known in the for corners of the world as the capital of the
radical sports. Doesn't matter were you go in Queenstown,
you will see shops and more shops offering tours that you
could never imagine such a thing exists. Queenstown is
located in the South Island of New Zealand on the margins of
a beautiful lake surrounded by high mountains. It is like a
fairy tail town where the first thing that comes to mind is
that you've seen it before in a Cinderella movie or alike.
The city is small in a way that you can easily walk its
whole extension. The population is only 9000 people but it
can double every day depending about the tourist influx.
There are no lack of things to do in Queenstown, resulting
in your bank manager of credit card administrator show you
an unhappy face. Anyway, things I did in Queenstown I will
never forget for life.
city is an attraction itself
with some streets reserved only for pedestrians. Buildings from
the last century are preserved giving an atmosphere of the
past with a foot in the future. A world of souvenir shops
seel all kind of products to tourist. From sheep wool artefacts
to gemstones, woodcarving, Papua shell ornaments, skin and facial
oils, perfumes, and so many other things that I could fill
up this page. On the street margin the lake, the view is not
only astonishing but there are restaurants and cafes lake
side for an enjoyable day of night. (we had a grilled rack
of land and vegetables that was simple supreme). Everything
in Queenstown is tourist including the prices, but is ok to
indulge yourself once in a wile. If you are travelling in a
budget, there are eateries (of course without views) that
serves god food for a reasonable price. There also some
alternatives in the shopping centre as the traditional American
take away. At the lake there are plenty of water activities
from a contemplative slow tour on an old paddle boat to
parasailing and other that your hear will try to jump out by
your mouth. Walking to the hill on the back of the lake, the
happy tourist will find a cable car that take you to the
top. On the way up the view is already fantastic, but even
better when you reach the top. There, a restaurant offer drinks
and delicious dishes with a view capable of make Kiwi cry.
Also there are attractions such as the "luge", a
kart which you ride way down the hill, in great speed. If
you think everything is boring, you can excite you life
doing a Bungy Jump from a tower to the emptiness of the
valley ahead. If you still are not adrenalinated yet, you
can go down the hill by a tandem flight under a paraglider.
opposite to town are called the "Remarkables",
due the fact it is impossible to miss except in a very
stormy day. During the Winter months (June/October) these
rocky valleys are covered by snow transforming the area in
one of the busiest ski fields bottomless skiers from all
over the world come to experiment how soft the snow is as
well as photographers come to register falls and spectacular
crashes. Jokes apart, the ski field offer tracks for all
levels of skiers, from beginners to professionals, a great
time up in the mounting is guaranteed. Some times festivals
happens over there with music bands, demonstration shows,
ski competitions and night rides illuminated by querosene
torches and lamps. You can hire all the ski gear over there
including garments, or you can hire it in town. A dose of a
strong alcohol beverage or a hot chocolate will help you to
keep warm up there. Just don't forget to bring your credit
card with you. (we found out that our credit card even in
temperatures below zero still debit us pretty well).
If you decide to rent ski gear in town, make sure
the ski boots and your feet become extremely good
friends. A wrong size ski boot is the worst enemy I
ever had. Even worst when you find out that the shop
you hired it from, is that illuminated spot far away
in the horizon, 2000 metres below. In some cases it
is cheaper to rent in town, by with this lesson
learned, from now on, I prefer to pay more up in the
mountain but at least I can exchange the gear if
something fits wrong.
contributed with the fame of Queenstown among young people.
The city became a paradise for crazy jumps, rides, and
overdose of adrenalin. The unfeared tourist can choose
radical things to do according with the nerves. For example,
my classification f Queenstown radical tours goes from
"L" meaning little radical to "XXXH" (extra hard).
One of the tour we enjoyed very much (classification
"X") is one which we went by helicopter to a
valley and dropped in the margin of the shootover river.
Following that we entered a river raft and went down the
river jumping over waterfalls, evicting rocks, having cold
water battles with other raft and much more. Suddenly the
river ended and we went through a tunnel carved in the
rocks, finishing the ride on a calm part of the river. After
changing back into dry cloth we went on a ride in a river
jet boat. It goes at incredible speeds in a gorge, passing
centimetres far from the gorge walls. The boat does spectacular
curves following the river and by the end it does a 360
turn. A barbecue was offered after all and we were taken by
bus back to our accommodation. It was a great day tour
despite being salty at NZ$ 230 per head.
at end of tunnel
out of the tunnel
attractions and tours in
Queenstown sum up about 270 different options of thing to do
while my wallet had the same number in Kiwi dollars. In you
really want to have lots of fun, better plan the things you
want to do in advance. As average for "incredible tours
& Radical sports" reserve something around NZ$ 200
for each attraction. The most famous bungy jump for example
charges NZ$ 199 for the jump. We could no find any tour that
cost less than NZ$ 40 except the cable car to the hill top,
the mini golf, and the paddle boat tour. Everything else was
very expensive to engage in a spree of one tour per day.
There are so many options to choose from that sometimes is
difficult to decide which one to take. To complicate, there
are similar tours offered by the tour operators, split in
combination packages and so on. We spent one week in
Queenstown and despite the fact we an unforgettable time
there, the expenditure we did in Queenstown topped any other
place in New Zealand. There are plenty of accommodation, but
the cheapest ones gets the classic "No Vacant"
sign most of the time. For sure, the best time to visit
Queenstown is when your rich uncle decides to go with you,
or if you plan your budget carefully for this trip.
Attractions of Queenstown
by road from Queenstown to:
& 15 min
& 25 min
& 30 min.