Skiing the South Island, New Zealand in late June means lots of snow and pumped up locals and international visitors alike. At this stage in the season they are frothing at the mouth over the newly opened ski fields and plenty of snow on the virgin mountainsides. Grant Turner, Flight Centre Travel consultant talks adrenalin, partying and eating in what he calls the "real" capital of the South Island.
When we arrived in Queenstown there was no snow to be seen. Nothing but grassy knolls and rocks. Initially some of us were a little devastated however I quickly learnt that there were more options of things for us to do than there was time.
In the light of day
Why does Queenstown trump any other ski destination in New Zealand and Australia – options other than ski! We spent the days exploring wine regions and tasting specialty cheeses and meats. We viewed locations from Lord of the Rings and toured some of the most breathtaking scenery I have ever witnessed! We collectively took turns to throw ourselves off a 43m high old wooden bridge (Kawarau Bungy) while our friends looked on and filmed from a safe distance. I also did a 73 meter free-fall attached to a complete stranger in the world's biggest canyon swing – the Nevis Arc (we were a lot closer after that by the way).
A wild night cap
The nights were a completely different story. The place just hammers! Over 150 bars and restaurants within a short stroll /crawl of each other to choose from. Options galore, and unlike the nanny state of Queensland, they can advertise their numerous happy hours. They happily promote their specialty nights such as Wet T-shirt comps and my personal favorite 2-4-1 drinks all night for all people fortunate enough to be Red Heads! I rode a bull in the middle of the bar, played snooker next to pole dancers in a local's favorite, and even threw dice in one of their two Casinos.
A tank of fuel
It wasn't all party party party. Restaurants of all standards serving substantial meals, at great prices with even better scenery – all while sipping the finest of fine New Zealand wine and enjoying the heat of the roaring open fireplaces. Because, as we all know, a great night out is better with a full belly. For those who need a 3am snack there is no need to retire to crappy Maccas. Fergburger, Queenstown's famous burger bar is open 20 hours a day - and they serve beer too!
Time to enquire about a Queenstown adventure? Call Grant Turner at our Carindale store on (07) 3109 2044. Grant can find you a great deal on travel to New Zealand and most importantly - he has the first hand holiday experience.