Queenstown, New Zealand
|Territorial authority||Queenstown-Lakes District|
|• Mayor||Vanessa van Uden|
|• District||8,704.97 km2 (3,361.01 sq mi)|
|Time zone||NZST (UTC+12)|
|• Summer (DST)||NZDT (UTC+13)|
It is built around an inlet called Queenstown Bay on Lake Wakatipu, a long thin Z-shaped lake formed by glacial processes, and has spectacular views of nearby mountains such as The Remarkables, Cecil Peak, Walter Peak and just above the town; Ben Lomond and Queenstown Hill.
The town is the largest centre in Central Otago, and the second largest in Otago after Dunedin. According to the 2013 census, the usually resident population of the Queenstown urban area (including Fernhill, Frankton and Kelvin Heights) is 11,799, an increase of 7.4% since 2006. The population of the Queenstown ward at 30 June 2011 is 16,600.
The Queenstown-Lakes District has a land area of 8,704.97 km² (3,361.01 sq mi) not counting its inland lakes (Lake Hāwea, Lake Wakatipu, and Lake Wanaka). The region has an estimated resident population of 30,200 (June 2013 estimate). Its neighbouring towns include Arrowtown, Wanaka, Alexandra, and Cromwell. The nearest cities are Dunedin and Invercargill. Queenstown is now known for its commerce-oriented tourism, especially adventure and ski tourism. It is popular with New Zealand, Australian and international travellers alike.
- 1 History
- 2 Tourism and education
- 3 Geography and Climate
- 4 Transport
- 5 Suburbs and nearby areas
- 6 Sister cities
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 Bibliography
- 10 External links
The area was known to Māori before Europeans arrived. The first European to see Lake Wakatipu was Nathanael Chalmers who was guided by Reko, the chief of the Tuturau, over the Waimea Plains and up the Mataura River in September 1853. Evidence of stake nets, baskets for catching eels, spears and ashes indicated the Glenorchy area was visited by Māori. It is likely Ngāi Tahu Māori visited Queenstown en route to collect Pounamu (greenstone), although no evidence of permanent settlement is known.
Explorers William Gilbert Rees and Nicholas von Tunzelmann were the first Europeans to settle the area. Rees established a high country farm in the location of Queenstown's current town centre in 1860, but the discovery of gold in the Arrow River in 1862 encouraged Rees to convert his wool shed into a hotel named the Queen's Arms, now known as Eichardt's. There are various apocryphal accounts of how the town was named, the most popular suggesting that a local gold digger exclaimed that the town was "fit for Queen Victoria". Many Queenstown streets bear names from the gold mining era (such as Camp Street) and some historic buildings remain. William's Cottage, the Lake Lodge of Ophir, Queenstown Police Station, and St Peter's Anglican Church lie close together in a designated historic precinct.
Tourism and education
See and do
A resort town, Queenstown boasted 220 adventure tourism activities in 2012. Skiing and snowboarding, jet boating, whitewater rafting, bungy jumping, mountain biking, skateboarding, tramping, Parapenting, Sky diving and fly fishing are all popular.
Queenstown is a major centre for snow sports in New Zealand, with people from all over the country and many parts of the world travelling to ski at the four main mountain ski fields (Cardrona Alpine Resort, Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Treble Cone). Cross country skiing is also available at the Waiorau Snowfarm, near Cardrona village.
Queenstown lies close to the centre of a small wine producing region, reputed to be the world's southernmost. The Two Paddocks vineyard is owned by local actor Sam Neill. Neighbouring, historic Arrowtown features restaurants and bars.
Locations for television and film
Jane Campion's six-part drama mystery Top of the Lake was shot during 2012 for pay TV release in 2013. The lakes of the Wakatipu appear ominous, and the Southern Alps spectacular. The main location is Moke Lake and scenes were shot on Lower Beach Street and Coronation Drive, and at a supermarket and bottle store on Shotover Street. Top of the Lake's international cast includes Holly Hunter, Elisabeth Moss, Peter Mullan, David Wenham, and Thomas M Wright.
Queenstown featured for 17 minutes in I Hate Luv Storys, a 2010 Bollywood romantic comedy. Queenstown and the surrounding areas were also used in the 2009 X-Men Origins: Wolverine film. Mee-Shee: The Water Giant was shot in Queenstown in 2005, and released to DVD in the same year. Queenstown was also used to film most of the 1988 The Rescue. Queenstown was the base for filming the George Lucas 1988 fantasy film Willow.
Filming of the 1981 film Race for the Yankee Zephyr took place in and around Queenstown, the first major motion picture production for the area.
The first and last episodes of the fifth season of The Mole were filmed in Queenstown. In the latter episode, the final three contestants took the final computer quiz on the Kingston Flyer.
Language, tourism, and community education
Wakatipu High School is a government co-ed school which services the community for students 13–18 years.
Adult training institutions provide a variety of options in English, sustainability, tourism and community education in Queenstown.
Specialist English language providers include Language Schools New Zealand, ABC College of English, and Southern Lakes English College. Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) offers various courses, including scholarships for English study.
Queenstown Resort College actively supports events for international travel agents, It offers accredited management courses in hospitality and adventure tourism, and a rare Diploma of Adventure Tourism Management specialising in Snowsport.
ACE Wakatipu has a community focus, and provides links to many adult training opportunities.
- The TSS Earnslaw steams on Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station
- Ben Lomond, a nearby mountain for a view of the area
- The Skyline Gondola ascends Bob's Peak on Ben Lomond
- Kiwi Birdlife Park and Paradise for the Paradise duck (Tadorna variegata)
- Walk, mountain bike, or run The Queenstown Trail
- Skippers Road 
- Tramping track near Glenorchy
- Routeburn, one of the New Zealand Great Walks
- Queenstown Events Centre and stadium
- Paragliding or Hang Gliding
- Aerobatics with the Wakatipu Aero Club at Queenstown Airport at Frankton
- Helicopter scenic flights
- Adventure out, canyon-swing, parachute, jetboat, bungy jump, river-surf, or kitesurf
- Golf at Millbrook Resort, Jack's Point, or Queenstown Golf Club
- Disc golf at the Queenstown Gardens
- Tennis at the Queenstown Tennis Club in Queenstown Gardens
- Cricket at the Queenstown Cricket Club
- Netball at the Wakatipu Netball Centre
- Rugby league and Rugby union at the Wakatipu Rugby League Club Memorial Park
- Touch rugby during the summer season
- Scuba diving or snorkeling in a river, bridge wreck, or in Lake Wakatipu
- Adult education at ACE Wakatipu
- Central Otago region
- Central Otago wine region
- History of the Central Otago Gold Rush
- Milford Road, Milford Sound / Homer Tunnel, the Fiordland Lakes / Doubtful Sound
- Hamburgers at Fergburger on Shotover Street
Geography and Climate
Queenstown is situated on the shore line of Lake Wakatipu, the third largest lake by surface area in New Zealand. It is at a relatively high altitude nestled among mountains, and there are close-by gorges and some plains suitable for agriculture.
||Glenorchy and Mount Aspiring National Park||Mount Aspiring National Park||Arrowtown and Wanaka|
Despite its relatively high altitude and mountain surroundings, it has an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb). Summer has long warm days with temperatures that can reach 30 °C while winters are cold with temperatures often in single digits with frequent snowfall, although there is no permanent snow cover during the year. As with the rest of Central Otago, Queenstown lies within the rain shadow of the Southern Alps, but being closer to the west coast the town is more susceptible to rain-bearing fronts compared to nearby Cromwell, Wanaka and Alexandra. The hottest recorded temperature in Queenstown is 34.1 °C (93 °F), while the coldest is −8.4 °C (17 °F).
|Climate data for Queenstown (1981−2010)|
|Average high °C (°F)||21.8
|Daily mean °C (°F)||15.8
|Average low °C (°F)||9.8
|Precipitation mm (inches)||64.7
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||7.2||6.2||7.4||7.4||9.0||9.2||6.9||9.1||8.5||8.8||7.6||9.6||96.9|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||230.3||207.3||187.0||145.4||87.8||71.8||88.3||120.0||153.6||197.7||216.6||223.5||1,929.2|
|Source: NIWA Climate Data|
As a resort centre, there are many bus services that operate into Queenstown, with most being for package tours, but daily services for the local or itinerant are available to and from Invercargill, Dunedin and Christchurch, which are the main cities closest to Queenstown.
Queenstown has an international airport with flights from Australia by Air New Zealand, Qantas, Virgin Australia and Jetstar and in particular, from Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney (the frequency is much increased over the ski season and during summer). Domestic flights operate from Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington and Christchurch. Due to sustained growth, expansion of the airport terminal was undertaken in 2005 through 2010.
Queenstown Airport is New Zealand's busiest helicopter base, also the fourth busiest airport by passenger traffic, and is also heavily used for tourist 'flightseeing', especially to Milford Sound and Mount Cook, using both fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft.
The primary road access to the Queenstown area is via State Highway 6 (SH6), which travels from Cromwell through the Kawarau Gorge to Frankton, where a 9 km spur (SH6A) leads to the CBD and connects with the Glenorchy Road. SH6 continues south, crossing the Kawarau river before heading down the eastern side of Lake Wakatipu to Kingston before crossing the provincial boundary and emerging on the plains of Southland, terminating in the city of Invercargill. A difficult road over the Crown Range leads to Cardrona skifield and Wanaka, and is New Zealand's highest paved public road.
Queenstown is the departure point for a large number of day trips to the similarly famous Milford Sound, which entails a return trip of approximately 12 hours. There are scenic flights available to Milford Sound. A return flight, including a two-hour cruise, is approximately four hours.
Suburbs and nearby areas
Central Queenstown contains many businesses, apartments and homes but is near many suburbs or large areas of housing which are: Fernhill / Sunshine Bay, Goldfield Heights, Kelvin Heights, Arthurs Point and Frankton. Just outside of Queenstown are the areas of: Arrowtown, Dalefield, Closeburn, Gibbston, Jack's Point, Lake Hayes and Quail Rise.
- Eichardt's Private Hotel, a heritage building
- Fernhill a suburb of Queenstown
- Garrick Tremain cartoonist and painter
- Hidden Island on Lake Wakatipu
- Kawarau Gorge
- Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge used for bungy jumping
- Kawarau River
- Kelvin Heights a suburb of Queenstown
- Mayor of Queenstown, New Zealand
- Nicholas von Tunzelmann a European who settled in Queenstown in the 1860s
- Ngāi Tahu Māori of southern New Zealand
- Otago Region
- Queenstown Hill
- Queenstown Ice Hockey Club
- Queenstown-Lakes District
- Queenstown Police Station
- Queenstown Trail for cycling and walking
- Southern Stampede local ice hockey team
- Southern Scenic Route tourist road
- Tolkien tourism and Lord of the Rings
- Tourism in New Zealand
- Wakatipu High School
- Wakatipu Electorate
- 2013 Census Data, Final counts, Otago Region. Cited population is the sum total of Frankton (2013 Census QuickStats about a place:Frankton), Kelvin Heights (2013 Census QuickStats about a place:Kelvin Heights), Sunshine Bay (2013 Census QuickStats about a place:Sunshine Bay), Queenstown Bay (2013 Census QuickStats about a place:Queenstown Bay), Queenstown Hill (2013 Census QuickStats about a place:Queenstown Hill) and Wakatipu Basin (2013 Census QuickStats about a place:Wakatipu Basin)
- Subnational Population Estimates: At 30 June 2011 - Statistics New Zealand. Stats.govt.nz. Retrieved on 2014-04-12.
- "Subnational Population Estimates: At 30 June 2013 (provisional)". Statistics New Zealand. 22 October 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013. Also "Infoshare; Group: Population Estimates - DPE; Table: Estimated Resident Population for Urban Areas, at 30 June (1996+) (Annual-Jun)". Statistics New Zealand. 19 November 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
- Miller., F.W.G., (1949), Golden Days of Lake County. Whitcombe and Tombs. p 3-11.
- William Gilbert Rees
- Bennett, Sarah; Slater, Lee (25 April 2012). "Queenstown's cycling explosion". Travel New Zealand. Fairfax. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- "Waiorau Snowfarm". Destinations. Australia: Canberra Alpine Club.
- Two Paddocks vineyard
- Queenstown NZ Events
- Queenstown Bike Festival
- Queenstown Winter Festival
- Queenstown Jazz Festival
- Travel Info - Queenstown. Best Mountain Towns. Retrieved on 2014-04-12.
- Beech, James (8 March 2013). "Setting stars in top drama". Otago Daily Times. Fairfax. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- "Campion shoot is now 'Top of town'". Mountain Scene. Queenstown, New Zealand: Scene. 20 March 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- Pulver, Andrew (9 February 2013). "Top of the Lake – first look review". Guardian. Guardian News. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- "Entertainment: Top of the Lake". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax. 18 March 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- "Wakatipu High School". Retrieved 21 May 2013.
- Crosbie, Celia (1 October 2010). "Educators join forces for Study Queenstown website". Mountain Scene. Queenstown, New Zealand: Scene. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- "Institutions". Study Queenstown. 2010. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- Language Schools New Zealand in Queenstown
- ABC College of English, About Queenstown
- Southern Lakes English College, Queenstown
- Chandler, Philip (5 July 2012). "SIT cuts teacher hours". Mountain Scene. Queenstown, New Zealand: Scene. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- Southern Institute of Technology 24 Week English Scholarship
- Lamont, Sarah (1 March 2012). "Rare window opens for Queenstown". Southland Times. Fairfax. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- Queenstown Resort College
- Queenstown Resort College: Diploma of Adventure Tourism Management specialising in Snowsport
- ACE Wakatipu
- "Otago Polytechnic". Institutions. Study Queenstown. 2010. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- "Centre for Sustainable Practice". Welcome. Otago Polytechnic. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- Queenstown Skyline Gondola
- Kiwi Birdlife Park
- Gardiner, Brooke (14 September 2012). "Slip closes Skippers road for month". Southland Times. Fairfax. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- Ultimate Hikes Routeburn
- SkyTrek Hang Gliding & Paragliding
- Aerobatics over Queenstown
- Wakatipu Aero Club
- Heliworks scenic flights Queenstown
- Glacier Southern Lakes scenic flights Queenstown
- Helicopter Line scenic flights Queenstown
- Shotover Canyon Swing
- Jack's Point Golf
- Queenstown Golf Club
- Queenstown Disc Golf
- Disc Golf New Zealand
- Queenstown tennis Club
- Queenstown Cricket Club
- Wakatipu Netball Centre
- Wakatipu Rugby League Club
- Wakatipu Rugby Union Club
- "One-touch rugby". Mountain Scene. Queenstown, New Zealand: Scene. 20 October 2011. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- "Touch Southland". Invercargill, New Zealand. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- Dive Queenstown
- "Statistics for NZL Queenstown". Department of Energy. 2010. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
-  (from the NIWA website)
- "Climate Data and Activities". NIWA. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
- Sister Cities
- Reed, A. W. (2002). The Reed Dictionary of New Zealand Place Names. Auckland, New Zealand: Reed Books. ISBN 0-7900-0761-4.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Queenstown (New Zealand).|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Queenstown, New Zealand.|
- Queenstown Lakes District Council
- Queenstown Lakes District Council Community Groups database
- Queenstown Tourism official site
- Queenstown Tourism's Queenstown Official Visitor Guide pdf
- Chamber of Commerce
- Queenstown Airport official site
- 360queenstown-wanana - information site with 360 degree panorams and virtual tours
- Otago Daily Times - Queenstown Lakes News
- NZ Ski The Remarkables
- Queenstown at DMOZ