Being unadventurous in NZ’s adventure capital; Queenstown!
Queenstown is undoubtedly considered the adventure capital of New Zealand. It’s the home of bungy jumping. It’s the home of jet boating. It’s the place people come to scare themselves shitless. Well. If you’ve got the money.
And even if I did, Queenstown wouldn’t be the place I’d spend it.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the place. Honestly, it’s such a beautiful town – in a brilliant location. But damn, is it expensive.
If you’ve been following me for awhile you’ll undoubtedly have gathered that I’m on a budget. A tight one. While this means I can’t have a beer in the evenings and that I have to get up ridiculously early for busses, it does mean that I spot bargains and remember prices. That’ll explain how I know that…
1. A skydive in Fox Glacier (ranked the second best in the world) is only marginally more expensive than one in Queenstown.
2. Rafting Grade 5 rapids in Rotorua is $85. Rafting 4-5 in Queenstown is $150+.
3. Bungee jumping in Taupo is cheaper than Queenstown.
I could continue. My point being… I’m on a tight budget and couldn’t afford to do all the adventure stuff, yet I hope this blog will show you that Queenstown is much more than a base to jump off things from. Here a few of the things that my budget allowed.
The Gondola is famous. It’s one of those iconic images, like the cable car in Wellington.
Once at the top of the Gondola, you can get a cable-car up even higher and Luge down.
A $20 cruise.
Can’t really argue with the price. The lake was so rough that it was like being on a jet boat – except this one wasn’t built to handle it. We had to spend about 30 minutes sitting in the middle of the lake waiting for the boss to make a decision as to whether we’d make it back or had to dock somewhere else. He went for it. We made it. (Ironically, the boss was in the other Cruise boat. He was following us… but decided it was too dangerous and turned round. Our captain powered through).
Just walk or drive around…
There are loads of walks in Queenstown. Short ones and day hikes. I’d have loved to have the time for the demanding Ben Lomond track, but – maybe next time. Still, can’t complain about what I did see.
Get a Ferg Burger!
Don’t argue with this, just do it. This world famous (or New Zealand famous) burger shack is AMAZING. It’s probably the most popular place in town with queues every night. But damn, it’s worth it. P.S – The burger is so big it constitutes a whole meal. No need for large fries at this place. Not even too expensive either.
Wake up before noon.
With so many people coming just for the adventure stuff, it’d be easy to get out of bed at 1pm to bungy at 2pm. But why? You could catch the brilliant craft market on the lakefront or even be up in time for sunrise. I hope my photo proves that it is worth it.
Don’t let me discourage you from attaching an elastic band to your ankles and jumping off a ledge, but that’s not all Queenstown has to offer. Far from it.