Doing it in Queenstown

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This popular resort town on New Zealand’s south island seems pretty close to some definitions of paradise.

You’ll travel halfway around the world to a tiny hamlet surrounded by mountains and the crystal water of Lake Wakatipu. But there’s also plenty to do in Gay Queenstown, which is a huge center for gay and lesbian travel adventure and tourism.

You can ski, of course, but our travel guides suggest taking part in whitewater rafting, skydiving or bungee jumping if your seeking adventure. If you’re in the mood for something more serene, take a cruise on the lake with the TSS Earnslaw, a coal-fired steamship that’s nearly 100 years old. Or find out why Queenstown and nearby Arrowtown are known as wine and cuisine centers. There are 150 eateries in Queenstown alone from which to choose.

If you want to plan your trip at time when the town is celebrating alternative lifestyles, visit in late August and early September. During that time, Queenstown attempts to live up to its name by hosting a gay ski week, which local tourism gurus promote as the biggest gay and lesbian alpine party in the southern hemisphere.

Week long activities range from tubing The Remarkables, one of Queenstown’s main ski areas, to “Fagtag” at the Gallery Bar. In between celebrations make sure to stop the other big ski areas: Coronet Peak, which is probably the most popular due to its diverse slopes, nearness to the city, and the fact that it is the training ground for New Zealand’s national ski Team, Cardrona Alpine Resort, and Treble Cone.

There is no noticeable gay neighborhood in Queenstown and the gay scene is not clustered around any specific streets or scene. While there is no distinct gayborhood in Queenstown, downtown is the urban hub, much like any other city.

Everything is within walking distance, and there are several bars and restaurants in downtown.