Top Notch Advice for Tourists to Queenstown
By: Sarah Boyle
Queenstown truly is a unique place, whether it’s extreme adventure that you are searching for, or pure leisure in a fantastic environment. And you do not have to worry too much about where your accommodation is located…Queenstown is a tiny but perfectly formed village with nearly all things a short stroll away!
Take a look at that lake!
Lake Wakatipu and its marvelous shoreline should be one of the very first things on your agenda, and you can see them in style from the steamship, Earnslaw – it’s been part of Queenstown’s heritage since 1912! Launch, kayak and sailing trips are also recommended, and there are shoreline walkways to check out on foot.
Nearly all accommodations in Queenstown offer impressive views, but for the very best possible vistas, head to the hills. Be sure to take the Time Walk on Queenstown Hill (about 2-3 hrs) or pay a visit to one of the two big ski resorts. To get an airborne perspective, you’ll find chopper flights, sky-diving and even an downtown bungy.
Insider Tips: Feeling very lazy? Arrive at the summit of Queenstown Hill by gondola – and if dizzy heights aren’t your idea of a good time, try out a moderate stroll on sunrise or sunset by Lake Wakatipu: simply breathtaking.
Queenstown is sensational throughout the winter season, when the mountain tops are snow-capped and the ski resorts are wide open for skiing (approx . June to October). Skiers and snowboarders arrive from around the world, lining up to ski and snowboard at Coronet Peak, the Remarkables, or for the younger freestylers the Snow Park which is a world class freestyle ski and snowboard area close to Wanaka. Further afield, though certainly not too far away for a days skiing, are Cardrona and Treble Cone. Then there is the genuine excitement of skiing by helicopter; check out all the choices. Various other winter activities include ice-skating and ice hockey. The outstanding Winter Festival occurs on a yearly basis in late June to early July.
Insider Tips: Coronet Peak offers floodlit night snowboarding on Fridays and Saturdays, early July to mid-September. Saturday evenings are family-friendly.
A bit of heritage
Queenstown lies in the heart of the historical Otago goldmining area: go to area Arrowtown and be enchanted by its history and atmosphere (don’t overlook the Chinese camp). Feeling intrepid? A journey along the Skipper’s Road may frighten you silly and show you memorable landscapes. Further afield but really worth the drive are the paths, tunnels and ghost villages of the Goldfields Mining Centre preservation park – 25 intriguing hectares.
Bungee started out right here, so Queenstown’s Shotover Bridge will be the best place to take that 1st leap of faith. Long been there, done that? Check out the Ledge, and have fun with amazing sights as you hurtle through space. And there is plenty more to push you, for example white water river rafting, jet boating, serious eco-adventures, parapenting, canyoning, river boarding (you ought to see this), surfing on the river(!), hang gliding, the Nevis Arc, parachuting, luge, canyon-swinging – the list goes on!
A little less full on?
Want an adventure of the considerably less extreme sort? Possibilities include hill country pony rides, hot-air ballooning, canoeing, Lord of the Rings tours, wilderness hikes, 4 Wheel-Drive safaris, mtn biking, segway and quad biking.
Your Queenstown resort is a perfect base for golf, fishing, riding, biking, taking walks, climbing, hunting, abseiling and more.
Insider Advice: Serious golfers must not overlook Millbrook Resort’s 27-hole tournament golf course near to Arrowtown.
See a kiwi and many other New Zealand birds, including the planet’s smartest creature – the kea – at Kiwi Birdlife Park, or experience the operations of a real New Zealand sheep station at historical Walter Peak (sail there on the Earnslaw).
Expert Advice: See kea flying free at The Remarkables parking area, but hang on to your personal belongings!
Fine, fine vino
Central Otago produces a number of of the planet’s highest regarded wines at a few of the earth’s most beautiful vineyards! Vineyards close to Queenstown include Chard Farm, Amisfield, Brennan, Gibbston Valley and Coal Pit. Trips are offered.
Exploring the township
Mingle with people from all over the globe as you discover Queenstown’s retailers, coffee shops , bookstores, free galleries, nightlife, pubs and dining establishments. The village is not big, but it is huge on style and ambiance.
Expert Advice: Several retail stores are open late, and most will pack and send your acquisitions for you.
Take a backpack
You will discover many amazing hiking tracks near Queenstown, however they aren’t a stroll in the park. The Milford Track and Routeburn, as an example, take a number of days and nights and involve very cautious organizing. For something less serious, there is the 6-hour Moonlight Track or 5 hr Ben Lomond hike. And there are easy hikes close to the lake, close to town.
The art of unwinding
You will need to unwind after all those adventures, so why not take a cruise, book yourself in to a spa treatment, linger with supper next to the lake, visit the Queenstown Gardens, the Underwater Observatory or a vineyard.
Insider Advice: for the ultimate in relaxation, check out the hot pools looking out over Skipper’s Canyon.
Author Resource:-> Sarah Boyle is a free-lance copywriter from Auckland, New Zealand. When she travels south she habitually books in at her favorite hotel in Queenstown.