Another one of my favourite places in New Zealand (the list is actually quite long!) is Queenstown. We spent about 36 hours here and I felt like I could have stayed for years. There is just this cool vibe here where everyone seems to fit in and be at ease. Queenstown, much like all of New Zealand for that matter is very, very laid back. The town is surrounded by many ‘hills’ as the Kiwi’s call them, or to us, mountains. The most notable of which is Coronet Peak (for skiing in winter and paragliding in summer) or the mountain range called ‘The Remarkables’ (popular for skiing in winter), which you can see in the background of the image above. There are lots of different types of accommodation such as camp sites and hotels, but the most popular has got to be hostels. In a country which is well regarded for its adventurous aspects, Queenstown is very much the centre of all of this. It is somewhat known as the adrenaline capital of the world in fact. And for good reason too!
The most popular source of adrenaline in Queenstown is of course the bungy jump. There are several heights and locations to choose from, the highest of course being the Nevis Bungy at 134 meters above the ground. I didn’t personally embark on a bungy due to my budget for the trip. However, I know several people who took the plunge at different locations. Most were delighted with their experience. A few of them had chosen the bungy at the Kawarau Bridge where when you get to the bottom you actually dip into the river. Another did the Nevis bungy which he said was absolutely exhilarating. He also had a go at the Nevis swing which is the worlds biggest, travelling at speeds in excess of 150 kph in a 300m arc. Again, he was blown away by this experience and said that it was actually quite frightening but at the same time amazing. Not all of them enjoyed their experience though, one guy we knew had a go at another bungy but it turns out it was not actually his cup of tea (as we found out from the high-pitched yelp he let out).
There is plenty more to choose from as well. You have the option to go on a Jet Boat ride, go skydiving, go horse trekking, white water rafting, canyoning and the list goes on. Basically, anything you can think of that will induce adrenaline will be here! However, I decided not to take up the opportunity to do any of the aforementioned activities above. Instead I chose to go river surfing and tandem paragliding (which will be covered in future posts).
Now, you must be thinking what more could Queenstown have to offer? Well for one thing, they have the famous Fergburger. Do not doubt it until you try it. These burgers are amazing. 10 bucks buys you a burger which is close to the size of your face (see picture below). There are plenty of fillings for you to choose from; I went for the classic Fergburger which consists of, ‘Prime New Zealand beef, lettuce, tomato, red onion, aioli and tomato relish’. I never knew something so trivial could taste so good. It was beaten by only the Cow Pat at the ‘Fat Tui’ in Abel Tasman. Other options include the ‘Bun Laden’ (a Falafel burger) and the ‘Morning Glory’ (a breakfast option). I am sure if this burger restaurant existed in England it would convert even the most die-hard Burger King and McDonald’s fans. It wasn’t just the food that was impressive either, the establishment was operated perfectly like a well oiled machine.
The great food didn’t stop there. Oh no! On the evening we went to a pizza place which offered all you can eat for just 10 dollars. For something so cheap you may expect the quality would slip. But they were delicious and kept on coming out in all sorts of varieties. For that money you can’t really go wrong. So if you do end up in Queenstown make sure you go to both Fergburger and also the all you can eat pizza place which is just across the road from the latter. Another aspect of Queenstown which is worth a look is the night life. There is an abundance of cool bars and clubs to visit and many of them will continue with the laid back atmosphere of the town and in fact all of New Zealand!