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NZ Majestic Mountains and crystal clear waters - Part 1 - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Travelling

Queenstown is in New Zealand' s 'Southern Lakes District'. It is the Southern Hemisphere' s four-season lake and alpine resort. The stunning scenery and huge range of activities are why the town of 12, 500 on the shores of Lake Wakatipu welcome more than 2 million visitors each year. Lake Wakatipu is a Z shaped lake formed by glacial activity and this created the majestic mountains and crystal clear waters. 200 adventure tourism activities make this area of natural beauty a magnet for every type of tourist young and old. They come to search for adventure, seek out relaxation and rejuvenation, or to just breathe the pure fresh mountain air. (The closest landmass upwind on the same latitude is Argentina). So great is the scenery that many films have been set in the region. The most famous being Lord of the Rings.

The first European settlers sought out fertile grazing land in the mountain valleys. Many of these ' stations' as they are called today welcome tourists. The most famous is Walter Peak Station where farm tours, horse treks, heritage tours, barbeque lunches, shearing and other farm activity demonstrations are done daily. Access is ONLY by the SS Earnslaw a 100-year-old steamer (kids go free). The Earnslaw celebrated her centenary in October 2012 and continues in daily operation carrying tourists across Lake Wakitipu and evening cruises to the historic Colonel' s Homestead. The ship works fourteen-hour days for 11 months of the year. Passengers can view the working steam engine during the cruises. The Earnslaw is the only working coal-fired steamship on the Lloyd' s Shipping Register.

The Queenstown region is world-famous for adventure and is the birthplace of many iconic activities including commercial bungy jumping and jetboating. Other activities for the young and not so old at heart include white water rafting, ziplining, mountain hiking, 4x4 off-roading, paragliding, hang gliding, skydiving, hiking/tramping, biking trails, guided mountain tours, scenic flights, fly fishing and for the older at heart, spa and wellness centres.

Queenstown is a major centre for snow sports in New Zealand, with people from all over the country and many parts of the world travelling to ski at the four main mountain ski fields - Cardrona Alpine Resort, Coronet Peak, The Remarkable and Treble Cone. Cross country skiing is also available at the Waiorau Snowfarm near Cardrona village.

For those of you who feel a little naked if away from the big city things, then you will find Central Queenstown is a sophisticated town with a fantastic choice of restaurants, a lively bar scene and excellent shopping. The historic town centre dates from 1860 where the first High Country settler built a shearing shed. However, when gold was discovered in nearby Arrowtown in 1862, the shearing shed was converted into a hotel and named the Queen' s Arms. Many Queenstown streets bear names from the gold mining era and many historic buildings remain.

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