If you didn’t already know Queenstown is the ADVENTURE capital of New Zealand. There are many reasons to go there and keep going back! I absolutely loved my time spent in Queenstown during the summer time. Waking up bright and early surrounded by the beauty of Lake Wakatipu, it doesn’t get much better than that!
For those of you who love to get out and explore your natural surroundings, I am going to share with you a few great walks and activities sure to get the blood pumping!
Tiki trail walk
Right in the heart of Queenstown (near where the Gondolas take off) you will find the beginning of the Ben Lomond Forest- Tiki trail walk. It’s a steep walk up but should only take 1.5 hours and having a medium level of fitness helps! You will find yourself walking through very tall pine trees, with some amazing views along the way. You will be able to capture some fantastic shots of The Remarkable’s, Lake Waikatipu and Queenstown.
If you hear screaming in the distance, don’t be alarmed! It will more than likely be the participants of ziptrek, flying among the pine trees on flying foxes! Once you reach the top, you can put your feet up and take in the incredible view that surrounds you.
If you are after a longer adventure you may decide to complete the Routeburn track. This hike will take you approximately 3 days and 2 nights, staying along the way at the Lake Mackenzie and Routeburn falls huts. My fiancé believes that seeing the ice at the very top of the mountain was a rewarding moment for him personally. As my fiancé had embarked on this incredible 3 day hike already, we decided this time on completing the first day of the track from Routeburn Shelter to Routeburn Falls hut.
You will cover approximately 17km in distance return and it took us about 6 hours to complete with a lunch break included. We did this as part of a tour which included our bus trip to the start of the walk and a packed lunch. It was great as our friendly tour guide shared useful information about the native fauna and flora along the way. We crossed over swing bridges, trekked through some incredible beech forest and came across the magnificent views of the Humboldt Mountains.
A trip to Queenstown wouldn’t be complete without some ACTION on the river! The most popular two choices for Whitewater rafting in Queenstown are the famous Shotover River and Kawarau River. They both provide a unique whitewater rafting experience. If you are an adrenaline junkie you will definitely want to give Shotover River a try. As you will experience the exciting rapids of the lower canyon and more than likely fall out! However if your after a more laid back experience then the Kawarau river has it covered and you can raft through a set of the Lord of the rings! (The Kawarau River is the River Anduin in Lord of the Rings) The friendly guides will also let you jump out of the raft if you want to have a leisurely float down the river.
Gibbston River Ride
This is the ultimate experience for anyone who loves bike riding, wine or amazing food. You can enjoy all three on this particular bike trail. Not only that but you will be taking in the incredible views of the Kawarau Gorge along the way. Starting at the Karawaru bridge it is an easy 8.7km trail with picnic opportunities, wine tasting and even a bungy jump at the beginning if your keen! (The Kawarau Bridge is where the famous first ever bungy jump company operates) A guided tour through the Gibbston Valley wine caves is also a must, a unique natural mountain environment for maturing their famous wines.
Written by Rebecca Robinson