Some say its name was coined by gold prospectors, captivated by the regal beauty of the surrounding mountains and rivers. The town sits on the shore of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu among dramatic ranges. World famous for its iconic scenery, friendly people, golf courses, wineries and smorgasbord of outdoor activities, you'll never be short of things to do in Queenstown. And of course, it's the home of the ultimate adventure bucket list. There’s skiing in the winter and activities such as bungy jumping, sky diving, canyon swinging, jet boating, horse trekking and river rafting all year round. Queenstown has also become a renowned cycling destination, providing everything from easy scenic tracks to backcountry trails, road rides to heli-biking and the Southern Hemisphere’s only gondola accessed downhill mountain biking. If hardcore adventure isn't your thing, there are plenty of mellow options available. Experience one of the many walking and hiking trails, sightseeing tours or indulge yourself with spa treatments, boutique shopping and excellent food and wine. Head out of Queenstown and the drama of the Central Otago landscape unfolds around you. If you’re a Lord of the Rings fan you’ll recognise many of the locations of Middle-earth here. Twenty minutes from Queenstown, Arrowtown’s gold-mining history is alive and vibrant. Visit the Lakes District Museum or go gold panning. Forty minutes from Queenstown at the northern tip of Lake Wakatipu is rural Glenorchy and Paradise Valley. From here it’s a short drive into the Mt Aspiring National Park and the start of some of New Zealand’s great walks. A popular holiday spot at any time of the year, Queenstown is renowned for its four distinctive seasons. Winter brings crisp, blue-sky days, spring retains the snow but blooms into longer, warmer days, summer offers sunshine and long twilights, and autumn a burst of brilliant red and gold. Queenstown (population 17,000) hosts around 2 million visitors a year - in peak season they can outnumber locals by as many as 3 to 1! The town is well serviced by both national and international flights, while buses connect it with other South Island destinations. The proof is in the pudding. Queenstown is rated internationally as one of the world’s top holiday destinations and in 2013 was named one of the World’s Top 25 Travellers’ Choice Destinations by TripAdvisor and fourth friendliest city in the world by the Condé Nast Traveller Reader Survey.