Welcome to Queenstown, where natural beauty and an adventurous spirit go hand in hand! Set on the edge of Lake Wakatipu with the steep mountain range of The Remarkables rising behind, this South Island beauty is justifiably world-famous. Whether you’re here on an adventure, snow or mountain bike tour with us, Queenstown’s magical mix of gorgeous views, laidback vibes, great food, fun outdoor activities, and a can-do attitude is sure to be a South Island trip highlight.
A Hub of All Things Adventure
Queenstown’s abundance of adrenalin-laden activities is mind-boggling. The epic landscape inspires that spirit of grand adventure that has you jumping off a bridge tied only to a giant rubber band (in fact, nearby Kawarau Bridge is where commercial bungy jumping was invented!), or hurtling through a canyon in a jet-powered vessel, or leaping from a plane strapped (securly) to a stranger – it really is the best place to get some big items crossed off your bucket list. If more gentle adventure is your thing, not to worry, Queenstown can deliver on that too, with plenty of hikes, horse treks, 4WD tours and scenic cruises on offer.
Winter in Queenstown
The energy that normally pulses through Queenstown goes into hyperdrive during winter – no surprise, really, considering that the town is surrounded by the Southern Hemisphere’s most famed ski areas! The Remarkables, Coronet Peak, Treble Cone and Cardrona cater to all levels of skiers and snowboarders. Powder hounds converge on Queenstown for the ski season that starts in the latter half of June and ends in September (sometimes October).
Famous Burgers, Fine Wining & Après-ski
Given that it’s one of the great alpine regions of the world, Queenstown definitely takes its après ski responsibilities seriously. Ice bars, lakeside pubs, fine dining restaurants, cocktail lounges, craft beer courtyards with outdoor fires, pumping clubs, relaxed pizza joints, and cosy wine bars featuring the world’s best pinot noir – it’s all here to explore, taste and enjoy. Of course, there are some stand outs, including that world famous burger bar open 21 hours a day (that’s not a typo) with legendary queues for their legendary burgers.
Queenstown is set on the banks of the lightning-bolt shaped Lake Wakatipu which is bordered on all sides by towering mountains. The lake’s unparalleled 360° awe-inspiring views have been used as backdrops for many small and big screen productions (including the Lord of the Rings trilogy) and is part of what makes Queenstown so special. Lake Wakatipu is often referred to as ‘the breathing lake’ due to a particular phenomenon where every 25 minutes or so the water level in Queenstown Bay raises or lowers by 20cm! This quirk is due to a ‘standing wave’, also called a ‘seiche’, which is caused by fluctuating atmospheric pressures. Māori legend states that the heart of a defeated monster lies at the bottom of the lake, and that accounts for the ‘breathing’. Whatever the reason, one of the more serene ways to appreciate the beauty of Queenstown is to hop on board one of the region’s oldest tourist attractions: the ‘Lady of the Lake’, the 100-year-old steamer TSS Earnslaw for a cruise.
Five Fun, Cheap-ish Things to Do in Queenstown
- Hike up the Tiki Trail to Bob’s Peak which overlooks Queenstown (part of the the Ben Lomond mountain), or take a ride up the Southern Hemisphere’s steepest gondola. Once at the top, take your fill of views and photo opportunities, then race down the hill in a plastic sled with wheels attached on one of the two luge tracks. It’s world-class fun for two or more people.
- The Queenstown Gardens jut out into Lake Wakatipu and provide fantastic views of the town and the mountains. The Gardens are also home to a Disc (frisbee) golf course! Disc golf has similar rules to regular golf but here frisbees are thrown at 18 targets = hours of cheap fun for all! Your Haka guide will know where to get maps and scorecards, and you can even hire frisbees.
- Actually, any of the network of hikes and walking tracks will provide you with incredible views!
- Get to know the Māori history of the area and see the underwater inhabitants of Lake Wakatipu including huge brown and rainbow trout, New Zealand long-finned eels, and even some diving ducks at the underwater observatory on the main pier.
- On Saturdays, you can browse and sample the wares of local farmers and artisans near the docks.
haka lodge queenstown
Stay at our Haka Lodge in Queenstown which is just a short walk from Lake Wakatipu and the famous Fergburger! As well as free and unlimited Wi-Fi (upload all your Queenstown images to Instagram), the hostel features multiple well equipped kitchens, numerous bathrooms, cosy lounges, outdoor chill-out areas, and more!
Queenstown Blogs Posts
Tours including Queenstown
South Island Snow Safari
All abilities are welcome on our one-week snow tour that takes you to the top ski & snowboard locations on six mountains.View tour
New Zealand Uncovered
Uncover all the beauty, adventure, culture and fun activities of New Zealand and tick practically everything off your bucket list.View tour
Take in significant Southern highlights & must-do activities: mountains, lakes, glaciers, pristine rainforest & the world famous TranzAlpine rail journey.View tour
South Island Dirt Seeker MTB Tour
Mountain biking as it should be! See epic scenery as you conquer mountains & descend with rocky white-knuckle highs and flows.View tour
Ultimate Heli Tour
Ski & board some of the longest heli runs in the Southern Hemisphere & experience 3 mountain ranges on this bucket list tour.View tour
Amplified NZ Tour
Discover the best of the North and South Island. Tours run from Auckland to Christchurch, or Christchurch to Auckland.View tour
South Island Lick Tour
A week with wow factor! Tick off iconic South Island destinations with unbeatable scenery and a large dose of adventure.View tour
NZ MTB Dreamer Tour
Saddle up for the best NZ MTB tour! Ride Rotorua's Redwood Forest, exhilarating Wanaka & Queenstown + backcountry & private trails.View tour
Legendary NZ Tour
Our Legendary Tour lives up to its name, with stupendous scenery, bucket loads of adventure and eye-opening cultural experiences.View tour
Visit Queenstown, Wanaka, glaciers & rainforests then see more of the South Island on the world famous TranzAlpine rail journey.View tour
South Island Snow Odyssey
Experience the finest in NZ skiing & snowboarding on 11 mountains in 12 days – it’s the snow vacation you’ve been waiting for!View tour
Epic NZ Tour
Discover more of NZ than most New Zealanders, as you thoroughly explore the best of both the North and South Islands.View tour
South Island Adrenalin Junkie Tour
Starting in Christchurch, we’ll get your pulse racing at these Southern highlights including the West Coast & Queenstown’s adventure playground.View tour
Want to be featured here? Simply tag your Insta pics with #hakatours