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So that cheap flight to Queenstown, the beautiful and rugged mecca of adventure tourism on New Zealand's South Island, has been booked. Maybe a cheap hotel or even a ski hotel awaits to take advantage of the close-by snow areas suitable for every level of skier or snowboarder.

The city is nestled in New Zealand's spectacular southern alps on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. The close proximity to water and mountains renders it a hub of outdoor activity with a healthy jolt of adrenaline in the mix.

Commercial bungee jumping was invented by AJ Hackett at the Kawarau Bridge near Queenstown, and the company that bears his name also runs Ledge Bungy right in downtown. Other adventure sports have ridden in on that reputation, including commercial jet boating, river surfing, abseiling, mountain biking, canoeing, kayaking, parasailing, quad biking and even skydiving. The area is also a year round mecca for the fishing enthusiast.

Maybe relaxation and retail therapy are the orders of the day. The Australian dollar currently goes somewhere near 20 per cent further in New Zealand, so if shopping is not already on the agenda it sure should be. The compact shopping area is located in the heart of town and boast day and evening trading hours 365 days a year.

What sets Queenstown apart from other shopping destinations is apparel and jewelry: it is said that the city is the best place in the world to buy traditional wool and sheepskin clothing, while those into accessor should look for the indigenous greenstone, called Pounamu.

Then, of course, there's that skiing. The snowfields around Queenstown are open from 05 June, with six different ski fields within comfortable driving distance. Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Cardrona, Treble Cone, Snow Park NZ and Waiorau Snow Farm all offer a full range of services, conditions and hotels .

Sometimes spring does not fully arrive until early October, affording plenty of time to explore the slopes and partake of Queenstown's legendary apre ski culture. A handful of winter festivals and carnivals only add to the merirement.

Speaking of hospitality, after a long day of adventure, a good meal is in order. Queenstown and the surrounding areas are a foodie's paradise. There are more than 150 caf├ęs, bars and restaurants in and around Queenstown, with great choice of cuisines and ambience.

Finally, for those looking ahead to Rugby World Cup 2011, keep Queenstown in mind. Not only is it the official training venue for the Irish, British and Romanian teams on select days in September, but the match host cities of Invercargill, Dunedin and Christchurch are only two to six hours by car.

Source by Timothy Grayling