Take a day trip, quite literally, to Paradise. To get to the rural town, drive around Lake Wakatipu, along what’s been called New Zealand’s most beautiful road. It’s here that many stunning scenes in the The Lord of the Rings movies were filmed.
With hot, dry summers, cool lakes and the sun setting well after 9pm, summer days are long and the activities plentiful: choose from countless music festivals (Top Paddock music festival on 31 December) and sports events (ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup, 13 January-3 February).
While the average house price in US ski resort Aspen, Colorado, is out of the reach of many locals, enough ‘ordinary Kiwis’ can still afford to live in Queenstown – lending New Zealand’s South Island ski resort town a local feel.
The Big Al
Two New Zealand beef patties, two eggs, bacon, cheese, onions, lettuce, beetroot, relish and a dollop of aioli is Queenstown institution Fergburger’s behemoth burger, available 21 hours a day.
Sam Summers Hut
Built in the 1930s, this old, stone goldminer’s hut on the Mount Crichton loop track is an easily accessible spot, offering insights into early central Otago and New Zealand mining life.
Both in your glass and under your skis. Whether you’re after the lightest, driest snow by day or the fizz of life at night, Queenstown’s a 24/7 year-round party paradise. Try The Winery, a cellar door with hundreds of serve-yourself New Zealand wines, whiskies and port.
Cathay Pacific launches a three-times-weekly A350 service to South Island gateway Christchurch from Hong Kong on 1 December.