Think of a landscape untouched by man. A rich blue lake surrounded by huge tussock covered mountains with sheer cliffs and angry rock faces. Pure white snow like icing sugar coats a charming little village by the lake, and curious looking wekas play hide and seek in the bush shrouded hills. A flock of birds soar overhead in v formation in the marbled blue and white sky. You feel dwarfed, and somewhat of an imposter, embarrassingly aware of your trivial human endeavours .It is what most people call Pure 100% New Zealand. This is what Queenstown was like twenty-five years ago.
However, Queenstown now has undergone some major changes, and not all for the better. Instead of a quaint township, there is a bustling sprawl of tourist–oriented, heavily priced retail shops. It is still surrounded by mountains, but some of the trees on the hills have been replaced with luxury hotels, grand yet imposing, specifically for those with bulging wallets. It is no longer distant and secret from the rest of the world. The building of an international airport means planes fly directly from Australia. Also, to encourage the growth of tourism, activities such as bungy jumping, jet boating, paragliding, skiing, luging, and skydiving have been introduced. It’s hard to find time to simply enjoy the natural surroundings and peace, or what’s left of it.
The population increase has caused an increase in commercial space, developments and pests, resulting in major environmental damage which detracts from Queenstown’s green image. Queenstown has seen a 22.1% increase in population, which means pressure on public facilities such as the limited supply of water, electricity, and sewerage facilities. More people means more impact on the beautiful environment, which is the reason tourists visit Queenstown in the first place. In the Otago Daily Times, a new development is being proposed, which includes more visitor accommodation, a large supermarket and more commercial space.