Situated beside beautiful Lake Wakatipu and framed by the jagged skyline of The Remarkables mountain range, Queenstown is billed as the adventure capital of New Zealand. If you want to jump off things, launch yourself off things or ride things that go very, very fast, Queenstown will cater for your every thrill-seeking whim. But away from these hair-raising, white knuckle, adrenaline-fueled antics, Queenstown has a quieter, more elegant and romantic side. Many of the town’s high end accommodation providers cater for visitors seeking to relax and unwind rather than fire themselves up. These lodges and retreats offer unrivalled private accommodation set in the spectacular heart of the Southern Alps. Queenstown has an international reputation for premium bespoke accommodation and its penthouses, 5-star boutique lodges, and luxury hotels rank among the best in the world. Who can resist starting a day of indulgence by waking up to a 360 degree panorama of lakes and mountains? So, if Queenstown sounds like your kind of place, here’s a selection of the town’s finest luxury accommodation.
For a 5-star resort experience stay at the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort Gold Coast. The hotel opens out to the Pacific Ocean with direct access from the lagoon area. It is less than 10 minutes’ walk from Sea World, the Southport Yacht Club and Marina Mirage. The modern guest rooms have an ocean inspired design and views of the Pacific, lagoon or resort. The comfortable […]View Details
Located right in the centre, this luxury hotel blends French-style alpine sophistication with stylish local design trends to created an elegant living space amid the action and excitement of Queenstown. Just a muffin-toss away from the Skyline Gondola and the cafes, bars and shopping precincts you can live it up here…or snuggle down. Every room at the Sofitel is loaded with features to ensure your […]View Details
Situated on the crystalline shore of Lake Wakatipu, just a stone’s skim away form the centre of town, the rooms at this luxury hotel look out on the stupendous vista of the lake and its backdrop of awe-inspiring mountains. Its quiet and private location provides a haven of tranquility from Queenstown’s frenetic pace. The hotel’s accommodation options are an adventure in themselves, stepping upwards from […]View Details
A Queenstown institution, this stunning hotel, right on Queenstown’s waterfront, has been purveying top quality accommodation for over a century and a half. Established in 1866 to service the Otago Goldfields, the Echardt’s Hotel of today epitomizes the grace and charm of the colonial world blended with the sophistication and style of a modern 5-star hotel. The spacious Penthouse (240m²), with its uninterrupted views, […]View Details
With its absolute lakefront location and quiet, secure, gated facilities, The Rees is a luxurious hotel which offers one of Queenstown’s best views of Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables. Built in 2007, The Rees takes its name from the explorer William Rees who established a farm at Queenstown in 1859. The contemporary design of the hotel’s Executive Apartments feature tiled balconies and cosy gas fires […]View Details
With sweeping view of Lake Wakatipu, Frankton Arm, and the ever-changing panorama of The Remarkables, this luxurious hotel sits nicely amid a landscape of native flora a few minutes walk from downtown Queenstown. With floor-to-ceiling windows giving expansive views of the Wakatipu Basin’s landscape, and featuring a fully-functioning kitchen, the Alpine Studios are perfect as a ski base or holiday home. With stylish, modern design […]View Details
Ultra-modern, and with a atmosphere of relaxed informality, this luxe hotel is small enough to be intimate but goes big on service and facilities. Located on a hillside overlooking downtown Queenstown, and only a five minute walk down into town, The Central combines innovative decor with comfort and warmth. The Central’s three different room styles each take a different spin on both old world […]View Details
Situated at Closeburn, only a few minutes from Queenstown (but a world away), Matakauri Lodge is a beautiful hotel with views that are unique. Constructed from natural materials to blend in with the landscape, the lodge overlooks tiny Closeburn Bay and the sublime panorama of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables. Four grades of accommodation are on offer at the lodge, all of them constructed to […]View Details
Set in a truly idyllic and breathtaking setting, the Hotel St Moritz awaits guests all year round who want to spend their leisure time between luxurious conditions. Overlooking the greenery of Queenstown Gardens, the surrounding snow-capped mountains and the deep blue waters of Lake Wakatipu, this luxury hotel is sure to leave nothing to be desired. The choice of rooms and suites at the 5-star […]View Details
QT Queenstown is located in beautiful surroundings on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Just a few minutes drive from Queenstown Gardens, where the guests can indulge in a passion for golf and tennis. True lovers of nature can take a short walk from the luxury hotel to the Ben Lomond Scenic Reserve, which offers an incredible view of the city from its high vantage point. […]View Details
The charming and modern building of the Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa is located at the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Just a few miles from Queenstown Airport and the noise of the city, this luxury hotel is ideal for those looking to relax in a peaceful environment. In addition, the hotel has so much to offer that there is no need to move out. All […]View Details
While Queenstown’s bustling centre is a frenetic place of restaurants, bars, high-end retailers and raucous backpacker hangouts, just a short walk in any direction will take you out into the wilderness. You can finish your latte at one of the town’s superb lakeside cafés and be alone in the spectacular landscape of the Wakatipu within a few minutes. Hidden away in the mountains, beside crystal streams of the world’s purest water, there are hunting and fishing lodges, wellness retreats and secluded sanctuaries where you can escape from the rush and scramble of the outside world. And if, by chance, your luxury accommodation is located out of town, you always have the option of arriving by jet boat, helicopter or private plane. After all, why should the thrill-seekers have all the fun?
Once you’ve settled into your luxury hotel, it’s time to get your adrenaline fix. Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand, and arguably, the world. This incredible town will have you facing your fears and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Plus, with its stunning mountain backdrop, this small slice of heaven will leave you in awe. Here’s how to make the most of your Queenstown trip.
This small Kiwi town is where the first-ever commercial Bungy jump company started (and still operates today). AJ Hackett now offers a range of exhilarating activities. I recommend challenging yourself to the original and highest Bungy in New Zealand, where you free fall 134m into the canyon.
For a (slightly) less scary adventure, have a go on the world-famous Shotover canyon swing. From a 109m high platform, you’ll free fall for 60 meters right into the canyon, where you’ll swing back and forth as you take in mind-blowing views. Oh, and if you’re an extreme adrenaline seeker like me, you can combine the canyon swing with the bungee jump for double the buzz!
There are so many thrilling activities on offer in Queenstown that it would be impossible to do them all. However, one that I highly recommend is jet boating. During this popular water activity, you will whizz down rivers taking sharp corners and do 360-degree spins in the lake. Many operators run these tours, and each ride lasts between 30 and 60 minutes. You’ll be laughing the entire time as you cling onto the handlebars for dear life!
Don’t leave Queenstown without visiting New Zealand’s most famous and beautiful tourist destination, Milford Sound. This mesmerizing sound is in the Fiordland National Park, Piopiotahi Marine Reserve, and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site, full of untouched nature and wildlife. Milford Sound is about a 3.5-hour drive from Queenstown one way, meaning if you take a day trip there, you’ll spend most of the time on the coach. However, there is a much better way to reach Milford Sound, which is by air. You can book a scenic flight from Queenstown that not only cuts the journey down to 30 minutes but offers you a unique perspective of the mountains and national parks. You will then take a 2-hour boat cruise around Milford Sound before a short flight back to Queenstown.
If you’re in Queenstown during ski season, you’ll surely want to check out some of the town’s ski fields. Coronet Peak is the closest resort to town. They offer skiing and sledding for all abilities. Even if you have never skied before, the passionate instructors are experts at putting your mind at ease and helping you learn the ropes.
When you’ve had your fill of adventure and need something more calming, head to the Onsen Hot Pools. This upscale spa offers guests private, cedar-lined hot tubs with the most incredible view of the Shotover River canyon below. The hot pools are the perfect way to unwind after an adventure-filled vacation and are particularly blissful during the winter.
Queenstown has an array of beautiful wineries, and the region is renowned for its Pinot Noir. However, Gibbston Valley is undoubtedly the best place for wine tasting and is just a 30-minute drive from town. Here you will find New Zealand’s largest wine cave, where you can savour some fine wine and cheese pairings. You can also take a tour around the vineyard, indulge in a 3-course lunch, or take a scenic helicopter ride around the Central Otago wine region.