Field Report – Queenstown Pain

Over a year ago when I was planning this trip, I wanted a few days in the mountain/lake town of Queenstown. The town is so beautiful and had such a great feel to it, that when I booked three nights there, I seriously considered adding a couple of extra night to my stay. I’m so glad that I did not!

When we arrived it was evident from the start that there were too many people in town for the limited infrastructure in place. Two plus years of no foreign visitors, combined with summer holidays for kiwis, many of whom were dealing with dreadful weather on the north island, and who had come south, along with unfettered and out of control development, meant that Queenstown was simply over run with tourists. Both foreign and domestic. The place was almost uninhabitable and it was so bad that it was almost impossible to even get a dinner reservation.  The employment shortage was in full swing and pretty much every other business in town had a help wanted sign. The once fabulous Queenstown was a shitshow and I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

If I’m honest, Queenstown is the one place in the country where the New Zealand Government has completely blown it. There has been virtually no control over development and what was once one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, is now miserable mix Whistler and Cancun. Going forward, I’m going to recommend a hard pass to clients interested in visiting Queenstown. 

It has become total chaos and who needs that when you have so many other beautiful places to visit throughout the country. 

Next up, Haast.