According to Wikipedia, Queenstown is a resort town located in Otago in the south-west of New Zealand’s South Island. It is built around an inlet called Queenstown Bay on Lake Wakatipu, a long thin lake formed by glacial “processes”. According to me, Queenstown is one of the best places on this planet to visit. Yes, visit – but I wouldn’t live there.
Unless I was 18 and single. Then, it’d be stellar and you’d have a hard time dragging me away.
Queenstown is one of the best adventure destinations in this world. More suited for the young adult than the family clan; it is an adrenaline filled mecca. In many ways it reminds me of Las Vegas. Like Sin City, it is long on epinephrine, frenetic energy and the pushing of physical boundaries. Unlike Las Vegas, most of the fun happens outdoors.
Biking, hiking, swimming, paragliding, hang-gliding, speedboat racing, luge racing, rock-climbing, bungy jumping,…you name it. Queenstown offers it. And if you aren’t in the mood and/or are too sore from yesterday’s foray into the unknown Queenstown is right in the midst of Otago wine country. Great food, better Pinot (the best in the world) and plenty of dare-devil stories to recount…this is carnal living at its best.
And while the time to visit Queenstown is when you are old enough to experience it all, foolish enough to do it and beautiful enough to look good WHILE doing it….We managed just fine.
Bungy jumping? My father used to say it was “God’s way of cleaning out the gene pool”. Armon handled the 43m plunge with grace and flair.
Speed-boat racing? Other tourists gave Armon the evil eye when he loaded Judah into an aft seat… He swears he could hear concurrent versions of “how dare you bring such a young child on such a ride” in German, Chinese and Swiss. Judah loved it. He talked about it for days. He made Talia and I join them for a second jet on the river.
He then fell asleep in the middle of ride two. I kid you not. Sound asleep; despite the noise, the 70 mph speeds and the thrilling 360 degree turns. Judah was catching some Zzzzz’s. Our boat captain was mortally offended. Three quarters of the way through the ride, our captain stopped the boat to address us and our fellow passengers – he saw a snoozing Judah and was speechless. I think we got a few extra turns and speed bolts out of him as a result. Anything to save this hunk’s manly reputation.
Horses your thing? How about a ride in the middle of nowhere, with a fabulous tour guide, amazing scenery and abundant wildlife? Talia got to ride a horse named JD and still beams when she tells you about how she rode the country side, through rivers, over hills and next to cows. All by herself.
As I said, Queenstown is my 18-year old alter ego’s Shangri-La. And I am not alone. Walking its streets you see hormone and adrenaline filled teenagers from every continent imaginable. Some need to shower and get a haircut, others are gorgeous and full of promise. We met one such beaut and she became Talia and Judah’s baby-sitter for our duration. She is a woman aptly named Daphne (our kids are way into Scooby-Doo at the moment) and she rocked. Judah was and remains smitten to this day.
So without further ado, let me bring you highlights from our Queenstown experience…