Today we take a look at the way of life you can look forward to if you decide to make the move to Queenstown on New Zealand’s South Island.
If the major factor driving you to New Zealand is a desire to see natural beauty every which way you turn, Queenstown might just be the dream location for you. The town is located in the South Island’s inland lakes region, so not only are you on the banks of Lake Wakatipu (the third largest in New Zealand), but you’re close to Lake Hawea and Lake Wanaka too. If you choose to live in Queenstown, you’ll also be treated to views of The Remarkables. An aptly-named mountain range rising straight out of the Lake, where you’ll be able to ski and snowboard from mid-June until mid-October. Today, we’re taking a closer look at this popular tourist haunt to see what it offers those of you wanting to move somewhere that’s remarkable in more ways than one!
This is one of the country’s most popular tourist stop offs, whether for the skiing, the adrenaline sports, or its incredible lake-side location.
Queenstown – an overview
Queenstown is located in the South Island’s Otago region, relatively close to Dunedin and Invercargill. As of 2017, the region has a resident population of just under 40,000. This is one of the country’s most popular tourist stop offs, whether for the skiing, the adrenaline sports, or its incredible lake-side location. This town is a very safe place which you can navigate easily on foot. Residents do tend to travel by car. It works out to be cheaper than public transport in the long run and affords you easy access to the areas of natural beauty that surround the town. This is a friendly, out-going place where you’ll find it easy to make friends. Despite being a small, isolated spot – you’ll find it’s home to some of New Zealand’s best restaurants and cafes. Where you’ll be served particularly superb coffee.
The way of life
If you like hitting the slopes and want your kids to grow up knowing how to carve it up, Queenstown has four ski fields located close to the town: The Remarkables, Coronet Peak, Cardrona and Treble Cone. When summer arrives and the temperatures shoot up, you will be able to make the most of living close to so many beautiful lakes by hitting the water. Whether that’s on a speedboat, wakeboard, stand-up paddle board, jet ski or a kayak. You’ll also be able to hike, mountain bike, bungee jump, or if you’ve always fancied mastering the art of sky diving, now’s your chance! One things for sure – this is an active spot.
It is worth noting that the cost of living in Queenstown is quite high as it is such a tourist favourite. Due to its location in the mountains, you’ll find that food is pricier than elsewhere in the country. Unless you want to spend five dollars on an avocado, you’ll need to start buying fresh produce based on what’s in season.
The majority of job opportunities in town are linked to tourism or accommodation. It’s also possible to find work in viticulture or farming given the town’s close to the world’s southernmost wine region. If you are unable to find work in Queenstown itself, you can spread your net a little wider to the neighbouring Arrowtown, Wanaka, Glenorchy, Kingston, Alexandra or Cromwell. The nearest biggest cities are Dunedin (a three-hour drive away) and Invercargill (2.5 hours drive).
The majority of job opportunities in town are linked to tourism or accommodation.
Queenstown has a fantastic continental-style climate. Summers are long and hot, with temperatures often topping 30 degrees, which is just perfect for getting outdoors. Autumn is a gorgeous time, with the surrounding forests turning shades of red and orange to rival New England. Cool, crisp winters are perfect for all you snow sports enthusiasts due to frequent snow fall in the mountains. Don’t think you’ll be escaping the rain entirely though. It’s relatively common due to the town’s location in the Southern Alps.
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When choosing a home in Queenstown, keep it in mind that a lot of the older properties were built to be holiday homes used in summer. This means they lack insulation or central heating. If you’re planning on living in Queenstown all year round, you want to find somewhere it will be easy to keep warm. Properties can also have trouble with damp. So make sure that you have a property inspector survey any potential property before you sign on the dotted line.
Located on the slopes of Ben Lomond mountain, this is the dream spot for all you active folk. You’re surrounded by walking and cycling trails despite being close to the centre of town. It’s the perfect combination!
This three-bedroom home with lake views has been built with comfort in mind. Double glazing and a wood burner ensure you’ll always be cosy. The property is spacious and finished to the highest standard. Plus you’ll have a lovely outdoor area perfect for barbecues with new friends during summer months. The property is on the market for $715,000 (£367,000).
This is an excellent suburb choice if you want to feel like you’re living rurally while still being close to the water. As the name suggests, Shotover River is close by, as is Kawarau. You’ll enjoy views of The Remarkables and speedy access to Queenstown’s International Airport.
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Here’s one for those of you for whom budget isn’t an issue. This suburb is one of the snazzier parts of town and has even been crowned the South Island’s first million-dollar neighbourhood. The suburb is located on the Kelvin Peninsula, making the views some of the best in town. You’re located close to some excellent schools and the Queenstown Trail. This is an absolute must for all you avid cyclists.
This absolutely stunning six-bed lakeside property is on the market for $1,995,000 (£1,023,000). The property has a state-of-the-art designer kitchen and beautiful bathrooms. There is ample outdoor space for sunbathing, entertaining and lapping up those lake views.
Head just 15 minutes out of Queenstown to Arrowtown and prices go down considerably. This former gold mining town is a tourist attraction in itself. You’re just as close to the ski fields and hiking trails, and even a little closer to the area’s wineries. You’ll be able to enjoy a laidback lifestyle, great schools, ample opportunities for outdoor pursuits and lots of interesting museums.
This gorgeous property overlooked by mountains is ideally located close to Frankton, Queenstown’s major shopping area, as well as the international airport. This property enjoys an open-plan living space, complete with lots of natural light, three bedrooms, off-road parking, a lovely garden and a large laundry. You’re within walking distance to all the area’s amenities and the property is on the market for $879,000 (£450,000).