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Take a hike and discover Queenstown this summer

Take a hike and discover Queenstown this summer

Queenstown, 7 November 2012 – Queenstown’s reputation as one of New Zealand’s most popular walking and hiking destinations has been further enhanced this summer with the launch of a new network of trails.

Officially opened on 18 October, the Queenstown Trail highlights the region’s spectacular scenery and experiences and is being hailed as one of the country’s flagship trails for walkers and bikers of all ages and fitness levels.

Designed for maximum flexibility, the 110km network of trails links the popular visitor spots of Queenstown Bay, Frankton, Lake Hayes, Arrowtown, and Gibbston ‘valley of vines’ and can be completed as a whole or in sections depending on time and preference.

The trail is an easy to intermediate gradient and follows pristine rivers, lakes and mountain ranges as well as passing by iconic Queenstown experiences such as bungy jumping, jet boating and wine tasting.

Existing popular walking spots are also incorporated in the trail including the Gibbston River Trail, which gives stunning views of the Kawarau River, and the Lake Hayes Loop Track which has breathtaking 360-degree lake and mountain views. Arrowtown’s Manse Road Trail, new last season, allows walkers to explore the picturesque village of Arrowtown on foot and learn more about the fascinating history of its restored Chinese Village via newly erected interpretation panels in English and Simplified Chinese.

Scenic short walks from downtown Queenstown range from a leisurely lakeside stroll around the Queenstown Gardens, hiking up Queenstown Hill to enjoy magnificent lake and mountain views, or following the sunny lakeside trail along Kelvin Heights Peninsula around to Jack’s Point. The more challenging Ben Lomond Track is a popular day trip which rewards walkers with stunning 360-degree views of the region.

More adventurous hikers are also well catered for with a number of overnight and multi-day walks within easy reach of Queenstown. Glenorchy, at the head of Lake Wakatipu, is a spectacular 45-minute lakeside drive from Queenstown and the starting point for several multi-day hikes such as the Dart/Rees, Greenstone and Caples tracks as well as the Routeburn, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks. Towards Milford Sound, the stunning Hollyford and Milford Tracks are also easily accessible.

Hikers can choose to walk these tracks independently and stay at Department of Conservation huts or campsites. For those looking for more diversity, comfort and convenience, various companies provide guided multi-day adventures during the summer which combine fascinating insights into the region’s flora, fauna, geology and history, private lodges with comfy beds, hot showers and three-course meals, combo options including helicopter and jet boat rides, and door-to-door transfers.

Destination Queenstown CEO Graham Budd believes the region’s walking options, spectacular lake and alpine scenery, long sunny days and huge range of things to do make it the perfect summer holiday destination.

“We can’t keep our superb summer climate to ourselves - we want holidaying visitors to share our great outdoor lifestyle. With the sun rising as early as 5am and setting as late as 10pm in mid-summer it’s easy to fit in a solid day’s walk, have a relaxing massage, enjoy award-winning local food and wine in the sun and still have time to explore the art galleries and shops,” said Mr Budd.

“What really sets our trails apart is that you can experience this amazing sense of being away from it all in stunning landscapes, yet you’re never far from a welcome refreshment stop at a local cafe, bar, restaurant or winery.

“Add to that a multitude of world-renowned adrenaline activities as well as more relaxed pursuits and you can tailor your summer holiday perfectly to suit your budget and tastes.”

The region’s spectacular scenery and experiences continue to earn international accolades with influential travel authority Lonely Planet choosing Queenstown and the Southern Lakes as one of the world’s Top 10 Regions to visit in 2012, and millions of travellers voting Queenstown as the Number One New Zealand destination in the South Pacific at Trip Advisor’s 2012 Travellers’ Choice Awards.

To view footage of some of the region’s great walks and hear feedback from hikers visit http://youtu.be/99QUyidSVrM. For more information about Queenstown visit www.queenstownNZ.co.nz.

ENDS

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