Welcome to Queenstown
Queenstown was once a place totally devoid of trees, with a moonscape of bare, dusty hills and eroded gullies where rainforest had proliferated. Copper was discovered here in the 1890s, with mining quickly poisoning the land. Today the trees are finally returning, but the landscape remains a patchwork of mineral colours – red, orange, yellow, purple – riven by the pumpkin-orange flow of the Queen River. The town has always had a hard edge – its heritage-listed football ground famously has a gravel surface, with every player guaranteed to bleed – but it's a likeable grittiness. Though clearly still suffering the economic aftershocks of the mine closure in 2014, it's trying hard to reinvent itself as a tourism destination.