The most beautiful place I have ever visited is Queenstown. It is a place that comes straight out of a fairy tale. The landscapes and the activities that Queenstown offers is something every traveler craves for.
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Queenstown is a resort town in Otago region of South Island in New Zealand (NZ). Sitting on Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is very popular for its glaciers, and breath taking mountains. Known as the adventure capital of the world, Queenstown is specially famous for its adventurous sports, like bungy jumping and swings, and skiing.
One needs at least 3 to 4 days in Queenstown to get the feel of the town and enjoy all the things that it has to offer. Since Queenstown is the most touristy town in NZ, it is expensive than traveling and visiting other towns and cities.
The best time to visit Queenstown is during the summer season (between December and February). The ski season is during the winter season (between June and August). I have visited Queenstown during winter, spring and autumn seasons. If you wish to see the snow capped mountains, then winter season is the best.
How to get to Queenstown?
- Flight – Queenstown has an international and domestic airport. There are frequent flights between major cities and Queenstown. Jetstar (budgeted) and Air New Zealand are the flight providers.
- Bus – Queenstown is well connected by buses. Intercity NZ is the bus provider that has frequent buses between all major cities/ towns and Queenstown.
YHA at Queenstown
The Youth Hostel Association (YHA) at Queenstown is the most beautiful hostels I have stayed so far. The views of the amazing mountains and the lake are something to die for. It is located at a very prime location and is close to all restaurants and cafes. They have single and double rooms that can be hired. I stayed at a double room with a view of the mountains.
Things to do in Queenstown
As I mentioned above, Queenstown is best to explore the adventurous activities that the town has to offer. However, it is also the town where one can just have a relaxing holiday by just walking around the lake and seeing the spectacular landscapes.
- Most of the sightseeing places and cafes are located at the town centre and one can just walk around the town to reach the places.
- When you are in Queenstown, definitely try the Fergburger. Even though I am not a fan of burgers, I can still say the burger at Fergburger was definitely worth the long queue and wait.
Queenstown is home for three bungy jumps with different heights. AJ Hackett is the provider that conducts these bungy jumps.
- Kawarau bungy – The Kawarau bungy is the world’s first commercial bungy jump and the jump is at a height of 43 metres above the Kawarau river. The bridge is located at Gibbston, around 30 minutes from Queenstown city and the tour offers free shuttles. I bungy jumped at Kawarau bridge as the bridge had a significance.
- Nevis bungy – The jump from Nevis bungy is the highest and the bridge is at a height of 134 metres.
- Ledge bungy – The Ledgy bungy is around the same as Kawarau bridge and is at a height of 47 metres.
Queenstown offers two zip lines. One is on top of Bob’s peak and the other near Kawarau bridge. I did the 4 line zip line at Bob’s peak and the zip line was absolutely amazing. Zip line ecotours conduct the zip lining and the zip line is through the trees with the spectacular views of the Queenstown town. One needs to take a cable ride/ gandola to the peak. And usually the zip lining tour agencies do not include the price of the cable car.
The Jet boat is another exciting way to enjoy the views of the Shotover River. Lasting for about 30 to 60 minutes, the jet boating is an extreme boat ride with high speeds. The splash of water and the speed, of around 85 kilometres per hour, provides an adrenaline rush required by the adventure junkies.
Ensure to look for deals on some of the NZ deal websites such as Grabone.
Mirror Lakes, located in the Fiordland National Park, are a set of lakes that give the mirror effect because of the reflection. The lakes are just about 5 minutes walk (400 metres) from the car park and are half way between Queenstown and Milford Sound.
The most dreamy place in NZ is the Milford Sound. It is a fiord located in the south of South Island and is named after Milford Heaven in Wales. The Maori named the Milford Sound as Piopiotahi after the thrush like sound of now extinct bird piopio. Milford Sound was formed by a process of glaciation over millions of years.
Every person who has visited this place will tell you that Milford Sound is truly a heaven on Earth.
Milford Sound is around 300 kilometres (4 hours drive) from the Queenstown city. Even though it is possible to visit Milford Sound as a one day trip, I suggest staying close to Milford Sound and making it at least a two days trip. There are many tour agencies that run one day trips.
One of the most popular NZ walks and the one on my bucket list is the Milford Sound track. The track is for 4 days and it is moderately difficult.
Safety for solo female travelers
Queenstown is one of the safest places I have visited. It is absolutely safe for solo female travelers as the town is very tourist friendly. However, like any other places, be cautious and know your surroundings, especially at night.
I have been to Queenstown three times and every time I have visited the place, I have found something new and exciting to do. I do hope someday I can go and live in Queenstown for a long period of time.
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