I’ll throw it out there right at the start: I’ve travelled around Thailand, South Africa, South America, Australia, New Zealand and China and I can say, without hesitation, Queenstown is one of the best, if not the best town on the planet.
Big call, I hear you say. Yes it is. And here’s why.
In my Fox glacier post, you might remember me saying that New Zealand was my outdoor playground mecca. That is true, and Queenstown is firmly at the heart of it. The best way to explain why Queenstown in one of the best towns in the world is to provide you with a recipe. For me there are three ingredients which make Queenstown an incredibly unique, amazing place.
INGREDIENT NUMBER 1 – THE OUTDOOR ACTIVITY PLAYGROUND
Think of any outdoor activity. Any type of adrenaline rush. Now add three or four other activities you’d like to do. Queenstown has it all – bungee jumping, skydiving, mountain biking, rock climbing, canoeing, tobogganing, helicopter rides, plane rides, river surfing, skiing, snowboarding….it even caters for sports such as rugby and football. In fact, if sport is not your thing, you can simply use your arm muscles and go wine tasting. You name it, Queenstown provides it.
INGREDIENT NUMBER 2 – RAW HUMAN ADRENALINE
Imagine all those people who go bungee jumping, skydiving, mountain biking, rock climbing, canoeing, tobogganing etc., all returning to one place after their adventures. That place is Queenstown. Have you ever done a skydive, a bungee jump or white water rafting? Remember that feeling where you can’t wipe the smile off your face? That is the buzz, the energy that Queenstown runs off.
The town is pure adrenaline. After 5pm, travellers sit in bars and restaurants and tell stories of their incredible adventures…only to be matched by others with similar stories to tell. Everyone is on a high. Everyone feels great. All that is thanks to the raw human adrenaline Queenstown can provide.
The only town or city similar to Queenstown in that respect in Europe? Reykjavik, Iceland.
INGREDIENT NUMBER 3 – STUNNING, NATURAL BEAUTY
If the outdoor activities and adrenaline aren’t enough to whet your appetite, Queenstown is one of the most stunning places to visit in New Zealand. Snow capped peaks, royal blue lakes and some of the most remarkable scenery in the world. Queenstown feels like an alpine ski resort that is open for fun 365 days a year. It looks incredible in sun, snow or rain.
SEE QUEENSTOWN FOR YOURSELF
Don’t just take my word for it. Ask around. Some of your friends will have been to Queenstown. Watch their face and reaction when you ask them. It’s like all that adrenaline comes flooding back.
Even the world famous Lonely Planet can’t compliment the town enough. “Words like breath-taking, jaw-dropping, exhilarating and stunning are grossly overused in the tourism industry but the Southern Lakes region (where Queenstown is situated) has a right to them all.”
If you travel to New Zealand, Queenstown should be top of your bucket list.