30th Jun 2012 8:37am | By Rebecca Kent
New Zealand’s adventure capital offers a fulfilling lifestyle, amid blue skies and stunning mountains
In a town where ‘active’ means leaping off a 134m-high cable car, and to ‘relax’ is to sip wine in world-renowned vineyards, Queenstown is not your everyday resort. It thrives on tourism and hospitality, but more technical trades are available to those determined to call one of the most beautiful corners of the world home. TNT finds out more.
Home to a population of 10,500, Queenstown, in Otago in the south-west of New Zealand’s South Island, can hustle and bustle like a small city. Consider the 1.8 million tourists that flock here each year – particularly in winter – and that is especially true. But for a bite-sized place, it packs a mighty punch, says Buzz Recruitment director Ben Crossen (buzzhospitality.co.nz). “It’s a fun, fast-paced, central location with breathtaking scenery and you get to meet many different people,” Crossen says. “You will never get bored.”
Indeed, mountains such as The Remarkables and Ben Lomond are just as perfect for hiking and biking as they are for snowboarding, and watersports enthusiasts play among the dramatic canyons of the Shotover River, and central Lake Wakatipu.
And as if there’s not enough adrenaline coursing through the town, everyone gets loose during the Queenstown Winter Festival every June and July, packed with music and events. Then it goes from wild to mild. Summer slows down, with long hot days not getting dark until 11pm. Also, a glass of local pinot noir should not be missed at the world’s southern most wine-producing region.
Queenstown is so compact you can navigate it by foot. Otherwise, public transport is clean and reliable. There are a few places you shouldn’t miss: Vudu Cafe (vudu.co.nz) for top coffee, Pub on Wharf (pubonwharf.co.nz) for live music, and Skyline Gondola, Restaurant and Luge for spectacular views (skyline.co.nz). Don’t forget Fergburger – it’s a Queenstown institution (fergburger.com).
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