Queenstown is a world-renowned destination for skiing and snowboarding, located in the Southern Alps of New Zealand’s South Island. Its unique location provides breathtaking scenery and a wide range of terrain for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities.
Queenstown is most renowned for its diverse terrain, which ranges from gentle slopes for beginners to challenging backcountry terrain for advanced skiers and snowboarders. The region is also famous for its stunning alpine views and lively après-ski scene.
Queenstown also has plenty of restaurants, bars, and other attractions to enjoy after a day on the slopes. Additionally, the region offers a wide variety of off-mountain activities such as bungee jumping, skydiving, and wine tasting, making it a popular year-round destination for adventure seekers, so much so that it has been coined the adventure capital of the world.
Overall, Queenstown is widely considered to be one of the best ski destinations in the world, attracting visitors from around the globe who come to experience its unique blend of natural beauty, world-class skiing, and vibrant culture.
The typical ski season in Queenstown runs from late June to early October. July and August are the busiest months, with the best snow conditions, while September and October offer quieter slopes and longer daylight hours.
Queenstown’s snow quality is generally excellent, with light, dry powder that is perfect for skiing and snowboarding. The region receives an average of 2-4 meters of snow each winter, and its high altitude ensures that the snow stays in good condition throughout the season.
Queenstown is home to four major ski resorts: Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and the nearby Cardrona Alpine Resort, and Treble Cone, situated near Wanaka. Each resort offers a unique skiing and snowboarding experience, with a range of terrain, facilities, and après-ski activities.
The ski resorts in Queenstown cater to skiers and snowboarders of all abilities, with a range of terrain suitable for beginners, intermediate, and advanced riders, as well as off-piste areas for more experienced skiers and snowboarders.
For beginners, each of the resorts has dedicated beginner areas with gentle slopes and easy-to-use lifts. These areas are staffed with experienced instructors who offer lessons to help new skiers and snowboarders get started.
For intermediate skiers and snowboarders, all four resorts offer a mix of groomed runs and more challenging terrain to help riders progress their skills.
For advanced skiers and snowboarders, Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, and Treble Cone offer off-piste areas with challenging terrain that provide a unique experience for those looking for a more extreme skiing or snowboarding experience. Additionally, Cardrona is known for its world-class freestyle facilities, including a half-pipe and a terrain park, that attract skiers and snowboarders who want to test their skills in a freestyle setting.
Each of the ski resorts in Queenstown (Coronet Peak and The Remarkables) has its own ski school where visitors can take lessons from experienced instructors to improve their skills on the slopes. The ski schools are located on-site at each of the resorts and offer lessons for all abilities, from beginner to advanced.
Here are the websites for the ski schools at each of the resorts:
Queenstown offers a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets and preferences, from luxurious hotels to budget-friendly hostels. Here are ten recommended accommodation options in Queenstown, listed in no particular order:
Queenstown is known for its vibrant dining scene, with a wide range of restaurants and cafes to suit all tastes and budgets. Here are ten recommended restaurants in Queenstown, listed in no particular order:
The types of entertainment and food vary depending on the restaurant. Some, like Rata Dining and Amisfield Bistro, offer fine dining experiences with an emphasis on local and seasonal produce. Others, like Fergburger and The Cow, are known for their casual atmosphere and delicious burgers. Many restaurants offer live music or other forms of entertainment, particularly during the winter ski season.
Most restaurants are suitable for singles, couples, and families, although some may have a more adult-oriented atmosphere or menu. Prices can also vary widely, so it’s best to check each individual website for menus, prices, and other details.
Queenstown is also known for its lively bar scene, with a wide range of bars and nightlife to suit all tastes and preferences. Here are ten recommended bars in Queenstown, listed in no particular order:
The types of entertainment and drinks vary depending on the bar. Some, like The Bunker and Little Blackwood, offer a more upscale atmosphere and craft cocktails. Others, like Rhino’s Ski Shack and The World Bar, are known for their laid-back vibe and beer selection. Many bars offer live music or other forms of entertainment, particularly during the winter ski season.
Most bars are suitable for singles and couples, although some may be more family-friendly than others. Prices can also vary widely, so it’s best to check each individual website for menus, prices, and other details.
There are so many other tourist attractions and activities to enjoy in Queenstown besides skiing and snowboarding. Here are some recommended options, along with their website URLs:
These activities range in price and are suitable for a variety of ages and interests. Some, like the Milford Sound Cruise and Shotover Jet Boat Ride, offer thrilling experiences while others, like the Onsen Hot Pools and TSS Earnslaw Steamship Cruise, offer a more relaxing atmosphere. The Queenstown Trail and Arrowtown Historic Village are great options for those looking to explore the area’s history and natural beauty.
Queenstown is accessible by both air and land. Here are some transportation options to get to Queenstown from the country’s most popular inbound airports, train and bus stations:
By Air: Queenstown Airport (ZQN) is located approximately 10 km from the city centre and is the main airport serving the region. There are direct flights from major cities in New Zealand, including Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington, as well as from some Australian cities such as Sydney and Melbourne. International visitors can fly to Queenstown via Auckland or Christchurch.
By Bus: Several bus companies operate services to Queenstown from various parts of New Zealand. Some popular options include:
By Train: There are no direct train services to Queenstown. However, visitors can take a train to nearby cities such as Dunedin or Christchurch, and then transfer to a bus or drive to Queenstown.
Once in Queenstown, visitors can get around by car, taxi, bus, or shuttle. Car rental is a popular option for those who want to explore the surrounding areas at their own pace. There are also several shuttle services available for transportation to and from the ski resorts.
Queenstown is a world-class destination for skiing and snowboarding, with excellent snow quality, diverse terrain, and stunning alpine views. Its four major ski resorts offer a range of skiing and snowboarding experiences, from beginner slopes to challenging off-piste terrain and world-class freestyle facilities. Whether you’re a seasoned skier or snowboarder or a beginner looking to learn, Queenstown has something to offer everyone.