Queenstown absolutely packed for New Year's Eve

In Scores of New Year's Eve revellers have arrived in Queenstown, leaving little room to move with hotels, motels and restaurants fully booked.

Visitors who haven't already got a room are facing 'No Vacancy' signs right across town.

Caples Court is one of a number of motels that's been fully booked since July.

"Yeah we're turning away about 20 people a day through this period. We basically send them to the i-site, down to Invercargill, or further afield," says Caples Court owner Robin King.

It's the same story even if you've brought your own tent or camper van.

The Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park can squeeze in around 900 people across its apartment suites and campsites.

Last-minute holidaymakers are being turned away.

Manager Peter Coppens says many Kiwi customers will rebook to stay again a year in advance, while overseas clients generally leave it until August or September.

With camping grounds full, many younger holidaymakers have pitched up a tent at the Rhythm & Alps music festival.

In Queenstown itself, two school grounds opened up as temporary carparking over the summer.

Visitors admit they had to book early to secure rooms, activities and even meals.

"We booked about a month and a half ago, but we were lucky to get accommodation," says Queensland couple Richard Strauch and Jennifer Furness.

"We did book a few months ago, three months ago, and the options were quickly narrowing," adds Sydney-siders John Moran and Julie-Emma Morgan.

"I think we got the last table at Botswana Butchery and that was booked out three months ago," says John Stoner and Danielle Finnie of Wellington.

The explosion of Airbnb has increased the range of short-term accommodation in the district, but it doesn't promise to be a cheaper option.

American couple Isha Tahr and Saurabh Thakur said using the service in Queenstown was the most expensive room of their entire overseas holiday.

Trade Me says Queenstown had the highest number of holiday home enquiries this year, with an average rate of $624 per night.

Airbnb lists Queenstown alongside Havana and Cancun as international destinations showing the biggest growth in New Year's Eve bookings.

Around 15,000 revellers are expected to line the scenic waterfront to welcome in 2017.