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Why is Queensland the adventure capital of New Zealand?

7 mins. read

Published in the Sunday Gujarat Samachar on 4 February, 2024

If you look at the map of New Zealand, you will notice a land of unparalleled beauty, a land that is geographically split into two distinct parts – the North Island and the South Island. Each offers a unique palette of experiences, catering to a diverse range of travelers. From adventure junkies to food aficionados, road trip enthusiasts to Instagram photographers, New Zealand’s contrasting landscapes and rich culture promise something for everyone. To talk about it all will definitely need more words that what we have today, so today, I wanted to zoom in on the South Island, particularly Queenstown, a jewel in New Zealand's crown, to figure why it really is known as the adventure capital of the country.

The South Island of New Zealand is dotted with cities that are not just gateways to adventure but are also rich in history and culture. Christchurch, known for its English heritage and resilient spirit, offers a blend of historic architecture and modern art. Dunedin, with its Scottish roots, enchants with its unique wildlife and Victorian and Edwardian architecture. Wanaka, another gem! With its stunning lake and mountain scenery, Wanaka offers a serene yet adventurous experience, from scenic hikes to exhilarating landscapes. However, Queenstown steals the spotlight with its unmatched vibrancy and adrenaline-pumping activities. Though each city has its own allure, Queenstown stands out as a paradise for thrill-seekers and nature lovers alike. Its reputation goes beyond the borders of New Zealand, inviting global adventurers to experience its magic.

Nestled against the stunning backdrop of the Southern Alps and the crystal-clear Lake Wakatipu, this vibrant town offers an adrenaline rush like no other. My two personal journeys to Queenstown are a testament to this.

One of the most sought-after experiences in Queenstown is skydiving. The town's reputation as one of the best places in the world for skydiving isn’t unfounded. The aerial view of the majestic landscapes while plummeting through the sky is nothing short of surreal. However, skydiving in Queenstown is as much at the mercy of the weather as it is an adventure seeker’s dream. On both my trips, the weather played spoilsport, but Queenstown had plenty of alternatives to offer.

When skydiving can’t happen, the Shotover River in Queenstown emerges as a thrilling playground. River rafting here, especially during the times when skydiving is off-limits due to weather conditions, is an exhilarating experience. The river's turbulent waters provide an exciting challenge for rafters, surrounded by the dramatic scenery of the river canyon.

The Shotover river also has another highlight: The Shotover Extreme Jet Boat Ride, which offers a thrilling blend of speed and natural beauty. As the jet boat skims across the Shotover River, passengers experience heart-racing turns and rapid maneuvers, all while surrounded by the stunning, steep-walled canyons. This high-speed adventure is not just about the rush but also about embracing the breathtaking landscapes of the region in a unique and exhilarating way. The combination of skilled pilots, powerful boats, and the river's natural dynamics makes this experience a must-try for any thrill-seeker visiting Queenstown.

Another highlight of Queenstown's adventure repertoire is bungee jumping. Queenstown is a bungee jumper's paradise, boasting three spectacular sites. The Kawarau Bridge, the birthplace of commercial bungee jumping, offers a classic jump with the option of a water touch in the Kawarau River. The Nevis Bungy, known for its spine-tingling height, is the highest in New Zealand, providing a 134-meter drop into a rugged canyon. Lastly, the Ledge Bungy, perched high above Queenstown, offers a unique urban jump with stunning views of the city and Lake Wakatipu, especially breathtaking at night. During my 2018 trip to New Zealand, I had the opportunity to bungee jump from the Kawarau Bridge. This was my first ever bungee jump and it tops the list of adventure activities I've done in my life

And if you are someone who loves going on road-trips and also off-roading, there’s .quad-biking for you. Quad-biking in Queenstown offers an exhilarating way to explore the rugged terrain and breathtaking landscapes of the area. These adventures take riders through a variety of tracks, ranging from river crossings to hill climbs, all while providing panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Designed for all skill levels, these quad bike tours combine the thrill of off-road adventure with the natural beauty of Queenstown's countryside. It's a perfect blend of excitement and scenic exploration, offering a unique perspective of this remarkable region.

One more thing that is still on my New Zealand bucketlist: Paragliding. When paragliding, sometimes you’re flying, sometimes you’re floating. It's exciting, peaceful and a little scary all at the same time. A tandem paraglide puts you in the capable hands of a professional paragliding pilot. It’s lets you experience the thrill of free flying without going through a lengthy learning process. There are almost no age or size limits for tandem paragliding.

These activities are just the tip of the iceberg in Queenstown's extensive adventure catalog. Queenstown's charm lies not just in its array of activities but also in its ability to provide unforgettable experiences, regardless of the weather. This town is a testament to the idea that there’s no bad time to seek adventure. Whether the skies are clear or the clouds loom, Queenstown adapts, offering alternatives that are just as thrilling.

Even when popular activities like skydiving are not possible due to weather conditions, Queenstown doesn’t disappoint. It shifts the adventure to the waters or the mountains, ensuring that the adrenaline rush never stops. From river rafting in the roaring Shotover River to a bungee jump, the options are endless.

In essence, Queenstown is not just a destination; it's an experience. It’s a place that embodies the spirit of adventure and pushes the limits of what one can explore and enjoy. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a returning adventurer, Queenstown always has something new and exciting to offer.

So, if you're crafting your travel bucket list, make sure Queenstown is on it. Whether you're seeking the thrill of a bungee jump, the rush of river rafting, or the serenity of mountain vistas, Queenstown is the place where all these experiences converge, making it, indeed, the adventure capital of the world. I am already planning my third trip here. What about you? Please share your thoughts by writing to me at Until then, as we always say, keep Celebrating Life!'

February 03, 2024


Neil Patil
Neil Patil

Founder & Director, Veena World

More Blogs by Neil Patil

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