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Queenstown

Population:15,300
Time Zone:UTC+14
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Lake Wakatipu
Shaped like a lightning bolt, Lake Wakatipu is the third largest lake in New Zealand. The lake occupies a single, glacier-carved trench and is bordered on all sides by tall mountains, the highest of which is Mount Earnslaw (2819 metres). Settlements around the lake shore include Queenstown and the villages of Kingston, Glenorchy and Kinloch. Because of its unusual shape, Lake Wakatipu has a 'tide' (more correctly, an unusually large seiche or "standing wave"), which causes the water to rise and fall about 10 centimetres every 25 minutes or so. Maori legend links this phenomenon to the heartbeat of a huge monster named Matau, who is said to be slumbering at the bottom of the lake. Lake Wakatipu offers year-round trout fishing - the mouths of the Greenstone and Lochy Rivers are particularly rewarding. In summer, the lake's beaches are popular for swimming. The Lake Wakatipu Ride, part of the Queenstown Trails, is a leisurely way to experience this stunning part of the country.
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The Queenstown Trail
Linking Queenstown, Arrowtown and the Gibbston Valley, this trail network is the ultimate way to reach many of the region’s iconic attractions while soaking up its world-famous scenery. Rides range from easy lakeside jaunts to cross-country treks to winery tours, offering adventures to suit cyclists of almost every ability and area of interest. Visitors are spoilt for choice on this trail network, which dishes up sublime scenery while linking many of the attractions the Queenstown region is famous for. Multiple access and bike hire points, open landscapes and clear signage make for easy navigation, while wide, smooth terrain means riders can keep their eyes front and camera at the ready. Gold rush-era Arrowtown is the starting point for the intermediate Arrow River Bridges Ride that takes in photogenic bridges, country lanes and an old gold miners’ road to historic Kawarau Bridge, site of the world’s original bungy jump operation and a chance to strike the big bounce off the bucket list. Kawarau Bridge signals the start of the Gibbston River Ride, an easy meander through the ‘Valley of the Vines’ and a brilliant way to explore the wineries lining this iconic Central Otago landscape.
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Glenorchy
This rustic town is a true outdoor enthusiast's paradise, located just 45 minutes away from Queestown. Set against a background of native beech forest and towering mountain ranges, Glenorchy’s surrounds are nothing short of awe-inspiring. Lake Wakatipu and the Dart River offer opportunities for jet boating and kayaking, and some of New Zealand’s best hiking trails can be accessed from here. Horse trekking in the area is also highly recommended. Glenorchy’s spectacular landscapes have become a prime location for film scouts, depicting many scenes from The Lord of the Rings trilogy as well as featuring in the Narnia movies. Twenty kilometres away from Glenorchy, as bucolic farmland gives way to beech forests, lies Paradise. Some say it was christened for its natural charms, others for the paradise ducks that live in the area. Nobody can say for sure how it got its name, but the one thing people agree on is its breathtaking beauty.
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Kiwi Birdlife Park
The Kiwi Birdlife Park is a wildlife sanctuary found in the heart of Queenstown. Park holds and displays over 20 species of native NZ wildlife in 5 acre, all of which are part of nationally managed programmes. In this Birdlife Park you can meet Brown Teal, Kea, Blue Duck, New Zealand Falcon and other species of birds. Kiwi Birdlife Park’s Kiwi Houses reverse the clock so park visitors can see, by day, these amazing birds in a naturalistic night-time setting. Also discover a world of fun bee facts and products at the Honey Bee Centre. With an indoor transparent beehive, you will get to see the incredible world of bees. Learn about the importance of bees in agriculture and things you can do to help bee populations!
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Queenstown Scenic Flights
The magnificent scenery and views around Queenstown, New Zealand can only truly be experienced from the air via a scenic helicopter flight. Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters operated by Helicopters Queenstown Ltd offer a selection of scenic Queenstown helicopter flights which can fly you over the high points of Lake Wakatipu, The Remarkables, Coronet Peak, Kawarau Gorge, Shotover River, & Skippers Canyon. Experience the thrill of landing on snow and glaciers deep within the alpine ranges and there is plenty of Middle Earth to see for Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit fans also.
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Milford Sound
Situated on the west coast of the South Island, Milford Sound is a fusion of spectacular natural features with amazing visual cues around every corner. Described by Rudyard Kipling as the 'eighth wonder of the world', Milford Sound was carved by glaciers during the ice ages. Breathtaking in any weather, the fiord's cliffs rise vertically from the dark waters, mountain peaks scrape the sky and waterfalls cascade downwards from as high as 1000 metres. When it rains in Milford Sound, and it often does, those waterfalls multiply with magnificent effect.Things to do in Milford SoundExplore Milford Sound on a coach and cruise tour, go kayaking, or lace up your walking shoes and tackle some of the stunning tracks in the area.Cruise Milford SoundBoat cruises – during the day or overnight – are an excellent way to experience the Sound. Adventurous types might also like to head out sea kayaking, diving or flightseeing. To learn more about the local marine life, visit the underwater observatory at Harrison Cove and marvel at the black coral, 11-legged sea stars and delicate anemones.Go kayaking in Milford SoundMilford Sound & Fiordland's land-before-time landscapes are best explored by kayak. If you're lucky, you might even spot a bottlenose dolphin or fur seal.Kayaking offers paddlers an unforgettable opportunity to see the region's spectacular fiords at sea level as well as explore untouched waterways and lakes.Paddle up close to the thundering Sutherland Falls, which rank as some of the tallest in the world, and see if you can spot some of the local resident wildlife - dolphins, seals, and the Fiordland Crested Penguin call the region home. For the truly adventurous, enjoy an overnight kayaking adventure in Doubtful Sound.
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Skyline
Take a ride in Queenstown’s iconic Skyline Gondola and immerse yourself in spectacular panoramic views of Queenstown and the surrounding mountains. But there’s more to enjoy! When you get to the top, discover a host of family-friendly activities on offer. Get your fix of downhill fun with the Skyline Luge, settle in for a relaxing evening with the best of New Zealand and international cuisine at Stratosfare Restaurant & Bar, or journey into the hidden world of the Southern night sky with Skyline’s guided Stargazing experience. Located an easy five minute walk from the centre of town, a visit to Skyline Queenstown is a must do!
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Arrowtown
Arrowtown is a living historic settlement with many stories to tell. Wander the tree-lined streets of restored cottages and explore gold mining sites. One of the most picturesque settlements in New Zealand, Arrowtown sits alongside the gold-bearing Arrow River and is just 20 minutes from Queenstown. The town was established in 1862, during the height of the Otago gold rush. The settlement grew quickly as pioneers constructed cottages, shops, hotels and churches, more than 60 of which can still be seen today. The gold days are long over (although you can still pan for gold in the river with some success), so Arrowtown's focus is on hosting visitors. Play a round at the challenging local golf course or take a 4WD journey to Macetown, a ghost town accessible only by wagon track, or simply while away some time wandering the streets, café hopping, or catch a film!
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Lakes District Museum
The award winning Lakes District Museum is set in the historic gold mining town of Arrowtown and presents an authentic picture of early life in the Wakatipu District. Displays portray pre- European Maori, European settlement and the exciting goldrush era of the mid 1800's. The museum has an attached gallery showing changing art and history related exhibitions.An excellent bookshop/giftshop is also attached.
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Hot Pools
Hot pools in Queenstown are an excellent way to soothe the muscles and relax after a day on the ski slopes or on the walking tracks! Enjoy a daytime soak to warm and rejuvenate the whole family, or make a night time visit and marvel at the clear night sky as your worries and aches are gently soothed by the warm waters.
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Mount Aspiring National Park
Named for Mt Aspiring, one of New Zealand's highest peaks, this park is a dreamland of mountains, glaciers, river valleys and alpine lakes. A hiker's paradise, Mount Aspiring National Park offers a large number of short walks that are mostly concentrated at the end of the park's access roads. Longer hikes through beautiful valleys, with options to traverse mountain saddles, include the Routeburn, the Dart/Rees River circuit, Greenstone/Caples and the Wilkin Valley tracks. In summer, it’s possible to walk from one valley to another over spectacular mountain passes. Shorter walks include Routeburn Nature Walk, Haast Pass Summit, Lake Sylvan near the lower dart River and the Blue Pools Walk. A highlight of any South Island adventure, the 30-minute Blue Pools Walk leads through silver beech/tahina forest and over a swing bridge to a viewing platform overlooking magnificent crystal-clear pools at the mouth of Blue River.
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Lake Hawea
An easy, scenic 15 minute drive from Wanaka and on the road to Makarora and the West Coast, is Lake Hawea. A place of vivid beauty, mountainous extremes and legendary fishing spots. Lake Hawea is an outdoor adventurers’ paradise and a great place to boat, swim, kite surf, kayak, ride, walk or just laze about on the beach. From Lake Hawea township you can find an excellent walk by following Timaru River Road to Timaru Creek, a picnic and camping area. The trail that begins here leads through a valley of beech forest until it flattens onto a braided river bed. With magnificent views of the surrounding peaks, and a lake to cool off, Lake Hawea offers a welcome respite from the long hot months of summer.
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Dunedin Railway Station
Described as ‘the outstanding monument of Edwardian architecture in New Zealand’, as well being regarded as the most photographed building in the country, the Dunedin Railway Station was constructed in 1906, during the New Zealand railing systems period of growth that occurred between the late 1890s to the early 1900s.
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The Dunedin Gasworks Museum
The Dunedin Gasworks Museum is part of the now closed Dunedin Gasworks which was New Zealand’s first and last gasworks, operating from 1863 until 1987.
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Aramoana Beach
This beautiful white sandy beach is split by the Mole, a long breakwater stretching out into the harbour entrance. It's an exciting walk when the seas are big and a great spot to watch the albatrosses swooping into Taiaroa Head on the other side the harbour.
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Air Force Museum of New Zealand
Discover New Zealand’s military aviation story at the place where it all began. Engage with stories of the men and women who have helped shape New Zealand’s military aviation journey, and reflect on their service and sacrifice through years of war and peace.
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Willowbank Wildlife Reserve
Close encounters of the ‘wildlife kind’ are a Willowbank trademark. Meet New Zealand’s Big 5 with the Kiwi, the cheeky Kea, the ancient Tuatara, our bush parrot the Kaka and the very rare Takahe. Feed the wild eels and make friends with the livestock breeds unique to New Zealand.
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Christchurch Gondola
Stunning 360° views from 500 metres above sea level - to the west gaze across the sparkling cityscape of Christchurch, over the Canterbury Plains to the high peaks of the Southern Alps. To the south and east are dramatic views of Banks Peninsula, Lake Ellesmere and Lyttelton Harbour formed in a sunken volcanic crater.
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Murchison
Come to Murchison for whitewater thrills – rafting, kayaking, canoeing and jet boating. There are fast running rivers in every direction. Murchison is known as the ‘whitewater capital’ of the country, because there are rivers everywhere – the Gowan, Mangles, Matiri, Glenroy, Matakitaki, Maruia and the mighty Buller. For anybody into canoeing or kayaking, it’s a dream come true with the region offering some of the best all-grades options in New Zealand.
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Nelson Lakes National Park
The Nelson Lakes National Park is an enchanting alpine landscape of rugged peaks, forests and stunning glacial lakes. A compact area of mountain ranges separated by forested valleys, the Nelson Lakes National Park is home to the beginning of the awe-inspiring Southern Alps. Promising everything from easy lakeside walking tracks to challenging alpine hikes, this national park has something on offer for everyone. The beautiful alpine lakes of Rotoroa and Rotoiti form the heart of this 102,000 hectare national park. Both are surrounded by steep mountains and fringed to the shore by native honeydew beech forests, which feed a variety of tuneful nectar-eating native birds.
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Saint Arnaud
Perched on the edge of Lake Rotoiti, St Arnaud is the perfect base from which to explore the honeydew forest and mountains of Nelson Lakes National Park. The village of St Arnaud sits at the edge of Lake Rotoiti in the Nelson region, providing an ideal base for people who plan to hike or fish in Nelson Lakes National Park. Both Lake Rotoroa and Rotoiti are well known for their fine brown trout, and if you walk along the jetty you’ll see some friendly native eels swimming around the waters below. The lakes are a popular destination year round for boating, water skiing, swimming and kayaking, and hosts the annual New Zealand Antique and Classic Boatshow.
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Moutere Hills
Art galleries, wineries, roadside fruit stalls and gourmet food producers are scattered throughout the pristine landscape.
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Wellington Botanic Garden
Over 26 hectares of unsurpassed views, unique landscape, exotic forests, native bush, colourful floral displays and gorgeous specialist gardens.Visit the Duck Pond, Begonia House, award-winning Lady Norwood Rose Garden, Treehouse Visitor Information Centre, Sundial of Human Involvement, Children's Play Area and the historic Bolton Street Memorial Park, where many of the city's pioneers are buried.
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Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Te Papa is New Zealand's bold and innovative national museum and a recognised world leader in interactive and visitor-focused museum experiences.
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Wellington Cable Car
One of Wellington's most popular tourist attractions, the Wellington Cable Car runs from downtown Wellington to the picturesque suburb of Kelburn and Wellington Botanic Garden.
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Brooklands Zoo
Brooklands Zoo is a free, family focused zoo which is home to farmyard animals, oriental small-clawed otters, meerkats and both capuchin and cotton-top tamarin monkeys, as well as a selection of colourful birds housed inside a walk-through free-flight aviary.
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4th Wall Theatre
Opened in April 2013 the 4th Wall Theatre and is a stunning example of modern contemporary design. Transformed over a period of two years from the original church into what you see today, the theatre is a tribute to the vision and artistic excellence that it represents. Located just 5 minutes from the CBD with complete off street parking, the theatre consists of three levels and seats cabaret style. The 4th Wall is dedicated to the enrichment of cultural life, advancing the theatrical art form and sharing it with the broadest possible audience. Our Vision - Theatre Beyond Expectation, Theatre – because our purpose is to produce and create world-class storytelling, in a vibrant celebration of the act of live performance. Beyond Expectation – because we are challenging and innovating, and transcending the anticipations of ourselves, our audiences and our peers. "A town without a theatre is like a town without a heart" Please join us on our journey!
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Nga Pou o Heretaunga
18 pou, each representing an ancestor from marae around the Heretaunga district stand proudly in the centre of Hastings, presenting a tangible link to the regions' cultural heritage.
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Splash Planet
Splash Planet is New Zealand’s only water theme park and is a beloved Hawke’s Bay destination where generations of families have made lifetime memories.
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Hawkes Bay Farmers Market
The Hastings Farmers’ Market has been around for seventeen years and is one of the oldest and largest Farmers’ Markets in the country. Every Sunday the Waikoko Gardens come to life with the best seasonal produce on offer - so pop us on your Hawke's Bay Playlist
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Hawke's Bay Trails
Following dedicated cycle paths and the occasional country road, this delightful trail network traces the coast from Bay View in the north to Cape Kidnappers in the south, and ventures inland through idyllic rural and riverside scenery. With mostly flat terrain, fantastic attractions, great food and gorgeous weather, Hawke’s Bay is brilliant for biking at any time of year. These trails are the perfect way to explore the region and offer something for everyone – from world-class wineries and wildlife, to art deco architecture, art galleries and ice cream. Well located bike tour and hire depots and an excellent map with themed rides – Water, Landscapes & Wineries – make it easy to plan the perfect sightseeing tour from an hour to all day, with nearly 200 km of trails to choose from.
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Art Deco
Napier's Art Deco town centre is unique. Rivalled only by Miami beachfront Streamline Moderne, it is the most comprehensive Art Deco styled town in the world. Fascination with cinema, Hollywood and exotic imagery from Africa and South America mixed with expressions of new and exciting transport engineering; railway, steamships, cars and airplanes, is what gives Art Deco its distinct look. Other period styles such as Spanish Mission and Stripped Classical were also tested and mixed in. Notable Architect J. A. Louis Hay also experimented with the palette of Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie Style. Despite this altogether global influence, the town retains its kiwi nature in building and street scale, bright colour, and New Zealand's typically quirky and innovative appropriation of international trends. An architecture that embodies an era's optimism in the face of such a tragedy; enjoy this town's many architectural treasures with a variety of walks and guided tours, or take it in at your own pace as you stroll down the palm-lined Marine Parade.
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Napier Prison
Walk through New Zealand's oldest prison! Listen to a 50-minute self-guided audio tour of Napier Prison while inspecting the vacant prison cells and deserted exercise yard. Learn the history and feel the oppressive atmosphere of the hanging yard, the solitary confinement and the death row cells. Hear the tales of Australasia's richest drug baron, numerous escape attempts, the ominous Eye Eater, and the graveyard. Take your time walking through the empty halls and enjoy several photo opportunities that are great for the family! Opening in 1862, Napier Prison is New Zealand's oldest penal complex. Begin your tour at the front gate and enter through the prisoner-built wall and walk through the Visiting Area where family members could see their loved ones. Take a look at the The Pound and see what solitary confinement meant in the 1900s, and visit the Detox Room where inmates would be disinfected and begin their new life behind bars. Next, step through the Courtyard where the Shower Block, Toilets, and Mess Hall are located. Learn about their meager meals and the few recreational activities available. As you enter the living areas, you'll witness the living conditions that inmates were subjected to, see how they left their mark on the Prison, and learn about the Earthquake that levelled Napier City. You'll make your way through the back of the Prison where you'll learn about the Graveyard and the prisoners that remain here. Finally, around the Cleaning Building, you'll visit the ominous Hanging Yard where several inmates met their end. This audio-guided tour allows you to take your time (or skip) certain parts of the Prison. The tour allows you to read extra information and take great photo opportunities along the way.
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Hawke's Bay Vineyard
Any New Zealand gourmet trail would be incomplete without a visit to Hawke’s Bay, with top vineyards and producers who make the most of the local bounty. Blessed with long sunshine hours and fertile plains, Hawke’s Bay is one of New Zealand’s most productive growing regions. It is also the second largest when it comes to wine production. Wineries and vineyards are dotted throughout Hawke’s Bay, although Gimblett Gravels and Ngatarawa Triangle are two of its most famous wine producing sub-regions. These regions produce a large portion of the Bordeaux blend reds that Hawke’s Bay is revered for. Owing to its geographical diversity, Hawke’s Bay is also capable of producing a number of other varietals to a high standard, including Chardonnay. Hawke’s Bay’s wineries can be explored on leisurely tours – guided tours are available and are a great way to discover the local gems. Another brilliant way to experience the wineries is on a cycle, riding on especially created trails that link towns and wineries. A number of the wineries have cellar doors and many boast superb winery restaurants that make the most of the abundant fresh local produce. Hawke’s Bay also forms part of the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail that takes you to more than 100 cellar doors across four New Zealand regions.
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Taupo Museum
Taupo Museum contains an array of exhibits with everything from Māori treasures, a ‘cute as’ Kiwiana caravan, a 'virtual' tour of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Art Galleries and a fishing tale or two.
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Huka Falls
The sheer volume of water flowing over the falls amounts to 220,000 litres per second - enough to fill one Olympic sized swimming pool in 11 seconds!
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Lava Glass Sculpture Garden
The latest attraction in Taupo is the spectacular new Lava Glass Sculpture Garden set in an acre of manicured grounds with more than 500 glass sculptures.
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Hamilton Zoo
Hamilton Zoo is home to over 600 native and exotic animals and boasts the only tapirs in New Zealand, the only fishing cats and the largest free-flight aviary in New Zealand dedicated to native birds and plants. See exotic species like giraffes, zebras, chimpanzees, red pandas, lemurs and Sumatran tigers as well as farm animals like kune kune pigs and alpacas. Get to know some animals during free daily Meet the Keeper talks. For a special experience, go behind the scenes on a Face2Face encounter and meet a southern white rhinos, siamang gibbons, giraffe, red pandas, or lemurs. Every visit is different, with breeding and baby animals at any time of the year. Hamilton Zoo is committed to inspiring conservation action through participation in various projects and contributing to breeding programmes for endangered species like southern white rhino, once there were only 100 left in the world, now there are more than 20,000.
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Classic Car Museum
A classic car museum with something designed to cater for every member of the family.We have over 100 cars for display and an extensive collection of petrol, pedal cars and early pin ball machines.
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Hamilton Gardens
Explore an enchanting world of secret gardens at Waikato's most visited tourist destination. The international award-winning Hamilton Gardens is unique; it tells "the story of gardens".
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Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Experience spectacular volcanic craters, enormous hot water springs, beautiful geothermal features, rare and unusual plant life, brilliantly coloured micro biology and a wide array of birds. We immerse visitors in the stories of the Mt Tarawera volcanic eruption, its people, and the resulting dramatic landscape changes that created the world’s youngest geothermal valley Treat yourself to some of the best walking trails in Rotorua, set amongst awe-inspiring volcanic craters and incredible geothermal activity. Choose from a range of self-guided nature walks and hiking trails, mostly down hill, through pristine New Zealand bush. Included with your entrance fee is a guide sheet, available in many different languages, to refer to for interpretation as you make your way through our wonderful valley.
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Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park
Paradise Valley Springs is Rotorua's must-see wildlife park where visitors of all ages can interact closely with a range of New Zealand’s wild animals, native birds, farm animals and trout, as well as view and get up close to a large pride of African Lions. The wildlife park is set amongst beautifully maintained New Zealand native bush, offering easy walking along flat accessible walkways in all types of weather. You can hand-feed animals that are found wild around the country such as Deer, Goats, Tahr and Wallabies. Visit the Kea, New Zealand’s infamous and comical alpine parrot in their walk-through aviary. Stroll through the waterbird wetland for great views of native and introduced waterfowl, and look out for the different native birds living wild around the park. Pat and feed the very sociable farm animals - alpacas, donkey, emus, sheep and more. Hundreds of Rainbow and Brown trout can be fed in the natural stream as well as in the spring-fed display pools, and viewed at eye level through an underwater window below their pool. Spot some of the large native long-finned eels lazing in their pools. Drink straight from the cool waters of the freshwater spring, or purchase some of their bottled ‘Paradise Pure’ to take away with you. Take the elevated treetops to walk in a secluded area, putting you up near the canopy of the trees. In a separate area of the park, there is also a pride of African Lions that can be seen all day in an enclosure that allows visitors to get very close to these wild animals. Lion pride feeding is at 2.30pm, followed by kea and possum feeding at 3pm every day. 10-15 minutes drive from central Rotorua. Open every day of the year including all public holidays.