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Few towns in the world — if any — have so dramatic a setting as Queenstown, on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and backed by the constantly dramatic ‘Remarkables’ Mountains.

With a colourful history of Māori pounamu (jade) hunting and gold mining, Queenstown has always drawn on its surrounding landscapes to attract visitors and residents alike.

More recently it has proudly proclaimed itself the ‘adventure capital of the world’ and it’s hard to argue with this due to the sheer number of high adrenaline adventures available among the surrounding Southern Alps. While any trip to Queenstown should involve some form of outdoor adventure, there is every opportunity to witness the mountains first-hand without being suspended from a bungee cord.

Many visitors find it is quite enough to simply relax and drink in the ‘once in a lifetime’ scenery from one of the cafés on the lakeshore.

Local activities

Jet boat on the Dart RiverFrom Māori pounamu hunters to European gold prospectors, Queenstown has always been attractive for those in pursuit of bounty. Now this beautiful outdoor playground appeals to people seeking adventure and excitement, with a wealth of activities including mountain biking, bungee jumping, skydiving, hang-gliding, jet boating — the opportunities are endless.

Queenstown hosts a wealth of sporting events and festivals, of note the New Zealand Open golf championships and a selection of international skiing competitions. For those who prefer a more sedate pace there is still plenty of choice, from golfing and fishing to hiking and riding.

Regardless of how you choose to spend it, every day closes the same way, with the sight of the sun setting over the lake, casting a tincture of red across the Remarkables.

Nomad Safaris

Nomad Safaris are the local experts for getting you out and about in some of Queenstown’s most inaccessible scenery. With roads such as Skippers Canyon being closed to rental vehicles, this is the best way to explore the Queenstown backcountry.

Much of the landscape was used in the filming of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and there is also a wealth of gold-mining history in the area, putting a historical spin on an exhilarating experience. Nomad operate with the approval of the Department of Conservation, and are actively involved in the preservation of the historical areas.

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Map of Queenstown

Places & hotels on the map