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Queenstown is a resort town in Otago in the south-west of New Zealand's South Island. The town is built around an inlet called Queenstown Bay on Lake Wakatipu, a long, thin, Z-shaped lake formed by glacial processes, and has views of nearby mountains such as The Remarkables, Cecil Peak, Walter Peak and just above the town, Ben Lomond and Queenstown Hill. The Queenstown-Lakes District has a land area of 8,704.97 square kilometres not counting its inland lakes Hāwea, Wakatipu, and Wānaka. Neighbouring towns include Arrowtown, Glenorchy, Kingston, Wānaka, Alexandra, and Cromwell. Queenstown is known for its commerce-oriented tourism, especially adventure and ski tourism.

Queenstown Climate

Because of its relatively moderate altitude (310 metres) and high mountain surroundings, Queenstown has an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb). 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 than nearby Cromwell, Wānaka and Alexandra. The hottest recorded temperature in Queenstown is 34.1 °C (93 °F), while the coldest is -8.4 °C (17 °F).

  • 9.7°C / 49.5°F

    Average annual temperatures

  • 748.9mm / 29.48inches

    Average annual precipitation

  • 96.9 days

    Average annual precipitation days

Queenstown recommended destinations

  • Coronet Peak Ski Field

    The Peak is one of New Zealand's most popular ski resorts due to its proximity to Queenstown, varied terrain and quality facilities, offering two high speed six-seater chairlifts and a high speed beginner chairlift. The view from the skifield south across Lake Wakatipu and the smaller nearby Lake Hayes is a further contributor to the mountain's success. Dubbed the "original" resort ski area Coronet Peak is only 25 minutes from Queenstown.

  • Jetboating on the Shotover River

    The only way to experience our Canyons, see their beauty and feel their power, is to hop on the world's most exciting jet boat ride, the world's most exciting jet boat ride. A unique combination of beauty and power, it's an experience like no other, blending pristine natural landscape with wall to wall canyon action from start to finish! These jet boats are safe but truly exhilarating.

  • Lake Wakatipu

    Lake Wakatipu is renowned for its scenic beauty, as it is surrounded by mountains. The Remarkables mountain range lies along its southeastern edge. It is a popular venue for adventure tourism, with skifields, paragliding, bungy jumping and tramping tracks within easy reach. A vintage steamboat, the TSS Earnslaw regularly plies its waters. Several vineyards are nearby in Gibbston.

  • Queenstown Gondola

    Take a ride in Queenstown's iconic Gondola and immerse yourself in spectacular panoramic views of Queenstown and the surrounding mountains. 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 night sky with Skyline's guided Stargazing experience.

  • Skippers Canyon

    Skippers Canyon is a historic and scenic gorge, some 22 kilometres in length, several kilometres north of Queenstown, New Zealand. Today accessed from Queenstown via the same road that leads to the Coronet Peak skifield, Skippers Canyon is carved out by the Shotover River. Once a busy goldmining area, Skippers Canyon was accessed by Skippers Road, which is today one of New Zealand's better known scenic roads.

  • TSS Earnslaw

    The TSS Earnslaw is a 1912 Edwardian twin screw steamer based at Lake Wakatipu in New Zealand. It is one of the oldest tourist attractions in Central Otago, and the only remaining commercial passenger-carrying coal-fired steamship in the southern hemisphere. Take a stunning voyage from Queenstown to Walter Peak Sheep Station and have an introduction to a high country sheep station.