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HOME AT FIRST's

New Zealand

QUEENSTOWN REGION

 

PEOPLE COME TO QUEENSTOWN TO ENCOUNTER CHALLENGE, DARE FATE, ACCEPT RISK,
AND TEST LIMITS IN AN IMPROBABLY BEAUTIFUL ENVIRONMENT THAT
IS CHALLENGING, DARING, RISKY, AND LIMITLESS.

ABOVE: STORMY LAKE WAKATIPU AND THE SOUTHERN ALPS, queenstown region photo HOME AT FIRST

Experience Queenstown
& its Remarkable Region

          Vibrant, trendy, wonderfully walkable, large town in a fabulous setting wedged between a stunning, turquoise lake and rugged, photogenic mountains. Queenstown is New Zealand's outdoor adventure capital: home of extreme and not-so-extreme sport.

 

      

Attractions in/from Queenstown:

          More than any other population center on the South Island, Queenstown exists for tourism. Expect lots of visitors, and expect an ever-expanding infrastructure with new things to see and do. The original home of bungy jumping has spawned an extreme sport industry second to none. But while Queenstown tantalizes the most serious adrenaline junkie, it offers much more than extreme adventure. Here's a partial listing of local activities:

EXPLORING QUEENSTOWN ON FOOT: Downtown
Queenstown is big enough to provide

Queenstown is tucked between mountains and clean, turquoise Lake Wakatipu. Photo  Home At First.
Queenstown: tucked between mountains
and clean, turquoise Lake Wakatipu.

Photo HOME AT FIRST

hundreds of shops, restaurants, and other
services, and small enough to be walked easily. Its lakeside park has a beach & a commercial pier.

Visitors to Queenstown not planning to travel onwards to the Fiordland Region can take day trips to Milford Sound: using their own rental car, going with a tour group by bus from Queenstown, or by flight-seeing aircraft from Queenstown. At Milford Sound frequent boat departures let visitors experience this unique environment close up. Photo  Home At First.
Visitors to Queenstown not planning
to travel onwards to the Fiordland Region
can take day trips to Milford Sound: using
their own rental car, going with a tour
group by bus from Queenstown, or by
flight-seeing aircraft from Queenstown.
At Milford Sound frequent boat
departures let visitors experience
this unique environment close up.

Photo HOME AT FIRST

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES AND EXTREME SPORTS:
Operators of all manner of regional activities
have storefront booking offices in downtown
Queenstown. Sign up for your adventure and join the group for the bus/van ride to the activity location. Organized commercial
activities include:

BUNGY JUMPING & AERIAL SWINGING: more than a half-dozen heart-stopping leaps to choose from.

DAY HIKES: The Routeburn Track, others.

FLIGHTS & BUS TOURS TO MILFORD SOUND

HORSE TREKKING

JET BOATING: Shotover Jet, Dart River Jet.

CYCLING: Mountain Biking & touring; day & multi-day trips, like the Otago Central Rail Trail.

MULTIPLE DAY WALKING (TREKKING): Milford Track, Routeburn Track, Hollyford Track & others.

PARASAILING: Suspended from a parachute tethered to a boat on Lake Wakatipu. From Queenstown pier.

 

      

RESTAURANTS, BARS, & NIGHT LIFE: Downtown
Queenstown offers restaurants and night life for every age, taste, and budget.

RIDE THE SKYLINE GONDOLA: Take the  enclosed cable car that rises steeply from Queenstown to the Skyline complex (restaurant, scenic viewpoints, walking paths, luge runs) on Bob's Peak 1/4 mile above town.

SAILING LAKE WAKATIPU: Depart Queens-town's pier on the historic steamship SS Earnslaw for a nostalgic cruise on Lake Wakatipu.

Queenstown offers a full range of restaurants and cuisine: from gourmet to goulash. NZ Tourism photo.
Queenstown offers a full range
of restaurants and cuisines:
from gourmet to goulash.

NZ Tourism photo.

SHOPPING: especially for local crafts & fashions in boutiques throughout Queenstown.

 

 

 

      

Attractions in the Queenstown Region:

 

More activities are found nearby, including:

Pritchards General Store has been a fixture in Arrowtown since 1862 supplying gold-panning equipment to avid and casual prospectors alike. Today the old Pritchards building houses the Arrowtown Pharmacy behind its elegant false front. Photo  Home At First.
Pritchard's General Store has been
a fixture in Arrowtown since 1862,
supplying gold-panning equipment to
avid and casual prospectors alike.
Today the old Pritchard's building
houses the Arrowtown Pharmacy
behind its elegant false front.

Photo HOME AT FIRST

ARROWTOWN & OTHER EX-MINING TOWNS: The    pursuit of gold and other minerals brought the first European settlers to the region. Some of their original sites are ghost towns today. One, Arrowtown, a 30-minute drive from Queenstown, has become a fashion-able community with a living pioneering style.

GLEN ORCHY AND BEYOND PARADISE: The jaw-   dropping drive along the Lake Wakatipu shore road west and north of Queenstown leads to Glenorchy, where the Dart and Rees Rivers form the lake. Dart River jet boats and Glenorchy horse treks depart from here to explore the incredible scenery which served as locations for the Lord of the Rings films. Driving further north leads into the aptly named Paradise, a pristine valley

 

surrounded by snowcapped mountains.

 

 

GOLF: Four courses (Queenstown Kelvin Heights and Jack's Point in greater Queenstown, and Arrowtown Golf Club and Millbrook Resort in Arrowtown welcome visitors with friendly member-ships and challenging golf.

RIDE THE STEAM TRAIN: The Kingston Flyer narrow gauge steam train operates twice daily service out of Kingston at the south end of Lake Wakatipu (October - April).

Paradise beyond Glen Orchy. Photo  Home At First.
Paradise beyond GlenOrchy.
Photo HOME AT FIRST

 

 

Swing bridges and manicured trails make day hiking the Routeburn Track enjoyable for reasonably fit walkers of all ages and levels of experience. Photo  Home At First.
Swing bridges and manicured trails make
day hiking the Routeburn Track enjoyable
for reasonably fit walkers of all
ages and levels of experience.
Photo HOME AT FIRST

SKIING: Snow is expected on the 4 regional slopes during winter months (July-September).

WALKING THE ROUTEBURN TRACK: Although the complete trek requires three days and two   nights, it is possible to walk the eastern portion of this famous hiking trail as a day-hike across swing bridges and through the temperate rain forest to Routeburn Flats and back (4-5 hours).

WINE TASTING: Some of the world's southern- most vineyards produce delightful wines within thirty minutes of Queenstown. Gibbston Valley Wines on Rt. 6 east of Queenstown offers wine tours, wine

 

tastings, purchase of fine wines, and

delightful luncheons. May be done as part of the Otago Central Rail Trail cycle adventure.

 

 

      

Lodgings: Top quality inns and resort lodgings in and near Queenstown ideally located for exploring the region. Home At First's highly-rated Queenstown Inn is located in a quiet residential neighborhood only five minutes walk from the heart of downtown Queenstown. The inn features a superb view overlooking the town and Lake Wakatipu, as well as excellent service, complete with a multiple choice breakfast and an evening happy hour in the lounge.

The dining-lounge with balcony at a Queenstown Inn family suite. Photo  Home At First.
The dining-lounge with balcony
at a
Queenstown Inn family suite.
Photo HOME AT FIRST
 

 

 

      

Queenstown Airport--surrounded by mountains 3/4-mile higher than its runway--provides passengers white-knuckle take-offs and landings in bad weather, and, during periods of fine weather, fantastic views of the region's mountains and lakes. Photo  Home At First.
Queenstown Airport surrounded by mountains
three-quarter-mile higher than its runway
provides passengers white-knuckle take-offs
and landings in bad weather, and, during periods
of fine weather, fantastic views of the
region's mountains and lakes.
Photo HOME AT FIRST

Getting to/from Queenstown:
          Home At First guests most often arrive in Queenstown by rental car, normally coming south from Westland, a very scenic drive of 6-8 hours. From Queenstown by car, guests drive south and west to Te Anau in Fiordland in 3-4 hours, east to DUNEDIN in 3-4.5 hours, or northeast to Mt. Cook/Lake Tekapo in 3-4 scenic hours, or all the way to Christchurch, in 5-7 hours. Some guests may fly to/from Queenstown Airport 15-minutes drive from the center of town which offers frequent domestic flight connections to points throughout New Zealand, especially Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland, as

 

well as international flights to Australia.

 

 

      

Getting around in Queenstown:
         
Use of a rental car is essential here, except for those staying in or near downtown Queenstown who can easily walk everywhere in the town center. Queenstown traffic and parking can be quite congested.

Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu, and
the Remarkables viewed from
an ascending Skyline Gondola.

Photo NZ Tourism.

Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu, and the Remarkables viewed from an ascending Skyline Gondola. Photo NZ Tourism.

 

 

      

The Shotover Jetboat races the rapids of the Shotover River through the Shotover Canyon north of Queenstown. Passengers report feeling "shot over" at the conclusion of their extreme boating adventure. Photo NZ Tourism.
The Shotover Jet boat races the rapids of the
Shotover River through the Shotover Canyon
north of Queenstown. Passengers report
feeling "shot over" at the conclusion of
their extreme boating adventure.

Photo NZ Tourism.

Getting around outside of Queenstown:
          Use of a rental car is essential to explore the greater Queenstown region independently. Once outside of Queenstown roads are usually lightly traveled. Please note than many tour operators begin and end their tours from downtown Queenstown even for destinations far from the town, including many of the famed adventure trips: the great walks, jet boating, bungy jumping, and other extreme adventures, even trips beyond the region to Milford Sound or east to Dunedin via the Otago Central Rail Trail and the scenic Taieri Gorge Express tourist train.

 

 

Learn more about Home At First's travel program to: NEW ZEALAND.

ASK TO SPEAK WITH A HOME AT FIRST "NEW ZEALAND SPECIALIST"
TRAVEL CONSULTANT CERTIFIED BY THE NEW ZEALAND TOURISM BOARD.

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