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Queenstown which is located in the south west of the South Island would have to be one of my all-time favourite places in the entire country. It is a bit of everything, a tourist town, an adventure town, a party town, a recuperation town, all rolled into one. The best part about Queenstown is that pick the speed you want. Fast or slow, busy or relaxed there is literally something to do for everyone.
Queenstown or Tahuna in Maori is built around the Bay which is part of Wakatipu. It is simply amazing to look up and see the unbelievably picturesque views of the mountains such as Cecil Peak, The Remarkables and Walter Peak.
The city is the largest in all of Central Otago, and the second largest behind Dunedin in all of Otago. The population is approximately 12,000. Without a doubt the biggest commerce trade for the city is right here, and it welcomes not only locals but international travellers.
With regards to activities the world is your oyster here. Just about anything imaginable is available. Being an adventure town you can participate in some of the local icons such as Fear Factory Queenstown, NZONE Queenstown, Darkride NZ, Xtreme Indoor Reball, AJ Hackett Bungy Queenstown, Skyline Queenstown Gondola and Luge Ride, the Vortex Cinema, Challenge Rafting, Queenstown Paintball, The Escape Hunt Experience and the world famous Shotover Jet.
It also offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world up in The Remarkable's and Coronet Peak. Even if you aren't an avid snow sports fan, you can take a tour bus up to the ski fields, just for a look see and a fun frolic in the snow.
Kids will also love Queenstown. Activities for the little monsters include Underwater World Aquarium, Alpine Aqualand, the Kiwi Birdlife Park, Cookie Time, CaddyShack City Mini Golf, the Odyssey Sensory Maze and Queenstown Ice Arena.
At night, the city is just filled with cosy bars with log fires, brilliant restaurants, pubs and nightclubs. You will find that during peak snow season all of the apres skiers are out for a bit of a night on the town. One absolute must do is the Minus 5 Ice Bar. The entire place is made from ice even the glasses you drink from. The great team there dress you up like an Eskimo and in you go.
But a night out in Queenstown doesn't have to be keeping up with all those youngsters. If you'd prefer something a little more demure, The Bordeau Wine Lounge at The Rees Hotel is the perfect spot to pontificate the finer things in life over a few glasses of the best that New Zealand has to offer. For a true fine dining experience you most certainly can't go past Saffron restaurant in Arrowtown!