Set on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by its famed mountains, Queenstown’s natural scenery is reason enough to draw the crowds. Add to that a cosmopolitan polish and a forward arts and culinary scene, and you’ve got yourself a holiday destination that’ll cater to everyone, regardless of travel style.
The adrenaline junkie
With activities for every thrill seeker, Queenstown truly deserves its moniker as the adventure capital of the world. Take in views from the top at the scenic Ledge Bungy, located 400m above Queenstown. It is also the country’s only night operating bungy in winter — sign up to nosedive down into the shimmering city lights! Go even higher with skydiving, paragliding and hang gliding, all supported by instructors and companies with top safety records, or go deep into the backcountry to enjoy quad biking and motorcycle tours along winding highways by the river.
Queenstown’s burgeoning food scene, which melds Michelin-starred dining with ethnic cafes and farm to table fare, is a magical playground for foodies. Start your day with coffee and brunch at one of the region’s many independent establishments, join the queues for at the legendary Fergburger, or fill a picnic basket with savouries and a bottle of vino to make the most of the scenic surrounds. Come evening, grab a table at a lakefront bistro to enjoy platters of fresh seafood, or cosy up in one of the many pubs for bar bites and warm vibes. There’s plenty to try and discover, so pack your appetite.
The nature lover
Queenstown’s scenic beauty draws countless nature lovers who visit to hike its mountains and kayak along its fjords. Breathe in the region’s majestic beauty with trail walks that will take you across rivers, lakes and mountain ranges (check out the Queenstown Trail network), or spend a day at the Fiordland National Park, home to the stunning fiords of Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound. For water babies, sign up for kayak journeys that will guide you through hidden side streams, rock pools and stunning fjords.
The culture vulture
History buffs will find plenty of absorbing material at the Lakes District Museum in Arrowtown, while travellers interested in Queenstown’s rich Maori heritage can sign up for a cultural show that tells it through song and dance. For something more contemporary, spend your time strolling around the many art galleries dotting Queenstown, poke around the Creative Queenstown Arts and Crafts Markets on Saturdays at Earnslaw Park, or pop into The World Bar on Church Street, which has funky tunes all night.