Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New Zealand: Top 4 things to do in Queenstown

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New Zealanders often take for granted the sheer beauty of their own country. As a born and bred kiwi (or JAFA, locals will understand, foreigners can Google at their own risk) who’s been living away for more than ten years, I am naturally biased when it comes to discussing the wonders of this spectacular nation. From North to South, Aotearoa, Middle Earth, Kiwi Land – or whatever you want to call it, has the ability to inspire and lose all concept of time. It’s to no one’s surprise that New Zealand, and in particular Queenstown, is a travellers paradise. If you’re planning an adventure to Queenstown, or happen to be a bored local (is that even possible in Queenstown), add these super fun activities to your bucket list.

Chow Down at Fergburger

One only needs to mention Fergburger to me and I start salivating. Fergburger, for those playing at home, is the ultimate burger joint in Queenstown and is kind of a rite of passage for anyone passing through. You almost want to hate it because of the hype that surrounds it, yet despite this, the adulation is well-deserved. Sure, there might always be a line out the door, however once you pierce your chompers into a piece of Big Al (1/2 pound of New Zealand Beef, lashings of bacon, massive amounts of cheese, two eggs, salad, red onion relish and big dollop of aioli) you’ll be in foodie heaven.

Kayak through the Milford Sound

There’s no denying it, the Milford Sound is spectacularly breathtaking. Whether you decide to hire your own vehicle or learn about the history with a tour, your adventure into this untouched land starts in Fiordland. From here, you’ll wind through scenic roads dense in woodlands and soaring mountains that are worthy of a thousand pictures. Eventually the road will open up to the Milford Sound, completed with the majestic Mitre Peak rising from the oceanic depths. While you could take a boat ride through the waters, the best way to experience the serenity and get closer to the dolphins, seals and penguins, is by kayak.

Tick at Least One Adventure Activity off Your Bucket List

Let’s be honest; Queenstown is not for the weak hearted. It’s the ideal place to unleash your wild side and work through any fears. With bungy jumping, white water rafting, river surfing, canyon swinging and jet boating being at the top of a very long list of adrenalin pumping activities, any one of these will send your heart into a palpitating spin.

Snowboard down the Mountains

Although Cardrona snow resort is technically closer to Wanaka than it is to Queenstown, it’s where the pros of snowboarding descend to carve it up in the Slopestyle and Superpipe events of the New Zealand Open. A lot of regular boarders tend to find the slushy slopes of Queenstown frustrating from time to time, so if you prefer longer runs and bigger jumps, Cardrona is the top pick.
Now you know what to do, the question now posed is how are you going to pay for all of it? As someone who travels back to NZ frequently, it can be quite frustrating getting hit with a fee every time you use your credit card. Something like a cash passport from Travel Money Oz is a good idea for when you want to use your own money without the sneaky extra surcharge attached. Happy and save travels!

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