Queenstown: ‘The adventure capital of New Zealand’. Despite there being less than 30,000 people living in the area, you could be forgiven for thinking it’s much bigger, considering how mighty a reputation this truly stunning South Island town has.
We could not recommend hiring a car here more, and exploring the sheer bounty of entertainment it has to offer.
Queenstown at a glance
Just look at the stats and you’ll be able to tell how popular this place is. Destination Queenstown predicts a whopping 2.1 million visitors will arrive in 2016, more than half of which being from overseas. People literally flock from all over to experience the unique blend of attractions the town can offer, thanks to its location besides a winding azure lake, flanked on all sides by towering, dramatic mountain peaks and lush vineyards.
The town was originally founded around 1860, and has since become the birthplace of not only commercial bungee jumping, but also commercial skiing in New Zealand! Coronet Peak, just outside of the town, opened back in 1947, with the world’s first bungee attraction appearing above the Kawarau River 41 years later.
Where to visit on your Queenstown holiday
Travellers of every shape, size and personality can enjoy a road trip through Queenstown, as it is jam-packed with things to do. Here is a summary of what to try:
Looking for a rush?
If we wanted to tell you every adventure activity available here, we’d have to write a whole new article on the subject! Maybe even more than one. We’re talking bungee jumping, skiing/snowboarding, jet boating, paragliding, white water rafting, four-wheel driving, hiking, luging and still more.
How about some festivals?
Winter Fest is perhaps one of the most famous events in the Queenstown calendar, with a lovely fireworks show kicking the whole thing off each year around June. Many famous musicians and comedians also travel through the area on winery tours, so keep an eye out for what’s on during your travels. Lastly, the local Jazz, Arrowtown Autumn and Gibbston Wine and Food Festivals are all great events to add to your road trip itinerary.
Other nearby towns
Adjacent to Central Otago, hiring an unlimited-kilometres rental car in Queenstown gives you access to even more gorgeous towns. Pristine Wanaka is barely over an hour away, either via the quaint township of Cromwell or over the breathtaking Crown Range. Glenorchy – a filming location for ‘The Lord of the Rings’ – is also close by. That’s not to mention heritage Arrowtown, which is practically next door.