- Ski resort
After having visited numerous towns in New Zealand, I immediately saw, on arriving in Queenstown, that it isn't archetypal. Queenstown's setting is idyllic, bordered by a lake and surrounded by magnificent mountains that gleam at the first sight of snow. As soon as the winter season arrives, however, Queenstown becomes inundated by tourists looking for a fun nightlife and good pistes...but who mainly want to be seen.
Even if I don't think the town is worth staying in for long (unless you're looking to party), I do think that Queenstown's surroundings are spectacular and worth the while. On a sunny day there's nothing better than doing a tour along the banks of Lake Wakatipu towards Glenorchy, a little village, nestled in a valley between stunning mountains. The walk offers amazing views over a breathtaking landscape.
If you leave Queenstown and head south by foot, you'll find paths that are dotted with picnic spots next to the lake, perfect for a relaxing outdoor meal.
A favorite tourist destination, Queenstown attracts visitors all year round. During the summer, tourists partake in hikes and the other activities that the region has to offer. During the winter, ski enthusiasts flock to the slopes of the surrounding area. Queenstown is also known as the "capital" of extreme sports. If you have adventure in your heart, make sure that you try jet boating, parachuting, bungee jumping, white water rafting and other high-adrenaline sports.
I spent a few days there, and I enjoyed the city's lively, yet relaxed atmosphere. To make the most of Queenstown, I recommend that you climb as high as you can in the surrounding mountains. You can take the Gondola cable car or even climb on foot to get to Bob's Peak, where you can look down on the city and its surroundings and enjoy the superb view.
Be careful though: if you have a tight budget like me, don't spend too long in Queenstown. With its wide range of restaurants and shops, as well as its expensive sporting activities, it is difficult to resist the temptation of spending money in beautiful Queenstown. One temptation you should give in to is the desire to try Fergburger's famous burgers, which are often referred to as "the best in the country." I can't guarantee that they're worthy of quite such high praise, but after a month spent eating stodgy white bread sandwiches, I found them exquisite!
Queenstown could be called the city that never sleeps,, with the activities that it offers during the day, and followed by the nightlife that picks up the baton once the sun goes down. The city attract an enormous number of young visitors, especially backpackers craving adventure - and booze!
Queenstown remains a charming city, with a wide choice of venues for going out, and I particularly like the view over the lake and the walks you can take there. I've also had the chance to enjoy a few activities, including a visit to the locations where Lord of the Rings was filmed (a classic) and canyoning in the frigid waters of a nearby river.
The only problem is how expensive everything is - although there are often combination deals that save money if you want to do several things. Finally, just like everywhere in New Zealand, the natural beauty is free, and with both the lake and the mountains here, it is absolutely superb. In winter, Queenstown is also famous as a ski resort!