QueenstownQueenstown, the self-proclaimed 'world's capital of adventures', has, without a doubt, earned this title. The birthplace of bungee jumping, and home to all manner of adrenaline pumping activities, from luge and jet-boating to canyon swinging, attracts thousands of adventure lovers every year. Set on the edge of the giant Lake Wakatipu, in the Otago region, this intimate town transforms itself into a buzzing ski resort during winter, thanks to its two appealing ski-fields that suit sport lovers of any abilities.
The CityBegun as a gold mining camp in the 1860s, Queenstown's heart today is a compact district with a friendly yet grown-up air. Narrow streets brim with lively bars and restaurants, cosy backpacker hostels, stylish hotels and local boutiques. Given the town's unique layout, the choice is yours — wander in the city heart, feel your pulse race on a thrilling jet-boat ride, hike up a mountain, soak up a lake view, or take a breather from urban life and head to the countryside to taste the region's celebrated wines like the richly full-bodied Pinot Noir. At the city's fringe, hop on a cable car to the mountain peak for a sweeping panorama, or settle in for a hearty traditional dinner. Tracing the southern side of the lake, your gaze will catch the Remarkables — so named for the "remarkable" light effects that dance on their slopes. During the summer, their hues shift from mauve to deep red at sunset, while in winter, their snow-clad peaks present a sight that's nothing short of breathtaking.
Do & See
Branded the "Adventure Capital of the World", Queenstown never falls short on thrill-inducing offerings. From bungee jumping and luge rides to white water rafting and jet boating, it's a hotbed for heart-racing exploits. The area's unique topography caters to a multitude of water-sports and lake cruises, and also offers a plethora of breathtaking excursions amidst unspoilt nature.
Whether it's top-tier dining establishments or charming eateries spilling onto scenic streets, Queenstown's food and drink scene is a delightful trifecta of quality, diversity, and affordability. And that's not all — with a host of cafes and restaurants dishing up both local and international flavours, you're guaranteed a smorgasbord of options. The crème de la crème of eateries, and undoubtedly the most sought-after, are nestled by the lake, providing sweeping vistas of Wakatipu Lake. It's the ideal spot for a bit of people-watching or simply soaking in the view.
Queenstown, like the rest of New Zealand, is a hotbed of coffee culture. Kiwis are known for their discerning coffee tastes and their love of using cafes as social hubs. You'll find the majority of cafes in the heart of Queenstown, conveniently close to the shimmering Lake Wakatipu. Here, they serve up the beloved brew in a myriad of forms and styles to satisfy even the pickiest of coffee aficionados.
Bars & Nightlife
Once you've had your fill of adrenaline-fuelled activities, it's time to paint the town red. Join the throng that flocks to the city as the sun dips below the horizon, sharing stories over a pint or two. And don't be fooled by Queenstown's sporty daytime persona — its nightlife is surprisingly diverse, with everything from pubs offering locally-brewed beers, to chic bars and clubs that could give any European hotspot a run for its money.
Queenstown is widely renowned for high-quality, locally-crafted products. From sheepskin items, leather goods, and pure wool hand-knits, to jewellery and outdoor wear, it's a shopper's delight. You'll encounter local designers sharing space with well-known international brands, whether in the bustling city centre malls or nestled within Queenstown's charming streets. The heart of the shopping district is conveniently located and pedestrianised, transforming your city centre stroll into an enjoyable retail adventure.