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Home to some of New Zealand’s most thrilling attractions and activities, Queenstown has a reputation as the adventure capital of the country. Situated on Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by the towering, Remarkables mountain chain and Coronet Peak, Queenstown is surrounded by stunning scenery. Whether you leap off a bridge at the world’s first Bungy Jump centre, visit Milford Sound on a boat tour or take a jet boat ride through Skippers Canyon - you’re sure to be constantly in awe of this South Island gem.
This unique lightning bolt-shaped lake is filled with some of the world’s cleanest water - and has a particularly distinct tidal system which sees the water levels rise and fall by about 4 inches every 25 minutes. There are numerous ways to enjoy the lake, from taking yourself around on a kayak, cruising the lake in a restored steamship, or slicing through the lake on a jet boat. No matter how adventurous or athletic you are, you’ll love your time on the lake.
An easy five-minute walk from downtown Queenstown, the Skyline gondola awaits to sweep visitors up to the top of Bob’s Peak. A wonderful treat is the buffet lunch or dinner as you sit high above Queenstown soaking up the almost mythical views. Here is where you’ll also find many different thrilling activities that can be enjoyed by all ages and abilities. From mountain biking and special luge carting for adrenaline seekers to mild nature hikes and stargazing tours for those looking for a more relaxed experience in the mountains.
Formed by glacial activity over 25,000 years ago, Skipper’s canyon is considered the richest gold bearing canyon in the world. This area was the epicentre of New Zealand’s gold rush in the 19th century and a tour by bus, jet boat or both, of this immensely fascinating geological formation, is a must for those in Queenstown. You’ll also get to see a filming location from the Lord of the Rings movies!
World-famous, the Queenstown jet boat ride on Shotover river is perhaps the ultimate water-based activity. The jet boat ride really gets the adrenaline flowing as you power through amazingly tight canyons in excess of 50 mph. Spend your time taking in the jaw-dropping scenery, or simply hold on and scream in delight on this crowd-pleasing tour.
For true thrill-seekers, visiting the AJ Hackett bungy jump facility at Kawarau Gorge is almost a religious moment. Home to the first commercialized bungy centre in the world, this Queenstown institution offers guests the opportunity to bungy jump 140 feet over the Kawarau River. For those looking for a thrill ride without the heart-stopping leap of faith, be sure to try out the zip lining adventure here as well.
Nestled in Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound is perhaps New Zealand’s most well known and spectacular attraction and a visit to New Zealand isn’t complete without a visit to this South Island wonder. Best experienced by boat, Milford Sound offers a remarkable landscape, with towering mountains, forested cliffs and dramatic waterfalls. It all combines into something that cannot be adequately described, except that it will, quite simply, take your breath away.
Perhaps New Zealand’s most photographed lake, the reflective qualities of the water have become well known. A quick 15-minute drive from Queenstown, Lake Hayes offers superb photo opportunities of the lake with the mountains reflected in the water. Plan 2 to 3 hours to walk around the lake, perhaps more if there is a photographer in your group! An award-winning winery, as well as a rustic cottage well-known for its great coffee and excellent comfort food, is located nearby to enjoy after your peaceful walk.
One of New Zealand’s most popular ski resorts, just 25 minutes from downtown Queenstown. Extensive facilities at New Zealand’s original ski hill will ensure everyone has a wonderful time on this 5500-foot high mountain. Also on offer are stunning views over Queenstown and towards the Remarkables mountain chain and Lake Wakatipu.
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