Who dares, wins

Wins If you have a streak of adventure in you, head down under to New Zealand and experience a new high in the adventure capital of the world—Queenstown.

Dhiman Chattopadhyay | Print Edition: February 24, 2008

Try the bungee jump for a real high
Try the bungee jump
Imagine sitting in an armchair in the sprawling balcony of your hotel room, overlooking the crystal clear waters of a lake with snow-capped mountains forming the backdrop. And then, imagine living out your wildest fantasies—bungee-jumping, skydiving, going on a vineyard jaguar trail and even climbing on to a hot air balloon.

Welcome to the adventure capital of the world. Queenstown is a lakeside town of captivating beauty in the heart of New Zealand’s picturesque South Island. The first people to discover Queenstown's rare beauty were Maori Pounamu hunters. Then came the gold miners, in search of another kind of treasure.

Today, Queenstown is treasured for its magnificent scenery, adventure opportunities and luxury lifestyle.

What to see

Larger-than-life scenery is the order of the day in Queenstown. From the crystal clear Lake Wakatipu to the Remarkables mountain range, Queenstown’s environment is majestic. In any season, you can count on stylish accommodation, designer shopping and marvelous cuisine. Queenstown’s compact downtown area is a cosmopolitan hub that’s relaxed during the day and huge fun at night.

How about some peace and quiet?
Be in peace

What to do

Skydiving: Located amidst the most breathtaking scenery in the world, your flight to altitude takes you high above the alpine town, over lakes and snowcapped mountains. Upon reaching altitude, you and your instructor jump from the aircraft, freefalling thousands of feet at 200 km/hour. Your instructor operates the parachute and you glide towards the earth. It’s safe, so don’t you worry.
Price: Approximately Rs 12,000 for a dive from 15,000 ft and Rs 7,500 for a dive from 9,000 ft.

Bungee-jumping: If you’ve heard of bungee, then you’ve heard of the Kawarau Bridge, home to the world’s first and most famous of leaps, situated 43 metres above the Kawarau River. With 8.5 seconds of falling, it’s a breathtaking ground rush like no other.
Located at the gateway to Queenstown, it’s an essential component of every New Zealand visitor’s itinerary. You can choose from a number of options— topple over backwards, forward, with another person, spin or somersault.
Price: Approximately Rs 4,800 per person

Milford Sound Heli-tour and Cruise: Enjoy a magical experience far from the madding crowd, tiptoe through silence, smell nature and explore one of New Zealand’s most scenic locations, Milford Sound, in an aerial sightseeing heli-tour. Imagine mountains gliding by as your helicopter flies through the Southern Alps. Land and stroll through the rainforest or encounter a seal colony. A relaxing luxury cruise brings you closer to experiencing the stunning mountain scenery, waterfalls and unique wildlife.
Price: Approximately Rs 82,000 per couple (all inclusive)

Try some flightseeing to glimpse real beauty
Try some flightseeing

Jaguar vineyard trail: Whether you love wine or wild animals, this trip is a must. Relax in the luxurious abode of the jaguar on a vineyard excursion, laced with wine tasting, underground wine cave tours, and even a cheese factory tour. At each vineyard, you’ll meet a member of the vineyard team for a perspective of the local wine.
Price: Approximately Rs 10,000 per couple for a three-hour trail

The trilogy trail: J. R. R. Tolkien’s story of Middle Earth came to life in New Zealand. Landscapes featured in Lord of the Rings are magnificent. Discover for yourself the reality of Tolkien’s Middle Earth on the scenic Lord of the Rings Trail. You can visit the eaves of Lothlórien, walk along the ridge in Ithilien where Sam and Frodo first saw the terrifying Oliphants, or stand at the Ford of Bruinen where Arwen drove back the Black Riders. Visit Deer Park Heights, where the wargs attacked the Rohan refugees and where Gandalf rode to Minas Tirith.
Price: Approximately Rs 7,500 per person

Aerial view of Queenstown
Aerial view of Queenstown
Jet boating: Think of yourself speeding in mere centimetres of water along the famous Shotover River and deep into the Shotover River Canyons surrounded by towering rocky walls in a Shotover Jet boat. No visit to Queenstown is complete without experiencing the award-winning Shotover Jet boat ride.
Price: Approximately Rs 3,000 per person

Hot air ballooning: Take off on a hot air balloon ride at sunrise, when the air is clear and stable, and soak in panoramic views of lakes and mountains stretching from Mt Cook to Mt Tutoko in Fiordland; fly over the beautiful Lake Wakatipu and the Shotover River surrounded by mountains. Share a champagnestyle breakfast high in the sky before returning to Queenstown.
Price: Approximately Rs 10,000 per person

Where to stay

Outstanding cuisine, excellent accommodation, fabulous country settings amidst the scenic riches of New Zealand—these are endearing universal characteristics of “lodging” in New Zealand. A luxury statement in New Zealand, “lodging” is about experiencing the finest accommodation in the most comfortable surroundings and enjoying all the affection and good humour of the illustrious Kiwi hospitality.

1. Matakauri Lodge
Tariff: Between Rs 45,000 and Rs 57,000 per night
Website: www.matakauri.co.nz

2. Blanket Bay
Tariff: Between Rs 42,000 and Rs 81,000 per night
Website: www.blanketbay.com

How to get there

Visa procedure: You may forward your application to your travel agent who will then courier it to the High Commission in New Delhi. A visitor visa is processed within 2-3 days
Look up:www.immigration.govt.nz
Flying high: There are no direct flights from India to New Zealand at present. Connecting flights on Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Malaysia Airlines, Thai Airways and Cathay Pacific with stop-overs in their respective hubs are available.
Domestic services: You can fly between all New Zealand cities using domestic air services. Air New Zealand and Qantas are the main airlines in Kiwiland.
Currency conversion: NZ $1 = Rs 30 (approximately)

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