Located just fifteen minutes from central Queenstown on the South Island of New Zealand, Stoneridge Estate is the perfect place from which to explore one of New Zealand’s most exciting and beautiful destinations.
An outdoor adventure playground set against a dramatic backdrop of rugged mountains and sparkling blue lakes, Queenstown’s rich history and wealth of activities and attractions has something for everyone.
Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu amidst the jagged mountains of the Southern Alps, Queenstown’s spectacular landscape was carved out during the last ice age 15,000 years ago by a huge glacier that pushed through the land from the north-west.
The first Maori expeditioners set foot on Lake Wakatipu’s shores over 800 years ago. While they found it too cold to live year-round, they would visit in the summer months to hunt for the now-extinct Moa (a giant flightless bird) and to find pounamu – commonly known as greenstone.
In the 1800s the Europeans found gold and the gold rush began in 1862. By the early 1900s, the gold was mostly gone; however the area continued as farmland and as a summer holiday destination.
With the establishment of Coronet Peak ski field in the mid-1900s, Queenstown began its rise as a tourism destination, and now welcomes over 3 million visitors each year.
Maori legend tells a different story of the origins of Queenstown’s lake – a the tale of young warrior Matakauri and his love for Manata, the beautiful daughter of a Maori chief who forbade them to marry.
One night, a giant named Matau stole Manata and hid her away in his mountain lair. Her father declared that the warrior who was brave enough to rescue her could marry her; Matakauri accepted this challenge, but found a magical rope tied Manata to the giant and Matakauri could not cut through it. In despair, Manata began to weep – her falling tears melted the rope and she was able to break free.
As the couple escaped, Matakauri set fire to Matau to ensure he would never steal Manata again. The giant’s body melted, creating a huge hole that filled with melted ice and snow. The large ‘S’ shaped lake left in his place is now called Wakatipu, which translates as the ‘hollow of the sleeping giant’.
People say Matua’s heart still beats in the lake, creating the mysterious, rhythmic 12cm rise and fall of its waters.
Stoneridge Estate is located in the lower part of New Zealand’s South Island, around five hours’ drive from Christchurch. The closest airport for domestic and international flights is Queenstown Airport, which is approximately ten minutes’ drive away.
Domestic flights into Queenstown are available from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, as well as direct international flights from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. From other international destinations, travellers can connect through Auckland or Sydney.
Guests can self-drive from anywhere on the South Island. Stoneridge Estate is located just off State Highway 6 which runs from the north-east corner of the South Island down to Invercargill on the south coast. Please see below a guideline to our approximate distance from some other popular South Island tourist destinations:
Queenstown Airport is approximately ten minutes’ drive from Stoneridge Estate.
Due to our semi-rural location, if you are looking to explore the sights and attractions of Queenstown during your stay with us, we advise organising a rental car. There are a number of rental companies conveniently located at Queenstown Airport so you can collect your car on arrival and drop off prior to your departure. In the winter months, if you are planning to visit the ski fields, we recommend booking a 4WD car with snow chains.
If you are not hiring a car and require an airport transfer, we can recommend Queenstown Taxis (0800 788 294 or 03 450 3000).