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Starting its life as a gold mining camp in the 1860's, central Queenstown is today a compact area with a friendly, yet ‘grown-up’ feel. Its narrow streets are lined with plentiful bars and restaurants, backpacker hostels, as well as upmarket hotels and local shops. Because of the city’s unique layout, you can choose to wonder within the heart of town, go on an adrenaline pumping jet-boat ride, hike up a mountain, enjoy a lake-view, or escape from the city bustle to the countryside to sample the region’s acclaimed wines such as the beautifully full-bodied Pinot Noir. From the edge of town you can take a cable car up the mountain top for a panoramic view of the surrounding area, or enjoy a traditional dinner. Stretching along the south-side of the lake, you’ll spy the Remarkables - so called because of the “remarkable” light effects that play across their slopes. During summer, their colour changes from mauve to deep red as the sun goes down, while in winter, its snow-covered cones are just a breath-taking spectacle to behold.
The "Adventure Capital of the World" doesn’t fail to entertain the traveler, offering heart pounding activities from bungee jumping and luge rides to white water rafting and jet boating. The specific conformation of the territory allows the numerous holidaymakers to enjoy water-sports and lake cruises as well as suggestive excursions surrounded by unspoiled nature.
From high-class restaurants, to intimate eateries tumbling onto picturesque streets, the quality, variety and affordability of Queenstown’s food and drink is second to none. What’s more, with numerous restaurants and cafés serving national and international cuisine, you’ll never be short of choices. The best - and smartest - restaurants are located lakeside, offering a sweeping view of Wakatipu Lake and a perfect spot to see and be seen.
Coffee culture is alive and well in Queenstown and in the entire New Zealand. Kiwis have, in recent years, become coffee connoisseurs, developing a deep fondness for cafeterias as gathering points. Most cafes are located within Queenstown downtown, boasting an advantage location nearby Lake Wakatipu and serving the favoured black beverage in many forms and style.
After an adrenaline-boosting afternoon, hit the town to share a few tales and a few beers with the crowds that converge in the city when the sun sets. The nightlife scene, however, is less sporty than you might think with everything, from pubs serving home-brewed beers to stylish bars and clubs, that is certainly as hip and happening as any European counterpart.
Queenstown is widely renowned for its huge range of quality New Zealand-made goods including sheepskin products, leather, pure wool hand-knits, jewellery and outdoor wear. Alongside local designers you’ll also find all the big international brand names, located at the malls of the city centre or down Queenstown picturesque streets. The main shopping area is centrally located and pedestrian-friendly, making a walk through the city´s downtown a delightful shopping experience.
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