Queenstown is the most popular tourist town in New Zealand – for good reason. The setting is magnificent: on the banks of Lake Wakatipu and at the foot of the Ben Lomond mountain. In the distance, you have the popular ski resorts of The Remarkables and Coronet Peak.
Because it is so popular with tourists and locals alike, Queenstown is the most expensive place in the whole of New Zealand. It has grown considerably in the past decades. Some people find the town itself a bit tacky. Compared to other tourists locations around the world, such as in Spain or Greece, it is not that bad.
Lake Wakatipu is New Zealand’s third largest lake. From Queenstown, you can take a ride on an old steamship, the Earnslaw. At the southern end of the lake, there is a village called Kingston. There, you can take a ride on an old steam train, the Kingston Flyer. At the northern end of the lake, you will find a small village called Glenorchy. From here you can visit the beautiful Dart and Paradise valleys.
Queenstown is the adventure sports capital of New Zealand. You can engage in all kinds of thrilling pursuits, such as jetboating and bungy jumping, all designed to help part you with your well-earned dollar. Modern day bungy jumping was invented in New Zealand by an entrepeneur, AJ Hackett. The jetboat is a New Zealand invention. It is powered by a special type of engine alleviating the need for an outboard motor. This allows the boat to travel through very shallow waters. You can experience the thrill of a ride on a jetboat along the Kawarau and Shotover rivers.
About 20 minutes drive from Queenstown is Arrowtown, a former mining village. Like Queenstown, the population has exploded in recent years, but it still retains its original charm. Old cottages line the main street and new construction must be build in the original colonial style.
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