New Zealand: Routeburn | Abel Tasman | Queenstown | Other places

Pictures of Queenstown, New Zealand

Except where noted, all images are the property of Rhett A. Butler, copyright 1994-2004. Contact me with questions regarding use, reproduction, or purchase of any of the pictures.

Queenstown is New Zealand's most popular tourist destination for its adventure activities, great hiking, and spectacular beauty. Queenstown in located on the South Island of New Zealand.

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Queenstown [

Queenstown is a scenic town in the South Island of New Zealand. It is one of the most beautiful regions of Otago and offers year round attractions. The town sits on the edge of Lake Wakatipu and is surrounded by the Southern Alps. The most remarkable sight is the Remarkables, which is a saw-toothed range of mountains on the opposite side of the lake from the town.


Queenstown lies at the outlet to Lake Wakatipu, one of New Zealand's Southern Lakes. It caters for tourists on a wide range of budgets, from backpackers to luxury tourists. In many respects Queenstown can be a tourist trap. However, reasonable prices and bargains can be found for those prepared to look for them.


The town and surrounding area was originally settled by Europeans for gold mining and farming in 1860s. After the decline of goldmining, Queenstown became a sleepy rural town, popular as a summer getaway.

In 1947, New Zealand's first commercial skifield, Coronet Peak, opened and since then the town has grown into a world class tourist resort. There are now 4 commercial skifields within easy driving of Queenstown.

Get in

By plane

Queenstown has an international airport and there are connecting flights from all New Zealand's major centres and direct flights from Sydney and Brisbane in Australia.

By bus

Daily services from Christchurch, Dunedin, Invercargill, Te Anau, Wanaka and the West Coast.

By car

Allow a full day from Christchurch (about 6 hours driving). Major international and all national rental car and campervan companies have offices in Queenstown.

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 more distant travel wheeled transport such as a bus or car is necessary.

There are a number of tour operators to be found in downtown Queenstown. Transport from downtown Queenstown to adventure activities is often part of the tour package. Some operators may even pick up from your tourist accommodation.

A number of boat tours depart from the Queenstown Wharf at the bottom of the Mall..


  • skiing - 4 world class ski fields
  • snowboarding
  • bungy-jumping - the first commercial bungy jump was established on the Kawerau bridge just outside Queenstown
  • jet boats - the Shotover River jet boat trip is a hair raising experience
  • parasailing
  • mountaineering
  • parapenting
  • white water rafting
  • flyfishing
  • hiking
  • wine tasting. The most southerly vineyards in New Zealand are close to Queenstown.
  • cycling - hire a bike for the day and use your legs
  • luging


There are numerous eating establishments to be found in downtown Queenstown.


There are around a hundred licenced premises in Queenstown. Most in the downtown area, a number with 24 hour


Accommodation ranges from camping and backpackers through to luxury hotels and apartments.


There are several internet cafes to be found in Queenstown.

Stay Safe

Queenstown is a relatively safe town. However, visitors should still take care to ensure their own personal safety. Many of the other people in town are also visitors. Even the criminals take holidays in Queenstown!

Although limited in number, the police in the Queenstown area are intolerant of disorderly behaviour and are prepared to arrest for quite minor offences.

Other emergency services in the area operate on a volunteer basis.

A number of roads in this area are not suitable for cars as they are unsealed, very narrow and have steep drops. Rental car companies have restrictions in their rental agreements to prevent their vehicles being operated on these roads.

Get out

Queenstown can be used as a base to see the surrounding country, including Arrowtown, Glenorchy, Kingston, the Kawarau Gorge, Cromwell and Wanaka.

More distant tourist destinations such as Te Anau and Milford Sound are a day trip away, with many tour operators providing bus tours and flights.

Queenstown is New Zealand's most popular tourist destination for its adventure activities, great hiking, and spectacular beauty. Queenstown in located on the South Island of New Zealand.

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Copyright Rhett Butler 1994-2012

Pictures were taken by Rhett A. Butler, copyright 2008. While these photos are the property of, it may be permissible to use them for non-commercial purposes (like powerpoint presentations and school projects), provided that the images are not altered in any form. Please read this for more details. If you are interested in using an image in a publication please contact me. is a free resource.