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The History of Queenstown

Queenstown is a well-known resort town on New Zealand’s South Island. It is in Otago, which is southwest South Island. The town is built around Queenstown Bay, which is a long, thin lake. It is well known for the wonderful view of the nearby mountains. The mountains close to the town are Cecil Peak, The Remarkables, and Walter Peak. Even closer to the town are Queenstown Hill and Ben Lomond.

As of 2014, the town had a population of over twelve thousand residents. It is one of the smaller urban areas of New Zealand. The entire town is oriented towards tourism. Adventure and skiing are the most popular activities when visiting Queenstown. However, some visitors become so enamoured with the town that they decide to never leave. For them, Staysouth luxury apartments in Queenstown can provide them with a wonderful place to stay.

History of Queenstown


The area of Queenstown was first settled by the Maori, long before the Europeans arrived on the island. It is not known how long the Maori lived in the area before Europeans arrived. However, archaeological evidence of nets, eel-catching baskets, and spears indicate that the Maori were at least visitors. There is no archaeological evidence of a permanent Maori settlement.

The first European in the area was Nathanael Chalmers in 1853. He did not settle the area, though. The first European settlers were William Gilbert Rees and Nicholas von Tunzelmann. They established a farm that was located in the present-day city centre. The town did not become very popular until 1862 when gold was discovered in the Arrow River. Then, William Rees converted the woolshed on his farm into a hotel. He called his hotel The Queen’s Arms. Now it is known as Eichardt’s.


No one is quite sure how Queenstown got its name. However, different stories exist. One story says that a gold prospector said the town was so nice it was “fit for Queen Victoria,” giving the town its name. Other apocryphal stories exist.

If you visit Queenstown, you will see the lasting effect of the gold rush. Many of the streets and buildings are named for the era when gold mining was the main industry of the town. The historic precinct dates from this era, which is why the buildings tend to be so close together.


Historic Attractions

Some of the most interesting destinations in Queenstown come from its rich history. For example, the steamboat TSS Earnslaw that travels around Lake Wakatipu is one hundred years old. It is a twin screw coal-fired steamboat.

Nearby Arrowtown, named for the Arrow River, boasts many historical attractions.

Historic Attractions

Rugby, a game dating back to the mid-19th century, remains very popular on the island. Tourists often find themselves enjoying touch rugby games during the summer. Also, Queenstown boasts rugby league and rugby union teams. Visiting a rugby game can give you an insight into the game that has meant so much to New Zealand’s history. New Zealand produces some of the greatest rugby teams in the world.

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