Glossary of terms to help our visitors get through the winter


For all those visitors to town having trouble keeping up with Queens­town–isms, here’s a glossary of local terms to get you through the winter. 

Snow conditions 

Limited visibility – You won’t be able to see your hand in front of your face. 

Some new snow overnight – If you’re not up here by 11am it’ll be all tracked out. 

Having a slow morning, be in later – I’m heading up the hill for first tracks. 

Real estate 

Vendor must sell – This owner is in debt up to their eyeballs and if they don’t flick this place pronto the bank is going to step in and it’ll be a mortgagee sale. 

Room to move – The vendor is taking the michael with this asking price. 

New subdivision, get in quick – If the guys behind this don’t get enough pre–sales, there’s no way this thing’s going to fly. 

New apartment complex, get in quick – If the people behind this don’t get enough pre–sales, this thing will never be anything more than an artist’s impression. 


Shoulder season – A relatively flat period of visitor activity that’s usually at its peak during the months of April, May, October and November. Well–loved time of year by many senior locals. 

Famil – Short for familiarisation, which is a free go on an adventure tourism activity or trip in town and one of the best benefits of being a lowly–paid frontliner. 

CCTV – Something downtown Queenstown should have had yonks ago – or that should have been maintained when originally installed yonks ago. Now recently reinstalled and proving quite useful. 

Having another slow morning, be in later – I’m watching the Olympics. 

Pulling a sickie – I stayed up all night watching the Olympics live. 

Names and places 

Hendo’s hole – As far as bankrupt developer Dave Henderson got towards his dream of creating a 10,000–person town on the outskirts of Frankton. 

ZQN – Code for the riskiest place to land or depart via aeroplane in the country, which, as it happens, is in keeping with Queenstown’s adventure tourism profile. 

Scoop – Late-to-bed, early-to-work news reporting institution of nearly three decades who’d win gold every four years if there was an Olympic event called ‘Breaking stories in the Wakatipu’. 

DK – Silver–tongued local David Kennedy who’d win gold every four years if there was an Olympic event called ‘Saying the right thing at the right time and with humour at Wakatipu public events’. 

The Sheriff – Local rugby stalwart Regan Pearce’s stage name 

Portugese – The official second language of Queenstown, ahead of Maori and sign language. 

Mountain Scream – Nickname for local tabloid weekly newspaper Mountain Scene. It’s Queenstown’s version of Listerine – loved and hated in equal measure by locals. 

Local – Someone who has been living here since 1861. 


Southland Sushi – Toasted slice of bread with cheese in the middle, more commonly known as a cheese roll. Sold locally at Motogrill cafe. 

Sweetie – Simple but effective Joe’s Garage cafe snack of crispy bacon, fried egg and bbq sauce in a soft, hot bun. 

Fergburger – A takeaway meal that can be cut in half to cover both your lunch and dinner, or alternatively if ordered in the wee hours, something that will sober you up and still have breakfast potential. 


Shot-ski – Drinking alcohol out of small glasses fixed into a modified ski plank 

Having a teapot – A Queens­town cultural experience run by World Bar. 

Money shot – Another Queens­town cultural experience run by Bar Up (mouth–wateringly good, has nothing to do with porn). 

Turbo pissed – So drunk last night I can’t remember a thing. 

Maggoted – Bogan version of ‘Turbo pissed’. 

So hammered – I know I did something really embarrassing in front of you but I can’t recall what – and this is my excuse. 

Quiet one – About six standard drinks.