where to stay in queenstown
Where to Stay in Queenstown: Best Neighborhoods & Areas

Queenstown, nestled in the heart of New Zealand’s South Island, is a destination that captivates travelers with its breathtaking landscapes, adventure-filled activities, and vibrant culture. As you plan your visit to this charming alpine town, one of the key decisions you’ll need to make is where to stay. Each neighborhood and area in Queenstown offers a unique experience, catering to different preferences and interests. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you on a tour of the best neighborhoods and areas to stay in Queenstown, helping you find the perfect home base for your unforgettable adventure.

Where to Stay in Queenstown?

1. Queenstown Central

When it comes to convenience and accessibility, Queenstown Central is the beating heart of the town. Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by dramatic mountains, this bustling area is where most of the action takes place. From world-class restaurants and boutiques to vibrant nightlife and cultural attractions, Queenstown Central has it all.

Accommodation options range from luxurious hotels to cozy boutique lodges. The advantage of staying in this area is that you’re within walking distance of iconic sites like the Queenstown Gardens, the Skyline Gondola, and the bustling waterfront. This is an ideal location for those who want to be at the center of it all and enjoy the convenience of exploring Queenstown’s main attractions on foot.

2.  Frankton

For travelers seeking a more tranquil and family-friendly atmosphere, Frankton is an excellent choice. Located just a short drive from Queenstown Central, Frankton offers a quieter retreat without sacrificing convenience. The area is renowned for its stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains.

Frankton is also home to the Queenstown Airport, making it an ideal spot for those arriving by air. Accommodation options in Frankton include comfortable lodges, holiday parks, and self-contained apartments, making it a great choice for families and travelers seeking a bit more space.

3. Arrowtown

Step back in time with a visit to Arrowtown, a charming historic village located a short drive from Queenstown. This quaint area is known for its well-preserved gold rush heritage, with charming streets lined with heritage buildings, boutique shops, and cozy eateries.

Staying in Arrowtown offers a unique and serene experience, with accommodation options ranging from charming bed and breakfasts to elegant country inns. The village is surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes, making it a perfect base for exploring the nearby Gibbston Valley wineries or embarking on scenic hikes along the Arrow River.

4. Kelvin Heights

For travelers seeking a more exclusive and upscale experience, Kelvin Heights is an idyllic retreat. This prestigious area is located on a peninsula jutting into Lake Wakatipu and offers stunning panoramic views of the lake and mountains.

Accommodation in Kelvin Heights mainly consists of luxurious vacation homes and upscale lodges, providing an intimate and private setting for your Queenstown escape. While Kelvin Heights offers a peaceful atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle, it’s still within easy reach of Queenstown Central via a short water taxi ride or drive.

5. Fernhill

Perched above Queenstown Central, Fernhill offers a quieter escape while still being just a short distance from the town’s main attractions. This hillside neighborhood provides breathtaking views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkable mountain range.

Fernhill is known for its range of accommodations, from budget-friendly motels to upscale resorts. It’s an excellent option for travelers who want to enjoy stunning vistas while being slightly removed from the town’s livelier areas.

6. Arthur’s Point

If relaxation and rejuvenation are high on your list, consider staying in Arthur’s Point. This area is famous for its hot pools, where you can unwind and soak in natural geothermal waters while enjoying spectacular views of the Shotover River.

Accommodation options in Arthur’s Point include boutique lodges and lodgings with rustic charm. While it’s a short drive from Queenstown Central, this peaceful retreat offers a unique and soothing experience that’s perfect for unwinding after a day of exploration.

7. Lake Hayes

A short drive from Queenstown lies the serene Lake Hayes, surrounded by picturesque landscapes and a tranquil ambiance. Staying in this area provides a serene escape with stunning views of the lake and nearby mountains.

Accommodation options around Lake Hayes range from bed and breakfasts to luxurious lodges, offering a peaceful setting for your Queenstown getaway. It’s a great location for those who want to experience the beauty of the outdoors while still being within easy reach of Queenstown’s attractions.

Where to Stay in Queenstown on a Budget?

Traveling on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort or miss out on experiencing the charm of Queenstown. The town offers several budget-friendly accommodation options that allow you to make the most of your stay without breaking the bank. Here are some neighborhoods and areas where you can find affordable places to stay in Queenstown:

1. Queenstown Central (Budget Hostels and Motels)

While Queenstown Central is known for its upscale options, it also offers budget-friendly hostels and motels that provide comfortable accommodations at a lower cost. Look for well-reviewed hostels that offer dormitory-style rooms or private rooms with shared facilities. These hostels often have communal kitchens where you can prepare your own meals, helping you save on dining expenses.

2. Frankton (Affordable Motels and Holiday Parks)

Frankton, located a short drive from Queenstown Central, is a great area for budget-conscious travelers. You’ll find a variety of motels and holiday parks that offer affordable room rates. These accommodations provide a comfortable place to rest while allowing you to explore Queenstown’s attractions during the day.

3. Arthur’s Point (Budget-Friendly Lodgings)

Arthur’s Point, known for its hot pools and tranquil setting, also offers budget-friendly lodgings. Look for small lodges, cabins, or motels in this area that provide a cozy and peaceful environment without the premium price tag.

4. Fernhill (Value Motels and Lodges)

Fernhill, located above Queenstown Central, offers a quieter atmosphere and stunning views. Look for value motels or lodges in this area that offer affordable rates. You’ll enjoy the beautiful surroundings while staying within your budget.

5. Motels and Holiday Parks on the Outskirts

Consider looking for motels and holiday parks on the outskirts of Queenstown. These areas often offer more budget-friendly accommodations while still providing convenient access to the town’s attractions. Keep in mind that you may need to factor in transportation costs if you choose an accommodation slightly farther from the town center.

6. Shared Accommodations and Rentals

Explore online platforms that offer shared accommodations or vacation rentals. You might find individuals renting out rooms or apartments at more affordable rates than traditional hotels. Sharing accommodations can significantly reduce your lodging costs and may even provide you with the opportunity to connect with locals.

7. Hostel and Lodge Stays in Nearby Towns

If you’re open to a short commute, consider staying in nearby towns such as Arrowtown or Glenorchy. These towns offer a more peaceful and relaxed atmosphere and may have budget-friendly hostels or lodges available.

Best Places to Stay in Queenstown for Couples

Queenstown, with its breathtaking landscapes, romantic ambiance, and plethora of activities, is a dream destination for couples. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious escape, a cozy retreat, or an adventurous getaway, there are several neighborhoods and accommodations that cater specifically to couples. Here are some of the best places to stay in Queenstown for a romantic getaway:

1. Queenstown Central (Luxurious Romance)

Staying in the heart of Queenstown Central offers couples easy access to the town’s vibrant energy, world-class dining, and waterfront views. Choose from upscale hotels and boutique lodges that offer luxurious amenities, stunning lake vistas, and personalized services. This area is perfect for couples who want to indulge in fine dining, shopping, and evening strolls along the lakefront.

2. Kelvin Heights (Secluded Elegance)

Kelvin Heights, located on a peninsula jutting into Lake Wakatipu, provides a sense of seclusion and exclusivity. This area offers upscale lodges and vacation rentals with private terraces or balconies boasting panoramic lake and mountain views. It’s an excellent choice for couples seeking a tranquil and romantic escape while still being a short distance from the town center.

3. Arthur’s Point (Relaxation and Rejuvenation)

Couples looking for relaxation should consider Arthur’s Point, known for its hot pools and spa facilities. Unwind in natural geothermal waters while taking in the breathtaking views of the Shotover River. Accommodations in this area often provide a serene ambiance, making it an ideal spot for romantic moments and reconnection.

4. Fernhill (Intimate Serenity)

Fernhill, perched above Queenstown Central, offers a quieter atmosphere and stunning vistas of the lake and mountains. Look for lodges or boutique accommodations with intimate settings, such as private balconies or outdoor seating areas, where you can enjoy moments of serenity and romance.

5. Arrowtown (Historic Charm)

For couples who appreciate history and charm, Arrowtown provides a unique and romantic experience. Stay in character-filled bed and breakfasts or boutique lodgings nestled within the charming streets. Explore the historic village, enjoy intimate dining experiences, and savor the romance of a bygone era.

6. Luxury Resorts and Lodges

Queenstown boasts a variety of luxury resorts and lodges that cater specifically to couples. These accommodations offer unparalleled comfort, fine dining experiences, and often include spa facilities and personalized services. Choose a renowned luxury establishment for an indulgent and unforgettable romantic getaway.

Best Places to Stay in Queenstown for Families

Traveling with your family to Queenstown is an exciting adventure, and choosing the right place to stay can greatly enhance your experience. Queenstown offers a variety of family-friendly neighborhoods and accommodations that cater to the needs and preferences of families. Here are some of the best places to stay in Queenstown for families:

 1. Frankton (Family-Friendly Convenience)

Frankton is an excellent choice for families due to its convenient location and range of family-friendly accommodations. You’ll find a variety of motels, holiday parks, and apartments that can accommodate families of different sizes. The area’s proximity to Queenstown Central, the airport, and popular attractions makes it a practical and accessible choice.

 2. Queenstown Central (Urban Family Adventure)

Staying in Queenstown Central allows families to be at the heart of the action. Look for hotels or apartment-style accommodations that offer family suites or connecting rooms. The central location provides easy access to restaurants, shops, and entertainment options, ensuring that there’s always something to do for family members of all ages.

 3. Kelvin Heights (Scenic Family Retreat)

Kelvin Heights offers a serene and scenic environment that’s perfect for families seeking a quieter escape. Choose from lodges or vacation rentals that provide ample space for the whole family. The area’s natural beauty and stunning views of the lake and mountains create a peaceful backdrop for quality family time.

4. Fernhill (Panoramic Family Getaway)

Fernhill, located above Queenstown Central, offers panoramic views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains. Look for accommodations that provide family-friendly amenities, such as spacious rooms, kitchenettes, and outdoor seating areas. Fernhill’s quieter atmosphere allows families to enjoy the scenery while still being a short drive from the town center.

5. Holiday Parks and Self-Contained Units

Throughout Queenstown, you’ll find holiday parks and self-contained units that cater specifically to families. These accommodations often provide playgrounds, BBQ areas, and other family-friendly amenities. Consider staying in these options for a more laid-back and budget-friendly family stay.

In conclusion, Queenstown’s diverse neighborhoods and areas cater to a range of preferences, from the bustling energy of Queenstown Central to the peaceful retreats of Arrowtown and Lake Hayes. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a mix of both, the different neighborhoods in Queenstown offer a variety of accommodations and experiences to suit your needs. As you plan your trip to this stunning destination, consider your priorities and interests to find the perfect neighborhood or area that aligns with your travel goals. Whichever neighborhood you choose, you’re bound to be enchanted by Queenstown’s natural beauty, warm hospitality, and endless opportunities for exploration.


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