Queenstown & Wanaka holiday highlights

The city of Queenstown is one of the most popular places to visit in New Zealand, nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and overlooked by the majestic Remarkables Range. It’s famous for its mesmerising Middle Earth scenery and exhilarating adventure sports; you can go sky diving, bungee jumping or face the heart-stopping Shotover Canyon Swing – the world's highest cliff jump. Breathe in the fresh alpine air and enjoy hiking, jet-boating and horse-riding through stunning locations from The Lord of the Rings films. Downtown Queenstown is also a great place to visit, with a lively café culture and bars, restaurants and shops nestled in a picturesque bay.

Head to the small town of Wanaka to enjoy a superb peaceful setting on South Island. It’s sheltered by the Southern Alps on the shore of its namesake, Lake Wanaka, and is the gateway to the spectacular Mount Aspiring National Park. Cycle along the lakefront, follow pretty walking trails, glide along crystal-clear waters in a kayak or head to the ski slopes at nearby Treble Cone. Enjoy magnificent mountain and lake views from one of the waterfront restaurants or cafés, take a trip to the fun-filled Puzzling World nearby or unwind on a vintage sofa at quirky Cinema Paradiso, where you can enjoy home-made ice cream and biscuits during the interval.

Queenstown & Wanaka key facts

Time difference

GMT +12 hours (GMT +13 hours from the last week in March to the first week in October)

Currency

New Zealand Dollar (NZ$) comprising of 100 cents.

Flying time to destination

Christchurch: 24½ hours

Language

English. Maori is also spoken but is not widely used.

Passport & visas

Visas are not required for UK passport holders.

Voltage & electricity

230 volt AC. Three round pin plugs are used, therefore an adapter is required.

Queenstown & Wanaka good to know

Tipping

Tipping is a matter of choice. For excellent service, a discretionary tip of 10% may be given.

History

The history of New Zealand dates back to approx. 1250 AD. It was discovered by Polynesians, who settled and developed a distinct Maori culture centred on kinship links and land. New Zealand is often referred to as the 'youngest country', as it was one of the last major landmasses to be inhabited, and has a fascinating mix of Maori and European heritage.