Welcome to Queenstown!
Continue past the Coronet Peak road junction and the road rolls down in Queenstown. Some say this is entry via the back door, yet you'll be at the epi centre of the town likely quicker than the more conventional route.
Is this the adventure capital of the world?
Yes, Queenstown readily lays claim to being the adventure capital of the world! Given what's going on here, it's fair to say they can back that up. Just about every imaginable outdoor pursuit is available with easy favourites being jet boating on the Kawarau and Shotover rivers, riding the gondola to the luge track above the town and sailing on the 'TSS Earnslaw', the 'Lady' of the lake.
What are the must do things here?
Among the 'must dos' is a burger from Fergburger. You might have to queue, though it's worth it. The burgers are high end and inventive, using beef, chicken and also sorts of other exotics.
Is it expensive?
Queenstown is as inexpensive or expensive as you want to make it. Obviously it costs a pretty penny to try everything, so shopping around is the key.
How fit do I have to be to have fun here?
You'll need a moderate standard of well being just to masticate over a full Fergburger, though unless you're mountain biking or hiking the multitude of tracks, chasing fish around the lakes' edge or up the rivers, wind surfing or water skiing, skiing or snowboarding (in season), climbing or para ponting, then you'll cope with pretty much everything else. If in doubt just ask..and the locals don't bite.
Who is the Lady of the lake?
This old girl deserves a special mention. The 'Lady' is the steamship Earnslaw. Built in the same year as the Titanic, 1912 and at 51.2 metres long, she is the largest steamship built in New Zealand. For many years she transported sheep, cargo and passengers to the high country sheep stations surrounding the lake. She has a coal capacity of 14 tons, a crew of 11 and can carry 389 passengers, with a maximum speed of 13 knots.
She still travels the lake from Kingston in the south to Glenorchy in the north, with one of her signature trips being the sight seeing excursion across the lake to Walter Peak and the farm experience and afternoon tea. She has a special berth alongside in Queenstown harbour and there's no way you can miss seeing her.
Are there scenic flights ?
I've mentioned the bungy jump, the farm and winery tours and with Queenstown boasting an international airport at Frankton about 15 minutes out of the town centre, access to the hinterlands and beyond is effortless.
Helicopter companies and fixed winged aircraft operate from here too and take you to Milford Sound in Fiordland or on a number of other scenic flights. Some of you may chose to end your time here in New Zealand in Queenstown. If so, it's no trouble to head home on an Air New Zealand commercial jet.