We’re trying to think of anywhere else in the world that has so much cool shit to do in one place.
Nothing coming to mind?
Yeah, we thought so. Queenstown reigns supreme the world over. The global hub of organised fun patiently awaits your winter migration east a mere three hours from the Aussie coast to some of the best ski slopes in the southern hemisphere.
But just like how Queenstown is unlike anywhere else in the world, if this article’s headline grabbed your attention, it means you’re unlike any normal tourist in the world. You like to hit it hard, go fast and leave with your head spinning from the whine of helicopter turbines and ice-cold water still shocking your senses.
Here’s our adventure-fuelled hit list for the not-so-standard-tourist seeking a thrill or five in the Mecca of all daring activities – Queenstown, New Zealand.
Heli-skiing is the Holy Grail of adventure sports, and in case you haven’t noticed, your options to partake in this hectic day out south of the equator are few and far between. The good news? Queenstown pretty much has the monopoly. Despite often being filed away in the ‘cashed up rich kids’ category, heli-skiing really isn’t that unachievable at all when splitting a day charter between half a dozen mates. Start with the likes of Southern Lakes Heliski or Harris Mountain Heli-Ski if you’re keen to go big this winter holiday.
New Zealand is the birthplace of bungy, so it’d be rude to not give it a look-in if you’re keen to literally push yourself over the edge of your comfort zone. Kawarau Bungy are the OG operators in the region, but visitors now have options from the new Nevis Catapult to the Shotover Canyon Swing. There’s no shortage of things to throw yourself off in Queenstown, should you be in such a mood.
If skydiving is a once-in-a-lifetime bucket list goal of yours, you may as well tick it off in some of the most scenic landscape on Earth. Plummet from 15,000ft above the snow-capped peaks surrounding Lake Wakatipu for 60 seconds before soaring through a deafening silence under a canopy down to the ground below. Pro tip: opt for the sunset jump.
Off-road in Defenders
The only vehicle that even comes close to the capability of a helicopter when exploring Queenstown and its rugged surrounds might just be the Land Rover Defender. Bash through the forests and rivers of Middle Earth across terrain so pristine that you’d think you were the first to ever discover it.
Searching for a break from riding planks down a mountain to give your knees a rest? Nothing is a better slap in the face than the crisp alpine air as you rip through untouched snow along the top of Queenstown’s dramatic mountain ranges behind the wheel of a snowmobile. They’re fast, exhilarating and challenging. And you still get to fly in a heli – does it get any better?
The spray of the glacial waters slaps you in the face as you pelt at full pace through some of the steepest (and shallowest) river canyons you’ve ever seen. Jagged rocks feel like they’re within touching distance thanks to the absolutely incredible precision of the jetboat drivers. Spending your afternoon getting sideways in a speedboat sure isn’t a bad way to end the day.
While this might be our dream holiday shopping list, you’ve still got to find some time for a few laps at one of Queenstown’s cracking ski resorts. Head to our ultimate boys’ weekend guide for your staple ski experiences in this little winter paradise.
This article is proudly presented in partnership with Destination Queenstown. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who help make Boss Hunting possible.