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  • Andy Honey

Why Queenstown, New Zealand Should Be on Your Travel Bucket List

view of lake wakatipi in queenstown, new zealand

Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, surrounded by towering peaks and framed by pristine landscapes, Queenstown is a gem of New Zealand's South Island. Often referred to as the "Adventure Capital of the World," this charming alpine resort town is famous for its natural beauty, thrilling outdoor activities, and a vibrant arts and culture scene. In this blog post, we will take you on a detailed journey through Queenstown, exploring its captivating attractions, adrenaline-pumping adventures, and cultural treasures.

The Breathtaking Landscape

Queenstown is renowned for its stunning natural beauty. The town's location on the shores of Lake Wakatipu provides a picturesque backdrop, with the Remarkables mountain range looming majestically in the distance. Whether you visit during the winter or summer, the scenery is guaranteed to take your breath away. The autumn foliage, with its vibrant reds and golds, is particularly spectacular.

The Remarkables mountain range, which gets its name from its stunning profile, provides the perfect backdrop for Queenstown. The jagged peaks, often covered with snow during the winter, create a postcard-perfect setting for visitors. The lake itself, Lake Wakatipu, is a glacial lake with crystal-clear waters that change colour with the light, offering a mesmerising sight. It's not just a backdrop but an essential part of the Queenstown experience, perfect for scenic boat rides, paddle boarding, or simply gazing at its beauty.

Outdoor Adventures

Queenstown is a haven for adventure enthusiasts. Here are some of the thrilling outdoor activities you can enjoy:

Skiing and Snowboarding: During the winter months, Queenstown becomes a skier's paradise with world-class ski resorts like Coronet Peak and The Remarkables. The pristine snow and well-groomed slopes attract both beginners and seasoned skiers.

Bungee Jumping: Queenstown is the birthplace of bungee jumping, and you can take the plunge from the iconic Kawarau Bridge or the Nevis Highwire Platform. The rush of free falling with the stunning scenery all around you is an experience like no other.

Skydiving: Soar over the remarkable landscapes and experience a heart-pounding free fall before landing safely in paradise. The aerial views of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu, and the surrounding mountains are a breathtaking sight.

Hiking and Biking: The surrounding trails offer endless opportunities for hikers and mountain bikers, with the Queenstown Trail being a popular choice. Hiking and biking in Queenstown allow you to get up close and personal with the natural beauty of the region. From the multi-day Routeburn Track to shorter walks like the Queenstown Hill Walk, there's something for every fitness level and timeframe.

Water Sports: Lake Wakatipu is perfect for jet boating, kayaking, and paddle boarding, while the nearby Shotover River provides white-water rafting adventures. The Shotover Jet is a thrilling experience, racing through narrow canyons at high speeds and executing 360-degree spins.

Wineries and Culinary Delights

Queenstown's wine region, Central Otago, is famous for producing world-class Pinot Noir. You can explore the numerous wineries and cellar doors in the area, offering tastings and tours. Pair your wine with delectable cuisine at the town's restaurants, serving a wide range of dishes from fresh seafood to locally-sourced meats and farm-fresh produce. The region's vineyards and wineries offer a chance to taste some of New Zealand's finest wines while soaking in the beauty of the vineyard settings.

One cannot visit Queenstown without indulging in a Fergburger. This iconic burger joint is a legendary spot for mouthwatering burgers made from high-quality, locally-sourced ingredients. The queues might be long, but the taste is worth the wait. Fergburger has achieved near-legendary status for its scrumptious burgers, and it's a must-visit for food enthusiasts.

Art and Culture

Despite its reputation as an adventure hub, Queenstown also has a thriving arts and culture scene. Be sure to visit:

Queenstown Arts Centre: Featuring local artists' works, the Arts Centre is an excellent place to explore Queenstown's creative side. It's not just a place to view art; you can often meet the artists themselves and gain insights into their creative process.

Queenstown International Jazz Festival: If you're in town during this event, you'll be treated to world-class jazz performances. The festival brings together talented musicians from around the world, creating a vibrant atmosphere in Queenstown.

The Central Otago Arts Gold Trail: A self-guided tour taking you through the studios of talented local artists. This trail showcases the diverse talents of the region's artists, from painters to sculptors, jewellers, and potters.

Queenstown Gardens

The Queenstown Gardens is a serene oasis in the heart of the town. You can take a leisurely stroll through beautifully manicured gardens, enjoy a picnic, or even try your hand at frisbee golf. The gardens offer fantastic views of the surrounding mountains and Lake Wakatipu. A visit to the Queenstown Gardens is a delightful way to spend a few hours, whether you're enjoying a peaceful walk, having a family picnic, or simply relaxing and taking in the beautiful surroundings.

Skyline Queenstown

For panoramic views of Queenstown and the surrounding area, take a ride on the Skyline Queenstown gondola. Once at the top, you can dine at the Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar while taking in the stunning vistas. You can also experience the Luge, a fun, gravity-fueled adventure. The gondola ride itself is a memorable experience, offering sweeping views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu as you ascend to the summit.

Maori Culture

New Zealand's indigenous Maori culture is an integral part of the country's heritage, and you can learn about it through various cultural experiences in Queenstown. Visit the Kiwi Birdlife Park or take a guided tour to learn about the traditions and history of the Maori people. The Maori culture is an essential part of New Zealand's identity, and Queenstown provides opportunities to learn about their customs, language, and heritage. The Kiwi Birdlife Park not only offers a chance to see New Zealand's iconic bird, the kiwi, but also showcases Maori culture and conservation efforts.

Queenstown, New Zealand, is a destination that has it all: awe-inspiring natural beauty, heart-pounding adventures, delicious cuisine, a vibrant arts scene, and a rich cultural heritage. Whether you're an adrenaline junkie or seeking a peaceful escape, Queenstown has something to offer every traveler. Plan your trip and immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Queenstown, a place where adventure and serenity coexist in perfect harmony. From the stunning landscapes to the heart-pounding activities and the rich cultural experiences, Queenstown is a destination that will leave you with unforgettable memories.


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