Then and Now - A Photo Montage

From gold rush town to tourism hub

Queenstown has come a long way since its early days as a gold rush town in the late 1800s. Nestled in the heart of New Zealand's picturesque South Island, this stunning location has undergone substantial changes over the past century to become the tourist hub it is today. Let's ponder the changes that have taken place in Queenstown, NZ, over the past century.

Queenstown was originally settled due to the discovery of gold in nearby rivers, and at its peak, the town was a bustling hub of miners and entrepreneurs. However, as the gold rush ebbed, Queenstown began to turn towards tourism, showcasing its stunning natural scenery and outdoor activities to visitors from around the world. The town's location between Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains made it the perfect destination for those seeking adventure and relaxation.

Development of infrastructure

As Queenstown's tourism industry grew, so did the town's infrastructure. Roads were built, and Queenstown became more accessible to tourists. Queenstown's first tourism-related businesses emerged, including hotels, restaurants, and adventure tours. Over time, these businesses grew, and Queenstown became an established tourist destination both domestically and internationally.

Transformation of the town centre

The town centre has undergone several transformations over the past century. It has also been moved from Frnakton to its current location! During the gold-mining era, the town had a rough-and-tumble character, with saloons and other businesses catering to the needs of miners. However, as tourism grew, these businesses were replaced by a more family-friendly vibe, with boutiques, restaurants, and other tourist-focused stores.

Expansion of activities

Queenstown has always been centred around outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, and water sports. However, over the past century, the range of activities available has expanded dramatically. Today, visitors can enjoy traditional activities like skiing and biking or try something new, like bungee jumping, jet boating, or zip-lining. The expansion of activities has increased the town's diversity, attracting an equally diverse tourist demographic.

Embracing sustainability

Finally, in recent years, Queenstown has focused more on sustainability and minimizing its environmental impact. The town recognizes the importance of protecting the natural beauty that draws tourists to the area, and a range of initiatives has been launched to reduce waste, promote eco-friendly transportation, and improve environmental protections.

Queenstown has undergone substantial changes over the past century, transforming from a gold rush town to a tourism hub that attracts visitors worldwide. And while the town has evolved in many ways, it's natural beauty and adventurous spirit remain as strong as ever, making it a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a unique outdoor experience.


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 Queenstown Mall - Looking down to Lake Wakatipu and from the banks fo the Wakatipu looking back of Queenstown and Queenstown Bay

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 Queenstown Gondola Then and Now

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 Chair lift at Coronet Peak, looking back down to the Clubrooms in the left hand photo, and the current Base Building

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Queenstown Bay looking towards the Gardens and out towards Sunshine Bay

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