Queenstown New Zealand


If you're looking for a resort town where you can lose yourself in a number of exciting activities, Queenstown New Zealand is a good pick. Known as one of the world's top adventure capitals, Queenstown is where those looking for adrenaline rushes will feel right at home. The city's cafes, restaurants, and clubs do well to keep visitors occupied when they are not off enjoying an area tour or excursion, and you can also do some great shopping here. Though Queenstown New Zealand is famous first for its excellent winter skiing, it's also a wonderful destination come spring, summer and fall. New Queenstown hotels are popping up all the time as New Zealand tourism increases, and the town is seeing its fair share of recent immigrants. You can find a healthy list of flights servicing Queenstown, and it's a pretty easy drive or bus ride from other South Island cities like Christchurch and Dunedin.

The Maori seemed to have a limited presence in the Queenstown New Zealand area when European settlers first arrived in the mid-1850"s. Sheep farmers were among the first settlers to the area, and in 1862, two such farmers found gold at the Shotover River. Prospectors soon came from all around, and the new mining town soon began adding streets and buildings. By 1900, however, most of the gold had been mined, and the town soon saw a sort of mass exodus of its citizens. Queenstown rests on the banks of beautiful Lake Wakatipu, and it is surrounded by mountains. In other words, the setting is pretty spectacular. This helped encourage the city to become a tourist destination. The first nearby ski area to become popular was Coronet Peak, which starting seeing year round visitors in the early 1950"s . By the early 1970"s, Queenstown began to firmly position itself as the country's premier adventure capital, offering such activities as bungy jumping and jetboating. The Queenstown airport would be upgraded in the 1990"s to better facilitate Queenstown travel, and there seems little reason to think that the new millennium will see tourism decrease here.

Helping to make Queenstown travel even more popular was the use of the city and the surrounding area for scenes in the highly-acclaimed "The Lord of the Rings" movie trilogy. A good way to begin your Queenstown vacation is to take a ride to the top of the Skyline Gondola. From Bob's Peak, you can enjoy stunning views of the city and surrounding area. You can grab lunch or dinner at the gondola restaurant and cafe, and before or after your ride, you might take some time to enjoy the Kiwi & Birdlife Park, which is found just at the base of the gondola on Brecon Street. Family four-wheel-drive excursions are fun for those traveling with the kids, and couples might first choose the area wineries for their Queenstown tours. New Zealand wine is making a name for itself in the international community, and a wine tour here can be just as rewarding as you might expect in France or Italy. For those who prefer white-knuckle, breath-stealing activities, your Queenstown vacation can be full of them. The nearby village of Glenorchy is one of the South Island's top tourism destinations, offering glacial lakes and rugged mountains. You can arrange a number of Queenstown tours for activities at Glenorchy, such as hiking, mountain biking, climbing and white water rafting. If the budget allows, maybe you'll even consider a nice champagne lunch in the mountains, being dropped off and a picked up by helicopter.

Some Queenstown tours allow visitors to combine a few different activities. You can combine area helicopter rides with rafting trips or luge rides, for example, and some of these packages can help you save some money on the side as well. Many a Queenstown vacation is centered around enjoying the great outdoors, and come nighttime, the town's nightlife presents a nice variety to be enjoyed as well. There are a couple casinos found here, and they can surely add extra excitement to your Queenstown travel itinerary. The bars are certainly busiest come mid-winter, but you can find plenty of late-night revelry the rest of the year as well. The Queenstown dining and shopping guide can help you choose from the many wonderful Queenstown shops and restaurants. You can buy all kinds of neat New Zealand-made goods at the Queenstown shops, and the city's restaurants and cafes certainly have something for everyone. There is a general theme to New Zealand's major cities and tourist destinations. They all provide such a complete list of attractions and things to do, and Queenstown is no different. A Queenstown vacation can involve so much, and chances are that you'll be thinking about returning before you ever leave.

Top image: Paul Bica (flickr)

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