I definitely couldn’t miss the “Adventure Capital of the World” on my trip to New Zealand! We spent four leisurely days in the resort town of Queenstown, giving me more than enough of time to explore. The moment we started to descend on the plane – the snow capped peaks on the way in, the majestic mountains surrounding the airport – I was sold.
Being a rather small resort town during the heart of summer, the town was buzzing. Families on vacation, backpackers looking for an adventure. There was plenty to do for people of all ages. Multiple tour and activity offices (Lord of the Rings tours, anyone?) littered every block, but the spots are incredibly limited if you didn’t book early. We were fortunate to get a spot for an early morning sky diving session that was disappointingly cancelled due to the weather. Luckily we were able to land a spot paragliding instead!
The town is small enough that you can walk everywhere, so we’d try to take the lake front route as much as we could. There is a lot to do around Queenstown, from visiting the historic mining town of Arrowtown, to heading up the mountains to catch a gorgeous view, it’s a hub of never ending activity.
Queenstown is also where we chose to start our journey to Fiordland National Park. Milford Sound is the place to see and is such a popular area that you can either drive or fly there. It takes almost 4 hours one way by car, so I would absolutely recommend renting your own car and taking your time to explore.
Once in Fiordland National Park, you feel dwarfed by the magnificence of the mountains surrounding you. There are plenty of highlights to stop at, I could easily spend an entire day just taking photos. I personally found the Milford Sound cruise underwhelming, especially when compared with the beautiful, dramatic vista driving in. The park also has a variety of activities, from short walks and hikes to kayaking and diving. I only wish we were able to spend more time there.