Queenstown is one of the most popular visitor destinations in New Zealand. A quick glance at the stats shows the scale of Queenstown’s desirability as an adventure and relaxation capital:
- The town hosts over 2 million visitors per year.
- By 2006 the Skyline Gondola and Luge had hit over 10 million visitors
- More than 200 attractions and activities are available to pick from
- Queenstown has won a number of prestigious awards, including. Australasia’s Leading Destination in 2014.
What can’t speak can’t lie – the impressive visitor stats and accolades that Queenstown has amassed are telling, to say the least. But if you’re still not sold on the idea of making a trip to the jewel of the South Island, then let us help you out with these 13 reasons why you MUST visit Queenstown.
1. Where Else Can You Gorge On Ferburger?
Lovingly referred to by some as “Queenstown’s worst kept secret”, Fergburger has been satisfying even the most ardent of culinary critics – both domestic and international – for a number of years.
Just take a look at this juicy burger, and tell us you don’t want a piece of the action:
2. It’s The Spiritual Home Of Bungy Jumping
Who ever would have thought that jumping from a great height while attached to an elastic cord would catch on as a sport? One man, AJ Hackett, did. In 1988 he founded the first commercial bungy jump location at the Kawarau Bridge. The Kawarau Bridge Bungy is now one of the most famous jumps in the world, and is also the only place in Queenstown to offer tandem jumps.
If that’s not daring enough for you, then take the plunge (pun definitely intended) and give the Nevis Bungy a try. This is New Zealand’s highest bungy jump, and is something to definitely cross off your bucket list.
Here’s a video of the Nevis Bungy to get your heart racing:
3. Indulge In NZ’s Best Skiing And Snowboarding
Queenstown is NZ’s favourite winter playground, and for good reason too. With a number of world-class skifields in close proximity (including Cardrona, Coronet Peak, Treble Cone, and the Remarkables). Keep an eye out for ski and snowboard packages that include lift passes, gear hire, and transfers all rolled into one.
For more information about skiing and snowboarding in the Queenstown region, check out the QueenstownNZ site.
4. Queenstown Buzzes All Year Round
Not many places can claim to be a great destination all year round, regardless of the season. But Queenstown can definitely make this claim. Whether you visit in the coldest depths of winter or the scorching summer peak, you’ll be spoilt rotten when it comes to things to do.
In fact, one of Queenstown’s most famous events is the aptly-named Winter Festival. So even if you can’t make it down during the summer, there’s an endless litany of exciting attractions and things to do.
5. The Locals Are Very Friendly
When it comes to friendliness, Queenstown has some serious street cred. The town is routinely named as being one of the friendliest cities in the world.
The locals will always be willing to help you out with directions or pointers on the best activities, excursions, and places to dine out.
Make good use of this local knowledge when visiting Queenstown, to ensure that you don’t miss out on anything.
6. You Can Drive The Spectacular Crown Range Road
If you want to combine an exciting drive with amazing scenery, then take the Crown Range Road between Queenstown and Wanaka. This amazing stretch of tarmac looks like something out of a Top Gear episode. Make sure you obey the road rules and keep to the left, as well as watching your speed – this can be a tricky dive, especially if you’re not used to Kiwi road conditions. Unless, of course, you’re this guy:
7. There’s A Range Of Accommodation To Suit All Tastes And Budgets
Queenstown is blessed with a wide range of accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets (including our very own Element Escapes apartments). Whether you’re after a vibrant backpacker hostel or luxury accommodation, you’ll be able to find something that suits. However, it pays to bear in mind that Queenstown accommodation can sell out rather quickly, especially in the summertime – so book early to avoid disappointment.
8. You Can Visit Historic Arrowtown And Absorb NZ Gold Mining History
Located just a short drive from Queenstown is the historic small town of Arrowtown. Formerly a gold mining hub, the town fell to a population of approximately 200 residents in the mid 20th Century, before rebounding over the following decades to a population of nearly 2,500.
All new buildings constructed in Arrowtown are required to meet strict appearance rules, intended to maintain the historic look and feel of the town.
9. The Night Life Is Phenomenal
One of the reasons why Queenstown attracts so many punters from across the globe is down to its fantastic nightlife. If you’re in the mood to party, then you’ll love visiting Queenstown. Nightlife highlights include world-class nightclubs, as well as lively pub tours that are always a hit with out of town visitors.
10. You Can Soak Up The Sights On The Gondola
Here’s the dilemma: It’s a clear, sunny day in Queenstown and you want to get the best view possible of the town and the surrounding area. What do you do? There’s only one option – you get on the gondola and indulge in one of the most breathtaking views in New Zealand. Now’s a better time than ever to conquer that fear of heights!
11. It’s Adrenalin Junkie Paradise
Queenstown isn’t known as the adventure capital of the world for nothing. The town and surrounding area is Nirvana for anyone interested in getting the adrenalin racing and blood flowing. You can indulge in sky diving, white water rafting, zipline riding, and even the famous (yet somewhat more sedate) luge.
12. Queenstown Is Backpacker Friendly
If you’re going through the endless travel phase and feeling a bit short on cash, then don’t despair – Queenstown is a backpacker friendly city. Sure, you can live the high life and blow through cash like it’s going out of fashion – but you can also enjoy yourself as a backpacker or perpetual tourist (and you’ll find plenty of people doing exactly the same as you).
13. Queenstown Is Family Friendly
Like most destinations in New Zealand, Queenstown is very family friendly. There are a number of fantastic activities you can do with the kids in tow, and they will never be far from something to keep them occupied. If you’re looking for a great location to spend some time with your family, then you’d be hard pressed to find better than Queenstown.
What else do you love about Queenstown? What have we missed in our list? Leave a comment below and get the discussion started. And if you enjoyed this blog post, please share it on Facebook or Twitter.