Top Things to do in Queenstown - New Zealand

Top Things to do in Queenstown – New Zealand

Welcome to Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand! Nestled in the stunning Southern Alps, this bustling town is a mecca for thrill-seekers and nature lovers alike. From bungee jumping off towering cliffs to sipping wine amidst picturesque vineyards, Queenstown offers something for everyone. Join us as we dive into the top things to do in this breathtaking destination – you won’t want to miss out on all the excitement that awaits!

Introduction to Queenstown New Zealand

Queenstown, located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, is a picturesque resort town nestled in the heart of New Zealand’s South Island. This bustling destination attracts visitors from around the world with its stunning natural scenery, adrenaline-pumping activities, and charming small-town vibe.

Famously known as the “Adventure Capital of the World,” Queenstown is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. Surrounded by towering mountains and crystal-clear lakes, this vibrant destination offers endless opportunities for adventure seekers and nature lovers alike.

Queenstown is also a popular spot for foodies, boasting a thriving culinary scene with a diverse range of restaurants and cafes offering everything from hearty local fare to international cuisine. The town’s lively bar scene is not to be missed either, with plenty of options for those looking to unwind after a day filled with activities.

But it’s not just about thrills and indulgences in Queenstown – there is also a rich history and cultural heritage waiting to be explored. Take a stroll through the streets lined with charming colonial buildings or visit one of the many art galleries showcasing the work of talented local artists.

One of the best ways to get acquainted with Queenstown is by taking a leisurely walk through its lively downtown area. Here you will find an array of boutique shops selling locally made crafts and souvenirs that make perfect mementos for your trip.

For those who crave adrenaline-fueled experiences, Queenstown has no shortage of options. Bungy jumping off Kawarau Bridge, jet boating through narrow canyons, and white-water rafting down fast-flowing rivers are just some of the thrilling activities on offer.

Nature lovers will also be spoiled for choice when it comes to exploring Queenstown’s stunning surroundings. From hiking trails that wind through lush forests to scenic cruises across glacial lakes, there are plenty of ways to immerse yourself in the area’s natural beauty.

But even if you prefer a more relaxed pace, there is no shortage of things to do in Queenstown. Take a scenic gondola ride up Bob’s Peak for breathtaking views of the town and surrounding mountains, or simply sit back and enjoy a leisurely picnic by the lakeshore.

Before you plan your visit, remember that travelers to New Zealand may need to apply for a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) visa. This requirement ensures a smooth and hassle-free entry into the country, allowing you to fully enjoy all that Queenstown and New Zealand have to offer.

Queenstown’s Must-Visit Attractions

Queenstown, New Zealand is a popular destination for tourists, and it’s not hard to see why. With its stunning natural landscapes, endless outdoor adventures, and charming town center, Queenstown has something for everyone. In this section, we will explore the must-visit attractions in Queenstown that should be on every visitor’s itinerary.

Top Things to do in Queenstown New Zealand

1. The Remarkables: This iconic mountain range is one of the most visited attractions in Queenstown. Whether you’re an avid skier or just want to take in the breathtaking views, The Remarkables offers a variety of activities for all ages and skill levels. During the winter months, visitors can hit the slopes for some world-class skiing and snowboarding. In the summer, hiking trails offer panoramic views of Lake Wakatipu and surrounding valleys.

2. Skyline Queenstown: For a truly unforgettable experience, take a ride on the Skyline Gondola up Bob’s Peak to enjoy spectacular aerial views of Queenstown and beyond. Once at the top, visitors can also enjoy thrilling activities such as bungy jumping or paragliding. If adrenaline-pumping adventures aren’t your thing, there are also more relaxed options like dining at the Stratosfare Restaurant or taking a leisurely walk along one of the many nature trails.

3. Milford Sound: Considered by many as one of New Zealand’s greatest natural wonders, Milford Sound is a must-see attraction in Queenstown. Located within Fiordland National Park UNESCO World Heritage Site, this stunning fiord boasts towering cliffs lined with cascading waterfalls and mesmerizing wildlife such as dolphins and penguins. Visitors can take a scenic flight or cruise through Milford Sound to fully appreciate its beauty.

4.Moke Lake: A peaceful escape from busy tourist spots in Queenstown can be found at Moke Lake located just 15 minutes from town by car! Surrounded by mountains with crystal clear waters, this tranquil lake offers opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, camping and even stargazing. It’s the perfect spot for a picnic or to simply relax and take in the stunning scenery.

5. Queenstown Gardens: For nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, a visit to Queenstown Gardens is a must. Located along the shores of Lake Wakatipu, this beautiful garden features an array of exotic plants, perfectly manicured lawns, walking paths and even a frisbee golf course! Visitors can also enjoy panoramic views of the lake while enjoying a peaceful picnic or feeding ducks by the water.

Skyline Gondola and Luge: A Must-Do Experience in Queenstown, New Zealand

No trip to Queenstown, New Zealand is complete without a visit to the iconic Skyline Gondola and Luge. Located just a short distance from the city center, this popular tourist attraction offers breathtaking views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains. From thrilling rides on the luge track to delicious dining options with stunning vistas, there’s something for everyone at Skyline.

Riding the gondola up to Bob’s Peak is an experience in itself. The cable car takes you 450 meters above Queenstown, providing unparalleled panoramic views of the city and its surroundings. As you ascend towards the top of Bob’s Peak, you’ll be mesmerized by the beauty of nature around you. Keep your camera ready as this journey offers countless photo opportunities.

Once you reach the top, get ready for some adrenaline-pumping action on the luge track – a unique wheeled gravity ride that was invented right here in New Zealand! The purpose-built track features over 800 meters of twists and turns with scenic lookout points along the way. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely ride or an exhilarating race against your family and friends, luge offers unmatched fun for all ages.

If speed isn’t your thing, don’t worry – there are plenty of other activities to enjoy at Skyline as well. You can take a stroll through their beautiful nature trails or admire native fauna at Kiwi Haka – an interactive Maori cultural experience featuring traditional song and dance performances. There’s also a stargazing tour available for those interested in seeing constellations and learning about Maori legends associated with them.

After working up an appetite from all the excitement, head over to one of Skyline’s restaurants or cafes for some delicious food and drinks while enjoying uninterrupted views of Queenstown below. From indulgent buffets at Stratosfare Restaurant to quick bites at Market Kitchen or mouth-watering burgers at Redwoods, there’s something to satisfy every craving.

In addition to being a popular tourist attraction, Skyline also takes its commitment towards sustainability seriously. The gondola and luge operation is powered by renewable energy sources, and the company has implemented various initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint.

No trip to Queenstown would be complete without experiencing the Skyline Gondola and Luge. With stunning views, thrilling rides, delicious food, and a responsible approach towards nature, this attraction truly offers an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages. So make sure to add it to your itinerary when planning your next trip to New Zealand!

– Lake Wakatipu

Lake Wakatipu is a stunning glacial lake located in the heart of Queenstown, New Zealand. Spanning over 80 kilometers in length, it is the longest lake in the country and the third largest. Surrounded by majestic mountains and picturesque landscapes, Lake Wakatipu offers visitors an array of activities and adventures to enjoy.

One of the best ways to experience Lake Wakatipu is by taking a scenic cruise. There are several companies that offer different types of cruises including historical tours, luxury charters, and even thrill-seeking jet boat rides. No matter which option you choose, you will be treated to breathtaking views of the lake and its surroundings while learning about its rich history.

For those who prefer a more active experience on the water, there are plenty of options as well. Kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding on Lake Wakatipu allows you to explore at your own pace while admiring the crystal-clear water and stunning mountain views. You can also take part in thrilling water sports like wakeboarding or parasailing for an adrenaline rush like no other.

If hiking is more your speed, Lake Wakatipu has plenty of trails that offer spectacular views. The popular Queenstown Trail runs along parts of the lakefront and offers options for all skill levels. For a more challenging hike with rewarding views, try tackling Ben Lomond Track which takes you up above the lake to an elevation of 1,748 meters.

While exploring Lake Wakatipu’s shores, be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife such as birds and fish. The lake is home to several species including brown trout which makes it a popular spot for fishing enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful day out on the water or hoping to catch your next big catch, Lake Wakatipu has something for everyone.

As dusk settles over Queenstown, brace yourself for one of nature’s most stunning displays at the lake. The Remarkables mountain range casts its reflection on the still waters of the lake, creating a magical and unforgettable sight. This is also the best time to capture postcard-worthy photos of Lake Wakatipu.

– Milford Sound

Milford Sound is a breathtaking destination located in the heart of Fiordland National Park, just a short distance from Queenstown. This stunning natural wonder is often referred to as the “eighth wonder of the world” and it’s a must-visit for anyone traveling to New Zealand. Known for its dramatic landscapes, majestic waterfalls, and abundant wildlife, Milford Sound offers an unforgettable experience that will leave you in awe.

One of the best ways to explore Milford Sound is by taking a scenic cruise along its serene waters. As you glide through the sound, you’ll be surrounded by towering mountains covered in lush rainforests and cascading waterfalls. Keep your eyes peeled for seals sunbathing on nearby rocks or dolphins jumping out of the crystal-clear waters alongside your boat. You may even catch a glimpse of rare species like penguins or whales if you’re lucky.

If you prefer a more adventurous way to experience Milford Sound, hop on a kayak tour and paddle your way through this breathtaking landscape. With every stroke of your paddle, you’ll feel closer to nature as you navigate through hidden coves and untouched corners of the sound. Along with fantastic views, kayaking also gives you access to secluded beaches where you can take a break and soak up some sun while enjoying one-of-a-kind views.

For those seeking an adrenaline rush, helicopter tours offer unparalleled views of Milford Sound from above. Soar over snow-capped peaks and glacial valleys as you make your way towards this iconic location. As you descend into the sound via helicopter landing, be prepared to marvel at incredible panoramic vistas that only few get to witness.

Hiking enthusiasts can also explore Milford Sound on foot by embarking on one or more of its many walking trails. The most popular option is the Milford Track – known as one of New Zealand’s Great Walks – which takes hikers through some of the sound’s most remarkable scenery. Along the way, you’ll encounter lush forests, stunning alpine views, and even a chance to see the iconic Sutherland Falls – one of the tallest waterfalls in New Zealand.

– The Remarkables Mountain Range

The Remarkables Mountain Range, located just outside of Queenstown, is a must-visit destination for any outdoor enthusiast or nature lover. This iconic mountain range spans over 20 kilometers and features spectacular peaks and valleys that offer breathtaking views and endless opportunities for adventure.

The Remarkables got its name from early settlers who described the mountains as “remarkable” due to their distinctive shape and beauty. The range is made up of several peaks that reach heights of over 2,000 meters, including Double Cone which stands at an impressive 2,319 meters.

One of the most popular ways to experience the Remarkables is by taking a scenic drive along the winding roads that lead to the ski fields. The drive offers stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and picturesque landscapes before reaching the base of the ski fields. During winter months, this area becomes a bustling hub for skiers and snowboarders looking to conquer these majestic mountains.

For those looking for a more challenging adventure, hiking in the Remarkables is a must-do activity. There are various trails catering to different fitness levels, but all promise spectacular views along the way. One of the most famous hikes is to Lake Alta – a glacial lake nestled in between towering cliffs with crystal clear blue water reflecting its surroundings.

For adrenaline junkies, there are several thrilling activities available at the Remarkables. Paragliding or hang-gliding offers a unique perspective as you soar above this world-renowned mountain range. Or, for those seeking an even bigger rush, heli-skiing allows you to access untouched powder while enjoying panoramic views from above.

During summer months when snow has melted away, mountain biking becomes one of the top things to do on The Remarkables. With tracks ranging from leisurely rides around gentle lakeside paths to exhilarating downhill descents through rugged terrain – there’s something for everyone seeking an adrenaline kick on two wheels.

No matter what activities you choose to do, a visit to The Remarkables is an experience not to be missed. Be sure to bring your camera as the views from this mountain range are truly remarkable and will leave you in awe of Queenstown’s stunning natural beauty.

Adventure Activities in Queenstown

Queenstown, known as the adventure capital of New Zealand, is an ideal destination for thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies. The stunning alpine landscapes combined with its plethora of outdoor activities make it a must-visit for anyone seeking an adventure-filled vacation.

Top Things to do in Queenstown - New Zealand

1. Bungee Jumping:

Thrill-seekers can get their adrenaline fix by bungee jumping in Queenstown. The first commercial bungee jump was operated here in 1988 and has since become one of Queenstown’s most iconic adventure activities. You can choose from several locations to take the leap, including the world-famous Kawarau Bridge or the exhilarating Nevis Bungy – one of the highest in New Zealand at 134 meters!

2. Skydiving:

Experience breathtaking views of Queenstown and its surrounding mountains as you freefall from a plane thousands of feet above ground. With experienced instructors and top-notch safety equipment, skydiving in Queenstown is a thrilling way to see this beautiful region like never before.

3. White Water Rafting:

Riding through raging rivers surrounded by dramatic landscapes is an unforgettable experience in Queenstown. This activity allows visitors to feel the rush of adrenaline while navigating through Class II-IV rapids on either Shotover or Kawarau River.

4. Zip-lining:

For those looking for a combination of thrills and scenic views, zip-lining is the perfect choice. Soar high above treetops and valleys on a series of cables while taking in panoramic views of Lake Wakatipu and surrounding mountains.

5. Hiking and Mountain Biking:

With its location among some of New Zealand’s most breathtaking scenery, it’s no surprise that Queenstown offers excellent hiking and mountain biking trails for adventure enthusiasts. From leisurely strolls around glistening lakes to more challenging hikes up rugged peaks, there is something for every level of adventurer.

6. Horseback Riding:

For a unique and slower-paced adventure, horseback riding through Queenstown’s stunning landscapes is a perfect choice. Explore the region’s rugged terrain and take in breathtaking views while trotting on horseback.

Queenstown offers an array of adventure activities that cater to everyone’s thrill levels. Whether you’re a daredevil seeking your next adrenaline rush or simply want to experience the natural beauty of this spectacular region, there is something for everyone in this adventure playground. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable journey in Queenstown!

– Bungee Jumping

Bungee jumping is one of the most thrilling and iconic activities to do in Queenstown, New Zealand. Located in the heart of the Southern Alps, this adrenaline-fueled experience is a must-try for anyone seeking an unforgettable adventure.

Known as the birthplace of commercial bungee jumping, Queenstown has been attracting thrill-seekers from all over the world since 1988. The town boasts several different bungee jump options, each offering a unique and exhilarating experience.

The Nevis Bungy is considered to be one of the highest jumps in New Zealand and in the world. Standing at a staggering 134 meters above the Nevis River, this jump offers a heart-pumping freefall that lasts for about 8.5 seconds. As you soar through the air, taking in breathtaking views of rugged mountains and sparkling rivers below, you will feel like you are on top of the world.

For those looking for something even more extreme, try experiencing “The Nevis Swing” – not for the faint-hearted! This adrenaline-inducing activity allows you to take a leap off a platform suspended above ground level and swing down at speeds reaching up to 120km/hour – perfect for testing your courage!

If you prefer water-based thrills instead, try out “the Ledge Bungy” located atop Bob’s Peak overlooking Lake Wakatipu. After enjoying stunning views via an iconic gondola ride up to Bob’s Peak, launch yourself off a purpose-built platform with just your feet strapped into rubber cord attached overhead – talk about ultimate freedom!

But don’t worry if those options seem too daring as there are plenty of other bungee jumps available suitable for all ages and levels of bravery! Choose from smaller jumps such as Kawarau Bridge Bungy or The Pipeline Bungy which both offer similar adrenaline-charged experiences but from slightly lower heights.

No matter which bungee experience you choose, the feeling of adrenaline coursing through your body as you make the leap is sure to be unforgettable. In Queenstown, bungee jumping isn’t just an activity, it’s a way of life and an essential part of any visit to this adventure capital. So don’t miss out on this heart-pumping activity that will leave you with lifelong memories- book your bungee jump in Queenstown today!

– Skydiving

Skydiving in Queenstown, New Zealand is an absolute must for adrenaline junkies and thrill-seekers. Known as the adventure capital of the world, Queenstown offers some of the most breathtaking landscapes and stunning aerial views for skydiving enthusiasts.

The experience starts with a safety briefing from highly trained and experienced instructors who will guide you throughout your dive. After getting suited up in specialized gear, you will take a scenic flight over Queenstown and its surrounding mountains before reaching an altitude of 15,000 feet – that’s almost three miles above ground level!

As the airplane door opens and you prepare to jump out into the open sky, your heart will start racing with excitement. The wind rushes past your face as you plunge into freefall at speeds of up to 200 kilometers per hour – an adrenaline rush like no other! The feeling of weightlessness combined with spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables Mountain Range makes for an unforgettable experience.

After about a minute of pure thrill, your parachute will deploy, and you’ll glide peacefully through the air while taking in the magnificent surroundings. Your instructor may even let you take control of steering the parachute if you’re feeling confident enough.

As you gently land on solid ground, filled with endorphins and sheer exhilaration, it’s hard not to feel accomplished for having conquered one of life’s most daring experiences. Many skydiving companies offer photo or video packages so that you can relive every moment of this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

With its unique geographic features – surrounded by mountains and lakes – Queenstown provides a breathtaking backdrop for skydiving. And thanks to its mild climate year-round, there’s never a bad time to jump!

Whether it’s your first time or hundredth time jumping out of a plane, skydiving in Queenstown is unmatched in terms of intensity, beauty, and pure ecstatic energy. So don’t miss out on this ultimate bucket list experience and add it to the top of your must-do activities in Queenstown, New Zealand.

– Hiking and Trekking

Hiking and trekking are two of the most popular and exciting activities to do in Queenstown, New Zealand. With its stunning landscapes and breathtaking views, this town is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, there are plenty of options for everyone to explore and enjoy.

One of the best hiking spots in Queenstown is without a doubt the Ben Lomond Track. Located just outside the town center, this track offers spectacular panoramic views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains. The hike itself takes around 6-8 hours round trip, depending on your fitness level, but the reward at the summit is definitely worth it. On a clear day, you can even catch a glimpse of Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak.

For those looking for more challenging hikes, the Routeburn Track is a must-do. This famous multi-day trek takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery in New Zealand’s Southern Alps. Starting from Glenorchy (a 45-minute drive from Queenstown), hikers will find themselves surrounded by towering peaks, crystal-clear rivers, and dense forests as they make their way towards Fiordland National Park. If you have enough time and stamina, consider combining this with another iconic hike called Milford Track for an unforgettable experience.

If you prefer something more off-the-beaten-path, check out Bob’s Cove Track which starts at Kelvin Heights Peninsula near Queenstown airport. This relatively easy hike offers stunning lake views throughout its entirety as well as native bird sightings such as Tui and Bellbird along the way.

In addition to traditional hiking trails, Queenstown also has a plethora of opportunities for adventurous trekkers. The region is home to some incredible alpine landscapes which can only be reached by helicopter or jet boat tours followed by exhilarating treks through high mountain passes or remote glaciers.

Last but not least, for those seeking a unique outdoor experience, consider the popular activity known as “heli-hiking.” This involves taking a helicopter ride to the top of a mountain where you can explore untouched terrain and enjoy spectacular views before returning by foot to your starting point.

Whether you’re an expert hiker or just looking to take in some of New Zealand’s most breathtaking scenery, Queenstown has something for everyone. From challenging multi-day treks to leisurely day hikes, this town truly offers one-of-a-kind experiences that will leave you with memories that last a lifetime. So, lace up your hiking boots and get ready to explore the stunning landscapes and pristine wilderness of Queenstown.

– Jet Boating

Jet boating is a thrilling and exciting adventure activity that has become synonymous with Queenstown. It involves navigating through the shallow, fast-flowing rivers of New Zealand in a high-powered jet boat while performing exhilarating maneuvers and experiencing breathtaking scenery.

One of the most popular jet boating experiences in Queenstown is the Shotover Jet. This iconic ride takes you through the narrow canyons of the Shotover River at speeds of up to 85 kilometers per hour. You’ll feel the adrenaline rush as your skilled driver performs 360-degree spins and takes you on an unforgettable journey through rugged terrain.

Another must-do jet boating experience in Queenstown is the Skippers Canyon Jet. This tour takes you deep into Skippers Canyon, a historic gold mining area with spectacular landscapes. The highlight of this adventure is the famous “Lord of The Rings” bridge, which was featured in one of the films.

For those looking for a more personalized jet boating experience, consider taking a private charter tour on Lake Wakatipu. Not only will you have an expert driver who knows all the best spots for sightseeing and photography, but you can also customize your itinerary to suit your preferences.

If you’re feeling extra adventurous, try combining jet boating with other activities such as white-water rafting or bungee jumping. There are several packages available that offer discounted rates for combining these thrilling experiences.

But it’s not just about speed and adrenaline when it comes to jet boating in Queenstown. The calm waters around Walter Peak High Country Farm offer a more serene and relaxing option for those who prefer a slower-paced ride with stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and its surrounding mountains.

Safety is always a top priority when participating in any adventure activity, and jet boating is no exception. All operators are required to follow strict safety guidelines, provide life jackets for every passenger, and thoroughly brief guests on safety procedures before the ride. So you can sit back, hold on tight, and enjoy the ride without any worries.

Jet boating is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Queenstown. It offers a unique way to explore the region’s stunning landscape and get your adrenaline pumping at the same time. Whether you’re in search of heart-pounding thrills or a peaceful ride with scenic views, jet boating has something to offer everyone.

Unique Experiences in Queenstown

Queenstown, New Zealand is known for its stunning natural beauty and adrenaline-filled adventures, but it also offers a variety of unique experiences that are sure to create unforgettable memories. From stargazing to indulging in local cuisine, here are some of the top things to do for a one-of-a-kind experience in Queenstown.

1. Stargaze at Mount John Observatory

Located near Lake Tekapo, the Mount John Observatory offers an incredible stargazing experience with its state-of-the-art telescopes and expert guides. Under the Southern Hemisphere’s crystal-clear skies, you’ll have the chance to see thousands of stars, planets and galaxies up close while learning about the fascinating world of astronomy.

2. Take a scenic flight over Milford Sound

Milford Sound is one of New Zealand’s most iconic destinations, known for its dramatic landscapes and majestic waterfalls. While many choose to explore this stunning location by boat or kayak, taking a scenic flight over Milford Sound will give you a unique perspective from above. Soar over towering cliffs and breathtaking valleys as you admire the sheer grandeur of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

3. Indulge in a Fergburger

No trip to Queenstown is complete without trying one of their famous Fergburgers – mouth-watering burgers loaded with fresh ingredients and gourmet sauces. The Fergburger store has become an institution in Queenstown with lines that can often be seen spilling onto the street. With options like their signature beef burger or vegetarian falafel burger, there’s something for everyone at this must-visit eatery.

4. Relax at Onsen Hot Pools

For those looking for some relaxation and pampering during their Queenstown visit, Onsen Hot Pools offers a unique experience unlike any other. Nestled high above Arthur’s Point with panoramic views of mountains and Shotover River Canyon below, these private cedar-lined hot pools allow guests to soak in the warm, therapeutic water while taking in the stunning surroundings.

5. Tour a local winery

Surrounded by picturesque vineyards and mountains, Queenstown has become a renowned wine destination with award-winning wineries scattered throughout the region. Take a guided tour through one of these wineries to learn about the unique grapes grown in this cool climate and sample some of the finest wines New Zealand has to offer.

From stargazing to indulging in mouth-watering burgers, Queenstown offers an array of unique experiences that are bound to make your trip unforgettable. So next time you find yourself in this beautiful part of the world, be sure to add these must-try activities to your itinerary for a one-of-a-kind experience like no other.