Nestled in the heart of the Southern Alps, Queenstown is the Southern Hemisphere’s leading ski destination, with four ski fields located within a 90-minute drive. Situated on the shores of Lake Whakatipu and surrounded by majestic peaks, the town is the perfect balance between a vibrant ski town and a small city, with great nightlife, top-tier dining and cosy spots to spend a romantic evening. Queenstown is full of exciting activities to do together on your days off the snow, and the magnificent views make every sunrise and sunset a memorable one.
How to get to Queenstown
Getting to Queenstown is easy. Our international airport receives direct flights from all of New Zealand’s main centres, as well as direct flights from Australia’s east coast ports; Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast. From there, hire a rental car or catch a cab into Queenstown’s vibrant town centre, just a ten-minute drive from Queenstown Airport.
Where to ski
1. Coronet Peak Ski Area
Just 20 minutes on a tar-sealed road from the town centre is Coronet Peak, New Zealand's oldest commercial ski field. Easy access, stunning views and varied terrain make it perfect for beginner or intermediate couples who are wanting an effortless day in the mountains. It is also a great option for more advanced skiers, especially when fresh snow turns the bowly terrain into a powder playground.
Coronet Peak is also open for night skiing on Wednesdays, Fridays and select Saturdays (subject to conditions). Whatever your skill level, this is a fun and unique experience to enjoy with your number one. Enjoy some turns under the lights, grab a beer or a wine and enjoy the live music from the base building.
2. The Remarkables
40 minutes from Queenstown and tucked into New Zealand’s most iconic mountain range, lies The Remarkables Ski Area. With state-of-the-art facilities and fun terrain facing all aspects, ‘Remarks’ has something for everyone. Shadow Basin has steep advanced terrain while the sunny slopes of Sugar Bowl are great for beginner and intermediate skiers, with long winding pistes and fun terrain parks if you are inclined to try out your tricks.
3. Cardrona Alpine Resort
About an hour's drive from Queenstown, over the Crown Range, lies Cardrona Alpine Resort. Known for its great ski school, as well as its great restaurants and cafes, Cardrona is an incredibly friendly place to ski as a couple. The five lifts cover a lot of ground and skiing here can feel like quite an adventure. Take in the amazing views over Queenstown and Arrowtown from the top of McDougall's and Captain's chairlifts.
Cardrona Alpine Resort
4. Treble Cone
About an hour and a half from Queenstown lies Treble Cone Ski Area. Famous for its steep terrain and long runs, Treble Cone is the best option for advanced skiers looking to challenge themselves and it can be a great goal to work towards by the end of your trip. With jaw-dropping views of Lake Wānaka and Mt Aspiring, Treble Cone is an unforgettable experience.
If you’ve got the spirit for adventure and an urge to explore new territory, treat yourselves to a day of heli-skiing with one of Queenstown’s expert operators. With more terrain and vertical than anywhere else in New Zealand, heli-skiing in Queenstown is an experience guaranteed to wow. Ski untracked powder and fly over untouched valleys and glaciers. Step away from civilization and make the Southern Alps your winter playground.
Harris Mountains Heli-Ski
Where to stay
1. Queenstown CBD
Staying in central Queenstown makes it easy to explore the town on foot, easily access rest-day activities and make the most of the après-ski scene. Ski buses are available from the town centre to Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Cardrona so it's easy to get up the mountain without your own set of wheels.
The Crowne Plaza Hotel sits right on the waterfront and truly provides the Queenstown lifestyle. Drink in the view from The Balcony bar, and wander around town at your leisure.
The Spire Hotel is nestled right in the heart of Queenstown’s town centre. Contemporary and luxurious, each room has a balcony with a unique view of the town or lake. Five-star luxury meets a lively and artistic feel for those wanting a sophisticated Queenstown experience.
QT Queenstown ski and snow-themed décor will put you in the mood for winter adventure and the lake views from the rooms and the Bazaar dining area are awe-inspiring. QT also has a partnership with SnoPro, offering ski rental delivery to your room.
Located in Fernhill, the stylish and scenic Kamana Lakehouse is just four minutes drive from the town centre. With great ski storage, a dry room including boot warmers, and concierges who can organise your lift tickets, the team at Kamana will make your ski experience effortless. Relax after a big day in the gorgeous Kamana Soak hot tubs.
Near the Queenstown Airport and closest to The Remarkables Ski Area, Frankton is a great option for accommodation if you’re more focused on a peaceful luxury getaway.
The Hilton Queenstown sits on the shore of the Frankton arm of Lake Whakatipu. With a heated indoor pool, full-service spa, fitness centre and multiple dining options, the Hilton offers everything. Water taxis take guests across the lake and into central Queenstown.
Or rest your head at Sudima Five Mile Hotel a 4.5 Star hotel based in the middle of Frankton. This is a great base for a couple's ski holiday with easy access to the mountains, no matter if you're skiing at Cardrona, The Remarkables or Coronet Peak. Located within the Five Mile precinct, you have plenty of great shopping and dining options on your doorstep. Book in for a relaxing couple's massage at Moss Spa situated right next door.
3. Arthurs Point
The Nugget Point Hotel, with its secluded location halfway between Queenstown and Coronet Peak, is another great option. Guests enjoy complimentary access to a Roman-style spa, complete with a steam room, sauna, indoor plunge pool and mountain view hot tubs. Perfect after a day on the mountain!
Nugget Point Indoor Pool and Spas
Where to dine
1. Central Queenstown
Margo’s is a quirky and fun Mexican fusion experience. Cap off a big day on the slopes with delicious margaritas and some delightful taco flavour combinations.
Botswana Butchery, located on the Marine Parade in the historic Archer’s Cottage, is one of Queenstown’s most renowned fine-dining experiences. Made with the finest local ingredients and served in a plush yet relaxed environment, the flavoursome lunch and dinner menus here are unrivalled.
Flame brings the succulent smells and flavours of the South African Braai barbeque to the streets of Queenstown. Ribs, burgers, and international-award-winning steaks served in a vibrant atmosphere with lake views.
Enjoy stunning sunset scenes from Boardwalk on Steamer Wharf, where the TSS Earnslaw Steamship moors up at night. Boardwalk’s menu is a blend of fresh seafood, meats and local produce catering to all dietary preferences. Stylish and modern with a distinctly light feeling to it, dining at Boardwalk makes for a great date night.
2. Arthur’s Point
The newly opened Gin Garden by Broken Heart Spirits is a boutique gin tasting experience with both lunch and dinner menus. Gin Garden serves twelve award-winning, locally distilled spirits as well as premium beer, wine, bubbles, and non-alcoholic options. The dinner menu includes delicacies such as beef brisket spiced with the house-made Broken Heart rum.
Canyon Brewing is a craft beer microbrewery and restaurant overlooking the Shotover River. A must for beer fanatics and foodies alike, the beer served is brewed on-site and the menu showcases produce from local and New Zealand farmers and growers. The sharing style dishes and wood-fired flatbreads are matched with beer for the ultimate experience. Canyon is a great option for an après-ski pint, located a short drive from the base of the Coronet Peak access road.
Things to do in the evening and on your non-ski days
1. Après, après, après
Queenstown is home to over 150 bars and restaurants and offers a true après-ski scene. Wander around the town centre after skiing, and you’re sure to find a vibrant spot for an afternoon beverage. After dinner, you’ll find cosy bars for a digestif or dance the night away at one of the nightclubs.
The Lodge Bar
2. Relax & unwind
A visit to one of Queenstown’s hot pools or day spas is the perfect way to relax, unwind and soothe the muscles after a day skiing. Visit the luxurious Grecian-style spa at Nugget Point Hotel, where facilities include a plunge pool, sauna, steam room, rose shower, hot tub and a range of day spa services. Or book the picturesque Onsen hot pools and day spa, winner of the 2021 world Luxury Spa Awards. Idyllic private cedar-lined spas overlook the Shotover River, and the newly expanded day spa offers unparalleled pampering and relaxation.
Onsen Hot Pools
3. Get the adrenaline pumping
If you’ve got a rest day from skiing, but still want a thrilling day in the outdoors, Queenstown has the best range of adrenaline activities in the world. Bungy jumping, skydiving, ziplining, or jet boating are all great adventures departing from the town centre. These unforgettable experiences will show you beautiful places, scare you, and have you laughing uncontrollably.
4. Easy adventures
A variety of relaxing romantic adventures are available for those of you who aren’t such adrenaline junkies. Take a scenic cruise on Lake Whakatipu in the historic TSS Earnslaw steamship or the Spirit of Queenstown, go four-wheel-driving or horse trekking into the wilderness, or take a scenic flight down to the stunning Milford Sound.
For the ultimate start to your day, take a Hot Air Balloon at sunrise and watch the Whakatipu Basin light up below. Other great options for relaxed days off include yoga classes and wine tasting tours in Gibbston, renowned for its award-winning Central Otago wines.
Spirit of Queenstown Lake Cruise, Southern Discoveries