Queenstown is the Adventure Capital of the World. It's a quaint, lakeside mountain town on steroids. People quite simply either love-it, or they hate it.
Queenstown is significantly more expensive than the rest of New Zealand for a number of reasons - firstly, it's bloody isolated. If you check out a South Island map, Queenstown is hundreds of kms away from any significant city with any real value (Invercargill is only two hours away, yet I said with any real value). Also, as it's a resort town, businesses can get away with charging whore house prices.
As a tourist, you will come here to either:
- Ski or snowboard
- Jump off or out of things (AJ Hackett Bungy operates three bungy sites + a swing, Canyon swing is another big swing off a cliff and there are two skydive companies in the area (don't jump here, it's the most expensive place to jump in New Zealand)
- Partake in other adventure activities like jet boating, rafting, canyoning, mountain biking, etc
- Hang out for a day before making the epic journey to Milford Sound
Chances are, you will only come here to live if you have a history in tourism and/or lots of money. I had neither, yet three years later remain in Queenstown as it's a bloody cool spot to live.
Outside of the typical tourist activites which will make you go broke, there are dozens of day walks, multi-day treks, mountains to climb and trails to take your mountain bike on. Once you've been here awhile, you'll realize that Queenstown is really just a small town that sees thousands of visitors in and out of the resort each day.
Save money by:
- Looking for drink specials around town
- Eating $10 lunches (15+ places to choose from around town)
- Choosing to simply enjoy the scenery as opposed to jumping out or off of things