We had been in New Zealand about two weeks and were well over half way through a six month round-the-world trip, when we came to spend five days in Queenstown as part of our Kiwi Experience. Before arriving in Queenstown, we had experienced a lot of what New Zealand had to offer, from the big city life of Auckland, to the natural wonder of the Franz Josef Glacier and yet we all felt that something special was coming. Not least because we all knew that it meant the impending bungy jump was drawing nearer. Some of us had accepted our fate with ease, but others – myself included – were not so keen.
Nonetheless, the journey from Lake Wanaka to Queenstown was one we were all, despite general lack of sleep, excited about. Not least because it meant we would be spending more than one night in a hostel bed and would have a chance to really explore what the town had to offer.
Aside from our bungy jump (and/or it’s cousin; the canyon swing), Queenstown also offers a whole host of activities we were keen to try; skiing/snowboarding at Coronet Peak, Mount Hutt and the Remarkables (sadly the season arrived late so we missed the snow), jet boating, white water rafting and for others looking for something a little less reliant on adrenalin; disc golf, golf, the Winter Festival, plenty of hiking, extensive viniculture and much more.
Queenstown is famous for one other reason; the legendary Fergburger. These are, undoubtedly, the best burgers I have ever eaten and are widely reckoned to be the best in the world (the burger joint is covered in reviews from the world’s leading burger review websites – apparently such things exist! Not to mention the letter from a doctor certifying that one poor unfortunate dislocated his jaw trying to eat their largest burger…) and come in 19 different types, from the Original Beef, to the Sweet Bambi (venison) to the Chief Wiggum (pork belly). Honestly, I would go back to Queenstown tomorrow, just for the Ferg.
Being the largest town in Central Otago and such a centre for snow and adrenaline tourism, Queenstown naturally has a plethora of bars, clubs and other food joints that make it well worth the trip, not to mention the overwhelmingly friendly and vibrant atmosphere of the place. For me, it was a real highlight of our entire world trip and somewhere I will definitely be returning to; I would urge others to do likewise.
Just one final thing to say about the bungy jump; it was the single most terrifying experience of my life, up until the point when I found myself hurling myself – against all my better instincts – out of a cable car, suspended some 134m above the canyon floor, at which point it became the purest mixture of fear and adrenaline I have ever experienced. It has to be tried to be believed.
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