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One of the top-visited destinations of New Zealand, Queenstown sits on the shore of the Crystal clear Lake Wakatipu among the beautiful Alpine Ranges. It is believed that gold prospectors gave this cosmopolitan town its name captivated by the majestic beauty and the surrounding mountains and rivers.
With a plethora of outdoor activities, Queenstown is the perfect destination for the ultimate adventure bucket list. Activities such as skydiving, Bungee jumping, jet boating, river rafting, canyon swinging, and horse trekking are enjoyed throughout the year while skiing is the best choice in winters. The place has also become a renowned destination for cycling, providing a scenic track to the backcountry trail, road rides to the heli-biking, and the only gondola accessed downhill mountain biking of the Southern Hemisphere.
For guests less interested in these kinds of adventures, other options such as walking and hiking trails, spa treatments, boutique shopping, sightseeing tours, and excellent food and Queenstown wine tours are available.
Location: New Zealand
Nearest Airport: Queenstown International Airport
How to reach: by air/road
Famous for: adventure capital of New Zealand
Best time to visit: September to March
Queenstown Hill, Lake Wakatipu, Marine Parade, Kiwi Birdlife Park
Queenstown Gardens, Ben Lomond track, The Remarkables Ski Area, Coronet Peak
Gibbston Valley winery
Glenorchy movie trail
Queenstown, also known as Tahuna by its Maori name, is situated on the banks of Lake Wakatipu and is one of the most loved destinations of New Zealand. The Wakatipu Basin was created 15000 years ago and Maori presence dates back 700 years at the place. The town was once a gold mining site and thousands of Chinese settled in the town for the mining work. Later the gold depleted and the Chinese migrated back home or to other towns. Then in the 1900s, Coronet Peak Ski Field was established in the town, and subsequently, Bungee Jumping started at the Kawarau Bridge in 1988. Since then, the town has become the adventure tourism capital of the world.
The Southern Lake region and Queenstown have a rich cultural heritage and it should be explored during a visit to the place. One can venture off-road towards the bushes to the amusing natural heritage, explore the historic gold mining villages, or explore the old farm homesteads to understand the early settler life. Numerous heritage walks are also arranged around Queenstown, exploring all the natural beauty of the region and its history.
Guests can enjoy the pioneering background of the Southern Lakes at the Lakes district museum situated in Arrowtown. Queenstown also has a rich Maori Heritage and guests can learn about it from the locals or the tour guide with a visit to any of the stores selling pounamu in the city.
Queenstown is currently home to some very talented musicians, actors, artists, and dancers. guests can also browse and purchase the local artworks while visiting the galleries of the city. Most of the pieces on display are for sale and guests can buy the art directly from the artists some times as well.
Places of Interest
The Queenstown Hill is roughly a three hour round hike which brings one closer to nature with almost no modern helping tools. The view from the top is awe-inspiring.
The Lake Wakatipu that has a depth of 330 m is one of the largest lakes of the country and the pristine waters give a soothing experience by just looking at it.
The Kiwi Birdlife is a privately owned enterprise and it brings the native New Zealand flora and fauna back in its space.
The Queenstown Garden is spread across 10 hectares of an area that once used to be a pile of glacial till and nothing more. The place offers plenty to see including a frisbee course.
Ben Lomond track that stretches 11 kilometers length and goes up 1750 meters in elevation is a perfect opportunity for fitness enthusiasts to work up their bodies.
The Remarkable Ski Areas offer much more than just skiing with plenty of rentals, shops, storages, and a beautiful revamped center in the facility for all these.
The Coronet Peak gives an opportunity to look at the adrenaline pumped hand gliders, bikers, and the aircraft landings in Queenstown.
A small Tiki trail is the perfect trail with a 500m elevation gain with varied terrain that includes crushed rock path, roadway, rocky path, and stone steps.
The Gibbston Valley Winery is nestled in the valley of vines. It is very professionally presented with a full tasting house, cheese shop, restaurants, and gift shops.
One of the most beautiful areas of South Island, the Glenorchy-Queenstown Road is edged by a World Heritage Area surrounded by mountains, lakes, and beech forests.
Arrowtown: Situated on the banks of the Arrow River, the Arrowtown is home to the Lakes District Museum and is only 20 minutes away from Queenstown
Milford Sound is another destination where people flock around for hiking and soaking up the splendid views.
Another one of the most beautiful lakes of the South Island, Lake Wanaka is surrounded by the Alpine Ranges and the beautiful scenery is worth visiting.
Mount Aspiring National Park
The Mt. Aspiring National Park is one of the best attractions close to Queenstown. It houses a large variety of wildlife and natural flora and fauna of New Zealand.
Street shopping: guests can go to one of the many shops in the town to collect souvenirs for friends and family back home while learning about the locality and history of the town.
Food: The diversity of the city can be best experienced through the food available there. With around 150 restaurants, bars, and cafes guests can find almost anything they desire from gourmet Burger to the homemade ice creams around here. The Queenstown Wine tours are very well known around the world.
Where to stay
With such history and a large number of guests, the best lodges are established around the city. The Matakauri Lodge is famous for its luxurious lounge and the same goes for Azur Luxury Lodge. The Eichardt's Private Hotel has close proximity to various famous destinations while the Hulbert House is renowned for its unique style.