Queenstown is, without a doubt, the adrenaline adventure capital of New Zealand, if not the world. And as soon you arrive, it is plain to see why.
The town has the most stunning natural location on the shores of Lake Wakatipu with the Remarkables Mountain Range craggy peaks providing the perfect backdrop for almost every adventure outdoor sport created. This brings adventure seekers here from all around the world in droves.
Be warned, the adventure kind of creeps up and just grabs you. Before you know it, you will find yourself bungy jumping from the original RJ Hackett bridge, the birthplace of the bungy and leaping from an aircraft (firmly attached to a professional with a parachute) on the world’s highest skydive.
Queenstown is relatively small and has developed to service the outdoor adventure tourism industry. There aren’t any ‘exclusively gay’ venues, but we’ve listing a few notable gay-friendly bars on our Queenstown Gay Scene page.
Queenstown is, though, the centre of the New Zealand’s gay and lesbian adventure travel scene. Once a year, around late August to early September, the town quite literally lives up to its name by hosting New Zealand’s Gay Ski Week. This is widely promoted as the biggest gay & lesbian alpine party in the Southern Hemisphere.
Queenstown International Airport has connecting flights to cities in New Zealand and regular flights to Sydney. There are also direct flight to Brisbane and Melbourne during the busiest winter ski season.
A Connectabus service runs from the airport to the town centre and on to Arrowtown.
Intercity Coachline bus services run daily to and from Christchurch, Te Anau, Wanaka and the West Coast.
By car, Queenstown is a six-hour drive from Christchurch through spectacular countryside and mountain passes.
The downtown area small and easily manageable on foot.
Queenstown summer extends from December through February. Sunny warm days are ideal for the numerous outdoor activities. This is also peak season for tourism so expect the town to be busier and hotels more expensive. Winter is from June until end of August, when Queentown becomes a ski resort town.
Queenstown is the birthplace of the bungy jump, and you can still take a leap from the original AJ Hackett Kawarau bridge on the edge of town. Pumping adrenaline is what it’s all about here. As well as bungy, take your pick from rafting, river surfing, jet boating, parapenting, sky diving, mountain biking, hiking, winter skiing and much more. The small town is awash with tour agents only to eager to provide you with all the details and offers to encourage you to face your fears and commit.
Queenstown Skyline Luge is not to be missed. Ride up a mountain side in a cable car then wizz down one of two tracks on your own personal luge!
For a slower pace:
Take a cruise on Lake Wakatipu aboard the TSS Earnslaw, ‘The Lady of the Lake’ a century old coal-fired steamship.
Head up the shore road of Lake Wakatipu north to Glenorchy and back – it is a stunningly beautiful drive.
Discover world-class local wines on a wine tour & tasting.
Sample the diverse restaurant and lively bar scene of both Queenstown and nearby Arrowhead.
No trip to Queenstown would be complete without visiting the nearby Milford Sound.
Pictures – with kind permission of Tourism of New Zealand.