Videos of our playground

Queenstown sits on the shore of the crystal clear Lake Wakatipu among dramatic alpine ranges; it’s rumored that gold prospectors – captivated by the majestic beauty of the surrounding mountains and rivers – gave this now cosmopolitan town its name. It is New Zealand’s fastest growing region.

With a smorgasbord of outdoor activities, Queenstown is the home of the ultimate adventure bucket list. There’s skiing in the winter and activities such as bungy jumping, sky diving, canyon swinging, jet boating, horse trekking and river rafting all year round. It has also become a renowned cycling destination, providing everything from easy scenic tracks to backcountry trails, road rides to heli-biking and the Southern Hemisphere’s only gondola accessed downhill mountain biking.

Drone Photography – Videos exploring the multitude of activities in our backyard.

Awesome Drone Photography – New ZealandLandscapes ( sorry there is no thumbnail )

Golf Courses in Queenstown

Ski Queenstown

Queenstown property market at its peak?

(Photo Above) Ngai Tahu Tourism. FWT Magazine.

The buzz words for the Queenstown property market, according to an annual report launched tomorrow, are “cyclical peak”.

Colliers International’s market review and the outlook for Queenstown, Wanaka, and Dunedin sets the local property clock at the “peak” of 12 o’clock.

Rather than the Doomsday Clock, in which midnight signals the threat of nuclear war, Colliers’ setting reflects what it calls an unprecedented real estate boom, on the back of increased visitor and population growth.

Colliers Queenstown valuation director John Scobie says 12 o’clock suggests there mightn’t be much more value growth in residential property.

“But I guess never say never because we were probably six months ago thinking that these value levels were getting high, so who would have thought that at [entry-level] Shotover Country there’d be a couple of million-dollar sales?

“The big thing for us is there’s nothing on the horizon which suggests the market is going to decline.

“We see another maybe two years, possibly three, of leveling off at the same value levels.”

The report says this is mostly due to Queenstown’s ongoing tourism growth, infrastructure development, economic growth, and construction activity.

It estimates that by the end of this year there’ll be more than $546 million worth of construction underway – comprising $60m in infrastructure work, $186m in commercial projects and about $300m in house building.

“Increased cost of funding – and reduced availability of it, combined with higher interest rates – are the only possible negative factors we can foresee emerging amid the very positive medium-term outlook,” the report says.

Source: NZ Herald

Queenstown most desired holiday spot for fourth year

Queenstown was the most inquired-about holiday destination for Kiwis in 2016 despite having the highest prices, according to analysis of Trade Me’s Holiday Houses website.

It is the fourth consecutive year Queenstown has topped the list for searches on Holiday Houses, receiving 51 per cent more hits than second-placed Mt Maunganui. Wanaka, Waiheke Island and Hanmer Springs were the next most searched destinations.

The average property on Holiday Houses sleeps seven people, has three beds, is non-smoking and has a nightly rate of $315. For Queenstown, the average nightly rate is nearly twice that – $624 per night.

Waiheke Island was the next most expensive destination, averaging $563 per night, followed by John Key’s holiday getaway, Omaha Beach, at $464 per night.

Trade Me spokesman Jeff Hunkin said Queenstown was extremely popular with overseas visitors as well as Kiwis.

“Just like international visitors, Kiwis have a strong connection to the panoramic vistas, legendary hospitality and overall wonderment of Queenstown, and our stats confirm it’s a year-round mecca for holiday-makers.”

Hunkin said bach owners considering listing their property on Holiday Houses should research their area to establish a point of difference.

“You want to stand out from the crowd, so point out some of the unique aspects of the property or the service you provide – maybe it’s the feng shui or the proximity to the beach or the presence of a dishwasher or some handwritten local tips.”

A search of Holiday Houses for Queenstown returned 486 results, with the most expensive being a $1800-per-night lakeside villa. That was booked until January 5 but free after that. The cheapest option was a $137-per-night studio apartment, which was was fully booked until the end of March except for six nights.

At Mt Maunganui, $800 will get you a house bordering a golf course and across the road from the beach. That was nearly fully booked for January. There were plenty more modest options at the Mount, such as a one-bedroom unit for $93 a night, which still had plenty of nights free.

On Waiheke Island, the Oneroa Bay Vineyard Estate charges a whopping minimum $3021 per night. It is described as a “large ultra-modern contemporary beach house located on the point above Oneroa Bay with outstanding 360-degree views taking in the coastal vista to the east”. It still had plenty of nights available.

At the other end of the scale, the charming Bushy Hideout in Oneroa will set you back $110 per night.

NZ Herald

Award Winning Architect Michael Wyatt designs an important Queenstown Commercial Icon

Tourism company Skyline Enterprises’ striking new $8 million-plus Queenstown lakefront building is being officially named Eichardt’s.

The contemporary-looking building’s name associates it with its historic neighbour, the five-star Eichardt’s Private Hotel.

There’s also a tenancy connection.

The new Eichardt’s houses the hotel’s $10,000-a-night The Penthouse, two first-floor suites and its ground-floor restaurant, The Grille.

The other ground-floor tenants are the relocated Louis Vuitton retail outlet and fashion store World.

The design, by award-winning local architect Michael Wyatt, who’s moved his offices into the first floor, has attracted comment for its trapezoid windows, in particular.

But that’s no problem for DowntownQT lobby group manager Steve Wilde.

“New architecture should stir emotion, and this one does just that,” he says.

“In years to come, it will be one of Queenstown’s most photographed buildings, just like its sister.”

Wilde also salutes the new pedestrian/vehicle shared-space streetscape in front of the two buildings on Marine Parade.

The streetscape – including adjusted road and footpath levels – was developed by Skyline and Queenstown’s council after 15 carparks were controversially removed.

Skyline executive chairman Mark Quickfall believes the building design and streetscape do the lakefront site justice, “so it can be enjoyed by everyone”.

“Feedback about the new shared space and streetscaping has been really positive.”

Michael was the architect that designed 26 McKerrow Place.

Scene Newspaper

Queenstown house prices at record levels

In another sign of Queenstown’s housing crisis, a house and land package in the resort’s newest entry-level subdivision is being advertised for $755,000.

That is 68 per cent higher than the country’s median house price of $450,000.

A building company is advertising the 360 m2 section at the Bridesdale Farm subdivision – a special housing area aimed at addressing the resort’s housing affordability problem – on behalf of a third party owner. If the sale proceeds as advertised, a 124 m2 home with a single garage would be built on the land.

That comes as a surprise to Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust executive officer Julie Scott. “That’s certainly a big change from the $450,000 land and house package that Bridesdale was originally marketing,” Ms Scott said.

She was disappointed the entry-level price for a home in Queenstown was reaching that level.

“It really highlights the crisis we’re in, and opportunists are taking advantage of that market.

“People have nowhere to rent and no security of tenure, so they’re trying to get into any sort of ownership.”

Mike Greer Homes Wanaka is advertising the package, and will build the two-storey, three-bedroom home earmarked for the section.

General manager Tane Tawera confirmed the owner would have paid about $260,000 for the land originally, but its value was “a lot higher” now.

“They’re wanting a bit more for it, with the current market.”

Adding to the price was the house chosen for the section, which was among the more expensive types allowed in the subdivision.

His company had bought five sections at Bridesdale Farm in its own right, of which four had been sold and the fifth was under offer.

He agreed the market was tight for affordable homes in the district.

“Unfortunately, it’s not getting any cheaper at the moment.”

Bridesdale Farm developer Chris Meehan told the Otago Daily Times he did not wish to comment.

His 134-lot subdivision, which borders Lake Hayes Estate, was the first in the resort to gain government approval as a special housing area.

Queenstown Lakes District Council-appointed commissioners gave it final sign-off last month.

REINZ figures for February show Queenstown’s median house rose 37.6 per cent on a year earlier to $782,000.

The Massey University Home Affordability Report, released last week, rated Central Otago Lakes as the second least affordable region in the country behind Auckland.

The report said the region was one of only four where housing affordability deteriorated during the first quarter of this year.

Otago Daily Times

Queenstown’s ‘shoulder season’ disappearing

Lull shoulder seasons in Queenstown are disappearing as more tourists visit the resort all year around.

Destination Queenstown chief executive Graham Budd said the organisation’s main focus has recently been to bring more visitors in spring and autumn.

“It’s a very significant focus for us. And we are having a lot of success actually,” he said.

May, June, September and October were the quietest times for the resort but the tourist numbers have been growing, Budd said.

“We certainly seen the numbers grow but they are not near the level of our peak season.”

Australians, Chinese and visitors from the United States were the most regular to holiday in the resort the most, and the time of the year they arrived was changing.

“Its now becoming much more spread out,” Budd said.

Destination Queenstown havs had two main campaigns targeting shoulder seasons.

Aucklanders and regional visitors were targeted to travel to Queenstown during May and June.

“The autumn is stunning in Queenstown,” Budd said.

The September and October strategy was to offer spa, beauty treatments, relaxation and shopping targeting mainly females worldwide.

During those months Australian skiers also come to the resort, as the days became longer and warmer with less people on the skifield, Budd said.

Chinese consulate general in Christchurch Jin Zhijian​ said there were two most popular periods for Chinese to travel.

The tourists mainly visited New Zealand in January and February, during Chinese New Year celebrations and in early October during the week-long Golden Week holiday, Zhijian said.

“Different seasons have different beauty,” he said.

March and April were also on the travel calendar but it was too cold for Chinese to travel to New Zealand and they would rather go to the Northern hemisphere, Zhijian said.

“People are more flexible and have more control of their income so they can travel whenever they want,” he said.

In year ended June 2016, the total international visitor arrivals in New Zealand grew by 10.6 per cent according to Destination Queenstown’s annual report.

Holiday arrivals went up 16 per cent with particular growth from China and America, it said.

The region had a record number of new visitor in a year starting in August.

Stuff Article

Queenstown lights up as visitors pour in

Queenstown vistors growth continues

It was only a matter of time – central Queenstown has its first set of traffic lights.

Central Queenstown’s increasing traffic congestion has prompted NZ Transport Agency to install the town’s first set of traffic lights.

The move comes as the Queenstown struggles with a 15% influx of visitors in 2015, evidenced by high hotel occupancy (92.6%) and room rates (average $209).

Airport statistics show that in the six months ending December 2015 total passenger numbers grew 15% to 830,000, with international passengers up 20% to 265,000 and domestic passengers up 13% to 565,000 on the previous corresponding period.

This is reflected in the number of vehicles in the Central Otago area.

The traffic signals at the intersection of Ballarat and Stanley Sts are the first of two sets, the other at the intersection of Shotover and Stanley Sts.

They replace roundabouts, which have proved inefficient and have been blamed for a couple of accidents involving pedestrians.

The projects are a joint initiative by NZTA and Queenstown Lakes District Council.

The traffic signal timings will adjust automatically with traffic volumes, and they can also be remotely managed to cope with changing traffic patterns in and around Queenstown on a daily and seasonal basis.

This should prevent some traffic queues which stretch back along the main road to the airport.

A Downer crew installed the lights.

The second set of lights should be completed around mid-June before the Queenstown Winter Festival starts on June 24.

There are already traffic lights at intersections near the airport.