The Merino is one of the most relevant and economically influential breeds of sheep, much prized for its wool. The breed was originated and improved in Extremadura, in southwestern Spain, around the 12th century. Today, Merinos are still regarded as having some of the softest wool of any sheep. Poll Merinos have no horns, horned Merino rams have long, spiral horns which grow close to the head. Two suggested origins for the Spanish word merino are: It may be an adaptation to the sheep of the name of a Leonese official inspector over a merindad, who may have inspected sheep pastures; this word is from the medieval Latin maiorinus, a steward or head official of a village, from maior, meaning "greater". It may be from the name of an Imazighen tribe, the Marini, who intervened in the Iberian peninsula during the 12th and 13th centuries; the Merino is an excellent forager and adaptable. It is bred predominantly for its wool, its carcass size is smaller than that of sheep bred for meat. South African Meat Merino, American Rambouillet and German Merinofleischschaf have been bred to balance wool production and carcass quality.
Merino have been domesticated and bred in ways that would not allow them to survive well without regular shearing by their owners. They must be shorn at least once a year. If this is neglected, the overabundance of wool can cause heat stress, mobility issues, blindness. Merino wool is soft. Staples are 65–100 mm long. A Saxon Merino produces 3–6 kg of greasy wool a year, while a good quality Peppin Merino ram produces up to 18 kg. Merino wool is less than 24 micron in diameter. Basic Merino types include: strong wool, medium wool, fine and ultra fine. Ultra fine wool is suitable for blending with other fibers such as cashmere; the term merino is used in the textile industries, but it cannot be taken to mean the fabric in question is 100% merino wool from a Merino strain bred for its wool. The wool of any Merino sheep, whether reared in Spain or elsewhere, is known as "merino wool". However, not all merino sheep produce wool suitable for clothing, for clothing worn next to the skin or as a second skin.
This depends on the particular strain of the breed. Merino sheep bred; the Phoenicians introduced sheep from Asia Minor into North Africa and the foundation flocks of the merino in Spain might have been introduced as late as the 12th century by the Marinids, a tribe of Berbers. Although there were reports of the breed in the Iberian peninsula before the arrival of the Marinids. In the 13th and 14th centuries, Spanish breeders introduced English breeds which they bred with local breeds to develop the merino. Spain became noted for its fine wool and built up a fine wool monopoly between the 12th and 16th centuries, with wool commerce to Flanders and England being a source of income for Castile in the Late Middle Ages. Most of the flocks were owned by the church; the Mesta was an organisation of privileged sheep owners who developed the breed and controlled the migrations along cañadas reales suitable for grazing. The three Merino strains that founded the world's Merino flocks are the Royal Escurial flocks, the Negretti and the Paula.
Among Merino bloodlines stemming from Vermont in the USA, three historical studs were important: Infantado and Aguires. Before the 18th century, the export of Merinos from Spain was a crime punishable by death. In the 18th century, small exportation of Merinos from Spain and local sheep were used as the foundation of Merino flocks in other countries. In 1723, some were exported to Sweden, but the first major consignment of Escurials was sent by Charles III of Spain to his cousin, Prince Xavier the Elector of Saxony, in 1765. Further exportation of Escurials to Saxony occurred in 1774, to Hungary in 1775 and to Prussia in 1786. In 1786, Louis XVI of France received 366 sheep selected from 10 different cañadas; the Rambouillet stud enjoyed some undisclosed genetic development with some English long-wool genes contributing to the size and wool-type of the French sheep. Through one ram in particular named Emperor – imported to Australia in 1860 by the Peppin brothers of Wanganella, New South Wales – the Rambouillet stud had an enormous influence on the development of the Australian Merino.
Sir Joseph Banks procured two rams and four ewes in 1787 by way of Portugal, in 1792 purchased 40 Negrettis for King George III to found the royal flock at Kew. In 1808, 2000 Paulas were imported; the King of Spain gave some Escurials to the Dutch government in 1790. In 1788, John MacArthur, from the Clan Arthur introduced Merinos to Australia from South Africa. From 1765, the Germans in Saxony crossed the Spanish Merino with th
Station (Australian agriculture)
In Australia, a station is a large landholding used for producing livestock, predominantly cattle or sheep, that need an extensive range of grazing land. It corresponds to American ranches that operate under the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934 on public lands; the owner of a station is called a grazier. Station referred to the homestead – the owner's house and associated outbuildings of a pastoral property, but it now refers to the whole holding. Stations in Australia are on Crown land pastoral leases, are known colloquially as sheep stations or cattle stations as most are stock specific, dependent upon the country and rainfall; the operators or owners are thus known as pastoralists. Sheep and cattle stations can be thousands of square kilometres in area, with the nearest neighbour being hundreds of kilometres away. Anna Creek Station in South Australia is the world's largest working cattle station, it is 24,000 square kilometres. Because of the extended distances, there is a School of the Air so that children can attend classes from their homes using pedal powered radios to communicate with the teachers.
The larger stations have their own school and teacher to educate the children on the station until at least they commence high school. Large isolated stations have their own stores to supply workers with their needs. Medical assistance is given by the Royal Flying Doctor Service, where medical staff such as doctors and nurses can treat patients at their homes, or airlift emergency and ill patients to hospitals at the nearest towns; the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service and RAC Rescue Chopper and its trained medical crews respond to emergencies threatening the life and safety of people caused through medical emergency, natural disaster, accidents or mishap. A station hand is an employee, involved in routine duties on a station and this may involve caring for livestock; some stations are in remote areas that are not easy to access. Accommodation for couples and families may be limited. Many station employees are young and temporary. An important example is the jackaroo or jillaroo, a young person who works on a station for several years in a form of apprenticeship, in order to become an overseer or rural property manager.
Aboriginals have played a big part in the northern cattle industry where they were competent stockmen on the cattle stations. Nowadays staff on these stations may work in stock camps. Stockmen ringers, may be seasonal employees. Others include boremen, mechanics, machinery operators and camp cooks, teachers and bookkeepers. Veterinary surgeons fly to some of the more distant cattle and sheep stations; the long-running television drama McLeod's Daughters is set on an Australian cattle station. The film Australia was set on a fictional station Faraway Downs, but parts were filmed on Home Valley Station. Jeannie Gunn arrived at Elsey Station in 1902, leaving after her husband died, in 1908 wrote the book We of the Never Never based on her time on the property. Elsey featured in the 1946 film The Overlanders, the crew set up camp on the property for a month; the river crossing sequence was shot at the Roper River. In the 2016 videogame Sid Meier's Civilization VI player can rule Australia which has a unique tile improvement called Outback Station.
Arthur W. Upfield who spent many years working in the outback and on stations in many different jobs described station life of the early 20th century in his novels. Pastoral lease List of ranches and stations § Australia List of the largest stations in Australia Outstation Station Media related to Sheep and cattle stations in Australia at Wikimedia Commons
Louse is the common name for members of the order Phthiraptera, which contains nearly 5,000 species of wingless insect. Lice are obligate parasites, living externally on warm-blooded hosts which include every species of bird and mammal, except for monotremes and bats. Lice are vectors of diseases such as typhus. Chewing lice live among the hairs or feathers of their host and feed on skin and debris, while sucking lice pierce the host's skin and feed on blood and other secretions, they spend their whole life on a single host, cementing their eggs, called nits, to hairs or feathers. The eggs hatch into nymphs, which moult three times before becoming grown, a process that takes about four weeks. Humans host two species of louse—the head louse and the body louse are subspecies of Pediculus humanus; the body louse has the smallest genome of any known insect. Lice were ubiquitous in human society until at least the Middle Ages, they appear in folktales, songs such as The Kilkenny Louse House, novels such as James Joyce's Finnegans Wake.
They feature in the psychiatric disorder delusional parasitosis. A louse was one of the early subjects of microscopy, appearing in Robert Hooke's 1667 book, Micrographia. Humans host three different kinds of lice: head lice, body lice, pubic lice. Lice infestations can be controlled with lice combs, medicated shampoos or washes. Sucking lice are small wingless insects ranging from 0.5 to 5 mm in length. They have oval, flattened bodies, they have no ocelli, their compound eyes are reduced in size or absent. Their antennae are short with three to five segments, their mouth parts, which are retractable into their head, are adapted for piercing and sucking. There is a cibarial pump at the start of the gut; the mouthparts consist of a proboscis, toothed, a set of stylets arranged in a cylinder inside the proboscis, containing a salivary canal and a food canal. The thoracic segments are fused, the abdominal segments are separate, there is a single large claw at the tip of each of the six legs. Chewing lice are flattened and can be larger than sucking lice, ranging in length from 0.5 to 6 mm.
They are similar to sucking lice in form but the head is wider than the thorax and all species have compound eyes. There are no ocelli and the mouthparts are adapted for chewing; the antennae have three to five segments and are slender in the suborder Ischnocera, but club-shaped in the suborder Amblycera. The legs are short and robust, terminated by one or two claws. Many lice have co-evolved with it, they are cryptically coloured to match the fur or feathers of the host. Lice are divided into two groups: sucking lice, which obtain their nourishment from feeding on the sebaceous secretions and body fluids of their host. Most are found on only specific types of animals, and, in some cases, on only a particular part of the body. For example, in humans, different species of louse inhabit pubic hair. Lice cannot survive for long if removed from their host; some species of chewing lice house symbiotic bacteria in bacteriocytes in their bodies. These may assist in digestion. If their host dies, lice can opportunistically use phoresis to hitch a ride on a fly and attempt to find a new host.
A louse's color varies from pale beige to dark gray. Female lice are more common than males, some species are parthenogenetic, with young developing from unfertilized eggs. A louse's egg is called a nit. Many lice attach their eggs to their hosts' hair with specialized saliva. Lice inhabiting birds, may leave their eggs in parts of the body inaccessible to preening, such as the interior of feather shafts. Living louse eggs tend to be pale whitish. Lice are exopterygotes; the young moult three times before reaching the final adult form within a month after hatching. The average number of lice per host tends to be higher in large-bodied bird species than in small ones. Lice have an aggregated distribution across bird individuals, i.e. most lice live on a few birds, while most birds are free of lice. This pattern is more pronounced in territorial than in colonial—more social—bird species. Host organisms that dive under water to feed on aquatic prey harbor fewer taxa of lice. Bird taxa that are capable of exerting stronger antiparasitic defense—such as stronger T cell immune response or larger uropygial glands—harbor more taxa of Amblyceran lice than others.
Reductions in the size of host populations may cause a long-lasting reduction of louse taxonomic richness, for example, birds introduced into New Zealand host fewer species of lice there than in Europe. Louse sex ratios are more balanced in more social hosts and more female-biased in less social hosts due to the stronger isolation among louse subpopulations in the latter case; the extinction of a species results in the extinction of its host-specific lice. Host-switching i
Rangelands are grasslands, woodlands and deserts that are grazed by domestic livestock or wild animals. Types of rangelands include tallgrass and shortgrass prairies, desert grasslands and shrublands, savannas, chaparrals and tundras. Rangelands do not include forests lacking grazable understory vegetation, barren desert, farmland, or land covered by solid rock, concrete and/or glaciers. Rangelands are distinguished from pasture lands because they grow native vegetation, rather than plants established by humans. Rangelands are managed principally with practices such as managed livestock grazing and prescribed fire rather than more intensive agricultural practices of seeding and the use of fertilizers. Grazing is an important use of rangelands but the term "rangeland" is not synonymous with "grazinglands". Livestock grazing can be used to manage rangelands by harvesting forage to produce livestock, changing plant composition or reducing fuel loads. Fire is an important regulator of range vegetation, whether set by humans or resulting from lightning.
Fires tend to reduce the abundance of woody plants and promote herbaceous plants including grasses and grass-like plants. The suppression or reduction of periodic wildfires from desert shrublands, savannas, or woodlands invites the dominance of trees and shrubs to the near exclusion of grasses and forbs; the United States Environmental Protection Agency defines rangeland as "lands on which the native vegetation is predominantly grasses, grass-like plants, forbs, or shrubs suitable for grazing or browsing use." The EPA classifies natural grassland and savannas as rangeland, in some cases includes wetlands, tundra, "certain forb and shrub communities." The primary difference between rangeland and pasture is management. Prairies are considered part of the temperate grasslands and shrublands biome by ecologists, based on similar temperate climates, moderate rainfall, grasses and shrubs, rather than trees, as the dominant vegetation type. Temperate grassland regions include the Pampas of Argentina, the steppes of Eurasia.
Grasslands are areas where the vegetation is dominated by other herbaceous plants. However and rush families can be found. Grasslands occur on all continents except Antarctica. In temperate latitudes, such as northwest Europe and the Great Plains and California in North America, native grasslands are dominated by perennial bunch grass species, whereas in warmer climates annual species form a greater component of the vegetation. Steppe, in physical geography, refers to a biome region characterized by grassland plain without trees apart from those near rivers and lakes; the prairie is an example of a steppe, though it is not called such. It may be semi-desert, or covered with grass or shrubs or both, depending on the season and latitude; the term is used to denote the climate encountered in regions too dry to support a forest, but not dry enough to be a desert. Pampas are the fertile South American lowlands that include the Argentine provinces of Buenos Aires, La Pampa, Santa Fe, Entre Ríos and Córdoba, most of Uruguay, the State of Rio Grande do Sul, in the southernmost end of Brazil covering more than 750,000 km2.
These vast plains are only interrupted by the low Ventana and Tandil hills near Bahía Blanca and Tandil, with a height of 1,300 m and 500 m respectively. The climate is mild, with precipitation of 600 mm to 1,200 mm, more or less evenly distributed through the year, making the soils appropriate for agriculture; this area is one of the distinct physiography provinces of the larger Paraná-Paraguay Plain division. These plains contain unique wildlife because of the different terrains around it; some of this wildlife includes the rhea, the badger, the prairie chicken. Shrubland is a plant community characterized by vegetation dominated by shrubs also including grasses and geophytes. Shrubland may either occur or be the result of human activity, it may be the mature vegetation type in a particular region and remain stable over time, or a transitional community that occurs temporarily as the result of a disturbance, such as fire. A stable state may be maintained by regular natural disturbance such as browsing.
Shrubland may be unsuitable for human habitation because of the danger of fire. The term "shrubland" was first coined in 1903. Woodland is a low-density forest forming open habitats with plenty of sunlight and limited shade. Woodlands may support an understory of herbaceous plants including grasses. Woodland may form a transition to shrubland under drier conditions or during early stages of primary or secondary succession. Higher densities and areas of trees, with closed canopy, provide extensive and nearly continuous shade are referred to as forest. Savanna is a grassland ecosystem characterized by the trees being sufficiently small or spaced so that the canopy does not close; the open canopy allows sufficient light to reach the ground to support an unbroken herbaceous layer consisting of C4 grasses. Desert is a landscape or region that receives an low amount of precipitation, defined as areas with an average annual precipitation of less than 250 millimetres per year, or as areas where m
In Australian history, a squatter was a man, either a free settler or ex-convict, who occupied a large tract of Crown land in order to graze livestock. Having no legal rights to the land, they gained its usage by being the first settlers in the area; the term squattocracy, a play on "aristocracy", developed to refer to some of these squatters. The term ‘squatter’ derives from its English usage as a term of contempt for a person who had taken up residence at a place without having legal claim; the use of ‘squatter’ in the early years of European settlement of Australia had a similar connotation, referring to a person who had ‘squatted’ on'unoccupied' land for pastoral or other purposes. In its early derogatory context the term was applied to the illegitimate occupation of land by ticket-of-leave convicts or ex-convicts. From the mid-1820s, the occupation of Crown land without legal title became more widespread carried out by those from the upper echelons of colonial society; as wool began to be exported to England and the colonial population increased, the occupation of pastoral land for raising cattle and sheep progressively became a more lucrative enterprise.
‘Squatting’ had become so widespread by the mid-1830s that Government policy in New South Wales towards the practice shifted from opposition to regulation and control. By that stage, the term ‘squatter’ was applied to those who occupied Crown land under a lease or license, without the negative connotation of earlier times; the term soon developed a class association, suggesting an elevated socio-economic status and entrepreneurial attitude. By 1840 squatters were recognized as being amongst the wealthiest men in the colony of New South Wales, many of them from upper and middle-class English and Scottish families; as unoccupied land with frontage to permanent water became more scarce, the acquisition of runs required larger capital outlays. The term ‘squatter’ came to refer to a person of high social prestige who grazes livestock on a large scale. In Australia the term is still used to describe large landowners in rural areas with a history of pastoral occupation. Hence the term, Squattocracy, a play on aristocracy.
When the British settled at Sydney Cove in 1788 the colonial government in Australia claimed all lands for the Crown. Governors of New South Wales were given authority to make land grants to free settlers and non-commissioned officers; when land grants were made they were subject to conditions such as a quit rent and a requirement for the grantee to reside on and cultivate the land. In line with the British government's policy of concentrated land settlement for the colony Governors of New South Wales tended to be prudent in making land grants. By the end of Governor Macquarie’s tenure in 1821 less than 1,000 square miles of land had been granted in the colony of New South Wales. During Governor Brisbane's term, land grants were more made. In addition regulations introduced during Brisbane’s term enabled settlers to purchase up to 4,000 acres at 5s an acre. During Governor Brisbane's four years in office the total amount of land in private hands doubled; the impetus for squatting activities during this early phase was an expanding market for meat as the population of Sydney increased.
The first steps in establishing wool production in New South Wales created an increased demand for land. Squatting activity was carried out by emancipist and native-born colonists as they sought to define and consolidate their place within society. From 1824 there were regulations to limit squatting; the limits of location known as the Nineteen Counties, were defined from 1826. This was because of the expense of providing government services and difficulty supervising convicts over a wide tract of land; however the nature of the sheep industry which required access to vast grassy plains meant that despite the limitations, squatters occupied land far beyond the colony's official limits. From 1833 Commissioners of Crown Lands were appointed under the Encroachment Act to manage squatting. From 1836 legislation was passed to legalise squatting with grazing rights available for ten pounds per year; this fee was for a lease of the land, rather than ownership, what the squatters wanted. The 1847 Orders in Council divided land into settled and unsettled areas, with pastoral leases of one, eight and 14 years for each category respectively.
From here on, squatters were able to purchase parts of their land, as opposed to just leasing it. It is known that many squatters fought battles with advanced European weapons against the local Indigenous Australian communities in the areas they occupied, though such battles were investigated; these battles/massacres are the subject of the history wars, being the term for an ongoing public discussion on Australia's interpretation of its history. Squatters were only prosecuted for killing indigenous people; the first conviction of white men for the massacre of Indigenous people followed the Myall Creek massacre in 1838, in which Aboriginal subject status was employed by colonial courts for the rare co-incidence of local and imperial authorities. Whilst life was tough for the squatters, with their huge landholdings many of them became wealthy and were described as the "squattoc
Ticks are small arachnids 3 to 5 mm long, part of the order Parasitiformes. Along with mites, they constitute the subclass Acari. Ticks are ectoparasites, living by feeding on the blood of mammals and sometimes reptiles and amphibians. Ticks had evolved by the Cretaceous period, the most common form of fossilisation being immersed in amber. Ticks are distributed around the world in warm, humid climates. All ticks belong to one of two major families, the Ixodidae or hard ticks, the Argasidae or soft ticks. Adults have ovoid or pear-shaped bodies which become engorged with blood when they feed, eight legs; as well as having a hard shield on their dorsal surfaces, hard ticks have a beak-like structure at the front containing the mouthparts whereas soft ticks have their mouthparts on the underside of the body. Both families locate a potential host by odour or from changes in the environment. Ticks have four stages to their lifecycle, namely egg, larva and adult. Ixodid ticks have three hosts, taking at least a year to complete their lifecycle.
Argasid ticks have up to seven nymphal stages, each one requiring a blood meal. Because of their habit of ingesting blood, ticks are vectors of at least twelve diseases that affect humans and other animals. Fossilized ticks are known from the Cretaceous onwards, most in amber, they most originated in the Cretaceous, with most of the evolution and dispersal occurring during the Tertiary. The oldest example is an argasid bird tick from Cretaceous New Jersey amber; the younger Baltic and Dominican ambers have yielded examples which can be placed in living genera. The tick Deinocroton draculi has been found with dinosaur feathers preserved in Cretaceous Burmese amber from 99 million years ago. There are three families of ticks; the two large ones are the sister families of Ixodidae and Argasidae. The third is Nuttalliellidae, named for the bacteriologist George Nuttall, it comprises a single species, Nuttalliella namaqua, is the most basal lineage. Ticks are related to the mites, within the subclass Acarina.
RDNA analysis suggests that the Ixodidae are a clade, but that the Argasidae may be paraphyletic. The Ixodidae contains over 700 species of hard ticks with a scutum or hard shield, which the Argasidae lack; the Argasidae contains about 200 species. They have no scutum, the capitulum is concealed beneath the body; the family Nuttalliellidae contains only a single species, Nuttalliella namaqua, a tick found in southern Africa from Tanzania to Namibia and South Africa. The phylogeny of the Ixodida within the Acari is shown in the cladogram, based on a 2014 maximum parsimony study of amino acid sequences of twelve mitochondrial proteins; the Argasidae appear monophyletic in this study. Tick species are distributed around the world, but they tend to flourish more in countries with warm, humid climates, because they require a certain amount of moisture in the air to undergo metamorphosis, because low temperatures inhibit their development from egg to larva. Ticks are widely distributed among host taxa, which include marsupial and placental mammals, reptiles such as snakes and lizards, amphibians.
Ticks of domestic animals cause considerable harm to livestock by transmission of many species of pathogen, as well as causing anaemia and damaging wool and hides. Some of the most debilitating species occur in tropical countries. Tropical bont ticks affect most domestic animals and occur in Africa and the Caribbean; the spinose ear tick has a worldwide distribution, the young feeding inside the ears of cattle and wild animals. In general, ticks are to be found wherever their host species occur. Migrating birds carry ticks with them on their journeys; the species of tick differed between the autumn and spring migrations because of the seasonal periodicities of the different species. For an ecosystem to support ticks, it must satisfy two requirements: the population density of host species in the area must be high enough, humidity must be high enough for ticks to remain hydrated. Due to their role in transmitting Lyme disease, ixodid ticks the North American I. scapularis, have been studied using geographic information systems to develop predictive models for ideal tick habitats.
According to these studies, certain features of a given microclimate – such as sandy soil, hardwood trees and the presence of deer – were determined to be good predictors of dense tick populations. Ticks, like mites, are arthropods that have lost the segmentation of the abdomen that their ancestors had, there has subsequently been a fusion of the abdomen with the cephalothorax; the tagmata typical of other Chelicera have been replaced by two new body sections, the anterior capitulum, retractable and contains the mouthparts, the posterior idiosoma which contains the legs, digestive tract, reproductive organs. The capitulum is a feeding structure with mouthparts adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood. Features of the capitulum include the basis capitulum and hypostome; the basis capitulum supports the rest of the feeding structures. Palps have a sensory role and are composed of three sections; the hypostome is used for blood extraction and is a hollow, tube-like structure. The ventral side of the idiosoma bears sclerites, the gonopore is located between
Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown is a resort town in Otago in the south-west of New Zealand's South Island. It has an urban population of 15,850, making it the 27th largest urban area in New Zealand. In 2016, Queenstown overtook Oamaru to become the second largest urban area in Otago, behind Dunedin; the town is built around an inlet called Queenstown Bay on Lake Wakatipu, a long thin Z-shaped lake formed by glacial processes, has views of nearby mountains such as The Remarkables, Cecil Peak, Walter Peak and just above the town, Ben Lomond and Queenstown Hill. The Queenstown-Lakes District has a land area of 8,704.97 square kilometres not counting its inland lakes. The region has an estimated resident population of 39,100. Neighbouring towns include Arrowtown, Kingston, Wanaka and Cromwell; the nearest cities are Invercargill. Queenstown is known for its commerce-oriented tourism adventure and ski tourism; the area was discovered and first settled by Māori. The first non-Māori to see Lake Wakatipu was European Nathanael Chalmers, guided by Reko, the chief of the Tuturau, over the Waimea Plains and up the Mataura River in September 1853.
Evidence of stake nets, baskets for catching eels and ashes indicated the Glenorchy area was visited by Māori. It is Ngāi Tahu Māori visited Queenstown en route to collect Pounamu. A settlement called Te Kirikiri Pa was occupied by the tribe of Kāti Māmoe, situated where the Queenstown Gardens are today, but by the time European migrants arrived in the 1860s this settlement was no longer being used. European explorers William Gilbert Rees and Nicholas von Tunzelmann were the first non-Maoris to settle the area. Rees established a high country farm in the location of Queenstown's current town centre in 1860, but the discovery of gold in the Arrow River in 1862 encouraged Rees to convert his wool shed into a hotel named the Queen's Arms, now known as Eichardt's. Many Queenstown streets bear names from the gold mining era and some historic buildings remain. William's Cottage, the Lake Lodge of Ophir, Queenstown Police Station, St Peter's Anglican Church lie close together in a designated historic precinct.
There are various apocryphal accounts of how Queenstown was named, however the following is the most likely: When William Rees first arrived in the area and built his homestead, the area was known as The Station although miners soon referred to it as The Camp from 1860 to 1862. The miners, the Irish, had taken an interest in the ceremony held for a small town called Cobh in Ireland, renamed Queenstown in honour of Queen Victoria in 1850, they may have had their own ceremony at the intersection of Rees and Beach Streets replicating some of the elements in the renaming of the Irish town. Subsequent to this a public meeting was held for the purpose of naming the township on the lake in January 1863 in which the town was given the name of Queenstown in reference to Ireland's Queenstown. By 9 and 10 January 1863 the town was being reported with the name of Queenstown from several reports written by a correspondent in the Otago Witness on Monday the 5th and Tuesday the 6th, it was during the meeting there may have been a reference by a miner of the town being "fit for a Queen".
Tāhuna, the Māori-language name for Queenstown, means "shallow bay". Queenstown is situated on the shore line of Lake Wakatipu, the third largest lake by surface area in New Zealand, it is at a low altitude for a ski and snowboarding centre at 310 metres above sea level on the shores of the lake, but is nestled among mountains. Nearby are gorges plus plains suitable for agriculture. Central Queenstown contains many businesses and homes but is near many suburbs or large areas of housing: Fernhill, Sunshine Bay, Queenstown Hill, Goldfield Heights, Marina Heights, Kelvin Heights, Arthurs Point and Frankton. Just outside Queenstown are the areas of: Arrowtown, Dalefield, Jack's Point, Hayes Creek, Lake Hayes Estate, Shotover Country and Quail Rise; because of its moderate altitude and high mountain surroundings, Queenstown has an oceanic climate. Summer has long warm days with temperatures that can reach 30 °C while winters are cold with temperatures in single digits with frequent snowfall, although there is no permanent snow cover during the year.
As with the rest of Central Otago, Queenstown lies within the rain shadow of the Southern Alps, but being closer to the west coast the town is more susceptible to rain-bearing fronts compared to nearby Cromwell and Alexandra. The hottest recorded temperature in Queenstown is 34.1 °C, while the coldest is −8.4 °C. Residential housing in the Queenstown area is quite expensive due to factors such as the town being a tourist destination, its lack of land and its desirability to foreigners and investors. Queenstown is rated the least affordable place in New Zealand to buy a property, overtaking Auckland at the start of 2017. In December 2016 the average house price in the Queenstown area rose to $1 million NZD; the area’s growth rate is one of the fastest in the country with the population growing 7.1% from 2015 to 2016 in a 12-month period. Most jobs in Queenstown are tourism- or accommodation-related. Employment growth was the highest of any area in New Zealand at 10.3% in the March 2016 year. A resort town, Queenstown boasted 220 adventure tourism activities in 2012.
Skiing and snowboarding, jet boating, whitewater rafting, bungy jumping, mountain