New Zealand’s Queenstown

Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown Hill. (Image:  Harshavardhan deuskar  via  wikimedia CC BY-SA 4.0)
Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown Hill. (Image: Harshavardhan deuskar via wikimedia CC BY-SA 4.0)

When you stroll through this fairy-tale dreamland decorated with snow-white mountain peaks, inhaling the fresh air emanating from the translucent surface of a glacial lake; when the sunlight reflects off the pure, fresh snowfields, the temptations promised by this magical land are indescribable.

Nestled beside Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown’s location boasts a wide variety of natural landscapes, with views to nearby mountains such as The Remarkables and Cecil Peak. The surrounding area offers everything from ancient landscapes, towering peaks to the clouds and deep valleys with old rivers flowing through them. Winter is the best time to be here though, as the town transforms into a wonderland that draws skiers and snowboarders from all over the world. This unique winter playground has earned Queenstown its reputation as the adventure capital of the world.

The best way to enjoy Queenstown’s stunning beauty is to take a ride on the iconic vintage steamer TSS Earnshaw. This matron of the waters made her first official voyage on February 24, 1912 and has been in service since, making her the oldest passenger liner still in service in the southern hemisphere.

Taking in the sight of this lovely lady gliding gracefully across the snow peaks reflected in the lake, being dazzled by the sun reflecting off the snow lying on the land like a blanket, you can’t help thinking that Mother Nature has used her most beautiful color palette for these incredible sights.

Lake Wakatipu and Remarkable Mountains, Queenstown. (Image: Coekon via wikimedia CC BY-SA 4.0)

Lake Wakatipu and Remarkable Mountains, Queenstown. (Image: Coekon via wikimedia CC BY-SA 4.0)

Milford Sound is one of the most stunning features in the New Zealand landscape. This incredible fjord is a haven to all kinds of intriguing wildlife. The seals love to sunbathe on the rocks by the bank; the Fiordland Penguin and the Little Penguin, two of the rarest penguins in the world, make their homes here and if you’re very, very lucky, you may see a whale in the ocean near the fjord inlet.

According to Maori legend, Milford Sound was created by the god Tu Te Raki Whanoa. He carved Milford Sound with one swing of his ax and creating the unique features we see today.

The Nevis Swing is the world’s biggest bungee swing. For the adventurous, you’ll have to make your way to the Nevis Valley and brave climbing up to the platform, 134 meters above the Nevis River. Would you believe it’s the same height as the Sydney Harbour Bridge?

Plummeting from such a height, your falling velocity can reach as fast as 205 m/s, allowing jumpers to experience an exciting moment of weightlessness that will stay with them for life.

 The Nevis Swing is the world’s biggest bungee swing. (Image: YouTube/Screenshot)

The Nevis Swing is the world’s biggest bungee swing. (Image: YouTube/Screenshot)

The Remarkables stands at a majestic height of 1,943 meters above sea level and features a fabulous snow quality. With the blessing of natural snowfall and the added support of 100 snowmaking guns, the huge 385 skiing area is guaranteed to have sufficient snow cover. Apart from conventional skiing trails, thrill-seekers shouldn’t miss the chance to hit an off-piste adventure on the Homeward Run. The run is 1.5 km long and features a heart-stopping 350-meter drop. It’s generally acknowledged as one of the best ski trails in New Zealand.

Not just for advanced skiers, the Remarkables is also a great vacation spot for beginners and families. The world-class ski instructors and beginner-oriented ski trails ensure that novices have a great start to their skiing adventure; the snow area also features a huge children’s playground and a family entertainment center, allowing kids to experience all kinds of fun activities.

The snowy mountains and blue sky form a postcard panorama. Skiing the peaks of the Remarkables, the beautiful sight of Queenstown can be viewed with a glance; when you lift your eyes and gaze into the distance, the seemingly endless mountains appear before you while the mirror-like fantasy of Lake Wakatipu sits silently at the center of it all, emitting a deep sense of peace.

A snowboarder riding the Saddle Basin at Treble Cone. (Image: via wikimedia CC BY-SA 3.0)

A snowboarder riding the Saddle Basin at Treble Cone. (Image: via wikimedia CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Treble Cone has the highest altitude of the mountains in the area. The stretching mountain range connects two basins and its features make it seem that Mother Nature has nurtured this terrain with extra care. There are extraordinarily wide slopes featuring fantastically twisted ski trails. The Treble Cone also features the longest and widest vertical runs in the Southern Lakes District, as well as stunning views of Lake Wakatipu.

The Treble Cone has the most challenging and steep terrain in New Zealand. The moment that you spring from the highest point, adrenaline surges and the scenery dashes past at momentous speed. An immense excitement overtakes the moment as you enjoy the thrill of the run combined with some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. A visit to Queenstown and all it has to offer will be the trip of a lifetime which you will never forget.

Written by Lucy Wu and translated by Shuqun He

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