The Best Areas to Stay in Queenstown

Downtown Queenstown, New Zealand | © amanderson2/Flickr
Downtown Queenstown, New Zealand | © amanderson2/Flickr
Wondering where to stay during your Queenstown visit? Different areas are bound to suit different budgets and affinities. To help you plan your next New Zealand adventure, here’s a quick breakdown of the local neighbourhoods and the best areas to make yourself comfortable.

For Nightlife Lovers

Downtown accommodation will be your best bet. The town centre is quite renowned for its dynamic bar and restaurant scene – it’s practically a night owls’ paradise! You’ll also have a range of options at your disposal, from luxurious boutique hotels to serviced apartments and backpackers hostels. AirBnb rentals are also, for the most part, situated very close to town – these usually range between NZ$60 and NZ$500 and tend to fill up really fast.

Queenstown from Bob's Peak © Lawrence Murray/Wikimedia Commons

For the budget conscious

If you want to save some money during your trip, your best option would be to book yourself a room in a backpackers’ hostel. These are usually centrally-based and tend to be between NZ $20-$100 per night, depending on room size and availability. Be on the look out for hostels that offer free breakfast as part of their nightly rate too. Some of the best backpackers’ in town include Nomads, YHA Queenstown, and Base Backpackers.

Downtown Queenstown, New Zealand © amanderson2/Flickr

Out in the neighbourhoods

Let’s face it: Queenstown’s biggest appeal is that this is a thriving activity hub. But if you need to getaway from the hustle, bustle and adrenaline rush, then the outer neighbourhoods will be your saving grace. The Glenorchy Road area is lined with luxury lodges, holiday rentals and an assortment of bed & breakfasts, while Kingston Road offers a trove of scenic mountain lodges and lakeside accommodation. If you’re keen to explore the local wine trail, Gibbston Valley also has a range of vineyard-based lodgings.

Blanket Bay Lodge on Glenorchy Road © Roderick Elme/Flickr

Heading even further afield

Arrowtown is a stone’s throw away from Queenstown (only 15 minutes to be exact). The former gold mining town attracts day trippers, hikers, and history buffs – and it’s also a popular alternative for those who are willing to travel further out so they can spend a little less on accommodation (Queenstown tends to be more expensive). Wanaka, which is approximately an hour’s drive from Queenstown is another popular choice. If you’re wanting something more refined, the upmarket Millbrook Resort in Arrowtown and Altamont Lodge in Wanaka are quite famous. That being said, there are plenty of inexpensive holiday lodges and serviced apartments too.

Millbrook Resort © Sarah Stewart/Flickr

Something for the snow bunnies

Winter in Queenstown means only one thing: snow! While on-mountain accommodation is a rarity at New Zealand’s ski resorts, some of the area’s best terrains have their own options on offer. Cardrona has 15 apartments located within a minute’s walk from the main ski lifts – but you need to book these quite early in order to secure your spot. The Otago Ski Club is the go-to for those spending some time at Coronet Peak – once again, this is quite limited and rooms fills up pretty fast. As for the other local skiing destinations, Treble Cone is best accessed through Wanaka, while the Remarkables is quite close to Queenstown – so for these, your best option would be to stay within close quarters to the two resort towns.

Cardrona Ski Area © Kiwi Discovery Queenstown/Flickr