Are you traveling to New Zealand and wondering what to do in Queenstown? In this Solo Girls Guide to Queenstown, New Zealand, Cassie from Your Infinite Passport shares her top tips for getting the most out of your trip.
What to do in New Zealand
Filled with hiking, bungy jumping, and skydiving, Queenstown is truly an exhilarating place to visit and where you can check off a lot of activities on your New Zealand bucket list. Even if you aren’t an adrenaline seeker, the fresh air, local people, and cute picturesque town make Queenstown a perfect destination for a solo female traveler. Hike to the summit of Bob’s Peak for a spectacular view of the city, sip on a drink out of an ice glass at the Minus 5 Ice Bar, or just walk around town and marvel at the mountains surrounding you. Queenstown may be the adventure sports capital of the world, but it is also a great place to have an adventure.
Top Things to Do in Queenstown
Adventure Sports in Queenstown
Partake in one of the many adventure sports in town. Whether you want to jump out of a plane or zip around in a speedy jetboat or sway across a canyon in a giant swing, there is something here for everyone, regardless of intensity. Here is a complete list of activities you can try!
Get outside hiking in nature
Hiking in Queenstown is amazing, there are many mountain peaks surround Queenstown, which means there are tons of trails to explore. Hiking in New Zealand is called “tramping” so once you have the correct lingo down, strap those boots on and get to it!
Hike up to the Skyline Gondola for a panoramic view of Queenstown then continue on the Ben Lomond trail for even more striking vistas. For a shorter hike, take the gondola up to the Skyline Gondola and start hiking the Ben Lomond trail from there. You can also take the gondola back down if your legs get tired!
Eat a burger the size of your face
A favorite among the locals and without a doubt the best burger in Queenstown, Fergburger has received international recognition for making a damn good burger. Opened in 2011, they specialize in gourmet burgers prepared with exotic meats including lamb, cod, falafel, a swine, and chicken mix and venison.
The line is usually long but it goes fast and everyone is so happy to be there, it’s surprisingly easy to make friends while waiting. And to top it off – they are open from 8am-5am every day so it’s a perfect place for late night food in the area.
Visit an Ice Bar
Ice bars have become more popular in recent years and are therefore easier to find. However, it doesn’t belittle the fact that drinking in a bar made of ice is quite an original experience. It brings silliness out of everyone and makes for great photo ops, all while testing your limits of how well you can handle the cold! There are two Ice Bars in Queenstown: Minus 5 Ice Bar and Below Zero Ice Bar. Be sure to check one of them out!
Speaking of bars, Queenstown has 150 bars, restaurants and cafes…in a town of 1.45 square miles! There is never a shortage of places to eat and drink in Queenstown. You can also rest assured that the town area is very walkable and safe for solo travelers.
Seriously, just step outside your hotel and start walking – you will find a plethora of options within minutes.
How to Get from the Airport to Queenstown
Queenstown airport is only 10 minutes from the city center and the shuttle to town is only $10 each way. You can also take a taxi but it will be at least double the cost of the shuttle. The cheapest option is to take the public bus for $5 – you can purchase tickets directly from the driver.
My biggest recommendation would be to sign up for a group bus tour around the south island of New Zealand. You will meet fun, like-minded travelers and most of the buses pass through Queenstown anyway. I did Stray and loved every minute of it!
Getting Around – Using Public Transport in Queenstown
Once you’re in town, everything in Queenstown is within walking distance. When booking an activity that’s outside of town, the company you book with will drive you from their office to the location of the activity.
If you do want to take a taxi, they are very safe. As a solo female traveler, I felt safe walking around at night. I made sure I stayed alert and focused on my destination but I was never worried about my safety.
Queenstown has an active nightlife and there are always people milling about at night so you’ll have company while walking around at night.
Where to Stay in Queenstown
If you are wondering where to stay in Queenstown you can rest assured that it is a backpacker’s paradise – it’s full of outdoorsy travelers looking to have a good time. Because of that, there are great hostels in Queenstown to choose from. Here are my personal recommendations:
Base Backpackers Queenstown is one of the most central hostels. Nomads Queenstown Hostel and Adventure Queenstown Hotel are both great places, though not as central. I would definitely recommend staying in a hostel in this town, as it’s the perfect way to meet fellow adventurers!
Safety in Queenstown
I never felt unsafe in Queenstown. It does have an active nightlife so keep your wits about you and avoid overly drunk people. If safety is a big concern of yours, I would recommend coming to Queenstown as part of a travel group and then you’ll have built-in travel buddies for all of your adventures!
I was a bit of an adrenaline junkie when I was younger so Queenstown seemed an obvious destination for me while in New Zealand. However, what I discovered was a town that is so much more than the sum of its parts.
Sure, there are crazy cool adventure sports to experience, there is a bunch of bar hopping you can do and there’s even one of the best burgers of your life awaits you – but all of that combines to produce unexpected energy full of youthful optimism. Each moment greets you with open arms and throws you into a world of adventures, guaranteed to create lasting memories. (I may have fallen in love with this place, can you tell??)
Based in Colorado, Cassie has been an avid traveler ever since she backpacked through Europe at age 18. Her website has grown as a resource for all things travel-related including her personal travel stories, tips & tricks when traveling and even a fun Surprise Me! survey page to get your travel wheels spinning!
Check out our other Solo Girls Guides
This post was proofread by Grammarly
Book your trip now
Are you ready to book your trip? To help you get the best deals and service here are the companies that I personally use to book all of my travel online. I always shop around before booking anything, but these are my tried and tested starting places.
- Skyscanner – I’m a bit fan of Skyscanner, it is who I use to book all of my flights. I often will check other like Google Flights or Momodo, but I always go here first and it is who I book 99% of my flights with.
- Booking.com – I LOVE booking.com especially when I can book and cancel free up until a certain point, mostly because my plans are forever changing. It’s easy to use and has one of the widest selections.
- Airbnb – I’m not a huge user of Airbnb, but sometimes I do like to use it, and I ALWAYS check it before I book anything else. You can get some really cool places to stay here, and it is especially good in places like Cuba. If you don’t have an account and you click on this link then you will get $36 off your first booking.
- Hostelworld – If you are looking for hostels then this is a great place to check first. They often have additional places that you won’t find on Bookin.com.
- Agoda – Although I don’t use it as much as booking.com, Agonda is especially good if you are traveling in Asia as they really do dominate there.
- Worldpackers – If you want to travel on the cheap and save money on accommodation then you need Worldpackers in your life. You can read more about it here. If you click this link to sign up and use the code CLAIRESITCHYFEET then you can get a 40% discount on your membership!
- Book a Way – If you are traveling in Asia and want to pre-book your transportation then bookaway.com is a fantastic site to do so. They have buses, trains, and cars.
- RentalCars – Looking to rent a. car while you are away? I always book through Rental Cars as they do a search of all of the big sites and find the best deals.
- Welcome Pickups – Very occasionally getting from the airport to my accommodation is a total pain in the butt, or I’m traveling in a group and it makes sense to arrange a pickup. When I do I use Welcome pickups.
- World Nomads – If you are looking for flexible travel insurance then it’s World Nomads all the way. I wrote all about insurance here if you want a more thorough review.
- SafetyWing – AsI’m a Digital Nomad and not moving around quite so much anymore I personally use SafetyWing now for my health insurance. I wrote a full review here.
- Viatour – Sometimes it can be a little expensive, but I like Viatour for somethings, especially if you can get a discount code! It’s also great for inspiration.
- Klook – If you are traveling in Asia, then Klook is great! You can book all kinds of tours, activities, and train tickets, plus they even have sim cards and WiFi.