Queenstown began life as a gold mining town in the 1860's and was named for its stunning natural beauty as it was ‘fit for Queen Victoria’. Today, the region is known for its wide range of extreme sports, such as skydiving, hang-gliding, rafting and abseiling. Bungy jumping is also one of Queenstown’s specialties, with the world’s first commercial bungy jump established in 1988 and an estimated 350,000 people taking part since then. Another activity to be pioneered in Queenstown was tandem parapenting, which involves attaching the passenger to the 'pilot' and running off the edge of a mountain side. Those who have experienced it compare it to feeling like a bird gliding to earth.
A visit during ski season (June to October) is also sure to get your heart rate up. The Treble Cone Ski Area, Cardrona Alpine Resort and the Nordic ski area of Waiorau Snow Farm are popular for skiing, snowboarding and ice-climbing.
If extreme sports aren’t your cup of tea, embark on a tour outside of the Queenstown CBD. A real-life Middle Earth, Queenstown’s scenery will have you snapping pictures from the moment you lay eyes on it. From crystal-clear lakes to snow-capped mountains, hikers and sightseers will love the stunning Fiordland National Park, which is home to natural wonders such as Milford Sound and Mitre Peak. For a step back in time, visit the 19th century gold rush town of Arrowtown, 20 minutes from Queenstown. End your day with a visit to one of the 75 local wineries and try South Island’s famous pinot noir. Yum!
Queenstown is located on the shores of the iconic Lake Wakatipu, an 84km lake that stretches through three towns. The Maori legend behind Lake Wakatipu tells the story of a giant who was burnt to death in his sleep after kidnapping the chief’s daughter. The fire melted the snow from the surrounding mountains, filled the S-shaped crater left by the giant. Mysteriously, the lake’s water level also rises and falls by about 12cm every five minutes. Is it because of the giant’s still-beating heart? Visit Lake Wakatipu and decide for yourself.
So pack your bucket list and get ready for adventure with our cheap flights to Queenstown and Queenstown accommodation. You’ll have the experience of a lifetime!
Need insider tips on must-see attractions in Queenstown? Check out our Queenstown travel guide!
Hotels in Queenstown start at AU$65 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.