Queenstown is a resort on the South Island of New Zealand. It is famous for being the ‘home’ of the bungy jump and it brings in thousands of visitors every day in all seasons. But in a city that boasts over 220 adventure tourism activities, you can realistically do anything you want, even if you have just one night to spend.
Image by Bernd Hildebrandt
Location is everything
Queenstown sits in an enviable position on the shores of Lake Wakatipu at the foot of the majestic southern Alps and nestled between the Mount Aspiring and Fjordland National Parks. It’s no wonder it’s a playground for adventurous Kiwis and foreign visitors.
A day’s adventuring
By far its best-known attraction is bungy jumping off the Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge, the home of the first bungy. But it also has a number of other bungy sites to choose from, including the Ledge located high above the city, or the 134m Nevis Bungy, Queenstown’s highest jump.
Image by Josh20152015
If heights are your thing, the climbing and paragliding are also magnificent options and they’ll provide a birds-eye view of a landscape similar to the one used in the filming of the Lord of the Rings. But for some the lure of the water is too strong, Lake Wakatipu has jet boats and rafting adventures ready to go either around the lake or heading for the rapids upriver.
Hiking and cycling is also a popular pursuit, with many day-hikes as well as longer trails starting in and around the town. It is possible to take in a vineyard tour on one of these treks along either the Gibbston River Trail or the Arrow River Bridges Trail, as the area boasts over 200 wineries and vineyards to choose from including those from pioneer winemaker Gibbston Valley Winery.
In the winter there are four separate skiing areas on the slopes of nearby Coronet Peak and The Remarkables. Then there is canyoning, quad biking and horse riding to get the adrenaline flowing.
Queenstown after dark
After a long day in the saddle, on a zip wire, clambering around canyons or falling through the air, the nightlife in Queenstown is sure to delight, because the fun doesn’t stop when the bungy cord is pulled up for the day.
The SkyCity Casino also has eating, drinking and casino entertainment from two venues in the city. It has table games as well as 86 gaming machines and while it can not compare to the free spins offers and almost unlimited variety of options from online providers, it is a glamourous addition to a walking boots and t-shirt town vibe.
Image by Michelle Maria
There are fine food options spanning the globe and many of the best restaurants mix local, European and Asian cuisines like the goat’s cheese profiteroles at Rata, sashimi from Tatsumi and literally anything from the Botswana Butchery. For more informal dining, there are plenty of outlets such as Fergburger where you can grab a gourmet burger.
After you call it quits for the day, it is time for a good night’s rest. Queenstown delivers something special in terms of views in nearly every hotel and guesthouse it offers. Not least when waking up the day after to the views over the lake from the Hotel Rees, it will cap off a spectacular one night in Queenstown.