I forced myself to look down as I shuffled my way to the edge of Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown, New Zealand, the same spot A.J. Hackett launched the first-ever commercial bungee operation in 1988. The couple in front of me clung together for moral support while the singlet-clad stag party behind me bantered about who among them would be brave enough to touch the river on their jump. I, on the other hand, was alone, determined to overcome my nerves and take part in the 34-year-old Queenstown tradition.
A Foo Fighters’ song blared from the speakers behind me as I took my turn on the platform, until the band suddenly went quiet. A power outage on a bungee platform doesn’t do anything but suck adrenaline from the jumper, exactly what it did to me as I was encouraged to jump in silence. With no one to cheer me on, I turned to the boys behind me and begged for support. Mustering up courage, I spread my arms wide and leaned forward off the bridge as a group of soon-to-be wedded Kiwis sang the only song they could collectively come up with, “Happy birthday to you …”.
Adrenaline is woven deeply into the Queenstown experi- ence — dubbed New Zealand’s adventure capital — where immersing yourself in the stunning natural landscape lies just one tour away. Simple forest bathing involves soaring down the world’s steepest tree-to-tree zipline with Ziptrek Ecotours (Queenstown’s first carbon-neutral tourism activity), while exploring Queenstown Canyons takes place on a thrilling (90 kmh) jetboat tour with Shotover Jet. You can walk Queen- stown Gardens, where an 18-basket disc golf course awaits, although you’ll go deeper into the region on half- or full-day hiking trips with the guides at Alpine Luxury Tours. Aerial views are popular in Queenstown, where you can get a view and a sandwich atop Bob’s Peak, accessible via Queenstown Gondola, but booking a heli-tour through Over the Top will have you soaring above the most breathtaking scenic vistas, including Central Otago Wine Region, where you’ll land for some necessary wine tasting.
Alpine Luxury Tours runs private tours throughout the region that let you customize your experience. You’ll travel in comfort as you traverse the land, sky and lakes that make this slice of New Zealand so mesmerizing.
Just like the wines of the region, Queenstown’s beauty pairs best with any tour that gets you out amid nature … whether you choose to plunge, soar, stroll, drive or dive into it is up to you.
Read This Next
FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.
JW Marriott Debuts in Spain with JW Marriott Hotel Madrid
JW Marriott makes its way into Spain with the unveiling of JW Marriott Hotel Madrid. The hotel lies within the Canalejas zone, merely steps away from theaters and prestigious art institutions, as well as other popular landmarks and attractions.
Treasure Every Moment in The Islands of Tahiti
Welcome to The Islands of Tahiti, where every moment is a treasure waiting to be discovered. From the moment you arrive, you will be greeted with warm hospitality, time-honored traditions and an awe-inspiring landscape that will take your breath away.
Wynn Las Vegas Debuts Luxury Wine Weekend with Opus One Winery
Wynn Las Vegas and Opus One Winery partner for the ultimate weekend wine escape April 28–30, bringing the Opus One experience outside the Napa Valley estate for the first time. Participants enjoy in-depth master classes, intimate tasting room experiences, food and wine parings from Wynn chefs, and an Opus One Under the Stars outdoor feast.
Italian Mansion, Winery Locanda La Raia Available for Private Stays
Looking for luxury in Italy’s Southern Piedmont Region? In the wine hills of Gavi, north and west of Genoa, Locanda La Raia offers 10 splendid guestrooms and two apartments on a 180- hectare estate. Once a countryside inn and post station serving travelers journeying through the area on horseback, the space has been meticulously restored by the Rossi Cairo family to showcase original features such as vaulted ceilings and exposed brickwork. Each guestroom has been individually decorated and now features enormous windows overlooking the surrounding landscape of lush gardens, rolling meadows and organic vineyards.
Share Your Travel Preferences with Global Traveler in a Short Survey & Win
Learning more about our readers’ travel habits and preferences ensures Global Traveler delivers the content you desire. As the travel industry has adapted and changed over the last few years, it’s more important than ever to connect. To best meet your short- and long-term travel content needs, please help us!
The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach’s Wellness Experiences
The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach offers travelers a new immersive wellness experience: Healing in Hawai’i.
4 Spring Hotel Openings
DailyMar 29, 2023
Elk Cove Inn & Spa Review
eFlyer ReviewsMar 29, 2023
Puerto Rico’s Hotel El Convento Unveils Multimillion-Dollar Renovation
Hotel El Convento, one of Old San Juan’s most popular landmark hotels, recently completed a multimillion-dollar design and architectural renovation to its 81 rooms. The renovation blends Old World charm with Puerto Rico’s vibrant and modern energy.
Enter to Win $500 and Get Six Months’ Free Access to the New GT App
Now through May 8, sign up for a free six-month trial of the Global Traveler app and be automatically entered for a chance to win a $500 gift card of your choice for Amazon, Apple or American Express.
Etihad Airways Teams Up with Emirati Chef for In-Flight Ramadan Menu
Etihad Airways prepares a specially curated in-flight menu through the holy month of Ramadan. The menu comes thanks to the airline’s collaboration with Emirati Chef Khaled Alsaadi, in which Alsaadi recreates popular Ramadan dishes blending Emirati recipes with contemporary techniques and local ingredients.