Queenstown, New Zealand

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Queenstown Guide – Spend Less, Do More

Queenstown sunsetThe adventure lovers' paradise, you've spent your days chasing powder on the slopes of Cardrona, Coronet Peak and the Remarkables (Treble Cone is a little less crowded but for more advanced skiers and snowboarders) and your nights with some après ski (the fancy phrase for hitting the bar with your buddies after a day on the mountain). You've worked in a healthy schedule of paragliding, bungy jumping, white water rafting, river surfing and jet boating into your action-filled trip until all you want is to do is spend the day in bed, but there is so much more to Queenstown!

Instead of the overpriced on-mountain fare...

You know what I mean: that miserable chunk of fish, thrown in a fryer en-mass, sitting next to some sad looking fries. While respecting the difficulty of food transport up to the mountain resorts, have you walked past Fergburger in the heart of Queenstown yet? If so, you may have wondered what the fuss is about. Crowned the best burgers in town, the place is packed day-in day-out. The creative burger options from "The Dawn Horn" with hash browns bacon and avocado, to the Codfather (cod burger) and the Holier than Thou (tofu burger) means you're definitely in for a new flavour sensation. You won't be disappointed!

No meal in New Zealand is complete without a visit to Cookie Time. The cookie monster demands that you try the steaming hot cookies, often straight out of the oven, fantastic when your hands are freezing off in the bitter cold. The original chocolate chunk cookie is no joke – savour the moment as heaven explodes and melts in your mouth – and it costs next to nothing so who would refuse? Cookie time is indeed for serious cookie munchers. Keep your eyes peeled for happy hour specials in the late afternoon for the snow bunnies coming back from the ski areas. You don't even have to worry about the calories – after all, you spent the whole day partaking in extreme sports...right?

If you're an adrenaline junkie...

Queenstown mountain rangeAnd must get the blood pumping, do the Nevis Swing. Boasting the title of world's biggest swing, you are definitely in for one hell of an experience. If bungy jumping and skydiving are your thing and you're looking for one more thing to do, this is it. Launching off a deck 160 metres above the canyon floor, you will hurtle towards the opposite side of the valley at 120 kilometres an hour. If that's too tame for you, do it backwards or upside-down or both. If the prospect terrifies you, you can also do it with a friend. Nothing like a little solidarity to make you feel ok about jumping off a cliff right?

Looking for a little R&R?

You've saved on your accommodation so you deserve a little pampering. There is nothing better for sore muscles after a long day than soaking in an Onsen Hot Pool. Filled with pure water from the mountains, the pools are heated to between 37.8 and 39.8 degrees Celsius depending on the day's weather. From the privacy of a cedar-lined bathing room, each installed with its own shower for convenience, you can lie back and take in the spectacular panoramic lake and mountain views. To complete the magic, you can purchase extras packages involving champagne and berries, and even having the entire room candlelit (night time bookings only) for a special occasion.

If you want to get away from all the action and excitement for a couple days, hire a car and take a trip out to the absolutely breathtaking Milford Sound. Beautiful in both the summer and the winter and described by English writer Rudyard Kipling as the 'eighth wonder of the world', the area is great for nature-lovers, bounded by cliffs and rainforest and steeped in Maori (native New Zealanders) legend. Part of Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site, experience the serenity on a relaxed hike of the Milford track, or spend your time sea kayaking and mountain biking.

Spend Less, Do More

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