When you hear about Queenstown, it’s often about all the fun and thrill-seeking activities you can do there. Home of the world’s first permanent commercial bungy jumping site, Queenstown offers plenty of choices: paragliding, shotover jet, skydiving, Nevis Swing, zipline and much more. For us, however, it wasn’t just that. Already on arrival we felt that the airport was very relaxed and down to earth. The moment you get out, you see wonderful mountains, beautiful scenery! And you notice how people randomly talk to strangers and help each other out.
After we reached our hostel and checked in, we went to the Queenstown Gardens and were met by a reggae festival. Totally different from what you’ll ever see in Singapore, but very similar to some of the gatherings in Europe. People sitting on the grass, eating and drinking, dancing, walking around, playing music, smoking legal and non-legal substances; all in a very relaxed, chilled and carefree way. This festival fit the city so well that first we thought it might be just another day, nothing special, people hanging out in the park. That day we spent in the similar fashion. We walked around the town, had some food by the water and a few beers on the beach (highly recommended, even though quite costly).
The next day we decided to start with a little hike. We went to the Queenstown Hill Time Walk (you can read a little more about it here), got ourselves a Fergburger, enjoyed nice weather outside and then headed to try out the famous luge. We got to grab some drinks, dip in the lake, visit few outdoor stores and enjoy sitting by the water.
There are a lot of tourists in Queenstown, especially from China. But the most interesting thing for me is that even though the city is quite busy, it just doesn’t feel this way. The scenery is so magnificent and the vibe is so relaxing that it tops all the selfies and chit chats. And then, the town just doesn’t seem to be so bustling. It’s also a small city, which makes it a cozy nice stop for travelers. Queenstown is a great base to start your journey to different parts of the southern island.
You can leave all your money in Queenstown (or in New Zealand, for that matter), but it is a worth stop for a day or two. If you want to include some activities, we recommend staying for at least one extra day. There is absolutely no reason to rush through it. Hope you’ll enjoy Queenstown and its wonderful mountains, lake and everything else it has to offer!
Here are some more articles about New Zealand:
Lessons We Learned While Visting Te Anau and Milford Sound