With their cinematic backdrops of mountains and lakes, and lengthy menu of adventures, Queenstown and Wanaka are the places to go for an action-packed holiday. Whether you're looking to ski in the winter or sample the many summer sports including hiking, golfing and mountain biking, outdoor enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies alike will find plenty to delight and excite on New Zealand's South Island.
Dubbed the 'adventure capital of the world' Queenstown is a treasure trove for adventurous travellers. Sitting on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and beneath the towering peaks of the Southern Alps, visitors can enjoy anything from heliskiing on pristine glaciers to a hair-raising jet boat ride along the Dart river. Once you've had your fill of thrills, the town itself is a lovely place to spend some time. With its buzzing café culture, lively nightlife and collection of excellent luxury lodges you can enjoy some well earned downtime.
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If an adrenaline fuelled holiday isn't your idea of a good time then there are a whole host of activities that will keep your heart rate down (sort of). Enjoy a leisurely game of golf, go hiking on one of the many scenic trails or, if you can't bear to be away from the action for too long, hop on a mountain bike. For panoramic views that allow you to take in the sheer magnitude of the scenery, make sure to take a gondola ride up Queenstown's mountain. Afterwards, embrace your inner child on a thrilling downhill ride on the Skyline Luge (and make sure your actual children don't overtake you).
While Queenstown has nabbed the title of adventure capital, Wanaka offers similar experiences but without the crowds. Situated on the shores of Lake Wanaka, this is the perfect terrain for some alpine tramping taking in some of the best views including Roy's Peak, Mount Iron and Diamond Lake. Walk around the lake and marvel at the famous 'Wanaka Tree' in the middle or take to the crystal clear water and enjoy kayaking, boating and stand up paddle boarding.