Queenstown for beginners by Rachel Monk

queenstown-for-beginnersThe land of the long white cloud may be just a quick jaunt across the Tasman, but I’d never experienced what it has to offer. I know New Zealand has plenty for tourists to enjoy, thanks to those perky Kiwi TV commercials. I could have visited Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch, not to mention all of the postcard places like Milford Sound. But since my trip was in winter, and NZ gets a lot more snow than Oz, the choice was obvious; Queenstown.

Queenstown hails itself as a haven for adventure enthusiasts and while I’m not an adrenaline junky, I’m willing to give most things a go at least once.

For the uninitiated here is my guide to Queenstown for beginners.

  1. Hit the mountains – With so much snow it would be a shame to waste it, so while I’m no snow bunny there are plenty of options for skiers and snowboarders from beginners to the advanced. Coronet Peak and The Remarkables ski fields are both just a short bus ride out of town and you can hire all your gear from a plethora of stores in the city centre.
  2. Bungy Jumping – Queenstown is home to the original bungy jump started by AJ Hackett off the Kawarau Bridge in 1988. At 43 metres it is now one of the smaller jumps on offer in Queenstown, but it was more than enough for this punter.
  3. Pub Crawl – Why not join some other snow bunnies for a few refreshing drinks after a long day on the slopes?Queenstown has plenty of bars and pubs to choose from with organised crawls operating several nights a week.
  4. Fish & Chips – I’ve always liked how Kiwis say this particular meal option so I couldn’t resist digging into some takeaway, luckily there is a very handy shop on the main street that is willing and able to fry up a variety of undersea creatures.
  5. Fergburger – Another well known eating establishment in Queenstown, this burger joint has a reputation that goes beyond anything I could begin to describe, but be warned this place is insanely popular so you may have to weave your way through the crowds.
  6. Lake Wakatipu – This township is nestled alongside a pristine lake where you can enjoy any number of water activities. If you’ve had enough of the snow, take a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk or get your heart pumping in a speed boat.

Have you been to Queenstown? Did you jump, ski or otherwise speed towards something? What did you think?

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