Queenstown Lakes, home to adventure towns, crystal-clear lakes, and mountain ranges, is the place to discover the real, energised version of you among nature’s most beautiful spots.
Located just south of Canterbury, Queenstown Lakes is in the Central Otago region and is home to Wānaka, Hāwea and its namesake, Queenstown. An exciting region to explore, it’s filled with a range of action-packed activities suited for beginners and experts; there is fun for anyone who visits.
Explore Queenstown any month of the year, and you won’t regret it. Summer brings water activities such as jet boating or whitewater rafting; in winter, you might find yourself skiing or riding at Cardrona Alpine Resort. It’s also the perfect launchpad for exploring Fiordland, Stewart Island, and South Canterbury.
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Queenstown Lakes District is in the south of New Zealand’s South Island, situated in the Central Otago district, north of Southland and east of Westland.
Queenstown Lakes is world-renowned for its abundance of adventure activities and its namesake town, Queenstown, is at the heart of it all. Offering jet boating along its many rivers, whitewater rafting along natural rapids, skiing and snowboarding during winter on one of the multiple ski fields, or enjoying a taste of rural high country farm life at Walter Peak.
A popular way to travel to the Queenstown Lakes District is by car. The nearest international airport is Christchurch, approximately 6 hours driving distance from Queenstown town centre, covering 500kms. There are also ‘Intercity’ buses that run between major towns and cities. If you don’t plan to drive, this would be your next best option. Alternatively, flights depart between Queenstown and Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch.
Covering an expansive 8,704.97 square kilometres (3,361.01 sq mi), the Queenstown-Lakes District boasts a remarkable land area, including lakes Hāwea, Whakatipu, and Wānaka. This vast area contributes to the district's scenic beauty and diverse landscapes. Queenstown leaves a significant geographical footprint making it a sprawling region renowned for its natural wonders and outdoor attractions.
A true alpine town, Queenstown has bitterly cold winters and very warm summers. Winter temperatures usually reach negative figures overnight and it will typically snow on the mountains. In summer, days can reach high 20s but cool significantly overnight. Depending on the season you visit, you should pack accordingly for the predicted temperatures, from middling to extremes.