This place was where it all began – The very first road trip that sparked my wanderlust here in New Zealand. Trust me, you can’t go wrong with bookmarking this place to visit when you’re in the country; There’s so much of an adventurous life and natural beauty all packed within this town and it’s vicinity that it’s worth a visit anytime of the year.
There’s been a couple of occasions throughout the years that had us kept coming back and safe to say, we’ve seen and done quite a lot each time!
Queenstown is located on the lower half of the South Island and is a perpetual holiday town amongst both locals and tourists alike. It’s very accessible by car via the state highway, otherwise there’s an airport only 15 minutes from town that charters plenty of domestic/international flights.
If you’re still contemplating on whether to visit, we’re giving you a couple of reasons why it’s definitely worth the trip.
1. You can’t possibly miss the beautiful scenery…
…because it’s everywhere!
The location of Queenstown is quite strategically placed; You’re basically surrounded by a magnificent sight of the Remarkable Ranges looming in the distance, snow-capped throughout winter and most of spring.
Take a stroll along the banks of Lake Wakatipu or a boat ride on the famous Earnslaw to admire the mountainous terrain that South Island has to offer. Otherwise, taking the gondola up to Skyline Queenstown or a scenic flight gives you a panoramic view of the town centre and beyond!
2. Queenstown is a hub for extreme sports.
Are you one who likes having adrenaline coursing through your veins, who loves that feeling of euphoria? Well, from doing a bungy jump off New Zealand’s highest jump…
…ticking off your bucket list of skydiving at 12,000 feet…
…to paragliding with Lake Wakatipu as your backdrop, this place has it all.
3. Let’s not forget snow sports.
As soon as winter comes, you hear of locals visiting every weekend or making yearly pilgrimages from the North Island to ski or snowboard. There’s plenty of places in town that provides gear for hire and beginner lessons up at the peaks for first timers.
Personally, I don’t do well with snow sports, so the next reason is more up my alley.
4. Are you looking for a more leisurely visit or a family-friendly holiday?
Queenstown centre is very much bustling with a wide variety of shops, restaurants and eateries that will keep you occupied.
Because of how well-known it is as a tourism hub, there are an abundance of motels and beautiful holiday homes for large groups and families.
Head over to the Skyline to have a go at the Luge, or a girly spa session at the Onsen Hot Pools. Let your children tire themselves at the public playground, or even enjoy a glass of wine as you sit outdoors by the lake with a blanket if you fancy!
Personally, one of my favourite things to do each time I’m there is to take a long walk through the botanical gardens and end the day catching a beautiful sunset over the Remarkables.
5. It’s not just Adventure, it is also Romance.
With its stunning landscapes, it is no wonder that Queenstown is a very sought after wedding destination. This year, my heart was filled with love to witness a wonderful couple become husband and wife under the falling leaves of autumn.
Otherwise, spending the night stargazing at the Onsen Hot Pools ain’t such a bad idea to do with a loved one.
6. There’s plenty to Wine and Dine.
Fortunately, there’s a quite a range of places to dine at to cater for the international crowd that visits yearly. Personally, I enjoy having a coffee and a vegan breakfast at Bespoke Kitchen, a Fergburger for lunch, Flame’s famous pork ribs for dinner, and waffles with ice cream at Patagonia for dessert!
7. Anytime is a good time to visit!
Having four seasons in the country, there’s always something to look forward to at different times of the year. Enjoy the blooming flowers and melting snow caps in spring, wine-tasting at vineyards during summer, the golden and red hues of autumn and of course, the skiing in winter.
This is what I love about Queenstown!
8. Don’t miss out on festivals and events.
Because it’s such a vibrant town, you’d be certain there’s all sorts happening at different times of the year! A well-known one would be the annual Winter Festival and also the famous Queenstown International Marathon that is in fact, happening next month.
9. It’s not just about what’s within, it’s also what’s nearby.
If you’re keen for short road trips, hiring a car could get you to places like Wanaka and Arrowtown that equally boasts of beautiful scenery and activities.
It is a beautiful scenic drive over to Glenorchy where you could do horse-riding through the film set of The Lord of The Rings or gain access to the Routeburn Track for some tramping.
Click the link to know more about horse riding at Glenorchy!
10. For anything further, there’s bus tours!
If you have a few days to spare, you could book yourself a bus tour to experience different parts of the South Island. One of the more famous ones would be journey to Milford Sound, a must-do for tourists. Be in awe of crystal-clear waters and if you’re lucky, you might catch seals or dolphins swimming up to your boat!
A better favourite of mine would be a boat ride through pitch black caves to see the glow worms at Te Anau.