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Adventure Activities In Queenstown

4th Jul 13

Known as the adventure capital of New Zealand, Queenstown is nestled amongst acres of vineyards, champagne-powder mountains and rushing rivers - making it the adrenaline junkies Disneyland.

The small South Island city was even voted as one of the 25 top traveller's choice destinations in the world by Trip Advisor.

If you are lucky enough to have a few days to spend in Queenstown, you certainly won't be short of activities, whatever your craving may be.

Built in an inlet on Lake Wakatipu, the town boasts views of The Remarkables, Cecil Peak and Water Peak, as well as the Cardrona Alpine Resort, Coronet Peak and Treble Cone, which draw thousands of snow boarders and skiers in every year from all over the world.

For those looking for an adrenaline rush and an amazing view of the landscape, there is a bungee-style ledge swing based in the heart of the city. Daredevils take a ride 400 meters above Queenstown in a gondola, get strapped in a harness and with a quick release, are dropped in one terrifying, yet exhilarating motion above the city.

Movie buffs and hobbit fans should take advantage of the landscape that made J.R.R Tolkien's Lord of the Rings vision, a reality. Check out the landscape of Paradise near Glenorchy at the Wakatipu Basin, as well as nearby Arrowtown, both areas are featured heavily in the popular trilogy.

Arrowtown, about a 25 minute drive north of Queenstown, is a destination in its own right. The historic gold mining town boasts Sir Michael Hill's Championship Golf Course, which hosts the New Zealand Golf Open. There are plenty of activities for all ages including, hot air ballooning, bike tours and fishing.

Nestled in the heart of the Southern Lakes District, Arrowtown visitors are treated to stunning views for 360 degrees. Those interested in history can have a go at panning for gold, visit the Chinese Miners Settlement and hike the many trails that weave through the district. Those looking for nearby adventure can experience four wheel drive safaris, jet boating and white water-rafting in the nearby Skippers Canyon.

Descend deep into the canyon via the old gold mining access route and check out the trail from skipper's saddle to the canyons vehicle road by bicycle. The route is suitable for riders at any level and heads towards the Skippers suspension bridge. The surrounding area still contains relics from its gold mining past.

Back in Queenstown head to the Queenstown Hill for a leisurely - yet challenging - hike. While its name is deceiving, it's actually a small almost 3,000 foot mountain, it's worth the climb to the top which looks out over the entire basin including Lake Wakatipu, Cecil Peak and The Remarkables.

The Hill is an easy 10 minute walk from the center of down town.

Back in the car or camper, head up the windy road to Coronet Peak. Only a 20 minute drive from the city, Coronet Peak provides panoramic views of Queenstown and the Remarkables.

Regardless of whether you like to ski or snowboard a trip up to the peak is worth it. There is a car park at the base of the chair lift where you can park up and maybe catch paragliders preparing to soar off the side of the mountain and into the valley below. If you are feeling particularly daring you may want to strap yourself in and give it a go as well.

Back on land, head to the close yet remote spot of Lake Moke. It may seem like you are heading the wrong way due to the bumpy dirt roads but despite the mess your car may be in afterwards, it's worth the $10 carwash. The surrounding areas of Lake Moke contain horseback riding, mountain biking and hiking trails. The peaceful setting lends itself to a picnic by the lake or a hike, which takes about two hours. Be sure to take snacks and water with you as there are no stores around if you are in a bind.

While Queenstown is primarily known as a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and extreme sport junkies, no matter what time of the year you head down to the Otago town there is always something to do - even if it is just for a relaxing or even romantic weekend away.

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Filed under New Zealand Travel

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