All you need to know about moving to Queenstown

Moving to Queenstown and Living in the South Island

If you’re considering a move to New Zealand, one of the best options available to you is the South Island, particularly the beautiful resort town of Queenstown (Tāhuna).

Queenstown is known for its natural beauty, outdoor activities, and welcoming community. However, moving to a new place can be challenging, especially overseas. In this article, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know about living in Queenstown, including why you should move there, what to expect when making the move, and what life is like after you arrive.

Why Move to Queenstown and the South Island?

Natural Beauty and Outdoor Activities

If you love the great outdoors and natural beauty, Queenstown is the perfect place for you. Located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by mountains, Queenstown offers amazing views and is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. In the winter, you can enjoy skiing and snowboarding at one of the nearby ski resorts, while in the summer, you can hike, bike, swim, or go boating on the lake.

Queenstown is also home to some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the world. The Routeburn Track, for example, is a 32-kilometer trail that winds through the Southern Alps and offers stunning views of waterfalls, mountains, and forests. If you’re looking for a more challenging hike, the Milford Track is a 53-kilometer trail that takes you through some of the most remote and beautiful wilderness in New Zealand.

Growing Economy and Job Opportunities

Queenstown is one of the fastest-growing areas in New Zealand and has a strong economy with plenty of job opportunities. In addition to the booming tourism industry, Queenstown has a thriving tech sector and a growing food and beverage industry. There are also opportunities in healthcare, construction, and education.

The tourism industry is particularly important to Queenstown’s economy, with millions of visitors coming to the town each year to enjoy its natural beauty and outdoor activities. This has led to a boom in hospitality jobs, with many hotels, bars, and restaurants looking for staff to cater to the needs of tourists.

Friendly and Welcoming Community

Queenstown is known for its friendly and welcoming community. Despite the town’s international popularity, it maintains a tight-knit and supportive community spirit. With a population of just over 30,000 people, you’ll quickly get to know your neighbours and feel right at home.

The town also has a vibrant arts and culture scene, with regular events and festivals celebrating local talent. The Queenstown Winter Festival, for example, is a 10-day event that takes place each June and features live music, comedy shows, and sporting events. The Gibbston Valley Winery Summer Concert is another popular event, attracting thousands of people each year to enjoy music, food, and wine in the beautiful Central Otago countryside.

Overall, Queenstown and the South Island offer a unique and exciting lifestyle for those who love the outdoors, want to be part of a growing economy, and value a friendly and welcoming community. If you’re considering a move to New Zealand, Queenstown should definitely be at the top of your list.

Preparing for the Move

Moving to a new country can be an exciting and daunting experience. There are many things to consider and plan for before making the move to Queenstown, New Zealand. In this article, we will discuss some important factors to consider when preparing for your move.

Visa and Immigration Requirements

Before you can move to Queenstown, you’ll need to obtain the appropriate visa. Depending on your country of origin and your reason for moving to New Zealand, you may be eligible for a working holiday visa, a skilled migrant visa, or a partnership visa.

It’s important to note that the visa application process can be lengthy, so it’s best to start the process as early as possible. We recommend consulting with a licensed immigration advisor to ensure you meet all the necessary requirements and to help guide you through the application process.

Finding a Place to Live

One of the most important things to do before moving to Queenstown is to find a place to live. The rental market in Queenstown can be competitive, so it’s best to start searching as soon as possible.

You can find rental listings on websites such as Trade Me and Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust, or you can work with a local real estate agent. It’s important to consider factors such as location, proximity to amenities, and transportation options when choosing a place to live.

Packing and Shipping Your Belongings

Shipping your belongings to New Zealand can be costly, so it’s a good idea to declutter and only bring what you need. This can also help to make the packing and shipping process easier and more efficient.

You can choose to either ship your belongings by sea or air. Shipping by sea is cheaper but takes longer, while air shipping is faster but more expensive. It’s best to get quotes from several shipping companies before deciding on the best option for you.

It’s also important to note that there are restrictions on what you can bring into New Zealand, so it’s best to check with the New Zealand Customs Service before packing your belongings.

Overall, preparing for a move to Queenstown requires careful planning and consideration. By taking the time to research and prepare, you can help ensure a smooth transition to your new home in New Zealand.

NZ Van Lines are one of the world’s most trusted moving and storage companies offering stress-free, affordable moves for families and individuals on the move. No matter where you’re relocating to in New Zealand, in the north island or the south island, NZ Van Lines help you get there safely and smoothly. Request a free moving and shipping quote to New Zealand today.

Settling into Queenstown Life

Queenstown is a beautiful town located in the south-western part of New Zealand’s South Island. It is nestled in the heart of the Southern Alps, surrounded by stunning mountain ranges and crystal-clear lakes. The town is known for its adventure sports, such as bungee jumping, skydiving, and skiing, but it also has a thriving arts and culture scene.

Navigating the Town and Public Transportation

Getting around Queenstown is relatively easy, either on foot or by bike. The town center is quite compact and most amenities are within walking distance. You can stroll along the lakefront, enjoying the stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range. If you need to travel further afield, you can use the local bus service or hire a car. There are also several taxi and ride-sharing services available.

Queenstown is a popular tourist destination, so during peak season, the town can get quite busy. However, the public transportation system is efficient and reliable, making it easy to get around even during the busiest times of the year.

Enrolling in Schools and Childcare

If you’re moving to Queenstown with children, you’ll need to enroll them in a local school. Queenstown has several excellent primary and secondary schools, both public and private. The schools in Queenstown have an excellent reputation for academic excellence and a wide range of extracurricular activities.

In addition to schools, there are also several daycare and preschool options available for younger children. These facilities provide a safe and nurturing environment for children, allowing parents to work or explore the town without worrying about their little ones.

Healthcare and Medical Services

Queenstown has a modern and well-equipped hospital, as well as several private medical clinics and pharmacies. New Zealand has a public healthcare system, so if you’re enrolled with a local doctor, you may be eligible for free or subsidised medical care. The healthcare system in New Zealand is highly regarded, with a focus on preventative care and early intervention.

Queenstown also has several gyms and fitness centers, as well as a wide range of outdoor activities, such as hiking and skiing, that promote a healthy lifestyle. The town is known for its clean air and stunning natural beauty, making it an ideal place to live for those who value their health and wellbeing.

Cost of Living in Queenstown

Queenstown is a picturesque town located in the South Island of New Zealand. It is known for its stunning scenery, adventure sports, and vibrant nightlife. However, living in Queenstown can be expensive. Here’s a breakdown of the cost of living in Queenstown.

Housing and Rent Prices

As mentioned earlier, the cost of housing in Queenstown can be high. The town center is the most expensive area to live in, with rent prices ranging from $350 to $1000+ per week. However, if you’re willing to live a bit further out, the rent prices can be more affordable. The good news is that rental properties in Queenstown often come fully furnished, which can save you money on initial costs.

Another option for affordable housing is flatting. Many young professionals and students choose to share accommodation to save on rent. Flatting can also be a great way to meet new people and make friends in a new town.

Groceries and Dining Out

The cost of groceries in Queenstown is generally higher than in other parts of New Zealand. This is due to the town’s remote location, which makes it more expensive to transport goods. However, there are several supermarkets and local farmers’ markets to choose from, which can help you save money on groceries.

If you enjoy dining out, Queenstown has a variety of restaurants and cafes to suit all budgets. From gourmet burgers to fine dining, there’s something for everyone. However, dining out can be expensive, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for deals and specials.

Utilities and Other Expenses

Utilities such as electricity and gas are generally affordable in Queenstown. However, internet and phone services can be more expensive. It’s worth shopping around to find the best deal for your needs.

Other expenses such as clothing, entertainment, and travel can vary depending on your lifestyle. Queenstown is known for its adventure sports, such as skiing, snowboarding, and bungee jumping. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, you may find yourself spending more money on these activities. However, if you prefer a more relaxed lifestyle, there are plenty of scenic walks, bike rides, and wine tours to enjoy.

Overall, the cost of living in Queenstown can be high, but it’s worth it for the stunning scenery, friendly locals, and vibrant atmosphere. With some careful budgeting and planning, you can enjoy all that Queenstown has to offer without breaking the bank.


Overall, moving to and living in Queenstown can be a life-changing experience, with its amazing natural beauty, welcoming community, and quality of life. By following the steps outlined in this article, such as obtaining the necessary visa, finding a place to live, and familiarising yourself with the local community and amenities, you’ll be well on your way to making your move a success. Request a free moving quote for your upcoming move to New Zealand today.