Where to stay in Queenstown


Queenstown is a premier destination on New Zealand's South Island, renowned for its breathtaking scenery, outdoor adventures, and vibrant atmosphere. It is set against the dramatic Southern Alps and on the shores of the crystal-clear Lake Wakatipu; Queenstown offers something for everyone - whether you're an adrenaline junkie, a nature lover, or simply in search of relaxation. When planning a visit to this picturesque town, choosing where to stay is an important decision that will influence your overall experience. Each neighborhood offers its unique vibe and amenities. The guide below provides an honest look at various areas in Queenstown to help you make the best choice for your preferences and travel style.

  • Downtown

    • 🍷 nightlife
    • 🛍️ shopping
    • 🍝 food
    • 🏙️ central
    • 📸 touristy

    Downtown Queenstown is the region's heartbeat, bustling with energy and a mecca for those looking to be in the center of it all. You'll find an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, and bars, making it perfect for foodies and nightlife seekers. Accommodation ranges from backpacker hostels to upscale hotels catering to different budgets. The downside is that downtown can get quite noisy, especially at night, and it can be more expensive than outlying areas. The convenience of having everything at your doorstep can't be underplayed, but if you're after tranquility, downtown might not be for you.

  • Kelvin Heights

    • 💎 luxury
    • 🏘️ residential
    • 🌅 scenic
    • relaxed
    • golf

    Kelvin Heights is a picturesque peninsula reaching out into Lake Wakatipu, known for its sunny aspect and panoramic views. The area is primarily residential, with a luxury bend featuring beautiful homes and gardens. It's perfect for those looking to enjoy a more relaxed pace and a sense of escape from the tourist hustle. However, it's a bit removed from the action of central Queenstown, with limited public transport options, so having your vehicle can be advantageous. The Queenstown Golf Course is a draw for golf enthusiasts offering one of the most scenic golf games in the world.

  • Arthurs Point

    • 🌳 nature
    • 🧘 quiet
    • adventures
    • remote

    Arthurs Point, nestled in a scenic river gorge just north of downtown Queenstown, is an excellent base for adventure seekers, with the famous Shotover Jet experience at its doorstep. The area is more laid-back and is a hotspot for those looking to participate in the many outdoor activities without being in the thick of the town's nightlife. The downside is fewer dining and shopping options within walking distance, so it's better suited for travelers with a rental car. Arthurs Point balances adventure and peace, set in a stunning natural landscape.

  • Fernhill

    • views
    • 🏘️ residential
    • 🧘 quiet
    • local

    Situated just outside the bustle of Queenstown's downtown, Fernhill offers an excellent compromise between accessibility and seclusion. Many of its accommodation options boast stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and provide a peaceful atmosphere. Fernhill's hilly terrain can be a bit challenging if you're on foot, and although it's close to downtown, the walk might be steep for some. It's a mostly residential area but has a few hidden gems regarding restaurants and boutiques. Fernhill can present a quieter yet more convenient option for visitors.

  • Frankton

    • convenient
    • practical
    • 🛍️ shopping
    • transit

    Frankton is seen as the gateway to Queenstown, home to the area's airport and a growing number of shops and amenities. It's ideal for those who appreciate proximity to the airport and want easy access to essential services. This area is less tourist-focused, offering an authentic local vibe, and it's an excellent spot for families with the Lake Wakatipu and various parks nearby. However, the downside is it's a bit further out from the nightlife and entertainment epicenter, meaning if you're here for the bustling Queenstown experience, you might need to travel a bit more.