Queenstown (Maori: Tahuna) is a resort town in Otago in the south-west of New Zealand's South Island. It has an urban population of 15,300 (June 2017), making it the 27th largest urban area in New Zealand. In 2016, Queenstown overtook Oamaru to become the second largest urban area in Otago, behind Dunedin.
The town is built around an inlet called Queenstown Bay on Lake Wakatipu, a long thin Z-shaped lake formed by glacial processes, and has views of nearby mountains such as The Remarkables, Cecil Peak, Walter Peak and just above the town; Ben Lomond and Queenstown Hill.
The Queenstown-Lakes District has a land area of 8,705 square kilometres (3,361 sq mi) not counting its inland lakes (Lake Hawea, Lake Wakatipu, and Lake Wanaka). The region has an estimated resident population of 37,100 (June 2017). Its neighbouring towns include Arrowtown, Glenorchy, Kingston, Wanaka, Alexandra, and Cromwell. The nearest cities are Dunedin and Invercargill. Queenstown is known for its commerce-oriented tourism, especially adventure and ski tourism.
Because of its relatively moderate altitude (310 metres) but with high mountain surroundings, it has an oceanic climate (Koppen climate classification Cfb). Summer has long warm days with temperatures that can reach 30 °C while winters are cold with temperatures often in single digits with frequent snowfall, although there is no permanent snow cover during the year. As with the rest of Central Otago, Queenstown lies within the rain shadow of the Southern Alps, but being closer to the west coast the town is more susceptible to rain-bearing fronts compared to nearby Cromwell, Wanaka and Alexandra. The hottest recorded temperature in Queenstown is 34.1 °C (93 °F), while the coldest is ?8.4 °C (17 °F).
A resort town, Queenstown boasted 220 adventure tourism activities in 2012. Skiing and snowboarding, jet boating, whitewater rafting, bungy jumping, mountain biking, skateboarding, tramping, paragliding, skydiving and fly fishing are all popular.
Queenstown is a major centre for snow sports in New Zealand, with people from all over the country and many parts of the world travelling to ski at the four main mountain ski fields (Cardrona Alpine Resort, Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Treble Cone). Cross-country skiing is also available at the Waiorau Snowfarm, near Cardrona village.
Queenstown lies close to the centre of a small wine producing region, reputed to be the world's southernmost. Neighbouring, historic Arrowtown features restaurants and bars.
Queenstown has many festivals. In 2013, examples include Bike Festival (March/April), Winter Festival (June), and Jazz Festival (October).