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Things To Do In Queenstown Region
Queenstown has a reputation of being one of the most visited places in the south island. Situated along-side Lake Wakatipu overlooking the mountainous ranges of the Southern Alps, Queenstown is one of the most picturesque places in the country. The town is also known for the many adventures one can indulge in making it very popular among travellers. A list of things to do in Queenstown include taking hikes, walks, cruises on the Lake, and much more.
The Queenstown Trail is one of the most scenic cycling routes in the whole country. Linking the town to the many attractions in the region, cutting across the country-side, rugged terrain and gushing rivers, the Queenstown trail offers the cycling experience of a lifetime. The trail offers rides of different lengths with varying levels of difficulty giving everyone a chance to explore the beautiful outdoors of Queenstown. The easiest ride of them all is the Lake Wakatipu Ride starting from the municipal gardens in the town going all the way to Frankton along the lakeshore. The ride has some amazing views of the region especially of the Remarkables. For those who want to go further, the trail extends into beautiful country-side going all the way to Arrowtown. One can choose from the many routes available. While one moves along the Kawarau River the other crosses over the Shotover River. One can also take a deviation towards the Lake Hayes for a longer ride.
There are plenty of return routes for those willing to take on the return journey while there are shuttle rides for others.
Kawarau Bungy Jump and Zip-Ride
Hailed as one of the first Bungy jumping units in the world, the Kawarau Bungy is world-famous. Located on the Kawarau Bridge, the bungy here is a 43m drop towards the Kawarau River. The bungy here has been operational for over 30 years and is one of the safest. There are plenty of different jumps that are available, one can take a solo jump or a tandem jump with a partner while one can also go slightly crazier and try the water-touch jump going all the way down to the flowing waters of the Kawarau River. There are plenty of cameras all over the place to capture these crazy moments that one will cherish for a long time. It is important to note that kids below the age of 10 are not allowed and kids who are 14 or below need adult consent and have to be accompanied on the ride. Visitors should also look up the medical requirements and weight restrictions before heading out for the jump.
The Kawarau Bridge is also popular for its 130m zip-ride. For those who want less crazy and just the same amount of adventure. Going up to speeds of 60kmph the ride is the adrenaline rush you need. The ride is also a good way to experience the fun with family. One can either rent a vehicle to get here or take the bus from Queenstown. While the bus ride is completely free, one is required to book in advance.
Hiking and Walking
With a number of beautiful trails and hiking routes, Queenstown and its pristine environment are best explored on foot. The town has numerous trails and routes with varying levels of difficulty making it accessible to a wide range of people.
The Jacks Point Track is one of the easiest walks in the region and can last up to 4 and a half hours. The track passes through grasslands and scrubby area moving alongside the Lake Wakatipu. The track has gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains, the Lake and the town itself. It is a good walk for family and one can even picnic with the backdrop of the Remarkables.
The Queenstown Hill Time walk is yet another popular walk here. The walk leads to the Queenstown Hill also known as Te Tapu-Nui which roughly translates in to ‘mountain of intense sacredness’. The walk leads to the famous ‘Basket of dreams’ sculpture and makes for some stunning views of the surrounding region.
The Ben Lomond Hike is the most difficult of the many tracks in Queenstown but it is also the most rewarding. Leading up to the summit of the Ben Lomond peak, the hike entails an elevation gain of around 1500 m from start to finish. The hike starts at the Skyline complex moving through thick bushes before entering the quaint pine forests. Once atop the summit, hikers are rewarded with breath-taking views of the landscape around. The entire trek can take up to 7-8 hours and can be quite the exercise.
Relax in the Onsen Hot pools
Perched on a cliff overlooking the Shotover River, Onsen is the perfect place to relax and get away from the hustle-bustle of the town. The hot pools here are the best way to relax while enjoying the beautiful view of the Shotover Canyon. The pool is warm and steamy during the winters and cool and soothing during the summers. While temperatures in the pool are set based on the temperatures outside, one can also adjust the warmth of the water with one push of a button. Each pool can accommodate up to 4 adults and is perfect for small families and couples. Onsen also has a spa and a massage centre for those in the mood to just let go. A day at the pool and the spa here can be the best gift for a loved one.
Queenstown, known for a number of things, is also popular for its scenic flights. The town offers flights around Queenstown, to Milford Sound and the Southern Alps. Flights operate almost throughout the year except for times with bad weather. The Queenstown flights take passengers around the many attractions in the region like the Shotover Canyon, Gibbston Valley, the Remarkables Mountain Range, etc.
There are plenty of agencies that operate in Queenstown. One has to book in advance to confirm seats for the ride and it is necessary to check with the agency before departure to make sure that the weather is conducive to fly. If flights are cancelled due to bad weather then passengers will not be charged any money.
Trek to Milford Sound
Located about 3 hours and 45 minutes away from the town, Milford Sound is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Rudyard Kipling called it the ‘eighth wonder of the world’. Milford sound is a stretch of mountain ranges rising above the waters of the sea with beautiful forests and stunning waterfalls. A trek to Milford sound is an experience of a lifetime and should not be missed if in the region. The trek usually referred to as the Milford Track is one of the hardest treks in the region. There are several agencies that operate here; one can also do the trek independently. The trek is spread over a period of 4 days with halts at specific huts at the end of each day. Starting with Clinton Hut on day 1 to Mintaro Hut on day 2 and Mackinnon’s pass on day 3.
Skiing and Winter Sports
Winter in Queenstown is a time for fun and games. The winter here brings a good amount of snowfall making the peaks the best places for skiing. Queenstown has two major ski fields, the Coronet Peak and the Remarkables. Both fields are well equipped with lifts and other equipment. The ski fields in Queenstown see a huge turnout during the winters making them the busiest in the region. Both, Coronet Peak and the Remarkables also offer a variety of other winter sports like snowboarding and skating. There are also several competitions that take place during the winter along with the famous Queenstown Winter festival. Winter in Queenstown marks a time for fun and excitement.