Indeed, this town literally has anything and everything for you. From a relaxing vacation to a mind-blowing extreme travelling experience, Queenstown is your oyster. And this ‘oyster’ is beautiful no matter what time of the year you choose to go.
If you’re looking to enjoy scenery, there’s certainly plenty of it here, and extremely varied too. Located in New Zealand’s South Island, Queenstown is absolutely surrounded by lakes, canyons and mountains. The town itself is on the edge of Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand’s longest lake, and surrounded by the Southern Alps.
According to Maori legend, Lake Wakatipu is the site where the giant Matau was burnt to death in his sleep after abducting a princess. Its shape is of a giant curled up on his side- marking the spot where his body burned an enormous hole in the ground, melting the ice and snow around him. With that in mind, Queenstown is just where Matau’s knees should have been. The lake rises and falls every five minutes which, legend says, is because Matau’s heart still beats.
Whether the legend has any truth to it or not, the lake and its surroundings are simply beautiful and you can spend time hiking, camping or even just walking. You could even choose to see things from the air, in a small plane, helicopter or even a hot air balloon. Cruises and coach tours are also available, each interesting in their own different way.
The Original Bungee Jump
And where better to go for a good old bungee jump if not Queensland where the sport was first commercialised? If you’re into extreme activities then you can have your pick of everything from bungee jumping to skydiving, even canyon swinging and whitewater rafting. With all that, who needs a theme park?
On top of all that, the most fun, quirky thing you should also try is a Lord of the Rings tour. Yes believe it or not a trip to ‘Middle Earth’ is just one of the many wonders Queenstown has to offer. After all, it was here that the trilogy was filmed. A truly unique experience, you can actually visit the places where filming was done, dress up and pretend you’re one of the storybook characters.
New Zealand is also known for its Maori Jade (or Greenstone), a beautiful green stone that can only be found in that country since export of the raw product was prohibited due to short supply in the 1940s. This stone which basically comes in five or six different shades of green, was originally used by the Maori for many purposes including weapons or tools. Of course though nowadays it is more often carved into beautiful pieces of jewelry which makes a good momento to take home.
Or Try Gold-Digging
Besides Queenstown itself, you could also take a quick trip to Arrowtown, once famous for its gold. Located about 20 minutes from Queenstown, this quaint little town and its amazingly beautiful surroundings offer you a gateway to the past with old buildings and museums. At the same time though, the hills surrounding it provide you with enough eye candy for a relaxing picnic by Arrow River. You can even pan for gold. Who knows, you just might get lucky and find a nugget or two.
After so many activities, you can just sit back and relax in one of Queenstown’s few spas where you can pamper your aching muscles and rejuvenate your soul. What’s for sure is, if you’re thinking of making Queenstown your holiday destination, don’t rush through it- just sit back and soak in the fun!