Last Updated: 3rd Jan 2014
The Adventure capital of the world!
Set amongst the incredible Alps of New Zealand’s South Island and on the shores of the simmering Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is indeed the place to go for outdoor and adventure activities.
Though Queenstown is only home to roughly 8,000 New Zealanders, it is easily the most popular and visited town for outdoor activities for both for young international travelers and New Zealanders alike.
The town is home to perhaps the worlds greatest concentration of heart-pumping, adrenaline filled, sanity-shaking activities with bungy jumping, skydiveing, skiing, snowboarding, parapenting, rafting, hiking, jet boating, cycling, heiskiing river surfing, horse riding, helicopering, mountain climbing fishing, hang gliding snowmobiling and some of New Zealand’s most well-known parting all happening in and around the town.
The township is small enough that you don’t need a car to get around and people form all walks of life, from the luxurious super-rich to international backpackers all mix in this most famous of New Zealand’s resorts.
Sights and Activites
The 85 km (53 mile) length of this lake are simply stunning. Lake Wakatipu is also fascinating as it has its own ‘heartbeat’ that Maori tradition relates to the heart of a cremated giant. Naturally occurring ‘seiches’ in Lake Wakatipu cause it to ‘pulse’ with the water level rising and falling about 3 inches every 5 minutes. The lake is also home to the last remaining paddle steamer form the gold rush era, the iconic Earnslaw.
Hiring a mountain bike is a great way to get out and explore the area.
Queenstown is a party down, with over 100 premises in the small town holding liquor licenses (many till5 am and some even 24 hours) every night is Saturday night.
Skiing and Snowboarding
Queenstown is surrounded by some of New Zealands best and most renowned ski fields, the famous being the aptly named ‘Remarkables’ mountain range. Contiki can help organize skiing for you in July and August or for more information check out Ski New Zealand.
Trout Fishing and Lake Hayes
Try your hand at some high country fishing in the lakes, rivers and streams around Queenstown, the best perhaps being at Lakes Hayes. This picturesque and often mirror-still lake is home to a huge number of trout. Bag limits are higher here than anywhere else in New Zealand due to their abundance.
Water skiing and Sailing
Summer sees the Lake come alive with skiing on water rather than the slopes as well as sailing also being popular.