Surprising Things About Queenstown, New Zealand’s Adventure Capital

I knew Queenstown would be scenic, but little did I know it would easily be one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited.

Queenstown, New Zealand, the adventure capital of the world.

Monica Humphries / Insider

As well known as Queenstown is for adventure, it’s also known as the backdrop for the scenic shots of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. With the film in mind, I knew to expect breathtaking landscapes.

Again I spotted the beauty of Queenstown before landing in the city. As I looked out the window of my plane, I remember thinking that I had never flown so close to the mountains – the views were not comparable to other mountainous plane flights I had done in the Colorado or Banff, Canada.

Once I landed the mountains only looked more impressive. The mountain range, called The Remarkables, earned its name well when European explorer Alexander Garvie saw the jagged, soaring range in 1853, according to the Queenstown Visitors Page.

Standing in the heart of Queenstown, the views continue. The city’s downtown sits on the shore of Lake Wakatipu, a 112-square-mile lake that was formed when a glacier cut through the land, reports the Queenstown Visitors Page.

A few miles from the bustling center, as I explored, I encountered icy streams, fields of sheep and lakes large enough to look like oceans.

Queenstown’s photogenic quality has also made it a go-to filming location for movies and TV shows beyond ‘The Lord of the Rings’. ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’, ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ and ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ were all partially filmed near Queenstown, according to the Queenstown Visitors Page .

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