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New Zealand

Aukland or Queenstown?

My boyfriend and I will be going to New Zealand in early April for three nights... quick trip! What would be a better place to visit for our first time... Aukland or Queenstown?


10 Answers

top answer by
Lauren from Saint Petersburg (Florida)

Hi Alyce,

I studied abroad in New Zealand, and spent 5 days in Queenstown, 3 in Auckland.  It depends what you're looking for.  Queenstown is an amazing, scenic, small town, and the lake and mountains are magical. There are several outdoor activities to do (in winter or summer), and a good night life. I loved the vibe so much I stayed for 2 days longer than I planned.  It's just peaceful, relaxing, and fun.

Auckland is a much bigger city, so you can visit museums or buildings, take a day trip to islands around, or possibly beaches?  You will have to Google more on Auckland since I stayed with a family and did not do much there.  I am biased toward Queenstown, but if you're a city person, Auckland is great too.  Either will be fun, so look them both up and have fun!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Auckland (city)
  2. Queenstown (city)
5 thanks

answered first by
Justin from Phoenix

Go with Queenstown. It's much more walkable, and there's an amazing amount of fun there ... street luge, bungee jumping, parasailing, etc. I recommend a stop at Aggys Shack, Fish & ChipsDux De Lux (for the beer) and Fergburger. I stayed at the Heartland Hotel Queenstown, and it was great. Perfect location just far enough from the action to be quiet, but close enough to be in the middle of it all in a flash. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Aggys Shack, Fish & Chips (restaurant)
  2. Dux De Lux (restaurant)
  3. Fergburger (restaurant)
  4. Heartland Hotel Queenstown (attraction)
4 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Cihan from Ankara

Queenstown. I would rent a car and  drive through Glenorchy and then head to Wanaka. I think Queenstown is  a bit touristy and Wanaka is more pleasant town. If you consider a daily hike ,I would recommend Roys Peak Track. It is steep and might not be very easy but view from top is just spectacular. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Glenorchy (city)
  2. Wanaka (city)
  3. Roys Peak Track (attraction)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Will from On The Road

I agree with most of the answers here, but would suggest Queenstown over Auckland if you can only visit one. As Nathaniel Boyle says below, 'Queenstown is uniquely "New Zealand" while Auckland is, in many respects, another city.' That pretty much sums it up. Go for the magical quality of Queenstown.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Queenstown (city)
2 thanks

answered by
lisa from New Zealand

Auckland is great for the city life. Good for sailing, shopping, awesome beaches and nightlife.

Queenstown is perfect for Skiing, adventure sports and has the most beautiful scenery. It's a lot more relaxed.

So It depend on what you guys are more interested in :) 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Auckland (city)
  2. Queenstown (city)
1 thanks

answered by
Rory from Taupo

Three nights is not a long time to visit. I'm assuming you're flying into Auckland Airport, so bear in mind that you'll have to get to Queenstown and back in that time, and that flights don't go into Queenstown Airport after dark because of the mountain approach. You'll likely end up losing a chunk of your trip in transit if you decide to go to QT.

Both places offer quite different experiences. If you're after nightlife, bars & restaurants, then Auckland is a great place to visit. Check out the bars near Britomart Pl, at Viaduct Basin or jump on the 45 minute ferry to the beautiful Waiheke Island for a wine or 3 at one of the wineries there (Te Whau Vineyard is my pick). As with any city, there are also a bunch of museums, galleries etc to see.

Queenstown is all about adventure experiences - they have it all. The best way to see a selection is to book a combo pack at The Station Information Centre that does bungy (try the classic AJ Hackett Bungy Queenstown at the Kawerau River bridge), jetboating with Shotover Jet and a helicopter ride up to the top of the Skyline Gondola Queenstown.

Early April rules out any snow-based activity in Queenstown, and the weather is still usually good in Auckland, so staying in Auckland and making the most of your time would be my recommendation.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Auckland Airport (attraction)
  2. Queenstown (city)
  3. Queenstown Airport (attraction)
  4. Britomart Pl (attraction)
  5. Viaduct Basin (neighborhood)
  6. Waiheke Island (island)
  7. Te Whau Vineyard (attraction)
  8. The Station Information Centre (attraction)
  9. AJ Hackett Bungy Queenstown (attraction)
  10. Shotover Jet (attraction)
  11. Skyline Gondola Queenstown (restaurant)
1 thanks

answered by
Nathaniel from Boston

Queenstown is uniquely "New Zealand" while Auckland is, in many respects, another city. It would be impossible to compare them because Auckland is metropolitan and Queenstown is quite small.

But Queenstown is the sort of place you never forget.

1 thanks

answered by
Sue from Yorba Linda

Hi Alyce,

You'll love NZ... Auckland is a large metropolitan city, and Queenstown is much more adventure and scenic beauty. Totally different cities, a bit like trying to compare apples and oranges.

Queenstown has lots of adventure, bungee jumping, jet boats, hiking, kayaking and the like. Hobbit tours are also in this area of the country as there was a lot of filming done in this part of the south island. I think you could fill three days amply in Queenstown and the surrounding area and still feel like there was more to see. Whatever you do, I'm confident you'll love your time there!

1 thanks

answered by
Jae from Singapore

If you had to pick just one, most would say @Queenstown, since it's got more obvious touristy things that tourists enjoy (nature, activities,walkable tourist zones, etc). Auckland is more of a big city by comparison.

1 thanks

answered by
Anna-Fee from Freiburg im Breisgau

I've been to both places for 5 days, and I really can't decide where I liked it more.

I found that Auckland is not that interesting but there are so many things you can see and do around Auckland, like the volcanic Rangitoto Island, surfing in Piha, rent a car and see the beautiful Northland (some very nice and remote beaches on the east coast north of Auckland, like the Whale Bay), or rent a car and go to the Coromandel Peninsula. Nature around Auckland is all about beaches and lush rainforest.

Queenstown is known for being a party town for young backpackers and again I liked the surrounding of the city more than the city centre. The Ben Lomond Track was one of the best hikes of my life. Also, you could do a day trip to Milford Sound which is a must-see of every New Zealand tour. Also, the road to Milford Sound is breathtaking. Nature around Queenstown is all about mountain scenery and lakes.

Have a nice time in NZ!!  

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Auckland (city)
  2. Rangitoto Island (attraction)
  3. Piha (attraction)
  4. Coromandel Peninsula (attraction)
  5. Queenstown (city)
  6. Ben Lomond Track (attraction)
  7. Milford Sound (city)

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