The Big Bus tour and travel guide

Queenstown travel guide, tours & things to do


Only got a couple of days to get to know a new city? Our Big Five City Guides can help. We break each destination down into culture, history, dining, shopping and relaxation must-sees and dos. Adam Ford checks in from Queenstown in New Zealand…

At night the twinkling lights of Queenstown cascade down the lower reaches of the majestic Remarkables towards Lake Wakatipu like baubles on a quintessential Christmas tree.

While it’s renowned as New Zealand’s ski and adventure capital, Queenstown offers an effortless charm and understated sophistication that will appeal to just about anyone. From the stunning natural setting to the chalet-style architecture, cosmopolitan food and wine scene and a healthy serving of cultural attractions, there really is something for everyone here. Two million visitors a year can’t be wrong.

For adrenalin-junkies looking to take full advantage of the high-octane, thrill-seeking, bone-jarring action on offer, you’ll need a holiday budget that stretches further than a bungee cord over the Kawarau Gorge. There are lots of options. Just remember to leave enough time to join the mix of more sedate holiday makers down on the waterfront, gazing out at the impossibly blue waters of Lake Wakatipu. Sometimes the best things in life are indeed free.

Enjoy this Queenstown travel guide.

Ways to relax in Queenstown

Despite the fast and furious pace of the outdoor adventure scene, there are plenty of top things to do in Queenstown that will leave you feeling relaxed and revitalised.

What better way to relax and enjoy the many fine Pinot Noirs that hail from this neck of the woods, along with Chardonnays, Pinot Gris, Rieslings and Sav Blancs, than on a wine tour. You’ll also get to see more of the stunning landscapes that make the region so special. Appellation Wine Tours offers day trips to several top cellar doors, including historic Chard Farm with its mountainside vineyard, and Gibbston Valley — home to New Zealand’s biggest wine cave and a mighty fine cheesery.

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