Crystalline bodies of water, mystical skies, cragged mountain peaks and fresh air that practically begs you to breathe it in – Mother Nature is at her showiest in and around this popular ski resort town, a much-loved destination for moneyed travellers and adrenaline seekers alike.
It may look like a sleepy ski village; in fact, Queenstown has emerged as a playground for well-heeled tourists who want adventure activities, worldly cuisine (there are more than 150 bars and cafes alone in this town of 15,000) and eye-popping vistas. Local tour operators can help you navigate the natural surrounds in a style that is private and posh.
Heritage Queenstown is a sprawling, alpine lodge-style compound on the edge of the village. Unwind in the spa or sauna before enjoying mulled wine during happy hour near the fireplace at the bar, and a nourishing dinner and nightcap at Mackenzies Restaurant onsite. From $187 a night. To book, visit heritagehotels.co.nz.
The town and its surrounds are a hiker’s dream – it’s also popular with backpackers, so there are plenty of cheap things to do. While away the day with a long amble near the shores of the lake, take a drive of the region to see its beauty up close, or kick back over brews at a local pub. p