Self Drive Queenstown | Avis Car Rental

Queenstown Self Drive Holiday

Queenstown is New Zealand's premier tourism destination, boasting the best of sport, adventure, sightseeing and fine dining. This alpine and lake resort has a well-deserved reputation as a place where it all happens! It is also a great staging post for some of New Zealand's loveliest drives. The day-trips around Queenstown are spectacular both for the scenery and the standard of road you travel on.





Queenstown Gondola

Queenstown is a four-season destination and the Gondola should be your first ticket no matter what time of year you visit. A ten-minute trip right from the edge of town and you are at a restaurant and café complex, with some of the best views in the world at your feet. The lakes, town, trees and mountains all stretch below. It is easy to see why these mountains are known as The Remarkables - the views are breathtaking. If you prefer to have your breath taken in a more adventurous way they also offer the luge - a go-cart sled style of ride on the side of the mountain. Or perhaps you could jump the ledge bungy - where you are 400m over Queenstown. You can even give that a go at night. The bungy, needless to say once you see it, is not for the faint hearted.

Skyline Website


Gibbston Valley Wines

After taking in the view it's time to head out to the Gibbston Valley. Queenstown has been home to many booms over the years - from gold through to adventure-tourism - and out here you'll find that wine is the latest success from the South. Pinot Noir from the region is amongst the best in the world. Try the Gibbston Valley Vineyard to tour their cellar and sample their cheese and house reserves. It is a half hour drive from Queenstown - and if you are doing more than just tasting the wine, buses are available to take you there and back.

Gibbston Valley Website


Lake Wakatipu Cruise

The town is built around beautiful Lake Wakatipu, but if strolling beside the lake is good, cruising on it is better. A range of pleasure craft is available from private luxury launches that you can charter for groups of 2-20 to the option of boarding a piece of history: The TSS Earnslaw. This vintage steamship is one of the last coal-fired passenger vessels still serving in the Southern Hemisphere, and has been running on the lake since 1912. Enjoy a drink and marvel at how Queenstown has changed in the last hundred years. The ship cruises to a high-country farm where you can explore the farming heritage of the region, horse-trek or simply enjoy a meal.

TSS Earnslaw Cruise Website


Queenstown Nightlife

Queenstown is a town that hums no matter what the season. The shopping precinct is small and easily walked. Park your car back at the hotel and head in to shop at the mixture of local stores and international chains. Jewelry, souvenirs and sporting equipment are well represented, with fashion and electronics aplenty. After working up an appetite visit one of the many great eateries - from fine dining to ethnic flavours you are well-served. Being a backpacker town the bars can be quite busy and a bit raucous into the night, so depending on your interests you can pop in and have a look or perhaps head right home. If you are out late be sure to stop by Fergburger - a local institution for top-class fast food.

Fergburger Website




Adventure Tourism

Beautiful, serene Queenstown is also the birthplace and home of a bewildering array of adventure pursuits. The first commercial bungy was set up by AJ Hackett at the Kawerau Bridge. This spot, 20 minutes from town, allows tandem jumps and gives the option of dipping your head in the river below on your fall. If jumping off bridges isn't your idea of fun you can still head out to watch hardy souls take the plunge.

A J Hackett Website


The Remarkables & Coronet Peak

New Zealand's best easily accessible snow sport is to be found within a short drive of Queenstown. In summer the drive rewards with amazing views, and in winter the wide open bowls and high alpine, north-facing fields makes this a great ground for beginners right through to experts. With lovely facilities and some of the most splendid views around, you'll see Coronet Peak really is a crowning glory.

NZ Ski Website


Jetboat Thrills

If plunging head first into a river isn't quite your cup of tea then perhaps tearing up it aboard a jet boat might be? Since 1970 The Shotover Jet has taken more than two and a half million people on the water and given them a thrill as the boats twist and turn through the whitewater canyons. The house specialty is the 360spin - and the red boats go up to 85kph - so this is not your average Sunday afternoon boat trip.

Shotover Jet Website



The Queenstown region is home to one of the world's great golf resorts - Millbrook. This course was originally designed by New Zealand golfing legend Sir Bob Charles, and has recently been added to by Greg Turner and Scott McPherson. The dining, spa and accommodation are all also world-class - but for golfers the chance to play here outweighs eating or sleeping, with green fees reasonable by international standards.

Millbrook Website



Queenstown Winter Festival

Around the end of June Queenstown comes alive with the Winter Festival. Ten days of parties, comedy, events, lake swims, costumes, crazy carry-on, music and revelry make this festival one to remember. Locals get in on the act and tourists travel from all over the world to be part of the celebration of winter. Book early to make sure you get the accommodation you are after - and be ready for a party.

Winter Festival Website


Helicopter Scenic Flights

Winter or summer the most awe-inspiring way to see the region is from the sky. A trip might take you to the top of Coronet Peak, for a fancy picnic lunch on the snow or perhaps further afield to alight on a glacier in Mt Aspiring Park. The journey is as exciting as the destination with flights alternating between tightly hugging the mountain on ascents to the exhilarating feeling of passing the peak and shooting out into hundreds of metres of open space all around. The banks, turns and maneuvers of the helicopters are more thrilling than a rollercoaster. Flightseeing is an experience to remember.

Helicopter Line Website



Arrowtown is a former gold-mining town, half an hour from Queenstown. Renowned for its historic buildings and charming walks, you can experience gold panning and learn about the town's mining past in a setting much prettier, safer and more comfortable than anything the pioneers faced! Visit the Lake's District Museum and some of the art galleries and lovely retail spaces on the main street. Be sure to pick up a walking map from the museum as Arrowtown is the start and end point for many great hikes and bike-rides - with bicycle hire available. There are a range of adventures for all levels of fitness and keenness. And once you have walked up an appetite you'll be spoilt for choice by the many cafés, restaurants or wineries that you can lunch at. Amisfield Vineyard is particularly good.

Arrowtown Website


Cardrona Hotel

The Cardrona is a New Zealand icon. 40 minutes from Queenstown - and only 20 from Wanaka - it is the perfect destination for a mix of the past and present. Established in 1863, it is one of the country's oldest hotels - but has been extensively renovated to offer modern amenities. Après-ski or in the middle of summer the menu is available all day, and amongst the historic artifacts you can tackle a hearty meal or have a light snack with a drink. Once part of a large settlement, the Cardrona now stands alone as a living part of New Zealand's memory and testament to the warm welcome the locals have long offered.

Cardrona Hotel Website



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