TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN QUEENSTOWN

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN QUEENSTOWN

After living here for a few summer months, we can safely say that visiting Queenstown, New Zealand should be on every traveler’s bucket list. Whether you have 3 days or 3 months to spend in this scenic playground, here’s why you’ll love Queenstown:

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1. OPEN YOUR EYES…

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN QUEENSTOWN

…No, this is not a dream. The first thing to do on your Queenstown adventure is to do nothing at all. Just stand there and soak in the sheer beauty that surrounds you. Lush mountains rising from turquoise waters may seem too good to be true, but you’ll just have to trust your eyes!

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN QUEENSTOWN - Lake Wakatipu

WARNING: The scenery is so beautiful it’s distracting! Enter Kirsty:

One of our friends (Kirsty) was trail running in Queenstown. In the middle of her run, she was so busy admiring the beautiful mountains surrounding her that she forgot to turn with the trail and she ran off a cliff! We’re really going to miss Kirsty.

Ok, that last part isn’t true. She just has some scratches and a bruised ego, but that just proves how SPECTACULAR this place is.

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2. LOVE THE SMELL OF ADRENALINE IN THE MORNING

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN QUEENSTOWN - Adventure Capital of the World

So many options and so little time. With available activities including parasailing, jet boat rides, bungy jumping, skydiving, paragliding, jetleving (think iron man on water), zip-lining, canyon swinging, white water rafting and skiing/snowboarding (in winter), it’s no surprise why Queenstown is known as “The Adventure Capital of the World.” These activities can get pricey, so do your research and make sure to include a line item for ADRENALINE on your Queenstown budget.

TIP: For a free shot of adrenaline

Don’t want to spend money on the activities mentioned above but still want to experience the thrill of Queenstown? Hiking in Queenstown is always free and there are many trails to choose from. A very popular hike (with good reason), takes you from the base of the gondola to the summit, with spectacular views of the town and surrounding mountains. Be sure to always prepare accordingly, as the weather changes drastically around here.

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN QUEENSTOWN

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3. CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN QUEENSTOWN

If you like the laid back lifestyle, then Queenstown is the place for you. From the parks to the beach to town itself, people around here love to chill out. One of my favorite things about this town is that people don’t really dress up. With the typical attire being pants or shorts with a t-shirt, no one is judging you based on your apparel. That’s definitely freeing.

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4. FIND YOUR HAPPY HOUR

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN QUEENSTOWN - Happy Hour

As a tourist town, you can obviously find swanky bars and $15+ cocktails. But walk around town and you’ll also find several bars offering great drink specials every day! You can find deals like $4 pints and $7 jugs (pitchers) offered all day, and happy hour brings even more discounts.

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5. TOUR THE TOWN, EASILY

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN QUEENSTOWN - Connectabus

Once you make it into Queenstown there is a bus service called Connectabus that runs fairly often and takes you to several different locations around Queenstown and the vicinity. An unlimited weekly pass costs $47 per person…which will be worth it if you plan to use it several times during the week to explore the area.

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6. GET ENTERTAINED

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN QUEENSTOWN - Street Performers
Bob
is both a talented performer & comedian.

Traveling to Queenstown on a budget? Cheap (or free) entertainment can be found on almost every summer night. In front of Lake Wakatipu, street performers put on amazing shows and work for tips. It’s like going to a Cirque Du Soleil show, but for a minimal fee.

There are performances ranging from fire juggling to balancing acts to beautiful piano performances to singers on their guitars or cellos. Each night brings different and exciting entertainment and payment is up to you based on how much tip you think the performer deserves (or what you can afford).

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN QUEENSTOWN - Street Performers

Billions Cobra will mesmerize you with his fire.

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7. CHANNEL YOUR INNER TED MOSBY

Not a fan of How I Met Your Mother? Well Ted is an architect. Queenstown is comprised of some of the nicest and most unique homes I have ever seen, and the architecture is amazing. Each house is extremely beautiful and different in its own way, and while no house seems to have the exact same layout or design, they all manage to give off that rustic and remote cabin feel. Spend an afternoon touring the streets and you’ll be sure to find your dream home…or several.

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN QUEENSTOWN - Architecture

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8. SAY CHEERS TO DRINKING IN PUBLIC

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN QUEENSTOWN - Drinking in Public No Open Container Laws

Living in St. John, USVI spoiled us in many different ways; one of those ways was being able to walk around town with a beer in hand. THANK YOU Queenstown for bringing this aspect of island-living back into our lives. There’s nothing better than sipping a cold beer on a hot day while walking around town or hanging out in the park. Also, remember that buying booze from a bottle shop (liquor store) instead of a bar is always a great way to save some money.

Remember, with things like this it’s always a few bad apples who ruin it for the rest of us. Don’t be a drunk idiot (at least in public) and please clean up after yourself. Help keep Queenstown beautiful!

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9. TREAT THE WORLD AS YOUR PLANETARIUM

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN QUEENSTOWN - Stars and Night Sky

Once the sun fully sets (which takes a while in the summer) and the sky begins to fall dark, the night sky is absolutely stunning. If you’re traveling from a big city (or another overpopulated place with too much light pollution), looking at the stars will remind you of how far you are from the rest of the world and will give you just another reason to marvel at Queenstown’s beauty. Mike and I actually slept out on our balcony the other night so we could fall asleep under the stars.

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10. BECOME A TOWNIE

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN QUEENSTOWN - Lakeside Beach

Queenstown is small… you could walk the entire town in 30 minutes or bee-line through it in about 5 minutes… but within that small area is a really fun and quaint town. The bars and restaurants are in abundance, and there are also plenty of outdoor public places to just relax with a beer or cider in hand. When the weather is nice (after all it is summer now), there are always a lot of people having picnics, playing Frisbee Golf, and soaking up the sun…reveling in the fact that they’ve made it to Queenstown. Now it’s YOUR turn.

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TIP: Get insider knowledge from Lakes Weekly

Lakes is a weekly bulletin that is published every Tuesday and it’s basically like Craigslist for Queenstown. It lists happy hours, things to do, activities and events (as well as accommodation, job openings, cars for sale and more for the long-term traveler). Find the most up-to-date issue, get the Lakes Weekly online version (which comes out every Monday around 1pm).

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Queenstown is like a Choose Your Own Adventure book.

Go for a relaxing getaway with world-class food and drinks or an adrenaline-filled adventure…or both! Queenstown is a place where you can escape the hustle and bustle, meet new friends, take in the gorgeous scenery and challenge yourself to a new activity…and then reward yourself with a delicious drink while watching the sun set behind a mountain range so beautiful that it’s called The Remarkables!

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN QUEENSTOWN - Choose Your Own Adventure

Have you been to Queenstown, New Zealand? Share your experience and travel tips in the comments below!