Some of the more popular New Zealand vacation packages are centered around the country’s famous and numerous music festivals, of which the Queenstown Jazzfest is most noteworthy.
Scheduled to begin October 21st this year, the Jazzfest is a massive event. First held in 1978 as a fairly small, local celebration of New Zealand’s jazz culture, it has grown to an international clearinghouse that serves as a starting point for emerging and young talent in the music field. In 2008, the festival hosted more than 50 bands and 200 artists, and this year it will host the traditional youth and non-emerging talent competitions, giving a sample of all that’s new and vital in the world of New Zealand jazz.
Traditional jazz, if one could ever call jazz traditional, won’t be the only style on display either. Blues, Latin fusion music, R&B and Dixie tunes brought all the way from the United States will be present, as well. Anything goes as far as musical style is concerned, and the sheer number of concerts means that the entertainment will continue morning, noon and night.
Of course, Queenstown is an excellent venue for the concert series. Set amid the mountains around Lake Wakatipu, the city is home to some truly gorgeous vistas and traveling experiences. Between events at the festival, guests of the city can explore its vibrant artistic district or sample the local cuisine in one of the many cafés and artsy diners. Alternatively, they can take a trip up the hills and experience the famous Queenstown Bungee jump, or simply enjoy a relaxing picnic in the forests on the mountainsides. The coal-fired steamship TSS Earnslaw provides a unique experience for those eager to see the lake, offering tours around the body of water. And the city is home to some outstanding hotels and accommodations for tired travelers to return to at the end of a night of music, mirth and mystery.