The Adventure Capital of the World – Queenstown

Queenstown’s claim to fame, perhaps among others, is that bungy jumping was invented not far from the town.  By now, taller and scarier jumps have been created in Queenstown and elsewhere but that original bungy jump exists in the same bridge.

Now, I am not sure if Queenstown is indeed the adventure capital of the world.  For instance, I thought me eating guinea pig in Lima would make Lima the adventure capital of the world, for me at least.  But there is definitely plenty of adrenaline-pumping activities all around town as well as the more traditional and sensible activities of skiing and snowboarding.  I heard people talking about the different things they did while there an dhow much they paid and I concluded (not rocket science!) that the reputation of the city as adventure capital certainly helps the city with revenues as these adventures are not cheap!

I arrived in Queenstown at the start of the winter season after crossing a good but of the west coast of the south island from Franz Josef.  It was a beautiful drive with the only issues being some black ice once we left the coastline and headed inland – it was cold!!!  The west coast is less populated than the east coast of the south island and it showed.  Very few towns, very small if they existed.

Queenstown seemed like a metropolis after my passing through Greymouth, staying at Franz Josef, and seeing the small towns along the west coast.  We did pass some inland towns that were a little more substantial with Wanaka being one of the nicest ones (on the shores of Lake Wanaka).  It seems to attract similar type of tourists as Queenstown for skiing and other activities but it is smaller and retains a smaller town feel to it.  I would not have minded staying there and exploring…  Anyhow, back to telling you about Queenstown.  It was littered with skiers and snowboarders and all the types of businesses that cater to this crowd (average age must have been 20!).  I could have been anywhere in ski country USA – the town had that type of feel to it.  My motel was a walk away from the center of town but was very adequate and the staff was great.  As far as places to eat, I was surprised at how good a semi-hidden joint on The Mall was.  Its name was Chico’s Bar and Grille and the beef and venison pie was simlpy outstanding!  The Peregrine Saddleback pinot noir was a nice wine to drink with it.

A view from a square by the lake

A view from a square by the lake

My “Adventure” :)

So what adventurous activity did I undertake?  Well, all the hiking in Tasmania and at the glacier ruined my left knee to the point that days later even walking hurt.  So I had to drop my plans to ski at one of the two main sites (Coronet Peak or The Remarkables).  I was bummed.  I considered white water rafting but even with a wet suit, I could not stomach the thought of the frigid waters.  It was frigid just walking around – I had not appetite for trying the waters!   I could not just sit around all afternoon so I opted for a float and a massage.  Not adventurous?  Well, the float thing was new to me and it required getting into this sort of enclosed tank and laying there on very salty water floating in the dark for 30 mins.  That was adventurous to me!

I also got to go up the mountain right above town using a gondola for some excellent views of the town, of The Remarkables, and mountains beyond.  I do not know if the skiing is worth the trip down under but certainly viewing The Remarkables made me want to come back and get a shot at their slopes!

The Remarkables range (and the adventurer; I'm very proud of this pic!)

The Remarkables range (and an adventurer; I’m very proud of this pic!)

Comments

  1. This place is just awesome! The scenery is what makes queenstown such an exciting place to visit plus the thrilling activities : tandem skydiving( freefalling over queenstown ) , water rafting, negative g heli ride , bungy…and visiting the Milford sound made our trip mor exciting.

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