Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

You’ve been working hard, and now you need a holiday.

But this time you need more than just a sightseeing excursion. You’ve been there, done that.

What you need is fresh alpine air, beautiful scenery, and heart-thumping adventures.

If that’s you, then Southern winter thrills and revels await you in Queenstown.

Dubbed the Adventure Capital of the World, there’s plenty to see and do. From winter sports to adrenaline-pumping activities, you’ll love a winter getaway in Queenstown.

Explore the breathtaking landscape that inspired Peter Jackson’s big screen concept of the mystical Middle Earth. Wondering if a kiwi’s egg is as big as rumored? Find out by visiting the five-acre, family-owned Kiwi Park.

Enjoy all these while hanging out in some of the most beautiful places on earth.

Discover the magical Queenstown.

1 Go Skiing or Snowboarding

A trip to Queenstown is incomplete without a visit to its world-class ski resorts.

With one of the longest winter sports seasons in the Southern Hemisphere, you’ll have enough time to ski, snowboard, and explore the breathtaking landscape.

Don’t know how to ski or snowboard?

It gets better.

New Zealand is the best place to learn skiing and snowboarding. Training under skilled instructors will have you hitting the slopes in no time. Remember to take hi-res shots for your social media collages and bragging back home.

The world-renowned ski fields have diverse terrain and facilities ideal for individuals, groups, and families. And the best part is that the snow resorts are all under an hour’s drive from Queenstown. The resorts include:

  • Cardrona
  • The Remarkables (“Remarks”)
  • Coronet Peak

Non-skiers also get to enjoy the crisp alpine air and engage in activities such as snowshoeing, tobogganing, and tubing.

As you ride the modern gondolas up the mountains, you’ll be treated to incredible views of Lake Wakatipu, Mt. Hutt, and The Remarkables.

2 Take a Scenic Day Trip to Milford Sound

And no, Milford Sound is not the name of a rock band.

Milford Sound is located in the Fiordland National Park, about a five-hour drive from Queensland. It is a popular day-trip destination and is often teased as the world’s eighth wonder.

The cheapest way to get to Milford Sound is by day cruises or coach tours. These methods are longer (about 12.5 hours), but that’s the best part. En route, enjoy scenic mountain views with fantastic stop-over locations.

If you’d rather take it in all at once, you can fly over to Milford Sound. This way, you can enjoy magnificent views below, as far as the eye can see.

Key attractions at Milford Sound include:

  • Breathtaking waterfalls
  • Snowcapped mountain peaks
  • Diverse wild animal and plant life at the Fiordland National Park

It’s okay to feel small as you marvel under the majestic snow-tipped Mitre peak with its steep cliffs and rugged slopes. You may even catch a glimpse of the reclusive kiwi if you’re lucky.

3 Cruise Lake Wakatipu on a Vintage Steamship

This is our favorite.

Would you like to briefly go back in time by taking an epic cruise on Lake Wakatipu?

You’re in for a treat.

Queenstown is built right next to the shores of Lake Wakatipu. You get to enjoy magnificent views of the town and the rugged Southern Alps as you take a boat ride on this majestic lake.

A few companies offer excellent and affordable cruises. However, our favorite pick is a winter voyage aboard the timeless TSS Earnslaw.

Launched the same year as the ill-fated Titanic in 1912, this mega-sized boat is over 100 years old. It is coal-powered and gives its passengers an authentic vintage experience. You may even request a boiler room tour and see the stoker feeding the ever-hungry furnace.

The twin-screw steamer has had several notable passengers, including Prince Phillip, Queen Elizabeth, and President Bill Clinton.

As the ship chugs and hisses along, enjoy superb food from the ship’s galley, from tasty traditional cuisines to international dishes.

A popular tour option includes the Walter Peak Farm trip for a gourmet lunch.

4 Enjoy Heart-Thumping Bungy Jumping

This is a good one for thrill-seekers looking for an adrenaline fix.

A.J. Hackett, a New Zealand-born entrepreneur, popularized the bungy jumping sport in the late 80s. After that, he created the world’s first commercial bungy jumping company in Queenstown.

As the home of the extreme sport, Queenstown has numerous bungy jumping locations. The most popular places for epic leap-offs are:

  • Nevis Bungy – This is Queenstown’s highest – if not the scariest – bungy jumping location. Suspended from a cable car, Nevis Bungy is the highest at 134 meters above the Nevis River. At this sheer height, you are literary jumping off a cliff!
  • Kawarau Bridge Bungy – This is the location of the first commercial bungy jumping site. Though only 43 meters above the Kawarau River, it is no less scary.
  • The Ledge – Here, you can jump freestyle and enjoy incredible Queenstown views from above the Skyline Gondola.

Make sure to take great shots of your escapade to claim bragging rights later.

5 Explore Queenstown’s Food and Wine Scene

You’ve hit the slopes, made heart-thumping bungy jumps, and explored the landscape.

You must be famished.

Queenstown’s vibrant hospitality scene is known for its superb food and wine experiences. The town and its quieter environs are a foodie’s paradise, with some of the best restaurants and wineries.

Let your tastebuds experience Queenstown’s diversity with a great variety of local and imported cuisines. Our top picks for great places to grab a bite are:

  • Jervois Steak House (JSH) – This South Island’s chapter of JSH is one of the best eateries in Queenstown. It is famous for its premium meat cuts.
  • The Sherwood – Experience the taste of Otago with delicious food made with ingredients foraged from the region.
  • Joe’s Garage – Delicious breakfast options with freshly ground coffee and filling breakfasts.
  • Fergburger – This is a must-visit while in Queenstown. We recommend their South Island’s famous burgers.

We’re Sure You’ll Love Queenstown

There’s a lot more that we didn’t tell you. From the buzzing Queenstown nightlife, the spectacular Winter Festival, and relaxing Onsens to jet boat rides and off-roading.

You just have to experience it yourself.

And with the Sothern Hemisphere winter in full swing, thrill-seekers are flocking to New Zealand for their winter holidays. This makes it a great time to mingle, experience other cultures, and make friends.

All you need to do is bring a camera to capture those unforgettable moments.