With snow-capped mountains and serene waters, it is easy to convince yourself that you are somewhere in Europe. Instead, the destination before me was Queenstown. Nestled on the South Island of New Zealand, Queenstown is best known for being an adrenaline junkie’s dream with its remarkable mountains and world famous ski slopes. In just a short one hour flight from Auckland or a three-hour flight from Sydney, Australia, I was ready for my Queenstown adventure and get lost in what can only be described as the world’s largest outdoor playground.
My Queenstown adventure started with a ride up the Skyline Gondola, which features a cable car ride, observation deck, cafe and luge rides down the mountain. If you can’t book a scenic helicopter ride, the lookout point at Skyline offers endless panoramic photo opportunities.
From the bottom of the Skyline Gondola, it takes about five minutes to walk back to the town centre. Down by the wharf, you can enjoy the picturesque views of the surrounding mountains around Queenstown and admire the clear blue waters of Lake Wakatipu.
There is a diverse range of dining options scattered in and around the town centre, including Italian, Chinese, Malaysian and fine dining restaurants.
The mountain ranges that surround Queenstown include The Remarkables, Cecil Peak and Walter Peak. From a distance, these mountains evoke the feeling of a picture-perfect postcard moment.
Moving towards the late afternoon, take a drive out of town and find an activity that will give you an adrenaline rush. Queenstown is known for providing activities such as skydiving, bungy jumping and jet boat rides. Most activities are only a twenty-minute drive away.
I decided to check out bungy jumping. On location at the Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge is the Kawarau Bridge Bungy. Stretched over the Kawarau Gorge, the site features a forty-three metre jump. Perhaps the most interesting part of the experience is the intense feeling of fear, which is natural when you throw yourself off a bridge with nothing more than a piece of rubber and towel around your legs. Yet the bungy company’s history and efficiency made the jump feel effortless. Here is a tip: don’t overthink it, just jump!
With a sense of achievement after completing the jump, you can cross the bridge and follow the Queenstown Trail, a well-known hiking trail that offers fantastic views of the river and gorges it flows through. Together with the bungy jump certificate of completion, the trail affirms in your heart that you have done Queenstown right.