Queenstown may just be the biggest little town in the world. All the bustle of the big city is packed into its compact network of tiny streets: lively bars, swish restaurants and glitzy nightlife, all set off by towering snow-capped mountains and an absolutely beautiful lake. This has to be one of the most stunning settings for a city, and also happens to be the adventure capital of NZ. It's not just about thrills and spills, though - there are also scenic walks, renowned vineyards and a fascinating art trail. Queenstown is also a wonderful base from which to start exploring the beautiful Fiordland National Park.
- Try bungy jumping or watch all the other crazy people doing it!
- Enjoy the thrills of whitewater rafting and the Shotover Jet adventure ride
- Take an amazing journey up the Dart River from Glenorchy into the World Wildlife Sanctuary
- Ride the Skyline gondola to the top of Bob's Peak, then take the luge down
- Go “flight seeing” over the picturesque lakes and mountains
- Visit Arrowtown in autumn for the most stunning fall colours
- Set off on endless wonderful hikes in the amphitheatre of dramatic mountains
- Drive through Skippers Canyon
Facts at a glance
- 15,000 years ago, during the last Ice Age, a huge glacier moving from the North West carved out what is now Lake Wakatipu. The lake is relatively thin, but the mountains run straight into the lake, forming a deep canyon, 399m at its deepest point.
- Maori Point in Skippers Canyon is where two Maori miners, Rangiora Ellison and Hakaria Haeroa, discovered gold in 1862.
- There are 82 registered wineries in Central Otago. Of the 978 hectares of land used for wine production, 756 hectares – that's 77% – are for Pinot Noir.
It would be quite understandable if you decided to spend all day in the bath at the Azur retreat in Queenstown, where astounding views are part of the service.
The Lodge at Blanket Bay promises to be one of your most memorable holiday experiences. Dine by firelight on the terrace as the day fades behind the Humboldt Range, then study the stars in an ink black sky.