All About Queenstown, New Zealand
Often referred to as the “Adventure Capital of the World,” Queenstown is home to plenty of thrilling, adrenaline-pumping activities. But it also boasts all the traditional outdoor sports, including excellent hiking, mountain biking and kayaking.
Surrounded by the snow-capped Southern Alps on the shores of glacially carved Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist destinations. It’s a lively town with all the amenities you’d expect from a much larger city. Its energy is palpable, and it’s home to a diverse population that includes plenty of locals as well as visitors from around the globe.
With more than 200 adventure tourism activities, it’s no wonder Queenstown is a top destination for adventure junkies. You can try everything from bungee jumping and skydiving to jet boating and white water rafting. And the town has more than its fair share of ski resorts as well.
If you want a break from the thrills, you can take a cruise on the lake or explore the quaint shops and cafes in the downtown district. The Saturday market is a must, and it’s a great place to pick up a pair of Queenstown-made lambswool slippers or some locally blown glass jewelry.
You can also get your nature fix at the Kiwi Birdlife Park, a 5-acre wildlife sanctuary that’s home to more than 20 species of birds and reptiles. This is a good chance to see exotic kiwi, wood pigeons and kea, as well as native fish and insects, without leaving town.
Queenstown has an energetic, fun-filled vibe that’s perfect for travelers who like to be active and eat well. There are plenty of restaurants and bars, including a plethora of après-ski hangouts. And with so many great hikes in the vicinity, you’ll never run out of things to do.
Aside from the buzzing nightlife and outdoor adventures, you can enjoy high-end shopping and sophisticated dining that’s infused with a touch of New Zealand’s distinct culture. In the nearby town of Arrowtown, for example, you’ll find a heritage precinct by the river.
You’ll also find a world class wine region in the surrounding area, with vineyards such as Amisfield and Akarua in close proximity to Queenstown. The wine trail also extends to Gibbston Valley and Cromwell, with several more world-class pinot noir estates to visit.
In terms of accommodations, there are luxury hotels throughout the town and in the surrounding areas. But you’ll also find budget-friendly hostels and backpackers, as well as all the standard queenstown new zealand chain hotels.
It’s important to have a car in Queenstown, as the city’s attractions are spread out and the public transportation system isn’t very comprehensive. The most convenient place to stay is downtown, with the best restaurants and bars right on your doorstep. But you can also stay in the suburbs such as Fernhill, Sunshine Bay or Arthur’s Point, which are quieter and offer stunning views of the lake. Alternatively, you can base yourself in the neighboring town of Arrowtown and drive into town for your activities.