Queenstown is the acknowledged premier alpine tourism resort in New Zealand and is situated on the shores of the Z-shaped Lake Wakatipu [ the 3rd largest in NZ]. In Maori lore the name means "space where the demon lies" and in part refers to a mild tidal like phenomena in the lake called "seiches" which is caused by wind and air pressure effects.
The main contributing factor to the resort's all season popularity is the stunning and wide variations of landscapes, and in mid last century it was also the development of nearby Coronet Peak into a ski field, that really drew the visitors. It is now complimented by others nearby, and 'over the hill" at Lake Wanaka, an hours drive away.
In more recent times, for some, tourism has evolved into "adventure tourism" that capitalises on the geological features to cater to every rush for adrenaline that mountains and water can bring to mind. In the old days it was for gold!