Queenstown is the ultimate winter wonderland, so it’s easy to overlook its yearround appeal. Summer is prime time for alfresco adventure. With the sun rising at 5am and setting around 10pm, you score way more daylight for your dollar. Here are some ideas to make the most of it:
Exploring is thirsty work — fortunately you’ll find around 200 vineyards within a 40minute drive of the town centre (or chauffeur if you’re planning on tasting the fruits of their labours). The nearby “Valley of Vines” Gibbston is particularly proficient in pinot noir. Find your new favourite at the Gibbston Wine and Food Festival in March.
SLEDDING IN THE SOUTHERN ALPS
Just “over the hill” at Cardrona, Underdog’s sledding tours provide a pinch-me winter experience in the snowy Southern Alps, but you don’t have to miss out if you visit in the warmer months. The experienced (and adorable) team of Alaskan huskies, Siberian huskies and Alaskan malamutes will take you tearing through the trails of Central Otago in wheeled carts specially designed for sledding without snow.
SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF
While Queenstown is a popular base for the region’s Great Walks, a number of shorter strolls suit lazy summer days. Try the tracks at Moke Lake (pictured), Bob’s Cove and Ben Lomond for easily attainable views. If you prefer pedal power, the mountain bike mecca of Coronet Peak will give you a workout.