On the South Island of New Zealand, between Lake Wakatipu and Ben Lomond, lies one of the world's most popular hubs for outdoor activities. People are drawn to Queenstown by the area's manifold opportunities for hiking, camping, mountain biking, skiing, and exploring. And all this sits amidst the unique natural splendour of New Zealand.
Despite its oceanic climate, visitors can benefit from the snow-capped peaks which surround the city for four months from May to August. At this time of year, you'll see a wealth of skiers and snowboarders speeding down some of the best slopes in the country. If you'd rather take your time to marvel at the glorious scenery, you can always ditch the board in favour of a hike or cycle. You don't even have to bring your own equipment for any of these activities as there are plentiful professional rental companies and outfitters in the area who will cater to your every need. A word to the wise: given the influx of tourists during the snow season, it's wise to book accommodation well in advance if you plan on travelling at this time.
Earnslaw Steamship (expedia)
walter peak's High Country Farm (source: expedia)
During the long summer days the average temperature in Queensland is a pleasant 25° C meaning that you can walk to many of the recommended tourist sites. When you reach Lake Wakatipu, take a break from all that walking and board the historic TSS Earnslaw Steamship for a short cruise to Walter Peak and a visit to High Country Farm, where you'll get an insight into traditional New Zealand farming. Bob's Peak offers one of the best views in the area and, even if you're not interested in hiking, you can still partake of the view via the Skyline Gondola which whisks visitors up to the top.
Kawarau Suspension Bridge (source: expedia)
Shotover Jet (source: expedia)
Steamer Wharf (source: expedia)
If you're in Queenstown for adventure, you may want to take a leap from the first commercial bungy jumping platform in the world; Kawarau Suspension Bridge gives you the thrill of 43 metres of freefall. Adrenaline junkies won't want to miss the Shotover Jet experience either. If you have enough energy left to organise your own picnic, head to the sprawling Queenstown Gardens to round out your outdoor itinerary.
After a busy day, central Queenstown's many bars, hotels and restaurants will replenish your energy for the night ahead. The Steamer Wharf entertainment precinct is the most popular spot in the city to go to unwind.
Although Queenstown can be reached by plane as well as by bus, car rental is the most common way to get around here and is therefore widely available