One of New Zealand’s top destinations, Queenstown is a stunning beauty, and is one of my favourite cities in the world.
Surrounded by the Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu as its base, Queenstown has one heck of a photogenic backdrop. It also happens to be the adrenaline junkie capital of the world, with a thriving bar & restaurant scene to boot. Queenstown is incredibly versatile in its appeal to a wide range of travelers: backpackers, solo travelers, couples & families with children.
10 reasons why Queenstown is worthy of wanderlust
The breath taking scenery & surroundings
Whether you’re heading to Queenstown from the West Coast, from the North via Wanaka or from Te Anau in the South — you’re in for a scenic treat. The windy roads by Lake Wakatipu & the mountains are stunning, and it’s a marvel that a town exists in the middle of it all!
Home to the greatest & coolest Adrenaline Activities
Bungee Jumping was invented in New Zealand! You can partake in a range of extreme & other adventures at Shotover Canyon or by Kawarau bridge where the world’s first bungee jump took place.
Recommendations for adrenaline fueled activities
Shotover Canyon Swing
The world’s largest canyon swing, you swing 200 metres from a 109 metre high drop. This is the wildest ride, every tourist I talked to told me it was terrifying but they couldn’t stop smiling for hours later. Choose from multiple drop styles (flip backwards/launch from a chair/tandem etc.)
You’ve got to try Bungee jumping in the place where it was invented!
Luging is unique to New Zealand. A luge is a car that looks like a bumper car, you simply pull forward to brake and let go to accelerate. Oh, and you always luge down from the top of a hill & take a ski lift to start. This was a total blast!
Other equally enthralling options: Zip lining, White Water Rafting, Sky Diving, Jet Boating, Mountain Biking. Click here to discover more.
Chilling by the cosy & bustling downtown harbor
Queenstown definitely has a busier feel, is more crowded and louder compared to neighboring Wanaka. The liveliness of the downtown harbor, bar & restaurant hopping, music scene, made it a perfect date night.
Impromptu concerts over summer nights
Over summer, Queenstown has outdoor concert series. Stumbling on this street corner, hanging out with the locals & their friends over music made it super memorable.
Queenstown is world renowned for its sunset & night skies. Not only can you see the Milky way here and a clear night sky, you just might catch the Southern Lights (Southern hemisphere equivalent of the Aurora Borealis)
Perched atop a hill, Bob’s Peak is an attraction in itself. You can take in the panoramic views through the Skyline Gondola, Luge, Ledge Bungy or observatory deck. There’s also a cafe, JellyBean Factory & other souvenir shops here. Skyline Queenstown also offers stargazing tours here; you can also watch a Haka dance through a Maori cultural performance center.
Also, Bob’s Peak is the starting point for several mountain biking & hiking trails (Ben Lommond trail being the most famous), I highly recommend these two options!
Scenic Drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy
Consistently rated as one of the most scenic drives in the world, the drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy is seriously epic! Glenorchy and nearby town, Paradise is one of the locations where the Lord of the Rings was filmed.
Restaurants & Bars Scene
For a small town, Queenstown’s downtown packs more of a small city feel! There are no dearth of super cool restaurants & even hipper bars.
Recommended for vegetarian eats
Fergberger | World famous gourmet burgers with a tantalizing menu.
Nicknamed “The Ferg”, lines are long & stretch around the block! They have 2 vegetarian options, we tried both: “Bun Laden” with falafel patties and a lemon yogurt & chipotle sauce & “Holier than Thou” tempered tofu burger, with coconut & coriander sauce. I wasn’t too impressed with the tofu burger, but the falafel burger was delicious! Don’t miss the neighboring Fergbaker, for baked treats/dessert; also a good place to grab breakfast on the go.
Madame Woo | Malayasian cuisine, with plenty of mains & appetizer options.
Bespoke Kitchen| For brunch lovers everywhere! Organic, Gluten free, Dairy free, Vegetarian & Vegan options, including freshly squeezed juices, smoothies & wines. And Mimosas (ofcourse).
We also spent some good time in Flame Bar & Grill, they had a Kiwi Moscow Mule (with NZ made Kiwi vodka) that I enjoyed loads!
World Class Spas
What better way to unwind?
Recommendations for one a kind Spas
Charming Nearby Towns
Arrowtown, Wanaka, Glenorchy & Paradise are neighboring smaller towns that are more rustic & quaint.
No matter what you’re seeking: thrill & adventure or solitude & serenity, there is Mojo to be found for everyone in Queenstown.
Pin this for reference