Queenstown, New Zealand – One of the Best Places to Travel in 2023

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Every travel lover dreams of finding that perfect place where breathtaking scenery, thrilling adventures and vibrant culture come together to create an unforgettable experience. Check out Queenstown, New Zealand.

Photo by Michael Amadeus on Unsplash

According to a prestigious ranking published by OvationNetwork in collaboration with FORBES, Queenstown, New Zealand has earned a coveted first place on the list of 23 best places to travel in 2023. It’s a must-visit destination for adventurers and unusual experiences.

Located in the heart of New Zealand’s South Island, this charming town boasts an amazing mix of natural wonders and adrenaline-pumping activities that will leave visitors impressed. As we immerse ourselves in Queenstown, we learn about the region’s stunning weather conditions and when it’s best to embark on an unforgettable trip.

Queenstown Weather 

One factor that sets Queenstown apart from other places is its amazing weather. Located in the Southern Alps, Queenstown enjoys a temperate oceanic climate, which accounts for the distinct seasons that provide a variety of activities throughout the year. From snowy winter wonders to vibrant spring blooms, sunny summer days and golden fall landscapes, Queenstown has something for every traveler’s taste.

When is the best time to visit Queenstown?

Winter in Queenstown

Winter vacations and activities in Queenstown | Photo by Daniel Price on Unsplash

Winter vacationers will find their good fortune between June and August, when the town transforms into a winter wonderland. Its proximity to four world-class ski resorts, including The Remarkables and Coronet Peak, makes Queenstown a playground for skiers and snowboarders. Clear blue skies, pristine slopes and a cozy après-ski culture make it an irresistible destination for winter sports enthusiasts.

Queenstown in Spring

As spring arrives in September, Queenstown begins to bloom with colorful wildflowers, providing a picturesque backdrop for outdoor adventures. This season also features milder temperatures, making it ideal for hiking, mountain biking and exploring the city’s charming streets, and strolls in the Gardens

Gardens Queenstown in Spring
Photo by Jemimah Gray on Unsplash

Summer in Queenstown 

Summer in Queenstown
Summer in Queenstown | Photo by fei wang

During the summer months, December through February, Queenstown shows off its stunning scenery in all its glory. Sunny days invite tourists to take part in exciting sports like bungee jumping, jet skiing, and skydiving, while Lake Wakatipu becomes a hub for water sports and leisurely cruises. Also, the long daylight hours allow more time to explore the surrounding national parks, such as Fjordland and Mount Aspiring, revealing their pristine beauty.

Autumn in Queenstown

Autumn in Queenstown
Autumn in Queenstown | Photo by Jemimah Gray on Unsplash

Finally, when the air gets crisp and the leaves change their hue, autumn opens up Queenstown to a spectacular visual feast. From March through May, tourists have a unique opportunity to see cityscapes adorned with golden foliage, creating a magical atmosphere. For wine lovers, this is the perfect season to indulge in the region’s famous vineyards and cellars.

Ideas for things to do in Queenstown


Have an adrenaline-pumping experience that combines the beauty of Queenstown’s winter wonderland with the excitement of snowmobiling. Ride on the purest of snow trails as you pass stunning alpine scenery and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.


You can go hiking to Mount Cook and the Hooker Valley from Queenstown, where you can get acquainted with incredible natural beauty and observe wildlife.

Kayaking  in Queenstown

  • Queenstown is blessed with an abundance of stunning waterways that beckon kayakers from around the world. Whether you’re a novice or an expert, there are kayaking options suited to your skill level and desired intensity. For those seeking a tranquil journey, Lake Hayes offers a serene escape, where you can paddle at your own pace and soak in the tranquility of the surrounding landscape. 
  • If you’re an adrenaline junkie looking for an exhilarating ride, the Shotover River is your playground. Brace yourself as you tackle thrilling rapids and feel the rush of adrenaline as your kayak bounces over waves and swirls through narrow canyons.
  • For those seeking a truly unique experience, Milford Sound is a kayaker’s paradise. Surrounded by towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and pristine rainforest, this fjord offers a mesmerizing backdrop for your kayaking expedition

Riding Funyak and Boat

Embark on an exciting boat trip that takes you on a scenic journey around Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown, New Zealand. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Remarcables Mountain Range while listening to informative commentary on the history and attractions of the region.

The Dart River Funyak Canoe and Jet Boat combines the thrill of jet skiing with the tranquility of a canoe. Embark on a scenic jet ski ride through the breathtaking scenery of the Dart River, followed by a leisurely paddle downstream in inflatable canoes (funyaks), allowing you to immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of the surrounding area. 


Dreaming of skydiving? The Skydive Queenstown offers an adrenaline-pumping experience that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime. Plunge into the sky over Queenstown and experience the dizzying sensation of freefall before your parachute unfolds, giving you a spectacular bird’s-eye view of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains. With professional instructors and state-of-the-art equipment, this parachute adventure is a safe and unforgettable way to conquer your fear and experience the ultimate thrill of flight.


Paragliding in Queenstown
Paragliding in Queenstown | Photo by Courtney Maree on Unsplash

Soar like a bird in the sky as you descend in a paraglider from the top of the Skyline Gondola to Lake Wakatipu, enjoying spectacular views. Buckle up, descend the slope and feel the adrenaline rush as you glide through the air, guided by the wind. 


Strap into a harness, step off the platform, and zip through the air suspended high above the stunning landscapes. With professional guides ensuring your safety, ziplining in Queenstown offers an unforgettable adventure that allows you to embrace the beauty of the surroundings while satisfying your craving for excitement.


A unique and sublime golf experience with The Altitude Golf by Helicopter tour. Combine the excitement of a helicopter flight with the pleasure of golfing against a backdrop of stunning mountain scenery. With this tour, golfers can enjoy an exciting and unforgettable round of golf in a truly breathtaking setting.

Horseback riding

Explore the picturesque landscapes of Queenstown on horseback, immersing yourself in the natural beauty of the region. This tour provides an opportunity to connect with these magnificent animals while enjoying the serene surroundings of Queenstown.

Lord of the Rings Tour

When it comes to the magical world of Middle-earth, Queenstown holds a special place for fans of the iconic movie series, “The Lord of the Rings.” As the backdrop for various scenes in the films, Queenstown offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the realm of hobbits, elves, and epic quests. More information about the movie locations can be found here.

Filming locations Lord of Rings
Filming locations Lord of Rings | Photo by Josiah Farrow on Unsplash

It’s worth taking part in the Lord of the Rings tours in Queenstown. These tours are designed to take you to the actual filming locations and provide fascinating insights into the making of the films. During the helicopter tour, experienced guides will take you to iconic locations such as the Isengard Lookout and the Itilien Lookout. These locations offer panoramic views that transport you directly to Middle-earth, allowing you to relive epic moments from the movies.

Lord of the Rings Scenic Half Day Tour include visits to other points of interest, such as the Arrow River, which served as the backdrop for the River Anduin, and the Magnificent Mountains, which served as a breathtaking backdrop for various scenes in the trilogy.

So, if you’re a fan of The Lord of the Rings and find yourself in Queenstown, be sure to immerse yourself in the magic of Middle Earth. Explore the picturesque landscapes that brought Tolkien’s vision to life and create your own unforgettable adventure in this magical corner of New Zealand.

Where to visit in Queenstown itself

To get a thrill in the city itself, you can visit the scariest attraction – Fear Factory Queenstown (entrance fee: $25.12). An impressive show created by professionals will leave pleasant memories. More information about the venue can be found here.

Fergburger in Queenstown is more than just a burger joint; it’s a culinary institution that has captured the hearts and taste buds of locals and visitors alike. From their delectable burgers to the lively atmosphere, dining at Fergburger is an experience that should not be missed when exploring the vibrant town of Queenstown. So, join the queue, indulge in their legendary creations, and savor the flavors that have made Fergburger a true gem in the heart of Queenstown.

Fergburger in Queenstown
Fergburger in Queenstown | Photo by Nat Chen on Unsplash

Best Places to Stay in Queenstown

Best Places to Stay in Queenstown
Best Places to Stay in Queenstown | Photo by Ken Cheung

When it comes to finding the best places to stay in Queenstown, New Zealand, there are a variety of options to suit different preferences and budgets. From luxury hotels to cozy apartments аnd bedroom houses, Queenstown offers a range of accommodations that ensure a comfortable and memorable stay.

For those seeking luxury and indulgence, Queenstown is home to several world-class hotels. These establishments boast stunning views, impeccable service, and top-notch amenities. Whether it’s a lakeside retreat or a mountain lodge, these hotels provide a perfect haven to relax and unwind after a day of exploring. 

Here are some of the famous luxury hotels in Queenstown, renowned for their exceptional hospitality and elegant ambiance:

  • Hilton Queenstown Resort & SpaOpens (This hotel is just 5 minutes’ drive from Queenstown Airport and 15 minutes by car or 10 minutes by water taxi from the center of Queenstown. The hotel has the largest spa, Spa at Hilton, as well as a 25-meter indoor heated pool, spa pool and fitness center, from $188/night)
  • Holiday Inn Queenstown Frankton Road (Overlooking Frankton Arm Bay of Lake Wakatipu, it offers easy access to The Remarkables and Coronet Peak ski resorts, from $113/night)
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites Queenstown (Located in close proximity to downtown, shopping, entertainment and outdoor activities, with easy access to the popular ski resorts of Coronet Peak, Remarcables, Cardrona and Treble Mountain. Hotel amenities include a fitness room, sauna, two flexible meeting rooms, self-service laundry facilities, parking and a complimentary business center, $180/night) 
  • Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront (10-minute drive of Skyline Queenstown and Queenstown Garden, from $160/night)
Photo by David Brown

Whether you’re traveling solo, as a couple, or with a group, the variety of apartments аnd bedroom houses in Queenstown ensures there is an option to suit your needs

  • Lanah Residence (Adjacent to a golf course and just steps from Lake Wakatipu. Featured amenities include luggage storage, a safe deposit box at the front desk, and an elevator. From $582/night)
  • Alpine Cottage (A cottage with a high level of comfort and style, located a short drive from the center of Queenstown, and on the edge of beautiful woodland and the blue waters of nearby Sunshine Bay, which is accessible by excellent hiking trails. Stunning views of the lake. Outdoor swimming pool in summer (October to April), spa pool with a great place to relax outdoors, including barbecue, sun loungers, and outdoor dining. A powerful heat pump controls the indoor climate in winter. From $451/night)
  •  Arrowfield Apartments (Close to ski lifts, a 5-minute drive from Arrowtown Chinatown and Millbrook Resort Golf Course. From $194/night)
  • Detached houses with all the amenities, such as Mcalister House – Queenstown Holiday Home (4 Bedroom, 3 Baths, Sleeps 8, $430/night), Tranquil Heights (3 Bedroom, 1 Bath, Sleeps 6, $303/night), 4 Stockyard Lane (3 Bedroom, 2 Baths, Sleeps 6, $510/night) and many many others.

Choose your ideal accommodation, immerse yourself in the beauty of Queenstown, and create unforgettable memories in this remarkable destination.

Bottom line

Whether you like thrills, nature or culture, Queenstown, New Zealand promises an extraordinary experience year-round. As we delve deeper into this fascinating destination, we’ll uncover the hidden gems, unforgettable adventures and vibrant culture that make Queenstown a top contender on every traveler’s wish list. So pack your bags, prepare for an unforgettable trip, and let the breathtaking beauty of Queenstown captivate your heart.

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