Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Lisa Wiltse—The New York Times/Redux
July 12, 2022 7:06 AM EDT

Set on the shores of Lake Wakatipu on South Island, Queens­town is both a destination in its own right and a fantastic base to explore the region’s diverse landscapes. With the resumption of flights from Qantas and Air New Zealand, travelers coming to Queens­town can finally check in to a new luxury boutique hotel, the Carlin, with extraordinary views of the lake and city below. High rollers can opt for the Skyhome suite—its seven bedrooms make up the largest penthouse in the southern hemisphere. For groups, Homes & Villas by Marriott launched in June, offering stylish multi­bedroom apartments and houses.

Kingpin Queenstown, a new entertainment complex with a restaurant and bar, bowling, and escape rooms, will greet tourists returning after a two-year pandemic hiatus.

Three premier hikes of the Great Walks system—including New Zealand’s most famous walk, the Milford Track—are within a couple of hours’ driving distance. The system of trails turns 30 this year, leading hikers through the mountain peaks, valleys, and waterfalls of the Fiordland National Park. And for oenophiles, ­Invivo (the winemakers behind Sarah Jessica Parker’s sauvignon blanc and rosé) is launching the world’s first winery airline: a two-hour charter service from Auckland to Queens­town later this year, with a visit to South Island’s wine growers included in the fare.

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