CITY | QUEENSTOWN
Need to know... Queenstown
Queenstown Airport is the gateway to the town, and is a 10-minute drive from downtown. Most international services fly from the UK to Auckland, Wellington, or Christchurch. From there, several domestic services fly to Queenstown daily, including 58 weekly return trips by Air New Zealand. Other domestic airlines flying in to Queenstown are Pacific Blue and Jetstar. There are also flights from Sydney.
Downtown Queenstown is eminently walkable. The Connectabus (www.connectabus.com) transfer system will get you to almost any place within 20 miles of the downtown area, including historic Arrowtown.
A sample platter at Vknow Restaurant
Summer temperatures are warm during the long days, reaching 30 degrees Celsius, while winters are cold with temperatures often plummeting into the low single digits. There’s plenty of snow in winter, especially in the surrounding mountain ranges, where ski runs are located.
The Queenstown tourism website at www.queenstownnz.co.nz is a mine of information for all tourist needs, from accommodation to activities. Other useful contacts include Rural Discovery Tours (www.rdtours.co.nz), Kiwi Discovery (www.kiwidiscovery.com), Skyline Gondola (www.skyline.co.nz) and Real Journeys (www.realjourneys.co.nz).
Lake views from a luxury room at Azur
Enjoy some fast paddling with Queenstown Rafting i c h
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globetrotter SLEEP Absoloot Value Accommodation (absoloot.co.nz) is designed for backpackers, flashpackers and valueseeking travellers. Spectacularly located on the lakefront in Queenstown’s centre, it doesn’t get much better value than this, with prices from NZ$35 (£18). Every room has LCD TV and fridge. EAT All backpackers will recommend the Fergburger experience (www.fergburger. com). As one backpacker puts it, “The burgers here are simply amazing – they’re not to be missed”. Be sure to phone in your order to avoid a long wait. DO Queenstown is an expensive resort town. That said, there are a multitude of nearby day and overnight hikes that cost nothing. The Climbing Wall in Queenstown Events Centre costs NZ$10 (£5) for two climbs. Prices at Frankton Golf Course start at NZ$15 (£8) for nine holes.
family SLEEP Centrally located Abba Garden Hotel (www.abba.co.nz) is only five minutes away from the town centre, offers mountain views, a garden setting, a barbeque area, playground, and family units, all with kitchens, from NZ$130 (£68). EAT Fishbone Bar & Grill (www. fishbonequeenstown.co.nz) offers excellent value for family dining, and is considered one of the best seafood restaurants in the country. Try the Greenlipped mussels, flash fried calamari with chili salt and lime mayo. DO The Skyline Gondola and Luge costs NZ$64 (£33) for a family ticket and offers an excellent value family outing. And if the kids loved Lord of the Rings, it would be criminal to miss any of the various tours to the set locations of this trilogy. Try the Lord of the Rings Tours’ ‘Trails of Middle Earth’ (www.lordoftheringstours.co.nz).
indulgence SLEEP It would be hard to find a more luxurious home away from home than Azur (www.azur.co.nz) These nine secluded hilltop villas offer uninterrupted views of Lake Wakatipu, all drinks included, gourmet breakfast dining and chauffeur service in to Queenstown at your whim. Prices start from NZ$1,300 (£681) per night. EAT Eating at Vknow (www.vknow.co.nz) is an experience as much as a slice of culinary bliss. The service and wine knowledge of the staff is excellent, and you will remember the superb meals for a long time. Movie stars frequently dine here. DO Queenstown Rafting (www.rafting. co.nz) operate year-round whitewater rafting trips on the Shotover and Kawarau Rivers. Multi-day trips are also available on the Landsborough River for those wanting to experience camping and the remote wilderness of the South Island.
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