Photo credit: The Moment Addict
Queenstown, New Zealand is a resort town in the South-West Central Otago region of the South Island. It sits on the shores of New Zealand’s longest lake, the Z-shaped Lake Wakatipu.
The Maori name for Queenstown is Tahuna, meaning ‘shallow bay’. The crystal clear lake reflects stunning mountains, The Remarkables (so called because they run precisely North to South), Cecil Peak, Walter Peak, Ben Lomond and Queenstown Hill.
First used as a hunting ground and rest camp by early Maori, the first permanent settler in Queenstown was William Gilbert Rees. Rees established a homestead facing the bay, an area which is now the heart of Queenstown’s bustling town centre.
In 1862, a Maori shepherd working for Rees called Jack Tewa discovered gold in the nearby Arrow River. Soon after, the area was declared a gold field and Rees gave up farming to start the region’s very first hotel.
A different kind of visitor was flooding into Queenstown, New Zealand by the late 1800s. Word about the beauty of Queenstown and its easy access to popular walking trails had spread throughout New Zealand and the world. A new rush began, with a stay in Queenstown a must-do on every visitor’s itinerary.
By the 1930s, the Mount Cook Company established Queenstown’s first ski field and tourists from Australia and beyond came to frolic in the snow each winter. The world’s first commercial bungy jumps and jet boat rides marked out Queenstown as the ultimate adrenaline destination.
Now, Queenstown is New Zealand’s top tourist destination and dubbed the Adventure Capital of the World. From top spas, restaurants and accommodation to canyoning, flying foxes and giant swings… there’s something for everyone in this very beautiful playground.