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)