Queenstown, is located at 300 metres above sea level, on the banks of Lake Wakatipu, in the Southern Alps and is considered one of the most beautiful locations in the whole of New Zealand. This small, compact town of 14, 500 inhabitants was initially known as “The Camp”, but its name was later changed in honour of Queen Victoria. The town was highly populated by gold prospectors during the 1860s and in a relatively short time, became an active and vibrant mining town. Today Queensland is recognised as a first –rate holiday resort and has been dubbed the “adventure capital of the world”. The area invests greatly in both summer and winter tourism and has highly developed structures to meet the tourist demand. Queentown has numerous pubs and clubs which guarantee the visitor a colourful and active night-life.
Until recently Queenstown was noted exclusively for its wonderful hiking possibilities and the ski pistes at Coronet Peak and The Remarkables. However, from the 1970s Queenstown has developed a true vocation for adventure and extreme sports.
Today it is possible to participate in a wide variety of activities including, tandem parachuting, canyoning, paragliding, bungee jumping, sledging, body boarding, not to mention the numerous water sports such as rafting and canoeing, which take place on the lake and the rivers Dart, Shotover and Kawarau.
Bungee jumping is a favourite pastime for advenutre sports enthusiasts and there are numerous options around Queenstown to partake in this activity. One of the preferred destinations is the 43metre- high Kawarau Suspension Bridge, situated 23 km from Queenstown, but probably the most spectacular destination is the 134m Nevis Highwire Platform, located 45 mins from Queenstown.
The various rivers in the area, in particular the Kawarau and the Shotover, offer numerous possibilities to practise rafting. There are various grades of difficulty and to run certain stretches of the river, the minimum age is 12 or 13. The Queenstown Travel and Visitor Centre and the DOC, in Shotover Street, provide information and a booking service for the area’s activities.
The centre of Queenstown, just a little larger than 1km2, is very easy to visit on foot. In order to travel further a field, it is possible to use the highly efficient local public transport service. The Shopper Bus provides a service from 6:30am to 11pm and calls at the main hotels, the airport, Sunshine Fernhill, Frankton, Remarkables Park Shopping Centre and Downtown Queenstown.
Hotels and lodgingEdit
Bob’s Peak stands on the hill, overlooking the Queensland and provides the visitor with spectacular views over the town. The less energetic traveller can travel to the summit by means of the Skyline Gondola cable-car.
The Kiwi and Birdlife Park is situated next to the cable-car station. This wonderful park houses amongst its pine trees, a refuge for kiwi’s and other birds on the road to extinction. The park is open every day from 9am to 5pm.
Underwater World is a submerged observatory, located at the quayside at the end of the Mall, where visitors can glimpse the underwater life of the lake.
The Queenstown Motor Museum, houses a collection of vintage cars and motorbikes. The museum is open every day from 9:30 am to 5.30 pm.
Maps and transportationEdit
Getting to QueenstownEdit
The pretty village of Glenorchy, at the end of Lake Wakatipu, is an excellent departure point for various excursions, with trails and paths, which wind their way along the rivers Rees and Dart. The village, also the site of a small museum and golf course, is the departure point for those wishing to tackle the mountainous region, that stretches in a northerly direction, away from the lake. Interesting excursions along mountain trails include, Routeburn, Greenstone and the Caples. It is worth noting that the Routeburn trail is so popular, that it is not advisable to set off, without first booking accommodation at the mountain huts along the trail.. During the busy month of January, it is recommended to book at least one month in advance.
Practical information and resourcesEdit
Currency : New Zealand dollar
Electric supply: 230V, 50 Hz. Australian round three- pinned plugs are used
Climate : Queensland is renown for its clean, limpid mountain air. The climate is rather changeable and visitors should bring warm clothes and a waterproof jacket at any time of the year. The summer temperature from November to February varies from 19 °C to 29 °C, in winter from °C to 10 °C
Language : English, Maori
Opening hours : offices are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, while the banks are open from 9am to 4:30pm. The shops are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5:30 pm and Saturday morning from 9am to 1pm. There is also late night shopping on Thursday or Friday until 9pm.
Telephones : The national prefix is 03.
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