I need help finding a place to live

Whether you’ve been here a while or are new to the district, here are some resources to help you find your new home.  

There are a range of agencies and providers that can help depending on your needs. Whether you’re here for the short or long term, we want to help you settle in and feel a part of this special community. 

Be prepared

Our district is 8,467 square kilometres of diversity. Queenstown, Arrowtown, Wānaka, Glenorchy, Hāwea, Luggate, Makarora and Kingston all have their own identities and things that make them special. One way to make things easier is to know where to go to get accurate information about living here – a bit of good old local knowledge. So we’ve pulled together some great resources to point you in the right direction

    • Where do you want to live and, if you’re considering flatting, what type of people do you want to live with?

    • Think about what might make you a good match with an available place. How can you sell yourself to a prospective housemate or landlord. If you’re going to a house viewing, make sure you’re well-presented and organised. If English is your second language then consider bringing someone along who might be able to help you communicate.

    • If you’re new to New Zealand, have an understanding of how flatting and tenancies work here.

    • Make sure you have a local bank account ready, so you can get paid and make payments

    • Ask your employer and previous landlords for a reference

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Where to get free advice and support

Know where to go if you need free advice or support 

  • The  Citizens Advice Bureau  and  Community Networks/LINK  (Upper Clutha) provide free and confidential advice to everyone.

    Both agencies are a one-stop-hub, designed to empower you with the information, options and support that suits your needs.

    They can help with things like tenancy, employment, immigration, family and personal issues, education, health, neighbourhood disputes, consumer rights, budgeting and finance, free legal advice and Justice of the Peace notary services.

  • Happiness House in Queenstown  is a local charity helping our local community by offering social, emotional and practical support.  

    They sometimes have spare blankets and pillows if you are feeling the cold. You are also more than welcome to pop in and heat up your food and sometimes they  may have some soup on the stove.

    Happiness House is a place you can sit down and have a cup of tea, read a book, or have a chat. 

    4 Park St, Queenstown

    Phone: 03 442 6531


  • The Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust  (QLCHT) offers a range of housing support services.

    If you plan to be in the district for the longer term, we recommend signing up to their waiting list.  

  • If you need to find a place to live, Work and Income New Zealand may be able to help. Learn more about Public (social) Housing at MSD's Public Housing page or by calling 0800 559 009 to see if you qualify.

  • In tough times it can be hard to know how to feel or what to do.    Our Community Wellbeing page has lots of resources and practical tips to look after yourself and those around you who might be struggling. 


Temporary accommodation options

Did you know about these different temporary accommodation options?

  • HelpX  enables working holiday makers to stay with local people around the world and gain practical experience.

  • Pawshake NZ  connects pet sitters with pets. A great option for dog/cat lovers or those that might be missing a family pet back home!

  • Kiwi House sitters  connects house and pet sitters with homes.

  • Roomies  provides a platform to list rooms and find flatmates.

  • myRent  provides a platform for self-managing landlords


What else might be helpful?

Here are some links and resources to help you settle in to the district.

  • Check out our  Welcoming communities newcomer group profiles  and contact details to get connected with groups that can make you feel at home.

  • Discover other sports, community or recreational groups to connect and contribute to  in our directory.

  • A hot shower is now more accessible by those going through difficult times this winter.

    We’ve discounted the cost of a hot shower at Queenstown Events Centre and Wānaka Recreation Centre for the winter season.  Showers are $2 between 11am-3pm weekdays and after 3pm on weekends.  $5 at all other times.   

  • Libraries are warm, safe public spaces, where you are always welcome to come and hang out, charge your devices and relax.  They have access to free Wi-Fi, as well as computer and printing services. You can join in free programmes such as CV Writing, Social English, Meditation, Book Clubs and more! Chat to the friendly librarians and they can sort you out with a library card. Everything is Free!

  • Be prepared for Winter Driving Conditions. We send a daily road report, provide free ice scrapers, chain fitting demonstrations and much more.

  • Know what help is available if you’re not feeling ‘alright’ or know someone who is struggling.

  • Learn about  how we manage waste and recycling  in our little piece of paradise.

  • If you’re in Queenstown, get a Bee Card and use the $2 bus to get around.

    If you're in Upper Clutha, why not try the community shuttle.   There are two services being trialled:  a streamlined Hāwea - Wānaka express route and intra-city loops around  Wānaka  connecting the Health Centre, Three Parks, Albert Town, Northlake and Anderson Road to the CBD, both running five times a day, five days a week.  $2 per trip.   

  • The Community Law Manual  is written in everyday language, the manual contains over 1000 pages of easy-to-read legal info and comprehensive answers to common legal questions.

    From ACC to family law, health & disability, jobs, benefits & flats, Tāonga Māori, immigration and refugee law and much more, the manual covers just about every area of community and personal life.

    It’s for people living in Aotearoa New Zealand (and their advocates) to help themselves.