Remote work

Best places to work remotely from: Queenstown, New Zealand

by Pema Chinyam
calendar iconApr 27
clock icon5 min

Pema, SafetyWing’s Nomadic Content Creator, is paid to travel and document 10 amazing coworking destinations from around the world. If you're curious about her scenic hikes through New Zealand, check out her YouTube video!

New Zealand is renowned for being one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Pristine parklands, majestic fjords, national parks and adventure-packed mountain towns can be found throughout. Whether you're searching for an eclectic city center or a mountainside retreat, this corner of the world truly delivers. I spent my time in New Zealand coworking from Queenstown, and it was the best adventure base I could've asked for.

New Zealand as a digital nomad home base

With Queenstown as my starting point, I had easy access to great day hikes, world-class adventure sports, and the best nightlife in the country. The cost of living is high, but the US dollar was at a record high against the NZD, so everything felt like it was 30% off. I stayed in a room at a hostel to cut costs and managed to meet a lot of hiking buddies there. Cooking from the shared kitchen was also handy, and the dining area had great views of the Remarkables mountain range.

Legally working remotely in New Zealand is more accessible than in most places. There's no digital nomad visa, but the Working Holiday Visa is a great option for those under 30 years old. Some nationals have eligibility until 35, with a visa length of 23 months. For everyone else, the visa grants 12 months to live and work in New Zealand. Those who don't fit the criteria will often still qualify for a 3-month visa upon arrival. Those who don't fit the criteria will often still qualify for a 3-month visa upon arrival.

Queenstown for digital nomads and remote workers

Queenstown is known as the adventure capital of New Zealand. It's also known as the party capital of Oceania! I wasn't aware of that particular superlative and was a bit shocked when I arrived downtown in the midst of a pub crawl. While some people prefer being in the middle of the action, I would suggest staying a bit outside downtown if you enjoy early nights. Many long-term visitors choose to stay in Frankton, which has lower prices and convenient access to the airport, shops, and markets. While inconveniently far away, Auckland Airport is still an option for international flights.

Queenstown itself is very charming. There are plenty of outdoor shops and tour agencies selling adventure sports and excursions. You can find all types of dining and just as many bars. Just make sure you try a Fergburger or Patagonia Chocolates before you leave.

There's also an abundance of beautiful public spaces. People-watching during my lunch breaks at Earnslaw Park or Queenstown Gardens was great. Lake Wakatipu is gorgeous as well. It's a bit cold, but never short of young people and families at the beach.

Other great Queenstown hangs include the trails nearby. The Queenstown Hill path starts right out of downtown and provides a panoramic viewpoint. Meanwhile, a cable car takes you halfway to Ben Lomond Peak, and a shuttle provides access between Queenstown and the Remarkables Mountains in winter. From Queenstown, you can travel to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, and explore other cities such as Christchurch and Wanaka located on the South Island, along with the famous Milford Sound/Piopiotahi fiord. On the North Island, you shouldn’t miss Rotorua. Otago, meaning “ in Maori, the language of the indigenous Polynesian people of mainland New Zealand, is a region known for the production of Pinot Noir varietals and wine tours.

Finally, Queenstown is a great base for the amazing Great Walks nearby! Routeburn Track, Milford Track, and even Kepler Track are all within a few hours' drive. For the outdoor enthusiast, Queenstown is exceptional.

Coworking in New Zealand

New Zealand's coworking culture is on the rise. Freelancers, creatives, and startup teams enjoy fast Wifi a growing remote work community. Considering that New Zealand’s population is just 5 million, that's quite a high number.

I quickly got used to the beautiful views of Lake Wakatipu while working. All of the cafes and coworking spaces I visited were right on the lakefront. For transparency, I chose the nicest and most expensive coworking space in New Zealand because I was here specifically to review the best ones the country has to offer. In lieu of that, I also worked from a few beautiful cafes.

My productivity was incredibly high and I spent most of my downtime in the mountains with locals. For its access to nature and young vibrant energy, Queenstown was the best base I had during my Dream Job project with SafetyWing.

My favorite coworking spaces in Queenstown

Mountain Club

I chose Mountain Club as it was the closest both to me and to the lakefront. Little did I know I had chosen the least friendly space for short-stay nomads. Mountain Club runs on a yearly membership model to foster a sense of community. But since I was writing this guide, they waived the annual membership and provided a daily rate instead.

Floor-to-ceiling windows offer spectacular views of lake Wakatipu, and there's a beautifully appointed bar and lounge. There are hotdesking, meeting rooms, showers, and concierge services available. Fridays include happy hour events, and I was there during a lovely communal yoga class.

Annual membership is $490 NZD, and from there you can pay as you go for hotdesking, or purchase a monthly subscription starting at $190 NZD per month. Personally, I found the annual membership as a prerequisite to the monthly subscription to be a bit redundant.


Another great option for remote workers, located in the city center of Queenstown. If you’re looking for a traditional type of professional office space amongst the city’s hustle and bustle, this is it. Their meeting rooms are probably the best selling point. There is also a tech repair business on the same floor, in case your equipment needs maintenance while you’re on the road. It’s competitively priced at $40/day for a hot desk, while the premium desk is only $10 more expensive but offers the use of a second monitor.

Coffee shops to work from

Patagonia Chocolates

Aside from Mountain Club, I also liked working from a few cafes. Patagonia Chocolates had the same great view as Mountain Club at the cost of a coffee and some sweets. I also enjoyed Vudu Cafe just around the corner. There were many similar options spread across Queenstown with fast internet speeds. Just remember that many coffee shops close early here.

Wrap-Up: Life as a Digital Nomad in New Zealand

Despite the high cost of living, life as a digital nomad in New Zealand was pretty damn good. You'll find the comfort and convenience of a highly developed nation coupled with pristine natural resources and year-round outdoor activities. Life balance was the highest of all of the places I visited on my Dream Job itinerary, which is one of the main reasons expats here tend to stick around. I could work until 5pm and still have 4 hours of daylight after to hike, run, or swim with new friends. Everyone I met was laid back and open to adventures. And with that kind of environment, it was hard not to explore, work, rest, repeat. Altogether, I can't recommend working remotely from New Zealand enough.

For more digital nomad destinations, check out Pema's previous guide on working remotely from Quito, Ecuador.

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