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Top 5 Things To Do In Queenstown


Top 5 Things To Do In Queenstown

story by: Tom Ricketts

Nicknamed the ‘Adventure Capital of the World’, it’s not hard to see why Queenstown is so loved the world over. The small alpine resort town is located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu which itself lies in a spot carved out of the aptly named Remarkable Mountains by glaciers many years ago. Surrounding Queenstown is an area of stunning natural beauty and to get out and see this beauty you have your choice of activity from a calm tour, to a full on adrenaline pumping experience. Here’s our top five…

To really see Fiordland well you need a couple of days, but if you haven’t the time then you can do a day trip from Queenstown. The most famous attraction is of course Milford Sound. A quite rightly so. The fiord is stunningly beautiful on any day. If you’re lucky enough to be there in fine weather, then you’re treated to huge mountains seemingly rising vertically out of the water, playful dolphins and seals, and photographs galore. But don’t be disappointed if it’s raining (and it probably will be). The rain brings hundreds of mini waterfalls which cascade down the steep cliffs into the fiord below, making it an entirely different place. 

Adventure Activity
It’s not named the ‘Adventure Capital of the World’ for nothing. So while you’re here, consider doing one of the many activities that give the town its reputation. It’s most famous for bungy jumping of course, and that can be done from the original 43 metre Kawarau Bridge Bungy or New Zealand’s highest bungy, the 143 metre Nevis Bungy. Another famous adrenaline activity is the Shotover Jet which screams down a canyon only centimetres from canyon walls or huge rocks in the river. But perhaps the best way to see Queenstown is by doing a skydive. From several thousand feet you can jump from a plane (with your guide strapped to you) and take in the amazing view below you.

Arrowtown and the Crown Range Road to Wanaka
A day trip out to the surrounding towns is a must. Start by heading to the gorgeous village of Arrowtown just 20 minutes away. The town has been preserved from gold mining days and the result is a collection of historic buildings on the main street and cute wee miners cottages scattered throughout the village. Then take the Crown Range Road which zig zags up the mountain with stunning views at every turn. Once you’ve climbed the 1076 metres you travel through some amazing high country scenery before coming to the Cardrona Hotel, said to be New Zealand’s most photographed pub. After a refreshing beer, glide down the hill to Wanaka, another beautiful lakeside town. It’s much quieter here than Queenstown, and a destination in its own right.

Queenstown is easily the best place in New Zealand to ski. There’s three skifields within half an hour of the town, and another an hour away in Wanaka. The three in Queenstown are Cardrona, Coronet Peak and the Remarkables. All three have a range of runs for all abilities of skier and snowboarder, and do lessons for kids and first timers. There’s shuttles running back and forth if you don’t have a car, and of course there’s plenty of ski’s, boards and clothing available for hire.

Dinner with a View
A short walk from downtown Queenstown takes you to Skyline, the Queenstown gondola. The gondola takes you 450 metres up Bobs Peak where you’re treated to eye popping views over Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkable Mountains. Once you’ve got the eyeballs back in, there’s a few activities up there to keep you occupied such as the super fun luge, mountain biking, hiking trails and a zipline. Or if you just want to sit back and take in the view, book a table at the restaurant for a buffet lunch or dinner, or if it’s a nice day, check out back to see if they have the unofficial bar set up serving beers from the chilly bin.

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