Your complete guide to planning a trip to the U.S. National Parks, including an interactive map and several road trip itineraries.More
Lodgings in the Southern Alps and Fiordland milk the fantastic views for all they're worth. You can almost always find a room that looks out on a lake, river, or rugged mountain range. Queenstown and Wanaka are busy in summer (January through March) and winter (July through September), so you should reserve in advance. Luxury options are plentiful in Queenstown, and costs are correspondingly high.
Other towns, such as Aoraki/Mount Cook Village, have extremely limited options, so you should plan ahead there, too. Air-conditioning is rare because it's rarely needed. Heating, though, is standard, and essential in winter.