Queenstown Travel Tips
Keep in Mind...
- Kiwis are Friendly New Zealanders are an affable crowd, so don't be afraid to ask a question or make conversation with Queenstown locals.
- No Litterbugs Allowed Queenstown residents are proud of their city's natural beauty. Likewise, they do not take kindly to anyone disturbing the environment.
- No Tips Required However, if you receive especially good service at a restaurant or café, tipping 10 percent is appreciated.
You come to Queenstown for adventure. Imagine this. One day, you're bungee jumping: Your feet leave the ledge, and gravity drags your body downward. Then you're whitewater rafting: You're plummeting over waterfalls, the river water slapping your skin. And the next day, you're on a mountain bike traversing the greenest hills you've ever seen. Later in the week, your stomach drops because you've just leapt off an airplane into the blue sky: skydiving. And before you head home, you're grinding down a snowy mountain, a board strapped to your feet: snowboarding. What an adrenalin rush!
If these visions seem more like a dream-come-true—and less like a horrifying nightmare—your fantasy destination is the easygoing daredevil, Queenstown. And at the end of a rip-roaring day, you can toast to yourself with some of the best Pinot Noir around. So, visit for adventure, for friendliness, for wine, and ravishing vistas. And do bring your bucket list: You'll definitely be able to check a few things off.
How To Save Money in Queenstown
- Wear a life jacket If your summer plans include boating on Lake Wakatipu, wear a life jacket. They could save your life and your money; the fine for not wearing one is $300 NZD (about $250 USD).
- Buy a Combo A Queenstown Combo saves you money on a number of different exploits together, from skydiving to rafting to bungee jumping.
Queenstown Culture & Customs
In New Zealand, "kiwi" doesn't just refer to a fruit. It refers to a native New Zealander and the national bird. Keep your eyes peeled for these endangered and flightless creatures.
English is the primary language here, although getting used to the accent may take some time. Kiwis are known for their friendliness, and they won't take offense should you need them to repeat themselves.
The official currency here is the New Zealand dollar (NZD), which is roughly equivalent to $0.80 USD. You should also note that tipping isn't customary here, although it is appropriate to leave 10 to 15 percent if the service was extraordinary.
Like Brits and Aussies, Kiwis drive on the left side of the road. Those of you who are used to city driving should take extra care when driving on New Zealand's country roads. Narrow passageways and fickle weather conditions can throw even the most seasoned driver off course.
Queenstown is a pretty safe place; car break-ins are the most common offense against tourists.