Queenstown - South
The adventure Capital
of the World
Nestled on the shores
of Lake Wakatipu this is a
MUST SEE destination for visitors to New Zealand
This is a fantastic
place. It has it all. Majestic mountains, beautiful lake, neat
little town, superb restaurants and great accommodations. The
“action capital of the world” has also been used to describe
Queenstown. This is where bungy jumping was first invented by A.J.
Hackett. A trip to New Zealand without a visit to Queenstown simply
means you must come back.
Just strolling around this town is a delight. Lots of streets just
for pedestrians, great shops with local
artists work, souvenir
shops, great local jewelry from greenstone and paua shells and some
of the best fresh food New Zealand has to offer - all on a beautiful
lake front. A lovely park to walk is at the opposite end of the
waterfront from where the m/s Earnslaw docks. To stroll through
this park with its huge trees and ferns is really delightful. There
is so much to do here you could easily spend days and still have
things you wish to do. Fiordland Travel
Center is a large
complex just one or two blocks off the waterfront,
very easy to find
and you can buy tickets here for all the attractions. Here is a
A must do experience. A funicular
takes you to the top of Coronet Peak. The view here is featured on
numerous postcards, posters and front covers of books on New
Zealand. There is a restaurant at the top and an observation level.
Hang gliders take off from here and land in the fields below. There
is a movie at the top that is well worth watching. It is about 30
minutes long and is very well done about an uptight American
business man that comes to New Zealand. Things happen and although
not by choice, he ends up seeing much of the country and then
“chilling out” and becoming one with nature. The scenery is really
great and the movie is entertaining.
and the St. Nicholas Sheep Station
You will see the old m/s Earnslaw steamer docked in downtown. This
old boat was bought pieces by piece and built in Queenstown. Now it
makes daily runs to St. Nicholas Sheep station a true working sheep
station at the end of the lake from Queenstown. They host lunches,
morning and afternoon teas and dinner in the house on the sheep
station. There is a sheep dog demonstration that is very well done
and they have demonstrations of all aspects of sheep farming. They
also have some highland cattle here. A breed found in Scotland with
very long hair. They will let you sit on the back of a very large
bull and you can take a picture. Yes, we have been there and done
that. You buy the tickets right in town and
we do suggest taking one
of the trips on the m/s Earnslaw.
Highland sheep at
Nicholas sheep station
Fly by wire
This is the famous Shotover River jet boat ride. It is exciting –
if you are a little bit of a nervous person make sure you sit in the
middle. You arrive and they have you put on a lifejacket and
clothes to keep you dry. Then you load in the jet boat. This type
of jet boat was designed in New Zealand. It can operate in just a
few inches of water. Then you take off down the Shotover River.
They go very close to the rocks on either side and then also do the
famous Hamilton turn which is a 360 degree turn in the same spot.
Not for the weak of heart but also not that big a deal either. The
boat ride only last about 15 minutes.
I really enjoyed this. I have done it twice and had someone go
recently and it keeps improving. Our first experience was on very
old jet boats but now they have moved upscale and have wonderful new
and more comfortable boats. I am sure that the tour has also changed
quite a bit. You start off driving down the side of the lake to a
small town of Glenorchy. Then you board the boats and take off up
the Dart River. The boat goes up rapids and also goes very close to
the sides. The scenery is spectacular it is hard to describe. We
loved this excursion as it gave you the thrill of the jet boat with
the remarkable scenery driving down the lake and then in the Dart
River itself surrounded by the Southern Alps.
A stop on most tours is Arrowtown. A recreation of an old town that
is exceptionally well done and very educational.
The A.J.Hackett bungy jump is easy to find. It is just off the main
road from town to the airport and simply a few more miles past the
airport. You will see the bridge and the jumpers from the main
road. It is fun to stop and watch the jumpers. They video each
jump. Never been tempted to try it but we do like watching. This is
the spot of the very first bungy jump. There is another bungy jump
from Skippers Canyon that is much higher and usually only done by
expert bungy jumpers.
Fly by Wire
Yet another attraction thought up here in Queenstown. People lay in
a contraption that is attached by a cable to a line that goes across
a canyon. You are cranked up and the when you hit a button it
releases you. An engine kicks in and you can fly this machine around
while hanging from the overhead wire. You can speed up or slow down
or do turnown
or do turns – you can control the flight. Eventually you rp; Eventually you run out of
gas and they lower you down. Not for the faint of heart.
So many other attractions it cannot all be covered here. White water
rafting, canoeing, hiking, helicopter rides, tube running etc. This
unning etc. This
unning etc. This
is a great place for the young that want to experience the beauty of
nature while doing athletic activities. The sheer beauty of
Queenstown is worth a visit if you did nothing but sit on the
lakeshore and soaked in the tranquility and beauty of the mountains
and the lake.