Whether it's bungee jumping, or canyon swinging, Queenstown is the place to be if you want to get your adrenaline pumping. And, as well as being the adventure capital of New Zealand, Queenstown's also home to some of the most stunning landscapes in the country. Heart-racing activities with a view: that's what this place is all about.
Surrounded by incredible mountains, and home to so much spectacular scenery that you won't know where to look first. Queenstown sits next to the glistening waters of Lake Wakatipu and is also the best base for exploring nearby Arrowtown, Wanaka, and the gorgeous Milford Sound.
It wouldn't be the adventure capital of New Zealand, though, were it not for a man called Alan Hackett. Inspired by the tradition of land-jumping in Vanuatu, Hackett and his friend Chris set about making the first elastic bungee cord, using it to perform his first bungee jump from Auckland's harbour bridge in 1986.
Fast-forward two years and Hackett had launched his own company, AJ Hackett Bungy (now famous across the world) and opened the world's first commercial bungee jump on Queenstown's Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge.
Today there are many different adrenaline activities on offer including the Kawarau bridge bungee; 43 metres above the Kawarau river, the Nevis bungee; the highest at 134 metres, and the shotover canyon swing where you'll freefall 60m past the rocky cliffs of the shotover river before swinging for 200 metres at 150kph.
If you want your adventure in Queenstown to coincide with the best time for skiing (or even just admiring the snow-capped mountains from afar) visit in winter when you'll also get the chance to witness Queenstown Winter Festival. Summer and spring are brilliant for outdoor pursuits, something Queenstown is obviously famous for, and Autumn is a photographer's dream with striking scenery in orange hues visible around the lakes.
It's not essential to book bungee jumping tickets in advance but it is strongly recommended, especially in busier months like winter and summer when places may get booked up faster than usual. Also, before you jump make sure you have extreme sports travel insurance. Most standard plans don't include the fun stuff.
If getting your adrenaline pumping in Queenstown is on your bucket list it's definitely worth making the trip even more memorable. If leaping into the darkness 400 metres above Queenstown fills you with more excitement than fear, take the plunge from the ledge at night.
For the perfect mix of romance and adventure, take a tandem jump with your partner at sunset. For those who consider themselves ultimate adrenaline junkies, try one of Hackett's Thrillogy packages which allow you to choose between 3 and 6 adventure-packed activities.
So take in the beauty of Queenstown from above, before plummeting downwards; the wind in your ears and your heart beating wildly in your chest. This bucket list item is for thrill-seekers only.
Beverley Reinemann is a freelance writer and founder of the travel and lifestyle blog, Pack Your Passport. Originally from England, she's a self-confessed Australophile and travel lover and spends most of her time drinking way too much coffee in east London, going to gigs and planning her next adventure. Follow her on Twitter @PckYourPassport.comments powered by Disqus