Visiting Queenstown

Inside info

Queenstown, known as the Adventure Capital of the World, is a lake and alpine resort situated in Otago in the Southern Lakes district of New Zealand. It is a fantastic place to visit all year round – in the summer enjoy activities on Lake Wakatipu and in winter, ski or snowboard on the snow clad mountains and take in the breathtaking alpine scenery. Discover the beautiful landscapes of Queenstown and its surroundings on horseback with ‘Ben Lomond Horse Treks’. Situated at just 15 minutes from the centre of Queenstown, experienced and knowledgeable guides will take you on a tour of panoramic lakes, mountains and river crossings. The treks cater for beginners as well as the experienced rider. Transport yourself back to the gold mining era by stopping off for lunch at Sefferstown, the ruins of an 1880s gold mining village. Then, head off to Moke Creek gorge to see more gold mining relics combined with river crossings. A great way of combining a bit of history and sightseeing!Queenstown is well known for its adventure activities, so a visit would not be complete without trying an activity such as bungee jumping or a jet boat ride. For adrenaline seekers, the Queenstown Triple Challenge, combining a helicopter ride, white water rafting and a jet boat ride is a must! The day starts off with an exhilarating jet boat ride on the Shotover River. Hang on tight as the jet boat speeds along and spins around 360 degrees! Then it is off for a rollercoaster ride in a helicopter over Skippers Canyon before landing at Deep Creek for a thrilling white water rafting session along the rapids. A thrilling day not to be missed!If you are a food and wine lover, the Canyon & Wine Tour is a great way of combining sight seeing with wine tasting sessions and lunch. This day tour starts off with a visit to Skippers Canyon where you can enjoy the scenery and historic background of this famous attraction. This is followed by lunch at a winery which includes tasting sessions of the delicious Central Otago wines. Spend a relaxing afternoon in the sun whilst chatting to the different wine makers of the region. As this is a niche attraction, it is an ideal way of spending a lovely day with your loved one as tour groups tend to be very small.For a unique dining experience, enjoy a meal at the Coronation Bathhouse situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. The restaurant is housed in an original Victorian bathhouse built in 1911 and only has eight tables each offering breathtaking views of Lake Wakatipu and its surrounding mountains. If you are looking for a relaxed and quick meal, the restaurant operates as a café by day, offering hearty, home cooked food. However, for a formal meal, the restaurant transforms into a classy dining venue in the evening and is well-known for its 4-course and 10-course meals accompanied by an extensive wine list.

Travel review

Last winter, I spent a month in New Zealand, visiting an old friend who moved to Wellington a few years ago from England. During my stay, we moved around the country quite a bit and we spent four days in Queenstown. It was by far, the best part of my stay. We’re both very active people who love a bit of adventure so this was the perfect destination for us! We went bungee jumping for the first time and loved the exhilarating experience! Words can’t describe the thrill we had and I wouldn’t think twice about doing it again. After this adrenaline-filled day, we booked a couple of hours of relaxation at Onsen Hot Pools. We booked a private pool and the views of the Shotover River were just out of this world. We enjoyed the sunset with a couple of glasses of sparkling white wine. It was the perfect way of winding down at the end of the day. We spent a lovely afternoon wine tasting at Wine Tastes – New Zealand Wine Experience. We spent four hours being guided by a very knowledgeable member of staff who gave us plenty of interesting information on the different wines we tasted. We spent a lovely afternoon sampling their cheeseboard with the various wines. This is perfect if you don’t have the time to visit the various wineries of the region as you get to sample the different varieties in one place. Just make sure you purchase the pre-loaded wine-tasting card otherwise you may end up with a big bill at the end as each wine varies in price!We took a ride on the TSS Earnslaw steam ship one afternoon and enjoyed scones and tea on board. It was fascinating being able to get up close to the steam engines and to watch the crew keeping the boilers stoked. We then stopped off at Walter Peak’s farmyard where we enjoyed demos of sheep dogs rounding up sheep as well as sheep being sheared. We also did a bit of horse-riding through some amazing scenery. A great afternoon for people who enjoy the outdoors.On our last night in Queenstown, we enjoyed a meal at Lombardi, located on the pier and had a fantastic view of the lake from our table. We ordered various dishes which we shared as the menu was really extensive and had lots of choice. If we had stayed longer, we would have come back to try the rest of the menu! The best dish was definitely the lamb rump which was cooked to perfection accompanied by a bottle of pinot noir. Great atmosphere and certainly great food!

Did you know ?

The world’s first commercial bungee jump took place in Queenstown in 1988.

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