Travel insider: Queenstown

Tom Lynch, Owner/Director of TomTom Productions.
Tom Lynch, Owner/Director of TomTom Productions.

What is Queenstown's best-kept secret?
Definitely the star gazing. The night life is great but you can't beat the night sky down here. A close second is my rainbow-coloured deck at home in Arthurs Point.

The place you must break the bank for and hire a helicopter to experience - and you'll thank yourself forever?
Everybody should go to the ledge on Cecil Peak. It's the shortest flight you can take but it's stunning up there. I've been lucky enough to get up there a few times with work, including playing in a family band to 130 guests. It was mental.

The best thing to do without having to fork out any folding?
Hands down, the people-watching. A plethora of characters descend on Queenstown every day. My favourites are ski goggle-wearing pedestrians in winter and helmet-wearing coffee-drinkers in summer.

Where are some of the best trails with the fewest people?
The walk around Moke Lake is my favourite, I was out there the other day and saw only one woman.

She smiled at me and said hello. It was delightful.

What to do if you aren't interested in snow?
You can't beat finding a nice spot to just sit and look at a snow-covered mountain at sunset. Snow makes for a good sunset canvas and you'll be introduced to a new palette of sunset colours.

Name the place of the greatest natural beauty that will leave you speechless?
Perhaps not so much natural beauty but if you happen to walk into Winnies after 11pm during winter and witness the dance floor or maybe even participate I promise you'll be left speechless.

The most-dramatic yet most easily accessed location you must photograph in the Queenstown area?
Looking back to the Remarkables from Queenstown Hill at sunset during winter is unbeatable. It still gets me every time.

The best cocktail in the best place to unwind?
Definitely the Sherwood, aka my second home. And the food, too. Just trust the chef (Ainsley), she's a wizard.

Who is the most interesting newcomer to the community who is making an impression and have an impact on the Queenstown scene?
My 7-year-old niece, Ruby. She's in the local production of Annie this month, Queenstown has no idea what it's started there.

Tom Lynch, owner of Tom Tom Productions, has worked on the Queenstown Winter Festival for 16 years.


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