After a morning ski at Cardrona, we drove southwest to Arrowtown at the base of the Crown Range. Arrowtown boomed in the 1860s when gold was discovered on the Arrow River. More than 30,000 people lived here during the rush, but today it’s a quiet little village of shops and cafés populated with tourists on their way to and from Queenstown.

Queenstown is entirely different — located on the shore of Lake Wakatipu, it’s bustling with life and enough outdoor adventure to fill a few weeks on the south island. Bungy jumping was born here, and the terrain is perfect for heli-skiing, mountain biking, hiking, jet boating, paragliding, canyon swinging, river boarding, rafting, sailing and just about anything else that involves adrenaline.

With all that activity, there are plenty of places to find great food, wine and beer including Botswana Butchery where we indulged in a delectable meal sourced from local farms, wineries and game hunting. We tried the local oysters, too — just as wonderful and unique as everything else in this diverse and growing country.

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