A small city on a scenic mountain lake in New Zealand's Otago region, Queenstown is known for its cosmopolitan vibe. During the summer, adventure hounds come here to try extreme sports of all varieties. The city advertises more than 200 "adventure tourism activities." In the winter, it’s all about skiing. Two major collections of runs, Coronet Peak and the Remarkables, are both a short distance from the city. The center of South Island's ski scene, Cardrona, is only about an hour's drive away.
Queenstown has a reputation as a party town. Despite nighttime temps that drop into the 30s in winter, you will find plenty of action in the bars and clubs in the downtown area. Winterfest takes place each June. In addition to fireworks, music and parades, there are sporting events and interactive classes. However, the highlight for many visitors will be finding themselves in a quiet spot to enjoy the panoramas of Lake Wakatipu, the mountain lake on which Queenstown sits.