There is perhaps one place that best captures the spirit of the land of the long white cloud: Queenstown. This South Island gem and its relaxed atmosphere and scenic surrounds effortlessly lures visitors to its shores. Warm and sunny or crisp and snowy, Queenstown deserves star billing year in, year out. Here’s why.
Lively festivals and events await
Queenstown’s event calendar is jampacked all year round. The rugged peaks of the Remarkables and glassy surface of Lake Wakatipu set the stage for some truly spectacular celebrations. But there’s no better reason to plan a trip than around the changing of the seasons. See red and gold take over the landscape in nearby Arrowtown during
the Akarua Arrowtown Autumn Festival, a joyous five-day affair from April 20, and celebrate all things wintry and wonderful as part of the newly revamped Queenstown Winter Festival from July 22.
There’s an activity to suit every type of traveller
If you’ve ever found yourself saying ‘one day’, Queenstown is the perfect place to make one day ‘today’. Not just New Zealand’s adventure capital, but the world’s, Queenstown’s rugged surrounds are the perfect place to dip your toes into adventure. Thrills are aplenty here, but if you’re not quite up for the world’s highest cliff jump, or the lofty heights of a skydive, you can get your kicks with a wet and wild adventure on the Shotover Jet or immerse yourself in nature on a ‘funyaking’ (inflatable kayak) excursion.
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Good food and wine are always on the menu
With all that crisp alpine air, verdant countryside, mineral-rich soil and access to an abundance of fresh seafood plucked straight from the sea, great food and wine is always on the menu in Queenstown. There are myriad reasons to keep your feet firmly on the ground, and a culinary adventure is one of them. You certainly don’t have to be flush with cash to eat well here (Fergburger is a great example), but if you are planning to splurge on a few meals, get in early for a table by the window at meat-centric nirvana, Botswana Butchery, and to try a tasting menu at Michelin-starred chef Josh Emett’s restaurant, Rata.
Queenstown’s network of smooth asphalt roads wind past vast open plains and snow-sprinkled peaks, creating a spectacular backdrop for South Island road trips. Journeys can pass by in the blink of an eye with so many wonderful things to see out the window. Stop and soak it all in, savouring the beautiful landscapes and interesting towns as
you go. Hire a car for the road trip of a lifetime, staying in quaint cottages and B&Bs in Queenstown’s outskirts, or pack it all up on a campervan canter or motorhome holiday for a true taste of life on the road.
It is roughly a 3.5-hour flight to Queenstown from most east coast capitals in Australia, so you’ll be wining and dining, skiing and relaxing in no time. Not to mention, no visas are required for Australian passport holders and direct flights offer one of the best landing views in the world over snowy summits and rolling landscapes. Once you’velanded, you can hit the ground running without any residual jetlag to fully explore Queenstown’s (and its surrounds) many charms. Sup and sip your way through some of the best restaurants and wineries this side of the equator; walk through stunning landscapes; or discover the rich natural and cultural history of the South Island. Queenstown is an easy escape; why not make 2017 the year you visit?
To experience the best of Queenstown and more incredible destinations, browse our great range of offers online, visit your local Escape Travel or call 1300 556 855.