Queenstown is a unique city that in many ways represents the best of what New Zealand has to offer. A small population (about 30,000 residents), an epic backdrop of toothy peaks and sparkling waters, a condensed and active nightlife, and more adventure-related activities than you can ever believe. If this isn't enough to intrigue you, then you can go back to playing games on your phone and forget about real life.
Located in the Otago region of New Zealand's South Island, Queenstown was settled by Europeans in the 19th century in the indefatigable chase for gold. Many of the cultural attractions of the area (Macetown, Arrowtown, Skippers Canyon) are the various stages of what remains from the immediate influx of gold-miners at the time. As is often the case, those who raced for riches left just as quickly, leaving empty towns to fall into ruin.
Luckily, there is another reason for modern travelers to rush to Queenstown: the over two hundred adventure-tourism activities. Rivers that were once panned for gold are now crossed in 4-wheel drive jeeps or raced through in thrilling jet boat rides, while mountains that were once revered for their scenery are the seat of popular ski areas or hiking tracks. You can luge, skydive, bungee jump, ski, mountain bike, heli-bike, rock climb, raft, kayak, sail, hot-air balloon, and so much more during your time in Queenstown. It's quite possible (although not really) that there are as many adventure tour operators in this resort town as there are people that actually live there. This gives you plenty of help when it comes to doing and seeing everything worth seeing in the area.
Another high point in visiting Queenstown is its heavy concentration of nightlife establishments, especially when compared to the city's rather small size. You may also delve more deeply into Maori culture via local stage shows or explore the European gold mining history through a walk through abandoned mining areas or a visit to the museum in Arrowtown.
For more specific information on things worth doing in Queenstown, take a look through our adventure and culture activities. If a world of exciting adventure activities is high on your agenda, then it only makes sense that Queenstown would be near the top of your list.