Originally named as ‘Fit for Queen Victoria,’ this alpine town, 284km northwest of Dunedin, is the jewel in the crown of New Zealand’s outdoor adventure tourism.
Queenstown is a premier holiday destination in a mountain and lake setting that is absolutely world class. All the superlatives in the English language cannot adequately describe the panoramic views around the region. This is true alpine grandeur on a mammoth scale, which gives visitors an exhilarating feeling that says ‘It’s good to be alive.’
Queenstown is not only one of the most beautiful places in the world, it is also one of the most friendly, as voted by Conde Nast Traveller magazine. In addition, it is the most physically challenging location in New Zealand and can genuinely boast that it is the ‘Adventure Capital of the World.’
This ‘Queen of Extreme,’ offers a mind and body-numbing choice of 100 outdoor activities that provide a personal challenge to face one’s fears and jump, fall or splash into the unknown.
Life in Queenstown pulses to an irresistible beat and to really be in tune with the other 1.2 million visitors each year, you need to be adventurous. That means; horse riding over golden tussock hills, jumping off a bungy platform, rafting a wild, foaming river, jet boating a narrow rocky canyon, throwing yourself out of a plane or pushing the limits on the fly-by-wire rocket plane.
Bungy jumping is a good way to break the ice. With a choice of four sites, you can take the ultimate plunge, travelling straight down at 150kph and decelerating as the rubber cord is stretched to its limit. Horse riding in the Arrow Valley is another way to ease into the adventure mode without removing yourself too far from terra firma.
Some of Australasia’s best skiing and snowboarding options are found here at the Remarkables and Coronet Peak.
Full ski hire and ski schools are available. The Winter Festival, held in late July, is the largest of its kind in the world.
Queenstown’s compact centre has excellent shopping for outdoor clothing, sports gear and woollen goods. Shops stay open to 10pm. There are 100 restaurants, serving culinary delights from all over the world. There are also many other ways to relax and take time out here, through soft adventures; walking in the foothills, strolling in the gardens and chilling out in the lakeside cafes.
If you ever had a desire to push the limits in the most magnificent setting of your dreams, come to Queenstown for a natural high. It’s easy – just head for ‘The Drop Zone.