On the shores of Lake Wakatipu lies one of New Zealand’s most famous tourist centres-the exhilarating, invigorating and exciting Queenstown. Situated in the heart of the Southern Lakes district, Queenstown is accessible by road from Christchurch, the West Coast, Dunedin and Invercargill.
Surrounded by majestic mountains, Queenstown is a 12 month fun town with a wide range of attractions, activities and entertainment. In the winter, Queenstown attracts skiers from all over the world who enjoy the nearby ski-fields and the extensive après ski culture. The ski season can vary but is generally between June and October, and the slopes are suitable for all levels of skier.
The summer offers a magnificent series of attractions and activities ranging from jet-boating to mountain climbing, horse trekking, white water rafting, helicopter rides and the inevitable bungy. The world’s first bungy jump was established at Kawarau Bridge, 43 metres above the Kawarau River and is still one of the best.
Local rivers are ideal for many activities the latest of which is an offshoot of white water rafting - river boarding down the rapids. More sedate but still exciting white water rafting is available on the Shotover and Kawarau Rivers while numerous operators offer a wide combination of adventure activities.
The Shotover River is acknowledged as an outstanding jet boat experience. The Dart River between Lake Wakatipu and Mt Aspiring National Park and offers spectacular shallow water jet boating.
Four-wheel-driving adventures into the historic Skippers Canyon only 25 minutes from Queenstown, helicopter excursions from stunning sightseeing to VIP transport, scenic fl ights over stunning mountains, native forests, wild coastline and spectacular glaciers-the variety and opportunities for visitors is exceptional. Queenstown operators have an outstanding safety record and provide visitor experiences unequalled in the world.
Queenstown has been a significant tourist centre for over 120 years and is continuing to develop in a tasteful and environmentally friendly manner. There is an attractive range of excellent accommodation from backpackers to international hotel chains, many of which take full advantage of their surroundings and the wonderful lake and mountain views.
Queenstown’s exciting shopping precinct is open every day. Many of the shops are in pedestrian areas or down narrow lanes. The town offers some of the best in traditional wool and sheepskin clothing and indigenous greenstone. Buying skis, snowboards, kayaks, mountaineering gear and associated clothing is an adventure in itself and the clothing is both functional and streetwise. A relaxing spa will ease the stress of making selections.
Queenstown has over 150 restaurants, cafés and bars, many of which are world-class. Top chefs attracted by the lifestyle provide outstanding menus with the main dining district being from Steamer Wharf up Beach Street and into Shotover and Church Streets. A gondola ride to the Skyline Restaurant offers one of the most spectacular restaurant views anywhere.