting out there and 'doing' is really what Queenstown is all about. Skiing was the first drawcard, but now it shares the limelight with a multitude of ways to test your bravery. If you can think of a way to get adrenaline pumping, Queenstown's budding entrepreneurs have probably tried at some stage to make a tourist attraction out of it. Queenstown also has a full range of more gentle attractions, including relaxing tours, and luxury spas.
Skiing & snowboarding - There are four large commercial ski fields, and two specialist fields easily accessible from Queenstown. There are also a number of heli-skiing providers.
- Coronet Peak - The closest to Queenstown, about 15 min from the Centre of town via a sealed access road (all other ski fields have unsealed/gravel access roads), features a full range of slopes.
- Remarkables - Nestled in the Remarkable Mountain range which towers above the airport. Slightly smaller than Coronet, but still easily accessible from town. New lifts/runs and an access road upgrade for 2014.
- Cardrona - In the crown range, approximately 60 min (58 km) from Queenstown along the windy Crown Range Road. It features mostly mid-level terrain and a large terrain park.
- Snow Park - In the crown range across the other side of the valley from Cardrona, the Snow Park is a Snowboard orientated world class Terrain park. Due to recent sale was closed in 2013 unlikely to be open to the public in 2014 - still hosts events and private functions/training.
- Snow Farm - Next to Snow Park, this is a specialist cross country ski area.
- Treble Cone - The furthest field from Queenstown, about an hour and a half away. Usually visited by people based in Wanaka, Treble Cone is seen as more of a skiers field and generally features more advanced terrain.
There are dozens of attractions and providers. The information centre in town acts as a booking centre and is a great place to start inquiries. Otherwise most businesses will have a store in the CBD where they can arrange things for you. Hostels and hotels also generally have a stack of pamphlets showing what is on offer, and staff are generally happy to help with recommendations and bookings. All providers generally provide transfers if needed.
- AJ Hackett Bungy, , toll-free: 0800 286 4958. The world's first commercial bungee jump was established by these guys on the Kawarau Bridge in 1988. AJ Hackett also operates the Ledge bungee from the top of the skyline gondola, and the Nevis Highwire Platform out of town in the Gibston valley, the third highest bungee jumping platform in the world at a height of 134 metres (440 ft). $195-$275. Minimum age is 10 years (13 years for Nevis).
- Jet boats. Exciting jetboat rides have been operating near Queenstown for 50 years. The jet boats carry passengers at high speeds over shallow waters performing stunts like 360 degree pirouettes in the water.
- Shotover Jet, Gorge Road, Arthurs Point, , toll-free: 0800 74 68 68. The original Shotover Jet is billed as "The World's Most Exciting Jetboat Ride". Adult $129, child (5-15) $69. Minimum height 120cm (3ft 11in).
- Kawarau Jet launches into Lake Wakatipu from the centre of town.
- Luge. Is fun filled gravity ride for all ages and abilities. You control your own gravity propelled vehicle down the track. Choose from two tracks, one scenic and gentle, the other advanced and adventurous. Children need to be at least 6 years old and 110cm (3ft 7in) tall to ride alone; those younger or shorter can ride in tandem with an adult.
- Mountain Biking package tours are available which include transport to specific locations. Or you can just hire a bike, grab a map and some tips and explore yourself. There is also a downhill service based on the Gondola, where you can buy a day pass and use it as a lift for repeated runs, and Rabbit Ridge, a trail centre located in Gibston Valley, with over 40km of tracks and shuttles.
- Parasailing available on lake Wakatipu
- Parapenting/Paragliding - launching yourself off a hill with a parachute to ride the "thermals"
- Quad-bike Tours - are available, some of which are specifically designed to take in Lord of the Rings film locations.
- Riverboarding - Swimming through rapids on a bodyboard.
- Mad Dog Riverboarding, 37 Shotover Street, . The most action packed and personally challenging white water activity you can do!
- NZONE Skydive, 35 Shotover St, toll-free: 0800 DROPZONE, e-mail:[email protected]. First commercial tandem skydive company in New Zealand, operating since 1990.
- White water rafting - Single and multi-day options, including a chance to go 'black water rafting' through an underground tunnel.
- Ziptrek Ecotours - New Zealand's #1 Original Zipline Tour. Amazing zipline tours through the forest high up on Bobs Peak and accessed by the Skyline Gondola. A fully guided tour with cool tree house architecture interconnected by fun ziplines, stunning views and a little bit of education on the environment, Queenstown history and local flora & fauna.
- Cruising - lake cruises on Lake Wakatipu offer great views of the town, surrounding mountains, etc. The TSS Earnslaw is a popular historic steam ship which offers daily tours. There are also private charter providers.
- Cycling - hire a bike for the day and use your legs. There is a cycle path which runs around the edge of the lake from the centre of town to the golf course opposite.
- Off the Rails. operate guided cycle tours on the world famous Otago Rail Trail from Sept to May. Departing from Queenstown. Includes bike hire, accommodation, breakfasts and transport.
- Horseback riding - there are some great tours that pick up in Queenstown and take you into the valleys, through rivers, etc. Pamphlets can be collected at any hotel or hostel to explore the dozens of horseback tours
- Fishing and flyfishing - Lake Wakatipu is known for trout. You cannot buy fish from lakes in New Zealand, you have to fish for them yourself. Flyfishing is also available locally.
- Garden Tours - Queenstown has a number of superb private gardens as well as the centrally located public Queenstown Gardens jutting out into Lake Wakatipu. The walking track on the lake edge offers excellent views of Queenstown and surrounding mountains.
- Queenstown Garden Tours. Operate small group garden tours to 3 private residential gardens in and around Queenstown during spring & summer.
- Golf - there are six golf clubs in town, with facilities (and green fees) ranging from everyday to five star.
- Hiking - Queenstown Hill behind the town can be climbed in about 3/4 hours for a fantastic view (and unlike most things in Queenstown it's free). There is also a nice track around the lake.
- Scenic flights - the helicopter and light aircraft flights around Queenstown and to Milford Sound and Fiordland are rated amongst the best in the world. It is easily possible to fly from Queenstown in the morning, cruise Milford Sound over lunch, before returning to Queenstown in the afternoon, replacing what could otherwise be two days on the road.
- Glenorchy Air, Queenstown Airport, . Scenic flights to Milford Sound, Mount Cook and the Glaciers
- HeliWorks, Queenstown Airport, . Exciting scenic flights in & around Queenstown & Milford Sound, Lord of the Rings flights with the pilots who filmed the trilogy.
- Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters, 35 Lucas Place, Queenstown Airport, toll-free: 0800 801 616, fax: , e-mail:[email protected]. Offers a selection of daily scenic flights over the iconic landscapes of the Wakatipu and Fiordland and Mount Aspiring National Parks. Alpine or snow landings are part of all their flights or you can discover the uniqueness of a glacier landing, included in all their Milford Sound experiences.
- Touring - the scenery surrounding Queenstown makes for excellent touring, with lakes, mountains and bush around vineyards and farmland. There are also a number of specific 'Lord of the Rings' themed tours which take in local film sites for the movie series.
- Wine tasting. The southernmost vineyards in the world are close by.
- Appellation Central Wine Tours. Appellation Central's team of specialists guides will host you on a memorable day out in Central Otago wine country. Small group tours depart daily from Queenstown.Queenstown Wine Trail. operate daily departing guided wine tours to renowned Queenstown & Bannockburn wineries
Nightlife in Queenstown is largely about drinking and there are over a hundred licensed premises, with most in the downtown area. It's hard to walk down one of the central streets without tripping over a bar or three. Most bars stay open till around 04:00 and it is lively most nights.
There are cheap bars popular with backpackers and young locals, and sophisticated and expensive wine, cocktail and imported beer bars. Many bars and pubs have sunny outdoor courtyards in the summer months, and roaring open fires in the winter. Major sports events are normally to be found on screen somewhere in Queenstown.
There are two small casinos for adult entertainment.
A selection of some of the most well known places follows:
- Bar Up, Upstairs, Cnr Searle Lane & Eureka Arcade. A boutique nightlife bar, the upstairs bar has a lounge feel about it, warmed by an open fire with a private deck. It has an extensive cocktail list.
- Bunker Bar, Cow Lane. Hard to find boutique bar on Cow Lane, upstairs with open fires and a private deck. It has an extensive cocktail list.
- The Find, 53 Shotover St. Successor to the burnt down World Bar. Another popular backpacker bar, their specialty is cocktail-like drinks served in teapots
- Guilty Bar, Ballarat Street, . Heineken Bar
- Loco, Shotover St, attached to the base backpackers. Big backpacker bar popular with tour bus groups. Drink specials and theme parties nightly. Not the place for a quiet drink
- Red Rocks, 48 Camp St (just off Shotover). Smaller backpacker bar with a ski lodge feel and a deck outside
- Tardis, Cow Lane. Late night drum and base/dance venue
- Winnies, The Mall, 7 Ballarat St, . 12:00 till late. Later in the evenings this pizza bar turns into a popular drinking spot. Dining, drinking and partying under the sun and stars with an opening roof.
Safety in Queenstown
Queenstown is a relatively safe town. The most common offence committed against tourists in the Queenstown area are car break-ins.
Although limited in number, the police in the Queenstown area are intolerant of disorderly behaviour and are prepared to arrest for quite minor offences. As with anywhere in New Zealand, they have no tolerance for possession of drugs.
Other emergency services in the area operate on a volunteer basis. Occasionally you may hear what sounds like a World War II air raid siren go off in Queenstown. This is not signalling that someone is trying to attack New Zealand with nuclear weapons, but signalling volunteer fire-fighters to get down to the station because there's a house fire/car accident/kitten stuck up a tree.
Rental car companies have restrictions in their rental agreements to prevent their vehicles being operated on some high country roads. New Zealand's ski-field roads also take many visitors by surprise, but driving to suit the conditions will considerably reduce any risk.
- Queenstown Police Station, 11 Camp St, Queenstown Central(opposite Church Street), . Remember, in an emergency, dial 111 and ask for police.