When you travel to New Zealand, a big part of the trip should be devoted to exploring the country. Some would say that the natural beauty of this Pacific nation is unmatched anywhere in the world, so you’ll definitely want to make sure you get out and enjoy some of the sights and exotic locales. There are national parks, glaciers, islands, caves, and lakes all over the country, and each one of them can take your breath away.
As you explore New Zealand, however, it’s also nice to spend a few comfy nights here and there in one of the nation’s larger cities. And that brings us to Queenstown. Situated on the South Island and known for its beauty and access to adventurous activities, Queenstown is worth going out of your way, even if it’s just for a weekend at the front- or back-end of your trip.
Here are some of the things you can get up to in just a couple days’ time.
This might sound a little unorthodox for a first suggestion, but a lot of people come to Queenstown for adventure. The city has a reputation for everything from access to great ski destinations to gorgeous skydiving spots. But we’re going with paragliding as an activity to single out, because it gives you a great sense of adventure but still leaves you plenty of time to look over the stunning landscapes beneath you. As one write-up put it, jaw-dropping views are a given when paragliding in Queenstown, while thrill-seeking customers can sign on for more acrobatic aerial moves with their attached pilots. It’s a pretty amazing experience no matter how you go about it.
Check Out The Underwater Observatory
Lake Wakatipu is one of the main attractions in Queensland, though it’s known mostly for its visual beauty. There’s an underwater observatory at the pier, however, where you can actually look out at all the interesting marine life in the lake including eels, ducks, and multiple species of fish.
Play Games At SKYCITY
SKYCITY actually has a few thriving casino venues in New Zealand, which is somewhat surprising given the country’s affinity for online gaming. There are said to be dozens if not hundreds of choices in regulated online gaming sites in New Zealand, and yet it also has some of the best actual casinos in the region. SKYCITY in Queenstown has all the frills: gaming machines, poker tables, experienced dealers, and in-house bars and restaurants. It’s not necessarily different from big city casinos elsewhere in the world, but it’s certainly high quality and makes for an enjoyable night out.
Go Sightseeing In The Remarkables
It’s a curious name, but The Remarkables refers to a mountain range that towers over Queenstown. In the winter the area is known as a skiing destinations, and if you happen to be visiting New Zealand during the year’s colder months, you should do your best to try winter sports. But even during the summer, hiking and driving through The Remarkables can be a very satisfying experience, largely because of the excellent views you’ll see of the town and lake below.
Relax At The Hot Pools
These are a fairly unique attraction in Queenstown. Plenty of destinations have access to hot springs or spa bathing options, but this is essentially a network of hot tubs situated in front of incredible views. You pay for access, so they’re not simply public hot tubs, and you can make them as intimate as you please (maximum capacity is four people per tub). It’s definitely an interesting way to relax in Queenstown, preferably early in the morning or during the sunset hours, when the views can be most spectacular.
Yes, we singled out paragliding before. But if you have any interest in trying skydiving, this is a place to consider for your first jump. Earlier this year Queenstown made a list of the best places to skydive, joining the company of destinations like Dubai, Hawaii, and even Mount Everest. It’s a remarkable opportunity if this is an activity you’re interested in.