Nestled on the edge of the New Zealand Alps and on the shore of Lake Wakatipu, New Zealands second largest lake on the edge of Mount Aspiring National Park on the South Island, lies this seemingly quiet and picturesque jewel of the Country.
You may call it Adrenalin City or the place to unwind, OutdoorÂ´s Paradise, Backpackers Mecca. There is Parachutes flying down mountains, tour busses coming and going, people screaming out of enthusiasm. You name it, it is there, or it will be. Wherever you look, there is some activity to watch or participate in. You can Skydive, Paraglide, Canyon Swing, Downhill Mountain Bike, go Canyoning, ride the zipline, Horse Ride, River Raft, River Surf, Jetboat, and of course Bungee Jump. You can eat in some world renowned restaurants, play golf on one of the several golf courses, spoil yourselve in one of the Day Spas or at the Hot Yoga or have a day out tasting famous wines of the nearby Gibbston Valley wine region.
There is tons of information for the tourists, so you can be sure that you wonÂ´t miss out on any of the fun. If you are not equipped right, donÂ´t worry, there is a million shops to buy all the outdoor gear you need. If you are hungry, brilliant - Supermarket prices might be a bit higher than in other places, but in return there is at least one restaurant for every tastebud in your mouth. Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Korean. Italian, French, English, International. Barbecue on the historical Steamboat, candlelight dinner on top of the gondola, overlooking the lights of Queenstown. Seafood Grill, Fish & Chips, Burgers, Wraps, and lots of Ice cream!
There is some great nightlife, due to the amount of tourists and seasonal workers, that are in town all year round. At least 40 bars for a population of around 10,000 is pretty remarkable indeed.
If your budget is tight or if you simpy love the outdoors, you will be satisfied as well.
Easy walks are along Lake Wakatipu and begin right in the town centre: The Frankton Track takes you all the way to Frankton (about 5km), and the Sunshine Bay Track to the beautiful Sunshine Bay, on the other side of the lake towards Glenorchy.
Climb Queenstown Hill (1-2hrs) and get fantastic 360Â° views over the skiresorts Coronet Peak and Remarkables, Ben Lomond, Lake Hayes and Arrowtown.
Walk up to to the top of the Gondola instead of paying $25 for a ticket. The beautiful 10-Mile-Track winds along a river with pretty waterfalls and up through the dense forest. You can see downhill-Montainbikers racing past and have a go at the Luge when youre on top.
Take the Fernhill loop (3-4hrs), walk above the treeline and get the feeling of highcountry landscape.
Challenge yourselve and reach the summit of Ben Lomond (1748m), a 5hr walk. Best views in town, but the price you pay is a very steep climb, so bring your water bottle and some good shoes. You can walk all the way to Arthurs Pass or Lake Moke, camp for the night or hitch a ride back to town.
Shop for international delicacies at the Mediterranean Market and have a picnic by the lake. Rent out some frisbees and have a go at the 18-basket golf course in the Botanical Gardens.
Kayak along the shores of Lake Wakatipu or drive out to historical Arrowtown, along the vineyards and the Gold Mining site on the Kawarau River. Watch Adrenalin-junkies jumping off the Kawarau Bridge, the cradle of Bungee Jumping. Once in Arrowtown, you can stay for the night and bring your own wine to the cosy Dorothy Browns cinema.
Go on a roadtrip to the spectacular Milford Sound. Jump on any of the boats or hire a kayak and watch hundreds of waterfalls coming down from the glaciers, while dolphins and seals are shooting past.
And do not forget the winter. The Remarkables, Coronet Peak and nearby Treble Cone and Cardrona are New Zealands best tourist destinations for skiers and snowboarders!