Queenstown Backpacker Information

Date: March 25th, 2013


Queenstown Backpacker Information – Sights, Adventure and Night Life

Where do you start with Queenstown backpacker information?  The area has been a mecca for young and old travellers on a budget since the 1970’s.
The stunning alpine scenery alone is a big drawcard.  The mountains, rivers and lakes with their clear water and the huge range of uncrowded terrain is a natural playgound for outdoor lovers.  The range of adventurous activities on offer from solo hiking and climbing and mountainbiking to the busy AJ Hackett bungy launching pads, Shotover Jet  and Challenge white water rafting operations ensure you’ll never have a dull moment.  How about a tandem skydive from 15,000 feet with NZOne? You’ll be dealing with some of the finest operators in the industry when you choose any of the Queenstown Adventure group.

Queenstown Backpacker Information






The amount of Queenstown backpacker information from the local i-Site and the operators themselves will provides visitors with a huge range  range of choices for accommodation, activities and night life.  There are a number of hostels which offer everything from shared bunkrooms to the more comfortable “flash packer” self contained private apartments. Many are right in town enabling visitors to wander about sampling the many bars and cafe’s in central Queenstown.  Another option are the campgrounds with communal kitchens enabling campervans or people with tents to still enjoy the town without having to travel far.

The number of diverse cultures who make Queenstown home ensure a range of eateries and bar life which makes the Queenstown downtown area party central most nights of the week. It’s hard not to meet new people and share the stories of your adventures while sipping on an expresso or a happy hour drink.

If you’re looking for good Queenstown backpacker information, the trip advisor website is a great start, otherwise word of mouth will lead you to the best value activities and ensure a lively memorable time.

Posted in: Queenstown Activities

Family Activities in Queenstown

Date: March 25th, 2013

Family Activities in Queenstown – Everyone Gets To Play

The area is renowned around the world for its scenery and thrilling adventure industry, but family activities in Queenstown offer even more variety than before. The ice arena and the Queenstown gardens are a great place to start. After a slide around the rink, pick up a frisbee and have around of frisbee golf on one of the world’s most scenic courses.  As well as the standard facilities such as cinema’s, arcades and a bowling alley, family activities in Queenstown offer a range of thrilling rides and experiences you won’t find anywhere else.  Taking the family jetboating on the Shotover River, a trip to the AJ Hackett bungy jump or a trip with Challenge white water water rafting is sure to create some fantastic memories.  Be sure to check out height and age restrictions before you go though as some activities have them for safety reasons

Family activities in QueenstownAdd to an already busy day with a ride up the gondola and race each other on the Skyline Luge or try out the amazing new ziptrek.  For a more sedate day consider going gold panning or a trip to the old mining diggings in Arrowtown.  Feel a need to stretch your legs? The number of hiking and biking trails in the area take you literally all over the Queenstown Basin.  A trip to Lord of the Rings country up in Glenorchy will keep  movie buffs in the family engaged and there are also good horse trekking operators in the area.

Finish off your stay with a leisurely 90 minute trip across the lake on the TSS Earnslaw and choose the option of  a farm experience on Mt Nicholas Station.  The  range of family activities in Queenstown will keep you busy regardless of your length of stay.  Your family holiday is assured to be the one you remember for all the right reasons.



Posted in: Queenstown Activities

Queenstown Adventure History

Date: March 13th, 2013

An overview – Queenstown Adventure History

Queenstown adventure history has a rich and varied background with travellers and locals drawn to the thrills in the area since the 1960’s with the development of the ski industry.

The rugged alpine environment, lakes and whitewater  rivers also provided the inspiration for a number of commercial activities to excite and attract visitors as well as providing employment for a highly skilled group of operators.
Queenstown Adventure History
In the 1970’s Shotover Jet became the first commercial operators using the innovative jet propulsion system developed by Canterbury farmer Bill Hamilton.  The design allowed passengers to skim over the shallow braided rivers in mere inches of water and negotiate technically difficult sections of the river.

The  next addition to Queenstown adventure history was the start of commercial whitewater rafting with companies such as Challenge White-water leading the way in developing and promoting  a professional approach to ensuring an exciting, safe rafting experience on the Kawerau and Shotover rivers. Much of their success is also due to the varying levels of their trips, catering to novice rafters as well as big water enthusiasts.

The portfolio of Queenstown adventure history was given a huge boost wiht the bungy phenomenon that swept the globe after AJ Hackett’s well documented leap from the Eiffel Tower.

Setting up their first commercial operation at the Kawerau Bridge in the late 1980’s the company has extended their operations to the 134 metre Nevis Bungy, the Ledge bungy above Queenstown and the Bungy Swing.  Since their first year with 28 clients, more than a million people have safely completed either a bungy jump or swing with  AJ Hackett Bungy.
The allure of gravity produced another award winning organisation with the establishment of NZONE Tandem Skydive in 1990.
As the first company in New Zealand to offer tandem jumps, more than 200,000 customers have “faced the fear” and jumped.  With options up to 15,000 feet customers who can keep their eyes open will have stunning views of the Queenstown basin and Southern Alps.

Posted in: Queenstown Activities

Queenstown Biking and Hiking

Date: February 27th, 2013

Queenstown Biking and Hiking

The variety of Queenstown hiking and biking options will impress even the most hardened enthusiasts.  With the Southern Alps on your doorstep and the lake and rivers to explore, outdoor lovers can choose from a leisurely amble down the lakeshore before dinner to a multi day expedition above the snow line.  The best introduction for visitors is the recently completed 100km Queenstown hiking and biking  trail.  As the safest and most well marked trail in the area, it takes you past Lake Wakatipu and Lake Hayes as well as along the banks of three rivers.    Visit Arrowtown, explore the vineyards of the Gibbston valley and stop by the historic Kawerau Bridge to watch the Bungy action, all at your own pace.  Accommodation providers can also arrange pickups, so after that two hour vineyard lunch you can be transported back to town. The trail is suitable for most levels of fitness and there are a number of local shops that can rent quality mountain bikes and helmets as well as providing maps and advice.

Queenstown hiking and biking

There are also extensive Queenstown hiking and biking options away from the main Wakatipu Basin.  Consider the 16km track up the Arrow river to the historic goldmining settlement of Macetown.  With 22 river crossings ( cyclists may have to dismount) using the formed track you’ll definitely feel you’re getting away from it all.

For cyclists who love the thrill of a downhill run and want to make the most of their time, the gondola accessed Queenstown bike park provides 500 metres of vertical lift to the start of their trails.

Graded for beginner up to expert the purpose built bermed trails are a biker’s heaven.  Add to that the stunning views in the way and adrenaline will be with you for most of the day. The choices you get with Queenstown biking and hiking options mean you’ll always have a reason to return for the trails you never had time for the first time.


Posted in: Queenstown Activities

Queenstown Golf

Date: February 27th, 2013


World class and uncrowded – Queenstown Golf

For the serious enthusiast or professional, Queenstown golf opportunities offer a world class range of links in a stunning alpine environment.

One of the highlights of Queenstown golf is the New Zealand PGA Masters held at the Hills on the outskirts of Arrowtown, next door to the stunning Millbrook resort course.  Across the road are the beguiling Arrowtown links and over at Kelvin Heights another expertly designed 18 holes await enthusiasts.

The New Zealand PGA returns to the Hills course on the outskirts of Arrowtown this year with the facilities and course acclaimed by professionals around the globe. Along with the high standard of play the stunning scenery and warm weather has ensured a fantastic experience for spectators.

Queenstown Golf

A festival atmosphere with stalls and some of the area’s premium wines and produce await you at the 19th tee.

Just next door, Millbrook resort offers golfers a beautiful purpose built course designed by Sir Bob Charles with five different tee positions to suit all levels.

A mix between manicured ‘parklands’ courses and links with natural hazards such as schist rock, tussock and streams Millbrook  has also had the addition of the Coronet Nine designed by Greg Turner in 2010.

Just along the road is one of New Zealand’s earliest and most iconic clubs, Arrowtown.  Established in 1911 the hilly course has a number of challenges for even the most experienced club player with narrow fairways, natural rock features and at times, a devious wind.

Arrowtown itself is also the ideal spot for refreshment after a round with cafes and restaurants of a world class standard.

No golfing expedition would be complete without tackling the Kelvin Heights Queenstown golf club course.  Rated as one of New Zealand’s most scenic courses, Kelvin heights continues to amaze first time visitors with it’s immaculately kept grounds, mountain and lake scenery and classy facilities.

Queenstown golf is in a class of its own, whether as a visiting professional , enthusiastic club player or beginner the professional coaching, facilities and environment will ensure a memorable golfing experience.


Posted in: Queenstown Activities

Queenstown Attractions

Date: February 22nd, 2013

Action and nature – Queenstown Attractions


If you’re  looking for action, family time or solitude in the stunning Southern Alps of New Zealand

Queenstown attractions will not let you down.

Queenstown attractionsFor people wanting to get a taste of  Queenstown attractions, AJ Hackett Bungy has been safely throwing people off bridges for decades now and from their original Kawerau Bridge jump( 43 metres) to their mind-blowing Nevis bungy (134 metres) you will experience a rush like never before.

Ever dropped from 15,000 feet out of an airplane with someone strapped to your back? NZONE tandem skydive can sort that for you and ensure you land comfortably enough to go and enjoy a wine tasting that afternoon.

Or consider a Challenge whitewater rafting trip through the rugged schist cliff faces of the Kawerau Gorge past old goldmining sites.

You can finish off your day sampling the best of Queenstown attractions  with a helicopter ride or a high revving Shotover jetboat trip racing through the glaciated canyons and broad shallow braided rivers with New Zealand’s original and most iconic operator.

It’s not just all about adrenaline when you look at the range of Queenstown attractions.  Witness the national symbol of New Zealand as it goes about its routine at the kiwi birdlife park, or ride up the gondola for some of the most stunning vistas of this unique alpine environment.

The Queenstown gardens offer a place of solitude and lake views as well as a sense of history for the area.  The first mayor of Queenstown planted two English Oaks in 1866. The gardens also include a substantial array of native plantings, a bowls green, tennis courts and an ice rink.   Following the lake shore track, the reserve offers walkers great views of the Queenstown lakefront, Frankton Arm, the Remarkables mountain range and across the lake to the peak of  Mt Nicholas whose farm bears its name.  Enjoy, engage, relax or get pumped.  Queenstown awaits.

Posted in: Queenstown Activities

Queenstown Food and Wine

Date: February 22nd, 2013

Queenstown Food and Wine – What’s not to love?

A Queenstown food and wine  experience gives visitors and locals a superb range of culinary choices complemented by the world class selection of vineyards.  As New Zealand’s southern most wine region, the schist rock and loamy soils combined with a low rainfall and arid summer months gives winemakers a unique point of difference to their vintages.

Queenstown food and wineLike others in New Zealand, the pinot noir pioneers in the Central Otago region were often considered hobbyists when they first planted the  grape considered to be one of the industries most complex variety.   The first to see the potential and plant some vines was, unsurprisingly, a Frenchman, Jean Desire Feraud, who arrived in the area during the 1860’s goldrush.   Once the goldrush finished however it wasn’t until the 1990’s when commercial vineyards became a substantial part of the Queenstown landscape.  Now 30 years later with numerous global awards to their name,  vineyards such as  Gibbston Valley, Amisfield , Chard Farm,  Peregrine, Waitiri Creek and Felton Road  are established heavy hitters on the international scene and provide a fantastic scenic environment to sample their vintages.

It’s said that good food follows good wine and the number of restaurants  in the vineyards in the area ensure a Queenstown food and wine experience will not disappoint. will attest to the quality of produce and a range of cooking styles.

A variety of different cuisines, innovative chefs, and the international flavour of the resort town  combine with fresh, locally sourced ingredients and a desire to showcase Queenstown.

The result for gourmets seeking a fantastic  Queenstown food and wine experience?  Restaurants such as Arrowtown’s Saffron, the boutique lodge kitchens like Blanket Bay and the wine matched menus found at vineyard restaurants based around their world class vintages and seasonal offerings.

Add to that the Queenstown adventure environment of jetboating, tandem skydiving,  bungy  jumping and whitewater rafting and your visit will be memorable for all the right reasons.

Posted in: Queenstown Activities

NZONE Tandem Skydive Queenstown

Date: January 16th, 2013

NZONE Tandem Skydive Queenstown – Face the Fear and Do It Anyway

A stunning view of the Queenstown basin surrounded by the Southern Alps along with the rush of a tandem skydive with 60 seconds of freefall from 15,000 await NZONE Tandem Skydive Queenstown passengers.

NZONE Tandem Skydive QueenstownStarted in 1990, and the first skydive company to be Qualmark certified for safety, over 200,000 passengers have since enjoyed the thrill of a tandem with NZONE Skydive.

With some of the most experienced staff in the industry and an ongoing commitment to safety a jump with NZONE Tandem Skydive Queenstown will literally be the highlight of your visit to Queenstown.  “Altitude for your descent, Attitude for our ascent,” is the mission statement for this iconic company.

NZONE Skydive  tandem skydive Queenstown has  a relaxed professional approach and constant reinvestment back into the company with its own purpose built facilities, three turbine aircraft and a vigorous equipment replacement programme.

NZONE Skydive now own two of the largest commercial skydiving planes available for skydiving, creating the largest tandem skydiving capacity in New Zealand. The two Supervan 900 aircraft can carry up to nine tandem jumpers, allowing groups of friends and families to stay together for their once-in-a-lifetime experience. They are also more fuel-efficient so that the carbon footprint per person is reduced.

New refurbishments to the central Queenstown shop and dropzone have greatly improved NZONE Skydive’s customer and spectator experience. New stadium-style seating in a larger presentation room have allowed for a more comfortable briefing before leaving town on courtesy coaches to the Dropzone. The Dropzone is located 20 minutes from central Queenstown in a rural tranquil environment

Their 22 years of operation have been rewarded with numerous tourism awards and hundreds of testimonials from those who faced their fears and took the plunge anyway.

Because of NZONE Tandem Skydive Queenstown is the birthplace of tandem skydiving in New Zealand and the company is constantly looking at ways to improve the customer experience without compromising their high standards.

The sky is no limit! Contact NZONE Skydive for a leap of faith that will change your life.


Posted in: Queenstown Activities

Challenge Whitewater Rafting

Date: January 16th, 2013

Challenge Whitewater Rafting- Nature Plus Adrenaline


The thrill of Challenge whitewater rafting two of New Zealand’s most iconic and scenic rivers has to be experienced to be believed.

Glaciated terrain, rock walls worn smooth from thousands of years by swiftly flowing clear snow fed water  will give you memories you will cherish.

A visit to Queenstown would not be complete without experiencing the thrill of  whitewater with Challenge Whitewater Rafting.

The two to three hour trip on the Kawarau is the best introduction to this thrilling sport.

Families, first timers and school groups will  enjoy grade 2-3 rapids while passing under the Kawarau bungy bridge, going through Lord of the Rings country and the vineyards of the Gibbston Valley wine region.

If possible the raft will stop on the way for cliff jumps and even swimming through a rapid if conditions are favourable.  The final 400 metre Dog Leg rapid brings to the end of this thrilling trip.

Challenge Whitewater Rafting

Challenge Whitewater Rafting

Now it’s time for big water! A four to five hour trip on the Shotover will give you real taste of Challenge whitewater rafting action.  Even getting into the remote Skippers Canyon will be an experience.  In winter the track becomes so treacherous, a five minute helicopter ride is the only way into the launching spot.

With six rapids ranging from grade 3-5 with names like ‘Mother’, ‘Aftershock’, ‘Toilet’ and ‘Pinball’, you have some idea what to expect.

A 170 metre tunnel completes the experience, but your adrenaline is in safe hands with some of the most experienced rafting guides in the industry on hand to guide you through the wild water.  A registered Qualmark operator, Challenge Whitewater Rafting provides professional guides on each trip and supplies a wetsuit, lifejacket, booties, a helmet and a courtesy shuttle – all you need to bring is a sense of adventure.  The rivers are running high now so come aboard!



Posted in: Queenstown Activities

AJ Hackett Bungy

Date: January 8th, 2013

AJ Hackett Bungy – A Leap Of Faith

The thrill of bungy jumping with AJ Hackett Bungy, into the wild rugged ravines of the rivers around Queenstown, has captivated and terrified travellers and locals alike for two decades, but the history of bungy reaches back centuries to the jungles of Vanuatu.

AJ Hackett BungyThe inspiration for AJ Hackett Bungy all started on the island of Pentecost with tribesmen leaping from a wooden tower with vines attached to their ankles, ideally stopping only inches from the ground as a means of proving their courage.  The annual festival is the highlight of the Yam harvest and its origins are steeped in myth.  Understandably the length of the vines and their degree of elasticity is crucial, an aspect modern bungy pioneers Henry Van Asch and AJ Hackett approached methodically with assistance from scientists at Auckland University.

AJ and Henry set about testing and developing latex rubber cords convinced the public would pay for the adrenaline fuelled experience of leaping off a platform or bridge.
A number of test jumps were made including a leap from a ski resort gondola 91 metres above the snow before they decided on a “publicity leap” which ensured their global profile for years to come.  In 1987 AJ Hackett slept overnight in the Eiffel tower and the next morning leapt into history and brief arrest by gendarmes.
Since then the bungy phenomenon has become a global industry with the AJ Hackett Bungy enterprise renowned for their safety, service levels and professionalism.
They have developed an industry standard and a code of practice and were the first company in the world to be granted an “S” class certification for excellent safety and quality assurance.
Since their first year of operation at the Kawarau Bridge site in 1988 AJ Hackett Bungy  has boomed with additional sites set up over the Nevis Canyon, (a 134m Bungy Jump and a 300 metre arc on the Nevis Swing) and 400 metres above Queenstown, the Ledge Bungy and Swing.

Posted in: Queenstown Activities