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Holiday thrills in Queenstown summer and winter

Alexa Forbes, Mandy Kennedy - 09/12/2010

The scenic beauty and the range of activities at Queenstown attract visitors summer and winter alike, so if you have booked for another destination in the coming Christmas and New Year holidays there is no need to feel that you have missed your chance to visit Queenstown at its most beautiful.

A number of articles about this area have been published in NZine in the past including:

What reports have been sent to NZine of special attractions for visitors to enjoy in 2011?

Queenstown's Ziptrek Ecotours

Alexa Forbes

Ziptrek Ecotours opened the world's steepest tree-to tree flying fox adventure as part of its new Kea 6-Line Tour.

The 6-line, high velocity tour guarantees an eco-adventure like no other, taking thrill-seekers to speeds of up to 70 km ph on a extended 'zip into town' experience that builds on the company's original Moa 4-Line Tour.

The 3-hour Kea Tour begins in the Ziptrek Guest Services Tree-house where guests are harnessed up for the Moa 4-line Tour. Following 2 hours high in the forest canopy, feet next touch the ground for a stunning 20 minute trek through ancient native beech forest along the Tiki Trail extension, a track created by Ziptrek and gifted to the community.

Guests then embark on the final "hair-raising"line of the Kea 6-Line Tour before being unclipped from their harnesses just a short stroll from the resort's town centre.

Ziptrek Ecotours  girl  on Zipline
Ziptrek Ecotours girl on Zipline
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Ziptrek Ecotours won Queenstown sustainable business award
One year after opening its flying fox eco-adventure high in the tree tops above Queenstown Ziptrek Ecotours won highly-acclaimed recognition in the adventure capital for its outstanding efforts towards sustainability.

The Westpac Queenstown Chamber of Commerce Business Awards, which took place on 13 November, celebrate the resort town's business excellence, passion and success with just six awards given every alternate year to those who have contributed significantly to the region.

Ziptrek Ecotours was selected for the Sustainable Business Award after proving its dedication towards long-term profitability, creating no waste/being carbon neutral, meeting people's needs, showing sustainable business practice, using clean energy and being industry specific.

NZONE 'Skydive' has new wings to take more thrill-seekers to the skies

Alexa Forbes

A bigger aircraft capable of carrying more passengers means NZONE (pronounced n-zone) can take more thrill-seekers to the skies above Queenstown, improving the experience for customers without increasing effects on neighbours.

The award winning tandem skydive operator has recently introduced a Cessna Grand Caravan, known as a 'Supervan 900' to its Queenstown-based operation. The plane can carry up to six tandem jumpers allowing NZONE to keep groups together during their once-in-a-lifetime experience, and is quietest and most efficient aircraft available for commercial skydiving.

NZONE general manager Robynne Williams said the new addition was an upgrade that would bring many benefits to the company and adventure seekers.

"NZONE was the first skydive operator to become benchmarked with Green Globe 21 and we carry a Qualmark Enviro Silver for our efforts in monitoring and improving our carbon emissions."said Ms Williams. The Cessna Grand Caravan will further improve the company's environmental efficiency as the single turbo-prop engine and fixed gear short haul airliner, means its fuel consumption is more economical and the per person carbon footprint is significantly reduced.

"If we can become more fuel efficient, we are taking positive steps towards sustainable practice and environmentally-aware aviation. That's a huge bonus for us."

Managing Director Lindsay Williams said that when buying the plane, the company undertook significant research to invest in the best aircraft for its conditions. This plane is the quietest and most efficient on the market and will significantly lower our emissions while adding no adverse affects to our neighbours. It's the best fit for our business, our environment and our neighbours." This plane fits with our own needs for high standards and best practice,"said Mr Williams.

NZONE guests choose their fear-factor - the 'Exosfear' 15,000ft jump, 'Stratosfear' 12,000ft jump or 'Troposfear' 9,000ft jump. The experience and breathtaking bird's-eye views begin on a scenic flight to the dropzone before the freefall action begins when guest and jumpmaster step out of an aircraft door.

Historic trail officially opened following key funding

Alexa Forbes

A public pathway that links the historic Kawarau Bungy Bridge at one end of Gibbston to Waitiri Creek Wines at the other officially opened on December 4.

The project has been six years in the making and has been supported by SKYCITY Queenstown Casino Community Trust, which committed $6,500 for the building of a footbridge.

The public are able to access the 8-Km Gibbston River Trail by bicycle or foot.

Gibbston Community Association was a recipient of SKYCITY Queenstown Casino Community Trust in 2009. The money awarded was used to erect a 9m-long timber bridge that was vital in creating the Gibbston River Trail. The bridge was built to help preserve an archaeological site, which features a large area of shallow alluvial workings.

Walking the Wentworth Bridge Loop of the Gibbston River Trail
Walking the Wentworth Bridge Loop of the Gibbston River Trail
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Make plans now to attend the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival 2011

Mandy Kennedy

Winter Starts Here! There is plenty to get excited about as the Southern Hemisphere's biggest winter party, the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival 2011 gets into it from June 24th to July 3rd.

The Festival celebrates the beginning of winter with a jam packed 10 day programme featuring some hilarious, possibly outrageous and definitely unique Queenstown events.

There are fireworks, comedy, drag races, birdman action, jazz, food and wine, street parades, family fun, a great mix of internationally acclaimed performers and home-grown acts, a Charity Boxing Match and a glamorous ball and that is just in town! Up on the mountain you can catch loads of winter action with ski races, mayhem on the mountain for families and ski and boarding fans, dog races and superb entertainment. 2011 will herald the return of many Festival favourites as well as an injection of fresh new events sure to get everyone in the party mood.

Since first being staged in 1975 by Queenstowners who thought the arrival of snow was a 'great excuse for a party', the Festival has evolved to forge a unique identity as New Zealand's premier celebration of all things winter. Now an iconic event cemented on New Zealand's calendar, it attracts 60,000 attendees and injects a whopping $45 million back into the local economy.

The Festival gets underway in style on Friday June 24th at the free American Express Opening Party with a spectacular fireworks display, live music, mulled wine, and plenty of laughs. Check out all the action at

Festival fireworks
Festival fireworks
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