Queenstown: New Zealand’s Adventure Capital
By: Khristy Choo and Chris Manuel Photography
When travelling in the home of Middle-earth, it isn’t a matter of “if” you visit Queenstown, as it is “when” you visit Queenstown. Nestled in the scenic South Island of New Zealand, Queenstown is known as the country’s adventure capital and it’s easy to see why - on your way to town, you’ll hear the exhilarated screams of bungy jumpers taking the plunge off the Kawarau bridge, the first ever commercial bungy site, and as you arrive, you may catch a glimpse of paragliders gracefully soaring in the sky or even performing a series of acrobatic stunts that will leave adventure enthusiasts excited.
To Be in Awe
No matter the season, Queenstown is nothing short of breathtaking. The crystal clear waters of Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand’s third largest lake, often mirror the range of mountains that surround it, and is truly a photographer’s dream.
Simply labelling the town as being strictly for adrenaline junkies only would do it an injustice, as Queenstown has something to offer every traveller. You may choose to go on a scenic hike, develop your wine palate by partaking in a tour of one of the nearby vineyards, book a scenic flight for a magical bird’s-eye view over town, or observe the operation of the steam engines during a cruise onboard the vintage 1912 TSS Earnslaw.
To Scream (of Excitement and/or Fear)
Queenstown welcomes a steady stream of travellers through its doors everyday, and a fair few of them arrive with the determination to check an activity off their bucket list. Whether you prefer land, air or water-based activities, chances are, you’ll find it offered here. You could be speeding down the Shotover River on a jet boat in the morning, find yourself staring down one of the world's highest cliff jumps after lunch, and finishing off the day with a night bungy that’s offered during the winter months. Other popular activities include mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, rafting, skydiving and canyoning, among many, many others.
Queenstown visitors are only allowed to depart once they have completed their unofficial right-of-passage of chowing down a Fergburger, a strong contender for the title of the best burger in the whole of New Zealand (or even the world, according to some, although the jury’s still out on that debate). No address is needed here, as the queue outside the establishment, regardless of the hour, is a clear giveaway. Whether you try the classic Fergburger, or tantalise your tastebuds with the merry marriage of wild Fiordland deer and boysenberry and caramelised onion chutney, this is a Queenstown-only experience that should not be missed.
To Leave an Impression
The combination of beautiful scenery, fun and adventure at every corner, and buzzing nightlife makes Queenstown a unique and memorable destination, one that comes alive with the presence of travellers from every corner of the globe, making it a melting pot of cultures, stories and creativity, and certainly one that leaves a lasting impression on everyone who visits.