About Queenstown, New Zealand
The resort town of Queenstown is located in Otago on the south-west of New Zealand’s South Island. With an urban population of 12,500 as of 2014, Queenstown is the 29th largest urban area in the country, covering 9.86 square miles. CNN reported that Queenstown Airport, nestled in the heart of New Zealand’s mountains, lakes and rivers, was voted the World’s Most Scenic Airport. Once known for nearby mountains such as The Remarkables and Ben Lomond, Queenstown today is famous for its commerce-oriented tourism.
Popular Destinations in Queenstown
International and domestic tourists alike flock here for ski tourism and adventure holidays in the areas surrounding Queenstown. Here are some of the top attractions you should see:
TSS Earnslaw: Despite being over 100 years old, this 1912 twin screw steamer carries tourists across Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown to Walter Peak High Country Farm in Edwardian vintage style. For an in-depth look at this historical boat, visitors can take a 90-minute cruise for a tour of the steam engine and stokers. A trip on the TSS Earnslaw is the perfect way to begin an adventure. Tourists can enjoy anything from farm tours to horse treks and even fine dining at the Colonel’s Homestead.
Ben Lomond: Ben Lomond has a variety of walking and biking tracks that are very popular. There is also a vehicle service road. There are stunning panoramic views from almost any point on this mountain. The Skyline Gondola ascends Bob’s Peak on Ben Lomond. At the very top, it offers you a 360-degree panorama of the Wakatipu Basin. From there, you can see The Remarkables Mountains, Walter Peak, Lake Wakatipu, and Cecil Peak.
The Queenstown Trail: The Queenstown Trail is a cycle and walking trail funded as one of the projects of the New Zealand Cycle Trail (NZCT) system. This trails links Queenstown, Arrowtown and Gibbston together. This trail passes by beautiful rivers and rivers, besides passing through working farms. For visitors feeling up to the challenge of adventure cycling, the Queenstown Trail won’t fail to delight you.
Skippers Bridge in Skippers Canyon: Following the discovery of gold at Skippers Point, a suspension bridge to this area was completed in 1866. The original bridge was replaced in 1871 and gave access to the crossing over Shotover River. The existing Skippers Bridge was actually completed after the Gold Rush. It is reputed as one of the major attractions for tourists visiting Queenstown. The bridge is about 330 feet above the river and offers stunning views of the sheer rock faces on either side of the gorge.
‘The Lord of the Rings’ Tours: You don’t have to be a movie buff to enjoy the beautiful landscapes that these tours will take you through. You can tour the countryside by 4WD and discover some of the best scenery in New Zealand. Popular tours will also take you to Glenorchy and Lake Wakatipu for great photo opportunities.
Luxury Lodging in Queenstown
Some of the most notable luxury hotels and lodgings in the Queenstown region include:
- Blanket Bay Lodge
- Hotel St Moritz, Queenstown
- Oaks Shores Apartments
- Pounamu Apartments
- Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel
- Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa
- Spinnaker Bay Apartments
- The Azur Hotel
- The Central Ridge Boutique Hotel Queenstown
- The Glebe Apartments, Queenstown
- The Rees Hotel and Luxury Apartments
Airports In or Nearby Queenstown
Seeking a private aircraft charter to Queenstown, New Zealand? Queenstown has become a major tourism hub in the recent times. Some of the airports that can be used to access it include:
- Queenstown International Airport (ZQN): This is New Zealand’s second largest and busiest airport after Auckland Airport. It serves as a hub for a large number of airlines including Air New Zealand as well as Jetstar Airways. International flight traffic to and from the airport has grown significantly over the recent past, and it now serves close to 1.5 million passengers annually. It also handles daily charter flights.
- Kerikeri Airport (KKE): This airport started out as a grass airstrip in the 1930s. Since then, it has grown to become one of the most significant airports in the region. In addition to being used to reach the surrounding domestic destinations, the airport is also used as a light aircraft transit facility.
- Rotorua Regional Airport (ROT): This is located in the suburbs of Rotokawa, around 3 miles east of the Rotorua CBD. The airport is one of the best equipped in the region with amenities such as cafes, book stores and conference facilities. Other amenities include hangar rental as well as fuel sales and aircraft servicing. It has two runways, though both can’t be used at the same time.
- Hamilton International Airport (YHM): Located around 9 miles away from the city of Hamilton, the Hamilton International Airport is one of the busiest in the region. It provides facilities for both flight training as well as commercial and private flight use. It serves more than half a million passengers a year.
- Invercargill Airport (IVC): Located only one mile away from the city of Invercargill in New Zealand, this airport happens to be the most southernmost airport in the Commonwealth. It has one terminal and four gates. One of the interesting facts about the airport is that it was built on reclaimed land.
- Woodbourne Airport (BHE) : This is a small airport located around 5 miles west of the city of Blenheim. It is also within a two hour drive from the city of Queenstown. The airport happens to be one of the oldest in the country, and is mainly used by the military as well as by Eagle Airways. Chartered aircraft are also allowed to land here.
- Wanaka Airport (WKA): This serves the town of Wanaka in Otago. In addition to being an important hub for domestic travel, the airport also hosts the annual Warbirds over Wanaka Show. It is 63 miles away from Queenstown. One of the important facts about the airport is that it lacks a VOR, so airports that don’t have the appropriate GPS systems might not be able to land here, especially in bad weather.
- Kaiokura Aerodrome (KBZ): This is an uncontrolled aerodrome located in the South Island of New Zealand. It was established in 1964, and currently has two runways.
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