Queenstown is New Zealand’s adventure capital. Popular activities in the region include: mountain biking, bungy jumping, snowboarding, skiing, paragliding, jet boating and many others. The town is home to fantastic cafes, bars and restaurants sitting on the shore of a beautiful mountain lake and surrounded by mountainous peaks- Fun Facts About Queenstown
Queenstown has an oceanic climate and the region is famous for having four distinct seasons. On average, Queenstown has 1921 hours of sunshine per year. During the winter, Queenstown has snow-capped mountains and crisp, clear days. Although there is no permanent snow cover during the year, in winter and autumn make sure to wrap up warmly with plenty of layers - daily temperatures range between minus 2 and 8 degrees. Summers are really hot and dry and can reach a temperature of 30 degrees.
Ritchies bus route 11 links downtown Queenstown to Frankton where the airport and Remarkables Shopping Centre are situated. For NZD12 you can catch a bus to or from the Queenstown airport. Locals told us that public transport is difficult to catch so they recommend to get a flat in the city. Cycling is very popular with the locals as a safe, easy way to get around the inner city plus the terrain is flat. You can rent a bike from NZD20 per hour, or buy a second-hand one online or via “Lakes Weekly” newspaper. Unusual but hitchhiking is legal and common around the city. Just hold a destination sign and keep smiling. Local residents are usually good spirited and happy to help.
Queenstown is the most visited destination in New Zealand and you can find a temporary job easily. However, locals recommend to come before winter to secure a job, as lots of people come for a ski season. Summer time brings job openings in hospitality, landscaping, and building industries. With plenty of cafes and bars, there is always a need for waiting staff and barista. Dish washing and house-keeping (room cleaning) are most popular part-time jobs for foreigners throughout the year (at minimum wage of NZD15.25 per hour). If you’re a student with a Student Visa enrolled in a full-time programme, you may be able to work up to 20 hours per week during the year and full-time during scheduled breaks in your study.
Queenstown is a resort town and a top tourist destination which means that residential housing is quite expensive. Mind you, in 2016 it was rated the second highest average cost per property in New Zealand with only Auckland being higher. Locals recommend to use Facebook page 'Lakes Weekly Bulletin' to find flatmates. There is also a hard copy version of this newspaper available with free advertisements to list if you are looking for a flat. Flatting with other people would be the most affordable option in Queenstown. A bedroom in a town centre can cost NZD290 per week including bills (internet and power), also a 2 weeks rent for bond is usually required. If you prefer a family type housing and having meals prepared for you, then go for a “home stay” accommodation which on average costs NZD300 including all utilities and meals (3 meals usually).
Queenstown boasted 220 adventure tourism activities in 2012. Which means you can stay active throughout the year if you like. In summer you can relax on the beaches, go swimming, fishing, waterskiing, wakeboarding, parasailing, rafting and kayaking on the lake and surrounding rivers. It’s also peak season to enjoy the region’s internationally renowned hiking and biking trails. Skate-boarding is also popular and there is a good skate park in the city. In winter time Queenstown is a major centre for snow sports in New Zealand: snow-boarding, cross country or down the hill skiing. Cultural and natural highlights include the TSS Earnslaw steams on Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station, the Skyline Gondola that ascends Bob's Peak on Ben Lomond. Queenstown Trail that people walk, mountain bike, or run. In the area we recommend to explore Milford Road, Milford Sound/Homer Tunnel, the Fiordland Lakes Doubtful Sound; one of the New Zealand great walks - Routeburn. The list goes on. When you tried it all and feel like a glass of wine, there are 200 vineyards in the Central Otago region which are within 1½ hours of Queenstown. Enjoy!
Verdict: Queenstown is a dream destination at any time of the year. Mesmerizing views of the mountains and the lake will enchant you forever. So if you love to have an active lifestyle and don't mind paying for it, this city is absolutely ideal for you.