New Zealand, a country known for its natural beauty and outdoor adventures, is a top destination for solo travelers. And within New Zealand, Queenstown stands out as one of the must-visit destinations. It is a location that has something to offer every type of traveler. But what about those who prefer to explore on their own? If you’re a solo traveler looking for an unforgettable adventure, Queenstown solo travel should definitely be at the top of your list. From its stunning alpine scenery to its bustling downtown, Queenstown is the perfect destination for solo travel.

I did the North Island first then a road trip from Christchurch to Queenstown stopping at some of the most beautiful places in South Island and bungy jumping along the way! Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or a lover of the great outdoors, this town has something for everyone. Take a thrilling bungee jump or skydive, go on a scenic hike, or hit the slopes for some world-class skiing or snowboarding. And if you’re looking for a more low-key experience, there are plenty of opportunities for relaxation as well. From spa treatments to wine tasting, there’s no shortage of things to do in Queenstown alone.

But Queenstown isn’t just about outdoor adventures and relaxation. The town itself is a vibrant hub of activity, with plenty of opportunities to connect with locals and other travelers. The downtown area is packed with shops, restaurants, and bars, making it the perfect spot to meet new people or simply soak up the local culture. And if you’re looking for a more immersive experience, there are plenty of guided tours and experiences to choose from, from food and wine tours to cultural walks and more.

So if you’re a solo traveler looking for an unforgettable adventure, hope this comprehensive Queenstown solo travel guide helps you. With its stunning scenery, endless things to do in Queenstown alone and vibrant culture, it’s the perfect destination for solo travel. 

Solo Travel in Queenstown 

I. Planning a Solo Trip to Queenstown

Getting from Queenstown airport to Queenstown

Getting from Queenstown Airport to the city center is a straightforward process, with a variety of transportation options available to suit different budgets and preferences. The airport is located just 8 kilometers from the city center, making it a quick and easy journey.

One of the most popular transportation options for solo travelers is the Queenstown Connect shuttle bus service. This service runs regularly from the airport to the city center and costs around $20-$35 NZD per person, depending on the number of passengers and your destination. It’s a great option for those on a budget or who prefer to avoid driving in unfamiliar territory.

If you prefer to drive yourself, several car rental companies operate out of Queenstown Airport, including Hertz, Avis, and Budget. You can pre-book your rental car online or at the airport upon arrival. It’s worth noting that driving in Queenstown can be challenging for those not used to narrow, winding roads, so be sure to take extra care and follow all road rules.

Finally, for those who want to travel in style, private airport transfers are also available. These services typically involve a chauffeur-driven vehicle, such as a luxury sedan or SUV, and can be pre-booked online or arranged upon arrival. Prices vary depending on the service provider and the type of vehicle but expect to pay between $80-$150 NZD for a one-way trip. Also, recommend this eSim Card w data plan for NZ.

How to get around Queenstown?

Getting around Queenstown is relatively easy, with several transportation options available for solo travelers to explore the city and its surroundings. Here are some options for getting around Queenstown:

  1. Bus: Queenstown has a local bus service called the Orbus, which offers several routes throughout the city and its surrounding areas. The buses are modern, clean, and affordable, and run every 15-30 minutes depending on the route.
  2. Taxi/Uber: Taxi and Uber are readily available in Queenstown and are a great option if you’re short on time or prefer the convenience of a private ride. Taxis are metered, while Uber prices vary depending on the time and distance of your trip.
  3. Car Rental: Renting a car is a popular option for solo travelers in Queenstown, especially if you plan on exploring the surrounding areas. There are several car rental companies in the city, and prices vary depending on the type of car and rental duration.
  4. Cycling/Walking: Queenstown is a pedestrian and bike-friendly city, with several cycling and walking paths throughout the city and its surroundings. Bike rentals are available in the city, and many attractions and neighborhoods are within walking distance of each other.

How many days are enough to visit Queenstown solo

The number of days needed in Queenstown solo travel can vary depending on your travel preferences and budget. However, generally, recommend staying in Queenstown for at least 3-4 days to experience the best the city has to offer. This will give you enough time to try out some of the adventure activities, such as bungee jumping or skydiving, meet people, explore the beautiful natural surroundings, take a scenic drive, visit nearby wineries, or try the local cuisine.

Additionally, with more time, you could also venture further afield to amazing day trips to nearby destinations like Milford Sound or Wanaka. Ultimately, the length of your stay will depend on your individual interests and budget, but we suggest planning for at least a few days to fully enjoy what Queenstown has to offer.

Is Queenstown safe for solo travelers?

  • First of all, congratulations on taking the leap and traveling solo! Queenstown is generally safe for solo travelers. The crime rate in Queenstown is relatively low, and the city is considered safe for tourists.
  • For example, it’s advisable to stay in well-lit, populated areas and avoid walking alone in unlit areas at night. Additionally, it’s recommended to be mindful of your surroundings and keep an eye on your belongings in crowded areas or on public transportation.
  • Another important tip is to avoid flaunting your valuables, like expensive jewelry or cameras. This can attract unwanted attention from pickpockets or thieves. Instead, try to blend in with the locals and keep a low profile.
  • Finally, when it comes to getting around, using licensed taxis or ride-sharing services is generally safe, while public transportation may be best avoided at night. If you need to withdraw cash, it’s best to do so in well-lit areas during the day.

Additionally, it is always recommended to have travel insurance that covers you in case of unexpected situations. Overall, Queenstown is a safe destination for solo travelers as long as you exercise the same level of caution that you would in any unfamiliar place.

Read Is Peru safe for solo female travelers? for more tips as it applies to any destinations around the world.

Best places to stay in Queenstown

Neighborhood: Queenstown has several neighborhoods that offer great options for accommodation. If you’re looking for a lively atmosphere with lots of restaurants and bars, the downtown area is a great choice. The Frankton area is a quieter option, located near the airport and shopping centers. For stunning views of the lake and mountains, consider staying in the Kelvin Heights or Fernhill neighborhoods.

Looking for place to stay, I recommend using and sorting with price, then consider the ones with highest reviews plus within 1km of center/old town in order to be between all the actions.
For tours, I recommend using get your guide and walking tours available in most places

Best hostels to stay in Queenstown

Queenstown offers a wide range of accommodation options for solo travelers, including hostels, hotels, motels, and apartments. Here are some of the best places to stay in Queenstown:

  1. Nomads Queenstown Backpackers: This hostel is located in the heart of Queenstown and offers affordable dorms and private rooms. The hostel also has a communal kitchen, lounge area, and outdoor patio with stunning views of the lake and mountains.
  2. The Rees Hotel & Luxury Apartments: This hotel is situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and offers luxurious rooms and apartments with stunning lake and mountain views. The hotel also has a fine dining restaurant, spa, and fitness center.
  3. YHA Queenstown Central: This hostel is conveniently located in the city center and offers affordable dorms and private rooms. The hostel also has a communal kitchen, lounge area, and outdoor balcony with beautiful views of the Remarkables mountain range.

Best hotels to stay in Queenstown

  1. Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa: This luxury hotel is located in the heart of Queenstown and offers elegant rooms with beautiful lake and mountain views. The hotel also features a spa, fitness center, and fine dining restaurant serving French cuisine.
  2. The Rees Hotel & Luxury Apartments: This hotel is situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and offers luxurious rooms and apartments with stunning lake and mountain views. The hotel also has a fine dining restaurant, spa, and fitness center.

Whether you’re looking for budget-friendly accommodation or a luxurious getaway, Queenstown has a variety of options to choose from. From central hostels with stunning views to upscale hotels with spa facilities, there’s something for every type of traveler.

II. Activities for Solo Travelers in Queenstown

There are varieties of activities to do in Queenstown new zealand, and I would say don’t worry about doing everything at once or having a FOMO. Go easy on yourself even if you aren’t sure where to go in Queenstown yet. Below are some suggestions on what to do in Queenstown city, pick the ones you fancy and have a great time!

A. Adventure activities

  1. Bungee jumping: Queenstown is known as the birthplace of bungee jumping, and there are several operators that offer bungee jumping experiences for solo travelers. The most famous bungee jump is the Kawarau Bridge Bungy, which is the world’s first commercial bungee jump site. Other popular bungee jumping options in Queenstown include the Nevis Bungy, which is the highest bungee jump in New Zealand, and the Ledge Bungy, which offers stunning views of the city.
  2. Skydiving: For solo travelers seeking an adrenaline rush, skydiving is a must-try activity in Queenstown. There are several operators that offer tandem skydiving experiences, where you’ll jump out of a plane with an experienced instructor and freefall through the sky. Some popular skydiving operators in Queenstown include Nzone Skydive and Skydive Wanaka.
  3. Paragliding: Another thrilling activity for solo travelers is paragliding, which offers a unique perspective of Queenstown’s stunning scenery. Operators such as GForce Paragliding and Coronet Peak Tandem Paragliding offer tandem flights with experienced pilots, where you’ll soar above the mountains and lakes of Queenstown.
Queenstown solo travel
girl hiker on Ben Lomond, Queenstown, New Zealand

B. Outdoor activities

1. Hiking:

Queenstown is surrounded by some of the most stunning hiking trails in the world, offering solo travelers the opportunity to explore the region’s natural beauty on foot. From easy walks along the lakefront to challenging multi-day hikes in the mountains, there is a trail for every level of hiker. Here are some options:

Easy Hikes:

Queenstown Hill Time Walk: This is a short 2-3 hour return walk that offers stunning panoramic views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu.

Lake Hayes Walkway: This is a scenic 8 km walk that follows the shoreline of Lake Hayes, offering stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

Medium Hikes:

Ben Lomond Track: This is a challenging 6-8 hour hike that rewards you with spectacular views of Queenstown and the surrounding mountains.

Mt. Crichton Loop Track: This 4-5 hour hike takes you through lush forests and past stunning waterfalls, with beautiful views of Lake Wakatipu.

Tough Hikes:

Routeburn Track: This is a challenging 32 km hike that takes 2-3 days to complete, and takes you through alpine scenery and past stunning waterfalls.

Rees-Dart Track: This is a challenging 4-5 day hike that takes you through remote valleys, over mountain passes, and past glacial lakes.

Remember to always be prepared and equipped for your hike, regardless of difficulty level, and to check weather and trail conditions before setting out.

2. Cycling

Cycling is a great way to explore Queenstown’s scenic beauty, and there are plenty of bike rental options available in the town center. The Queenstown Trail is a popular cycling route that takes riders through vineyards, historic mining sites, and stunning landscapes.

For those seeking a more challenging ride, the Skyline Queenstown Bike Park offers a range of downhill mountain biking trails suitable for intermediate to advanced riders. The park features over 30 trails, ranging from flowy single tracks to technical downhill descents. The Coronet Peak and Cardrona Alpine Resort also offer excellent downhill mountain biking options.

For those looking for a more leisurely ride, the Frankton Arm Trail is a scenic 9-kilometer lakeside cycleway that runs from Queenstown to Frankton. The trail is flat and easy, making it perfect for beginners and families.

Additionally, for a unique cycling experience, visitors can opt for an e-bike tour. E-bikes are electric bikes that assist with pedaling and make cycling easier, allowing riders to cover more ground and take on more challenging terrain without getting too tired. E-bike tours are a great way to explore the countryside around Queenstown and take in the stunning scenery at a relaxed pace.

3. Skiing/Snowboarding:

Queenstown is a world-renowned ski destination, with four major ski resorts in the area. Not sure what to do in Queenstown, in winter? Buy that day’s snow pass. Solo travelers can hit the slopes and enjoy the stunning alpine scenery, with options for all skill levels from beginner to advanced. The ski season typically runs from June to October, and there are plenty of ski rental options available in town.

In addition to skiing and snowboarding, there are plenty of other winter activities available for solo travelers in Queenstown. These include snowshoeing, ice skating, and heli-skiing. Heli-skiing is a unique and thrilling experience where a helicopter takes skiers and snowboarders to remote backcountry areas that are otherwise inaccessible.

For those who want to enjoy the snow without hitting the slopes, there are also options for snow tubing and sledding. The Snow Farm NZ is a popular spot for snow tubing, while Cardrona Alpine Resort has a dedicated sledding slope.

It’s important to note that skiing and snowboarding can be expensive, with lift passes and rental equipment adding up quickly. However, many ski resorts offer discounted rates for solo travelers, and there are budget-friendly options for those who want to hit the slopes without breaking the bank. 

C. Scenic activities

Queenstown and its surroundings offer a multitude of scenic activities that solo travelers can enjoy. Here are some of the top scenic activities to consider:

  1. Milford Sound tour: A Milford Sound tour is a must-do activity for solo travelers in Queenstown. The stunning fjord is surrounded by towering cliffs, waterfalls, and wildlife. The tour includes a scenic drive from Queenstown through the picturesque Fiordland National Park and a boat cruise through the sound.
  2. Queenstown gondola ride: The Skyline Gondola in Queenstown takes visitors on a scenic ride to the top of Bob’s Peak, offering panoramic views of the town, lake, and surrounding mountains. Solo travelers can also enjoy a range of activities at the top, including luge rides, mountain biking, and hiking.
  3. Dart River Wilderness Jet: This thrilling jet boat ride takes visitors through the stunning Dart River Valley, surrounded by snow-capped mountains, glaciers, and ancient forests. The ride includes a guided nature walk through the valley and a backcountry bus ride through the rugged terrain.
  4. Helicopter tour: A helicopter tour is a unique and exciting way to see Queenstown and its surroundings from above. Solo travelers can enjoy panoramic views of the Remarkables, Lake Wakatipu, and the surrounding mountains, with options for landing on glaciers, remote beaches, and other scenic spots.

D. Relaxation activities

For solo travelers looking to unwind and relax, there are several things to do at Queenstown that offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Here are some relaxation things to do in Queenstown if you’re not an adrenaline junkie.

  1. Onsen hot pools: The Onsen Hot Pools offer a unique and tranquil experience, with private hot tubs overlooking the Shotover River canyon. This is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy stunning mountain views while soaking in a private hot tub.
  2. Spa treatments: Queenstown is home to several spas and wellness centers that offer a range of treatments, including massages, facials, and other rejuvenating therapies. Some popular options include the Body Sanctum Day Spa, the Spa at Millbrook Resort, and the eforea Spa at Hilton Queenstown.
  3. Yoga classes: For solo travelers looking to maintain their fitness and wellness routine, there are several yoga studios in Queenstown that offer classes for all levels. Some popular options include Yoga Nadi, The Sherwood Studio, and Yoga Ground.

No matter which relaxation activity you choose, you are sure to leave Queenstown travel feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

E. Social activities

Here are a few social activities that solo travelers might enjoy in Queenstown. Also if you are wondering what to do in Queenstown at night, check these out!

Queenstown for singles: Queenstown has a vibrant nightlife scene, with plenty of bars, clubs, and restaurants that cater to solo travelers. The town center is also a great place to meet other travelers and locals and share travel stories with events like pub quizzes, live music, and comedy nights.

Queenstown pub crawls: Joining a pub crawl is another great way to meet other travelers and locals. Queenstown has several pub crawl operators that take participants to some of the best bars and clubs in town. This can be a fun way to explore the nightlife scene and make new friends.

Wine-tasting tours: Queenstown is surrounded by world-renowned vineyards and wineries, and there are plenty of wine-tasting tours available in the area.

Milford Sound cruise: In addition to the scenic tour, solo travelers might enjoy a cruise or Milford Sound bus tour from Queenstown, which offers the opportunity to socialize with other travelers while taking in the stunning scenery.

Stand-up comedy: Queenstown has a vibrant nightlife scene, with plenty of bars and clubs hosting regular stand-up comedy nights.

Art galleries: For those interested in art and culture, there are several galleries in Queenstown that showcase local and international artists, and often host opening events and exhibitions.

No matter what your interests are, there are plenty of activities and things to do alone in Queenstown or with company, making it the perfect destination for those seeking adventure, relaxation, or simply a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

What’s life like in Queenstown NZ

Life in Queenstown, New Zealand is characterized by its stunning natural beauty, outdoor lifestyle, and tourism-driven economy. As a small town nestled in the mountains, the pace of life in Queenstown is generally relaxed and laid-back. The town has a vibrant social scene, with plenty of bars, restaurants, and cafes to choose from, and there is always something happening in terms of events and festivals.

Due to its popularity as a tourist destination, Queenstown can be quite expensive, particularly when it comes to housing and transportation. However, there are plenty of employment opportunities in the tourism and hospitality sectors, which can offset the high cost of living for some.

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