Queenstown: The Adventure Capital of the World

If you see unidentified photos of Queenstown, New Zealand, you might think that you are looking at a burg in Switzerland. Queenstown can match just about anything that a Swiss town can offer (except perhaps for chocolate factories) and beyond. With a reputation as the “Adventure Capital of the World,” Queenstown offers many ways to see and explore the postcard-perfect lake and mountains between which it is nestled.

Queenstowns Shotover River

Queenstowns Shotover River

If adrenaline is what you crave, New Zealand is a great place to find it. All kinds of outrageous sporting activities were either invented or perfected here, from the bungy jump to jet boating and more. Many tourists go specifically to Queenstown to get a piece of the action and the thrill of a lifetime, and this Southern Hemisphere marvel is happy to comply.

Here is a quick sampling of the many thrill-seeking adventures that you can have in Queenstown:

  • An entire day of hang gliding and paragliding off Coronet Peak in the aptly named Remarkable Mountains
  • A jet boat ride down the Kawarau River at speeds that will make you scream, in the country where the jet boat was invented
  • Riversurfing, an incredible way to go down a river. You won’t be able to stand on the board for long, but latch on tight and put on a helmet for several hours of unparalleled fun
  • A bungy jump above the Nevis River, far above the river at 134 metres
  • Several whitewater rafting expeditions down the Kawarau and Shotover rivers, with the latter proving more challenging
  • A ledge swing 400 metres above Queenstown. You will take a gondola to the elevated platform from which you will swing
  • Tandem skydiving that will give you an unbelievable view of Queenstown and the surrounding area, including picturesque Lake Wakatipu
  • Four-wheeler runs out of town to explore the rugged countryside

For those desiring more tame, yet active pursuits, many companies stand ready to get you on the slopes in winter, mountain biking any time of year, and fly fishing in some of the world’s most abundant rivers. Many tourists come from across the globe to enjoy the unique ski season in Queenstown, which runs from June to early October most years, a time when most of the world’s other mountains are baking in the sun.

For whatever reason you go to Queenstown, don’t plan on spending much time indoors. The city’s oceanic climate is perfect for an active lifestyle year-round. Average highs range from about 9 to 23 Celsius (48 to 73 Fahrenheit), so the snow stays on the mountains in winter yet you rarely feel overheated in summer.  As a reminder, don’t forget the flip-flop of seasons in the lower hemisphere; autumn runs from March to May, winter from June to August, spring from September to November, and summer from December to February.

Lake Wakatipu, Near Queenstown

Lake Wakatipu, Near Queenstown

Another reason why Queenstown has proven to be a popular draw for the young and young at heart is its extensive hostel system, which enables backpackers to see the region at a cut-rate cost. Queenstown’s nightlife has also picked up considerably in recent years, making it easy for skiers and hikers to unwind after an invigorating day of rock climbing or snowboarding. This charming city also has drawn more and more honeymooners in recent years as couples can find a temperate climate in which to enjoy the outdoors at any time of year, at a cost that many can afford. Plus, there is a wide range of affordable car rental companies available both in town and and at the airport (such as Omega Car Rental Queenstown), so you’ll find easy to get around without breaking the bank.

If you are looking for thrills, the adventure capital of the world is a great place to start. Queenstown, New Zealand, is gaining more and more press in the travel world as a top-rate destination.


Image Credits: Kiwiwise.co.nz


  1. Many vacationers come from across the planet to savor the exclusive ski period in Queenstown, which operates from May to beginning Oct most decades, a time when most of the globe’s other hills are cooking in the sun……

  2. Queenstown is great if you’re into adventure sports, and partying all night, but it is very touristy. Personally, I prefered Wanaka, a few hours to the north, is just as nice and much slower paced.

    Of course, Queenstown is a lot of fun, and shouldn’t be missed if you’re on the south Island

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