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Queenstown lies at the edge of Lake Wakatipu against a backdrop of the beautiful Remarkables mountain range. It is one of the most well-known destinations in New Zealand and a highlight of a visit to the South Island.

During summer, this resort town is a well-oiled adventure activity machine, offering bungee jumping, jet boating, paragliding, and white water rafting, among others. It is home to the world’s first commercial bungee jump site at Kawarau Bridge, an extremely popular activity with backpackers; as well as the Canyon Swing, the adrenaline junkies’ latest craze. In winter the town transforms into a busy ski resort, offering plenty of facilities for skiers and snowboarders.

There is a good range of accommodation, dining and nightlife here as well, although prices are steep. The town centre is an attractive and buzzing cluster of souvenir shops, alfresco cafés, and activity booking agencies. Queenstown can be a lot of fun but beware of your budget here. If you are after a serious adrenaline rush and have the funds, it is a good idea to take advantage of the combo deals offered on adventure activities.

Local transport

Orbus Queenstown operates four bus routes around Queenstown.

Services run every 30 minutes on most routes (route 1 runs every 15 minutes between 6am and 7pm and route 3 runs hourly) and it is useful for getting to the airport, the supermarket or Remarkables Park Shopping Centre. The one-way fare is $5 for travel everywhere on the network (except Queenstown Airport, which costs $10), but all routes are a flat $2 fare (including airport services) if you have a GoCard.

The GoCard is stored value smart card (similar to London's Oyster card) that costs $5 and requires a minimum $10 top-up. It is available on board buses (cash only) and from O'Connell's Mall kiosk on Camp Street and also from Queenstown Airport. It is definitely worth getting a GoCard, as you will recoup the cost with just one one-way trip from the airport. GoCards can be used on local buses in Dunedin and GoCards purchased in Dunedin can also be used in Queenstown.

There is free Wi-Fi on all buses.

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