Queenstown is known for it’s adrenaline-pumping activities, but having a 69 year old along on our adventure limited our options. Besides, while I’m good for most things, bungie jumping is not on my Living List and it never will be.
So, what else does Queentown offer if you aren’t an adrenaline junkie?
Gobsmackingly, Gorgeous Views.
Everywhere you look, The Remarkables, the alpine mountains aligned directly North-South, watch over the town. In a word, stunning. Being in Queenstown at the end of September provides snow caps on the top of each mountain. The weather is crisp but since the sun is so intense in New Zealand, the days in the sun are warm. It’s practically t-shirt weather.
If you want the perfect picnic spot, take Highway 6 toward Milford Sound. There are beautiful views of Lake Wakatipu, which seriously look straight out of a postcard. Near the estates about 10 minutes from Queenstown, we found an overlook that’s perfect for a picnic. It’s a ‘pinch me so I know it’s real’ sort of location.
In the centre of town, a gondola glides to the top of the mountain overloooking the town. At $32 per adult return (at publication), It’s not cheap and in my opinion, obscenely overpriced for the service. For the budget conscious (and fit), you can hike the mountain, which reportedly takes about an hour. Either way, the views are spectacular. Reward yourself with a drink and enjoy the sunset.
If you want something just a little heart pumping, you can try the ZipTrek zip-line experience, which our 69 year old absolutely loved. Try your hand at the luge ride, and slide down a curvy concrete track. Alternatively, you can relax in the lounge before indulging in a 6 course buffet dinner that everyone was raving about (and an indulgence that wasn’t our agenda this trip).
If you are a Lord of the Rings fan, Paradise is your destination for the Beech forest where various scenes were filmed. Glenorchy itself is a cute town to look around, but we definitely suggest you stop here for lunch. GYC Glenorchy Café is THE place for lunch. Order the open steak sandwich but either be hungry or be ready to share it with someone. It’s huge. But you won’t be sorry. (My mouth is watering just thinking about it!)
The Town Centre is a tourist mecca. There’s something for everyone and you could spend hours just walking around, looking in the various shops. It’s busy so if you have the option to walk to this area, I’d recommend it.
Walking trails – Everywhere.
By the lake, up the mountain, through the alpine tundra: everywhere we went, there were walking trails. New Zealand offers outdoor paradise better than any other country I’ve been to.
Queenstown is beautiful
It’s no wonder it’s known as an international melting pot. Almost everyone we came across was from another country: Australian, Argentinian, English, Irish, French were just a few of the cultures we encountered.
Yep, I’d want to live in New Zealand. Wouldn’t you?
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