QUEENSTOWN, NEW ZEALAND
Situated in the Otago region of New Zealand’s south island, Queenstown sits amidst breathtaking scenery on the north shore of magnificent Lake Wakatipu.
Originally a gold mining camp in the 1860’s, Queenstown has a 100 year history as a tourist destination, today ranking as New Zealand’s premier year-round lake and alpine resort. With a population of about 10,500 modern Queenstown is a sophisticated centre – bustling with cafés, bars, clubs and restaurants. There are fascinating art galleries, museums and stylish shopping to enjoy. You will find wonderful wool and sheepskin products in the specialist stores.
With the majestic “Remarkables” mountain range providing a backdrop equal to the finest alpine vistas in Europe, beautiful Queenstown offers an absolutely mind-boggling range of adventures and pleasures.
Around Lake Wakatipu one can indulge in parasailing, wake-boarding and water-skiing, kayaking, sailing and hair-raising jet boat rides. [Read More..]
On the northern-most island, Hokkaido, Niseko ranks as one of Japan’s top destinations. Comprising 4 main inter-linked luxury resorts – Annupuri, Niseko Village, Hirafu and Hanazono, the mountain offers superb skiing and snow-boarding experiences for all skill levels. The season extends from December to May. With its varied terrain, serious snow and 61 courses, Niseko is hugely attractive to international visitors. There are extensive powder fields off The Peak and amazing tree runs at Miharashi and Strawberry Fields. The runs boast comprehensive ski-lift and Express Gondola services operating from 8:30a.m. to 8:30pm. Shuttle buses will transport you around and between the resorts and private vehicle hire packages are available with some of the high-end chalet rentals. My nephew Nicholas and friends (avid snowboarders) have, over several recent visits to the region, sampled the spectrum of accommodation (ranging from hostel-style to luxury chalets and hotels, including The Hilton) and voted the private up-scale chalets their favourites (I imagine, knowing Nicholas and Co., because these allow for some serious partying – I’m sure he won’t mind me saying that!). There are plenty of activities and cultural adventures to be enjoyed off-piste and marvellous bars and restaurants in which to sample the exquisite local cuisine. Niseko Kids Adventure and Snow School (located near Hilton Village Niseko) caters for the entertainment and supervision of children aged 18 months to 12 years.
Also – visit some of the many onsen (hot springs) – relax apres-ski in therapeutic, mineral-rich volcanic waters – sublime!
Due to the depth of the snow, you will need wide carving skis and a longer snowboard.