Honestly, I didn’t plan to visit Queenstown and I never even heard of this town, but during my trip to Vietnam I met two Australians, one of them lives in New Zealand and said I had to visit Queenstown. I asked, what was special about this place and the answer was, that the town is a treasure, surrounded by mountains on the banks of a lake and with an indescribable view. It sounded interesting, but not stunning!
Furthermore, she told me the most economical way to get to Queenstown, which was to get a bus in Christchurch and if I was lucky, I could get a ticket for a little as $ 1 (one New Zealand dollar) depending on the day and if I booked in advance by Internet. I asked her the name of the bus company and the answer was a surprise. The bus company is called NAKED BUS. Sorry, How?! Easy, it’s not what you’re thinking. People don’t need to get naked to travel on the bus for a cheap fare, rather it’s the bus that’s naked, which has no bathroom and the seats that do not recline. So the difference been that the bus makes various stops along the lakes on the way to Queenstown.
Thus, I embarked at Christchurch bound for Queenstown, the bus journey lasted 9 hours, with many stops with wonderful scenery. Lakes, mountains, cliffs, snow on the mountain tops, waterfalls, sheep, cows, horses, birds and much more I saw during the trip. I didn’t have much expectation in relation to Queenstown, but during the trip on the bus, the landscape was preparing me for what I would meet when I got to my final destination. When I got to the town, truly the Australian was right and my expectations were exceeded.
The charm of the city is it’s location, embedded between the mountains, on the banks of the crystal clear lake Wakatipu and the charm of a small Alpine town. Moreover, I discovered that the town is a centre for radical sports and offers activities in all the four seasons.
The next day, I enjoy the breathtaking and panoramic views of the city from Bob's Peak, where it is also possible to take part in radical sports such as bungy jumping, zip lining (ziptrek), cycling, skydiving, biking, climbing or just take a helicopter ride. Additionally, you can explore several trails leading to the top and other places near the town.
To get there, you can choose to go by cable car or venture up the trail about 1 hour to the top. A trail, easily accessible by a stony path which took me to the top and the reward was a stunning panoramic view of the town and to my surprise a restaurant with a suspended glass balcony and a radical cart track (luge).
It was summer and the natives were having barbecues on the shores of the crystal clear Lake Wakatipu and tanning themselves under the summer sun, because in the winter the temperatures fall below zero there. But even with the heat, I could not swim in the lake, because the water was cold , but at the end of the day I enjoyed the sunset at the edge of that lake with a contrast of snow topped mountains. A magical setting, snow, lake, mountain and sun all in the same space.
I said goodbye to Queenstown with a scenic flight bound for Auckland, which was certainly the best view of the great chain of mountains around the city and the pleasant surprise of having visited this great treasure surrounded by the mountains.
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