Queenstown, New Zealand is definitely one of the most beautiful countries I have visited so far, just simply because of its nature. Although the weather conditions aren’t always the best, you have to put this aside and take the days as they come.
There are two islands, the North and the South., Both islands are so pure green, with lush meadows filled with sheep, hills and valleys which make you feel like something magical is going to happen, amazing mountainsides and last but not least … incredible primeval forests where you feel so tiny and aware of life when walking through.
The North Island, as well as the South Island, is all about superlatives, especially when nature is concerned, but the cities mostly have that European feel and are nice as well.
If I had to pick one town that made the most impression on me during my visit to this country, then without a doubt I have to say “Queenstown”.
There are a few versions on how Queenstown got its name, the most obvious one being that it is named after Queenstown on Great Island in Cork Harbour. Seeing that most of the diggers during the gold rush in the late 1800s were Irish, and being the romantic soul that I am, I rather believe another version. This one says that it was named by a group of Irish gold diggers who were so mesmerized by the beauty of the mountain range and the scenic lakes surrounding them, that they thought that their camp was “fit for a Queen”.
I guess nowadays it doesn’t matter so much anymore which version is the real one, since the town itself is slightly known under a different name, to be more precise, “the adventure capital of the world”.
All year-round, the town provides thrill-seeking and adrenaline-fuelled activities such as skiing on the beautiful mountain range of The Remarkables, skydiving, paragliding, white water rafting, jetboating, zorbing, bungee jumping and many, many more. If it is crazy and dangerous enough, you need not seek any further … Queenstown will provide!
It goes without saying that most of the people coming to Queenstown are young at heart and mind, but also when you’re looking for a slightly slower pace, there are plenty of hiking and biking trails worth discovering. Boat cruises, golf courses and scenic flights abound and even for the people who love to shop, there are plenty of boutiques to go around. What is not to like!?
Someone once said to me that Queenstown is a bit of a double whammy, you either hate it, or you love it and how strange it might sound being an outdoor person myself … I love it and I can certainly recommend it to anyone.
The only thing you have to keep in mind is that although it seems like lots of fun doing all those extreme and fun activities, they all come with a price as well … never say that it is cheap to visit this capital of adventure on the South Island because many have left the place with an empty wallet!