Nestled between the Eyre Mountains and the Tararua Range, Kingston is on the southern tip of Lake Whakatipu and on the border of Otago and Southland.
Kingston’s lakeside setting and relaxed vibe make it the perfect day trip from Queenstown. Once a major transport link between the Whakatipu gold fields and the ports of Dunedin and Invercargill, these days Kingston combines outdoor adventure with spectacular landscapes, and a taste of history.
How to get to Kingston
Kingston is 47km and a stunning 45-minute drive from central Queenstown along State Highway 6. The road winds between Lake Whakatipu and The Remarkables mountain range, with spectacular views and photo stops along the way – don’t miss the panorama from the top of Devil’s Staircase.
Things to do in Kingston
If you’re in town to relax and wander, you'll find plenty of picnic spots under the trees by the lake or grab a bite to eat at a local café. Explore some of the walking tracks, try your luck at fishing Lake Whakatipu or the Mataura River, or play a round at the Kingston Golf Club.
Travel back in time on the historic Kingston Flyer with a scenic steam train journey from Kingston to Fairlight over the September – December months.
Keen walkers and cyclists come to Kingston to hike the remote Eyre Mountains Conservation Park nearby. The Around the Mountain Cycle Way runs 186km from Kingston to Walter Peak, but you can also hop on your bike in Kingston and ride a few km on the well-graded and maintained trail. The first 30km section to Athol is an easy ride.
Kingston’s a great spot for boaties and water sports in summer with easy access to Lake Whakatipu. In the winter it’s the only place you can ride a snow bike in New Zealand, while the rest of the year, off road adventures and farm experiences offer exciting ways to explore the area.