Where to Stay in Queenstown, New Zealand
For such a small town, there sure are a lot of options for accommodation in Queenstown. This blog breaks down where to stay in Queenstown based on location, what you want to do and see, and how you are traveling!
Queenstown is one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand. It’s surrounded by stunning mountain peaks and breathtaking lakes. I think we can both agree that it’s a must-visit
But there’s only one problem…
Being such a tourist town, there are is a wide variety of places to stay in Queenstown. With countless Airbnbs, holiday parks, hostels, and hotels to choose from it’s
But don’t worry – we’ve got you sorted!
This blog breaks down all of the different areas around Queenstown, accommodation for different budgets, as well as reviews and suggestions of the BEST places to stay!
Where to stay in Queenstown – The BEST Areas
1. Queenstown Town Center
Queenstown’s center is small. You can walk the entire town center of Queenstown within a few minutes! Here, you’ll find all of the most popular shops and restaurants as well as the gorgeous lakefront.
If you want to be able to walk everywhere and be right in the hustle and bustle of it all then staying in Queenstown’s town center is ideal. But there’s a catch!
Centrally located accommodation in Queenstown generally books up the fastest, so be sure to book in advance especially in the peak seasons (June-September and December-March.)
Also, in peak season this area is very busy and if you plan on driving anywhere, be prepared for traffic and some hectic driving. So, if you’re nervous about driving in NZ or prefer quieter places this may not be the area for you to stay in Queenstown.
My suggestions for where to s
tay in town…
Novotel Lakeside Queenstown
Gorgeous rooms with lake views! A spa, concierge service, and restaurant are all onsite.
Nomads Queenstown Backpackers
Budget accommodation right in the heart of Queenstown! Dorm beds or private rooms are available.
Frankton is one of the outer suburbs of Queenstown. It is about a 10-minute drive from the town center depending on traffic (yes, this little town has traffic!) The airport is actually in Frankton which makes staying here convenient for flying in and out of Queenstown.
In Frankton, you will have a large selection of Airbnbs as well as hotels. You’ll have easy access to the Remarkables mountains and can easily get out of town to explore the Gibbston Valley or Arrowtown without dealing with traffic. Oh, and Frankton is known for getting lots of sun – especially in winter when other areas like Fernhill get almost none!
But there’s a catch…
The downside to staying in Frankton is that you will need to take a taxi or bus into Queenstown. The public bus runs often though and it’s very cheap and easy to use!
*The public bus in Queenstown costs $2 per trip once you have an Orbus Card. This card costs $5 and can be bought from any bus driver. Once you have the card each trip is $2, without the card, pay $5 cash to the driver.
Check out this website for more information on the public bus in Queenstown
My suggestions for where to stay in Frankton…
Hotel located right near the airport and bus stop. Standard rooms or apartments are available.
Located along the lake, these 2 and 3 bedroom apartments come with air conditioning, full kitchens, and laundry.
On the opposite side of Queenstown from Frankton is an area called Fernhill. Fernhill mostly is residential meaning there are few hotels but plenty of Airbnbs available.
The benefit of staying in Fernhill is that you are a 20-30 minute walk from town or a 2-minute bus ride. This part of town is also on a hill and you’ll get amazing views of Lake Wakatipu and are close to a few small hiking trails.
It is a quieter suburb that popular among locals. In fact, when I lived in Queenstown for 6 months, I lived in Fernhill and I loved it!
However as mentioned above, in winter Fernhill is known to get very little sun thanks to the mountains around the suburb. So, if your coming in winter and love to wake up to rays of sunshine then Fernhill might not be a top choice!
My suggestions for where to stay in Fernhill…
Mercure Queenstown Resort
Gorgeous hotel with lake views, a pool and hot tub, lounge bar, as well as a restaurant.
2 and 3 bedroom fully equipped villas perfect for groups or families. Located right at a bus stop to easily get into town.
Arrowtown is a beautiful little town. It is also a touristy town but is much less busy than Queenstown. There are lots of shops, pubs, and restaurants in Arrowtown.
The only issue with staying in Arrowtown is its distance from Queenstown. Arrowtown is about a 30-minute drive from Queenstown.
You can take the public bus for $2 from Arrowtown to Queenstown but routes are limited and it does take a little while. Therefore, if you plan on staying in Arrowtown but want to visit Queenstown regularly, having a rental vehicle is a good idea!
The charm of Arrowtown is hard to beat though and this small quaint town offers a very relaxing and beautiful atmosphere. If you’re visiting in Autumn (late March to early May is best) then Arrowtown is a must-visit as it becomes the most beautiful place on earth with colorful leaves everywhere!
My suggestions for where to stay in Arrowtown…
This motel offers comfortable and affordable rooms with kitchenettes as well as apartments.
New Orleans Hotel
This charming hotel brings your back to the gold mining days. It is located right on the main street of Arrowtown.
This luxury accommodation is located just outside of Arrowtown and boasts gorgeous mountain views and amenities.
5. Arthurs Point
Arthurs Point is about a 10-minute drive from Queenstown center. There aren’t many shops or restaurants in Arthurs Point although it is the closest place to stay near Coronet Peak ski field. In winter, it is almost impossible to find accommodation in Arthurs Point for this reason alone.
The area is really beautiful and it is a good halfway point between Queenstown and Arrowtown. I stayed at the Top 10 Caravan park here and they also ran a free shuttle to town which was very convenient!
My suggestions for where to stay in Arthurs Point…
Luxury accommodation right near Coronet Peak. Free shuttle provided to and from Queenstown.
Queenstown Top 10 Holiday Park
Campground providing powered campsite, cabins, and apartments. Good value and a free shuttle provided to and from Queenstown.
Where to Stay in Queenstown for Skiing
If you plan on spending most of your time skiing or snowboarding in Queenstown then choosing where to stay should revolve around ease of access to one of the two ski
As mentioned above, Arthurs Point is the closest area to Coronet Peak as it is located right at the mountain’s base. Queenstown is about 10 minutes from Coronet Peak’s base and the same with Arrowtown making them other good options.
If you plan on skiing at the Remarkables, then Frankton is your best choice, followed by Lake Hayes, Shotover Country, and Queenstown.
Staying close to the ski fields can be more convenient if you have a car, but if you don’t, then taking the bus will be your only option anyway. Buses leave from Queenstown center to go to both ski fields every hour during the winter and cost $20 for a return trip. Be warned though the lines for these busses are long!
*Even if you do have a rental car be sure to check if you’re allowed to drive it up to the ski fields. Many rental companies have clauses against this meaning you won’t be covered if you get into an accident or you could face a fine. Read our blog about renting a campervan in New Zealand for more information!
Where to Stay in a Campervan or Motorhome in Queenstown
If you are staying in a campervan or motorhome you will need to stay in a holiday park (or a caravan park) in Queenstown. There are a couple in town as well as a couple outside of town.
Freedom camping is not allowed in Queenstown and you will have to drive well outside of Queenstown to freedom camp. Click here for more information on freedom camping zones near Queenstown. Be sure to only freedom camp where allowed otherwise you will
My suggestions for holiday parks in Queenstown…
Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park
Located right in town this holiday park offers powered campsites and access to nice facilities.
Where to Stay in Queenstown on a Budget
Queenstown is famous for being expensive and when it comes to hotels that can be true (especially during peak season!) But if you book in advance and stay in the right places you can find hotels for good value!
Hostels are a great option if you are on a tight budget. There are many different hostels in Queenstown where you can get a dorm bed for under $40 NZD a night. Even if you are
Another great option for finding cheap places to stay in Queenstown is to use Airbnb. If you’ve never used Airbnb before, you should try it! You can get entire units, whole houses, or even just a private room for a fraction of the price of a hotel!
My suggestions for where to stay on a
budget in Queenstown…
YHA Lakefront Queenstown
This cozy hostel is located only a couple of minutes walk from town center.
The Base Queenstown
This party hostel is perfect for meeting other travelers. It is right in town centre!
Sir Cedrics Pod Hostel
This hostel actually offers pods as opposed to dorm beds as an affordable option still offering privacy!
Before you go…
Thanks so much for checking out our blog on where to stay in Queenstown! I hope this has helped you plan your trip here. If you have any questions please leave them below and we will get back to you!
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance!
Travel insurance has saved us thousands of dollars many times. World Nomads is a great company to use if you are an adventure traveler like us!
March 9, 2020