Weekends in New Zealand: Queenstown

Right, so you’ve got your working holiday visa sorted and landed a sweet job in one of the most beautiful, epic and adrenaline-fuelled countries in the world… New Zealand! But let’s just take a moment to remember your Gap Year is not all work and no play, you have to make the most of your time in this incredible country and that my friend, is where your weekends come in!

Imagine spending a weekend in the thrill-seeking, adventure capital of Queenstown. Here are 5 awesome activities that will help you make the most of your time there…

1.Go skydiving!

What about spending a Saturday skydiving over the stunning Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu? This is definitely one of life’s ultimate thrills and better than staying in bed all day watching Netflix. ‘NZONE Skydive’ hosted New Zealand’s first Tandem Skydive operation and is the only company to have won New Zealand’s Supreme Tourism Award – these guys know what they’re doing. So spend the day soaring the skies and remind yourself why you chose to work in this breath-taking country!

2. Go Bungy Jumping!

If you don’t want to spend the weekend jumping out of planes, how about jumping off bridges? Queenstown is the home of bungy jumping. In 1988 AJ Hackett and Henry Van Asch launched the world’s first commercially operated bungy jump off the Kawarau Bridge. So what better place to do one of the most unforgettable experiences in the world? What’s more, you can be tied up and thrown off with a friend– so if you and your mate have both have some free time, go tandem jumping! Not scary enough? Try the Nevis bungy, you’ll scream the whole way down!

3. Go Jet boating!

Jetboating at ridiculous speeds down Queenstown’s famous Shotover River, is a crazy way to spend a day with your mates. If you fancy a more hands on approach try rafting down Skippers Canyon, you’ll tackle the tumultuous ‘Mother’ rapids, a series of six grade 4-5 rapids – not for the faint-hearted. But the Kawarau River is also great for first time rafters. You can take it slow and float past vast cliffs and dramatic scenery, just think Lord of the Rings. BEST DAY EVER.

4. Go swinging! …no not that kind.

For one of the most intense, adrenaline-fuelled experiences of your life… how about launching yourself from the world’s highest cliff, 109m over the famous Shotover River? The Canyon Swing allows you to swing 200m on a 60m vertical freefall down a steep rocky cliff face – yes it’s as mad as you’re imagining it to be. As cheesy as it sounds, you only live once, so go for it!

5. Go wine tasting and burger eating!

Feeling a bit tired from all the jumping, diving and swinging? Let’s take some time to relax with a glass of wine. Queenstown is home to over 200 vineyards producing a vast range of wine varieties, most famous for world-renown Pinot Noir. Spend a lazy afternoon on tailored-made wine tour, with wines chosen to suit your palate and back drop that will blow your mind.

You’ve probably got some serious munchies by now so chow down on arguably “the best burger in the world,” …the Fergburger! It’s as big as your face and my god they’re juicy. With a vast range to choose from, such as the classic ‘Fergburger with cheese’ to the more contemporary ‘Chief Wiggum’ (pork belly and apricot seeded mustard), you’re sure to find a burger to suit your tastebuds – so relax, unwind and stuff your face with burger. How I spend most weekends to be honest.

So it’s not all work, work, work… take some time out, play a bit more, make the most of your weekends and do something in New Zealand you would never dream of doing back home! Check out how you could spend your weekends in Auckland, Waiheke Island and Taupo.