New Zealand Adventure: Cruise in Fiordland National Park
Published in AAA EnCompass
Published in Go World Travel Magazine
I’m beginning to wonder if I’ve landed in a country of maniacs. At least, that’s the impression I get while walking through the narrow avenues of Queenstown, New Zealand.
The alpine region looks tranquil enough at first glance. Tiny Queenstown, population 17,000, sits nestled on the shores of beautiful Lake Wakatipu in the middle of a lush valley. The mighty Remarkables Mountain Range surrounds the small community, rising up like sharp-edged giants from the rich, dark earth. It’s a stunning geography that any city would envy.
Queenstown itself has an Aspen-like feel, a fashionable community with a small-town heart. Chic resorts sit among modest hillside homes with window box flowers and tidy yards, and the active city streets reveal orderly shops and outdoor cafés.
But a closer look uncovers a unique side of this mountain community, for tucked in between small restaurants and tourist stores are dozens of “adventure companies” offering everything from heli-hiking and hang-gliding to skydiving and jet boating.
Although well-known for its peaceful sheep-ranching and rural tradition, this island nation of 3.8 million has been called the “Adventure Destination” of the world. Thousands flock to the southwestern tip of the South Island each year, where tiny Queens-town (aka “Adventure Capital”) serves up experiences never to be forgotten.
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