Outdoor Adventures in Queenstown

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With mountains, lakes, and glaciers right on the city’s doorstep, Queenstown is New Zealand’s reigning capital of adventure sports. Whether you want to go hiking and climbing in the Southern Alps, test your nerves on a daring bungy jump, or venture off-road, here are your options for outdoor adventures in Queenstown.

Water Sports
Tackle the thrilling rapids of the Kawarau River or Shotover River on a white-water rafting, canyoning, or white-water sledging excursion; take a high-speed jet boat ride along the Shotover River; or kayak through Mount Aspiring National Park. Alternatively, head to Lake Wakatipu to enjoy activities including stand-up paddleboarding, flyboarding, catamaran cruises, and fishing. 

Extreme Sports
Check a few items off your bucket list while you’re in Queenstown, starting with a jump from the Nevis Highwire bungy platform, the third-highest in the world at a terrifying 440 feet (134 meters). Adrenaline junkies can also soar over Lake Wakatipu on the Sky Swing at the Ledge, enjoy hang gliding or paragliding from Coronet Peak, go ziplining at Kawarau Bridge, or try skydiving. 
 
Off-Road Adventures
Set off to explore Skippers Canyon or Mt. Nicholas high country by 4WD on a fun off-road safari, or take the wheel yourself with an ATV ride around Queenstown Hill or an exhilarating buggy ride around Lake Wakatipu.

Hiking and Biking
There are endless options for hiking and mountain biking in the mountains and valleys between Queenstown, Wanaka, and Glenorchy. Take a day hike through the Remarkables mountain range, climb to the summit of Ben Lomond for a spectacular view over the Southern Alps, or tackle the famous 3-day Routeburn Track. Cyclists can opt for a leisurely bike ride around the wineries of the Gibbston Valley or challenge themselves on the Otago Central Rail Trail or Arrow River Bridges Trail.
 
Winter Sports
Queenstown offers easy access to some of the best ski resorts on the South Island, including Cardrona, Treble Cone, Coronet Peak, and the Remarkables Ski Field. There are skiing and snowboarding options to suit all abilities, as well as heli-skiing, night skiing, and backcountry skiing. Other popular winter activities include snowshoeing, glacier hiking, and snowmobiling.
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Milford Sound Sightseeing Cruise with Scenic Round-Trip Flight from Queenstown

Take a window seat for a scenic round-trip flight from Queenstown to Milford Sound, and see the splendor of Fiordland National Park from the air and sea. You'll board a 2-hour cruise past dramatic waterfalls and Mitre Peak as you travel to the Tasman Sea. Then soar over the Southern Alps on your return.
  • Duration: 5 hours
From
$361.41 USD
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  • Duration: 5 hours
From
$361.41 USD

Shotover River Extreme Jet Boat Ride from Queenstown

Take a jet boat ride on the Shotover River during an extreme 25-minute ride, and make use of transport from Queenstown. Experience adrenaline-fueled fun as the jet boat skims the water’s surface at high speed and fishtails into 360-degree spins. Hold on tight as the captain maneuvers the jet boat over rapids and through narrow canyons during one heart-pounding adventure you won’t soon forget.
  • Duration: 25 minutes
From
$94.74 USD
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  • Duration: 25 minutes
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$94.74 USD

Half-Day Milford Sound Flight and Cruise from Queenstown

The glacial waters, soaring cliffs, and thundering waterfalls of Milford Sound are spectacular from all angles, and this half-day tour takes in all the highlights. Enjoy thrilling aerial views of the Fiordland National Park on a round-trip flight from Queenstown, and marvel at Mitre Peak, Bowen Falls, and Mount Pembroke on a scenic Milford Sound cruise. Hotel pickup and drop-off is included.
  • Duration: 4 hours
From
$396.50 USD
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  • Duration: 4 hours
From
$396.50 USD

Skydive Queenstown

Skydive Queenstown — New Zealand’s outdoor adventure capital — and jump from 9,000, 12,000 or 15,000 feet. After a safety briefing, board a small plane and tandem skydive with an experienced guide. Free-falling for a minute at terminal velocity, you’ll reach speeds of up to 124 mph (200 kph), then relax as you soak up views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range. Includes transport from Queenstown to the drop zone, just a 20-minute drive away.
  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
From
$209.83 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
From
$209.83 USD

Milford Sound Nature Cruise from Queenstown

Milford Sound is one of the star attractions of New Zealand’s South Island, but its remote location makes it tricky to visit on a day tour. This full-day tour from Queenstown is ideal for those short on time, combining a thrilling drive along the famous Milford Road, a scenic cruise around the UNESCO-listed fjord, and the chance to spot seals, dolphins and penguins.
  • Duration: 12 hours 45 minutes
From
$138.25 USD
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  • Duration: 12 hours 45 minutes
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$138.25 USD

Milford Sound Cruise with Optional Bus Tour

Enjoy uninterrupted views of glacier-carved cliffs on a Milford Sound cruise aboard the Maiden of Milford, a three-deck vessel. The 1.5-hour sightseeing cruise through one of the South Island’s most stunning natural wonders take you past vivid waterfalls to frolicking dolphins and New Zealand fur seals. Meet at the pier or opt for a round-trip coach tour of UNESCO-listed Fiordland National Park from Queenstown, and stop for photographs and some short nature walks en route to Milford Sound.
  • Duration: 8 hours
From
$31.58 USD
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  • Duration: 8 hours
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$31.58 USD

Queenstown Jet Boat Ride on the Shotover & Kawarau Rivers

Experience heart-racing fun on an exhilarating Queenstown jet-boat ride. The expert captain races across Lake Wakatipu, navigates tricky turns on the Kawarau River and speeds through the milky waters of the Shotover River. Grab hold of your seat as the jet boat makes 360-degree spins and fishtails on a rollercoaster ride over the water. You’ll cover more ground in less time, and receive a complimentary entrance ticket to Queenstown's Underwater Observatory.
  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
From
$76.49 USD
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  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
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$76.49 USD

Milford Sound Day Trip from Queenstown by Coach, Cruise and Flight

Experience the landscape of Milford Sound and Fjordland National Park on mountain roadways, a 1-hour, 45-minute nature cruise, and a sightseeing flight from Milford Sound to Queenstown. Along the way you’ll see some of the South Island's most remarkable scenery, such as Eglinton Valley, the Mirror Lakes, Stirling Falls, and Sutherland Falls, and Milford Sound is ideal for spotting wildlife. This 9-hour combination tour includes transport by glass-roof coach, catamaran boat, and plane, as well as lunch, refreshments, and hotel pickup and drop-off.
  • Duration: 9 hours
From
$435.09 USD
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  • Duration: 9 hours
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$435.09 USD

Queenstown Zipline Tour

Soar through the Queenstown forest on the world’s steepest tree-to-tree zipline, plunging 30 stories down from the Skyline Gondola summit on a 3-hour tour. Tone down the adrenaline a notch on a 2-hour course, perfect for families with kids aged six and up. Expert guides supervise your launch from each aerial platform, so all you have to do is take in the panoramic views of Lake Wakatipu and the snow-capped Remarkables mountain range.
  • Duration: 4 hours
From
$66.67 USD
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  • Duration: 4 hours
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$66.67 USD

Glenorchy Movie Locations Tour: The Lord of the Rings

Visit ‘The Lord of the Rings’ filming locations in Glenorchy, traveling by 4WD with an informative guide. Departing Queenstown for Middle-earth in the morning or afternoon, this half-day tour includes stunning countryside landscapes chosen by director Peter Jackson. See where famous scenes were filmed, such as the Fortress of Isengard, Lothlorien, Ithilien Camp and Forest of Amon Hen. Enjoy light refreshments and personalized attention on this small-group tour, limited to six passengers per vehicle.
  • Duration: 4 hours 15 minutes
From
$136.84 USD
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  • Duration: 4 hours 15 minutes
From
$136.84 USD

Half-Day Milford Sound Nature Cruise and Flight from Queenstown

See the sheer cliffs of Milford Sound from the air and water on a 4.5-hour tour from Queenstown by sightseeing plane and catamaran. Fly over Fjordland National Park, part of a UNESCO World Heritage Centre landscape, then touch down at Milford Sound for a cruise with lunch and drinks served on board. This 4.5-hour tour is perfect for photography and wildlife watching, and hotel pickup and drop-off from Queenstown hotels is included.
  • Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes
From
$396.50 USD
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  • Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes
From
$396.50 USD

Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise from Queenstown

Join a Doubtful Sound cruise from Queenstown and discover this alpine gem nestled in the UNESCO-listed Fiordland National Park. Traveling by coach, you’ll take a ferry across Lake Manapouri and cross over Wilmot Pass for your 3-hour catamaran cruise. You’ll be struck by the fiord’s vivid beauty as you search for dolphins, fur seals and penguins amid a dramatic landscape of soaring granite peaks and crystal-clear waters. 
  • Duration: 12 hours
From
$200.00 USD
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  • Duration: 12 hours
From
$200.00 USD

Dinner at Walter Peak High Country Farm and Cruise from Queenstown

Board the TSS Earnslaw, a vintage steamship, for an evening cruise on Queenstown’s scenic Lake Wakatipu. Arriving at Walter Peak High Country Farm, you’re treated to a sumptuous barbecue dinner at the Colonel’s Homestead. Sink your teeth into roasted meats and seafood, homemade desserts and a New Zealand cheeseboard while a pianist provides the ambiance. After dinner, join a walking tour of the farm to see demonstrations, or simply relax in the bar where you can purchase wine and other beverages, before the return boat trip to Queenstown.
  • Duration: 4 hours
From
$101.76 USD
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  • Duration: 4 hours
From
$101.76 USD

Dart River 'Funyak' Canoe and Jet Boat Tour from Queenstown

This full-day adventure includes a 'funyak' (inflatable canoe) and jet boat ride on the Dart River, situated amid the untamed beauty of UNESCO-listed Mount Aspiring National Park. Travel by coach from Queenstown to Glenorchy, where you’ll speed upriver on a thrilling jet boat before climbing aboard an easy-to-handle funyak. No previous experience is necessary and you’ll paddle with several passengers in a flotilla behind your guide. Hotel pickup and drop-off plus buffet lunch and all equipment are included.
  • Duration: 9 hours
From
$265.97 USD
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  • Duration: 9 hours
From
$265.97 USD

The Original Kawarau Bridge Bungy Jump in Queenstown

Go bungy jumping in New Zealand from the Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge, the original site of the Queenstown bungy jump. You’ll experience the ultimate Queenstown challenge, transforming from nervous to elated as you plunge 141 feet (43 meters) in five seconds. Choose from a variety of options, including a water touch or full immersion in the gorgeous Kawarau River. It may just be the best thing you’ve ever done!
  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
From
$143.86 USD
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  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
From
$143.86 USD

New Zealand's Biggest Swing: Nevis Swing Queenstown

Feel your heart pumping as you sway into a wide arc on the Nevis Swing, suspended from a high platform above the Nevis River. The world’s largest swing lets you free-fall before swooping through the air at high speed. Enjoy a 40-minute drive from Queenstown before starting your daredevil experience in New Zealand’s adventure capital. Ride solo or with a friend, but if you’d prefer to watch you can select the Spectator Pass at booking.
  • Duration: 4 hours
From
$150.88 USD
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  • Duration: 4 hours
From
$150.88 USD

Queenstown Kawarau River White Water Rafting

This Queenstown rafting trip on the Kawarau River takes you on a thrilling ride over Class II and III white-water rapids. You’ll learn paddling techniques from an expert river guide who leads you down the scenic river, which drains Lake Wakatipu. You may feel like you’re in Middle-earth, as the Kawarau River starred as the River Anduin in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ movie trilogy. After, warm up with a sauna and hot shower. No experience is necessary of this half-day tour, suitable for all fitness levels.
  • Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes
From
$139.65 USD
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  • Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes
From
$139.65 USD

TSS Earnslaw Steamship Cruise from Queenstown

Cruise Lake Wakatipu on a vintage Edwardian steamship with tickets for a 1.5-hour cruise aboard TSS Earnslaw from Queenstown. Watch the stokers feed the TSS Earnslaw’s coal fires, enjoy views of the mountains, and disembark at Walter Peak High Country Farm for short walk. This 1.5-hour scenic cruise departs from a central location in Queenstown, with multiple sailings throughout the day.
  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
From
$49.12 USD
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  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
From
$49.12 USD

Half-Day Walter Peak Horse Trek from Queenstown

Cruise from Queenstown to Walter Peak High Country Farm and venture out on horseback with an expert guide. You'll board the vintage steamship SS ‘Earnslaw’ for a round-trip ride across Lake Wakatipu then have morning or afternoon tea at the Colonel’s Homestead. Numbers are limited for a small-group experience on the horse trek, with views of the Remarkables mountain range.
  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
From
$104.56 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
From
$104.56 USD

Dart River Jet Boat Ride and Wilderness Jet from Queenstown

A jet-boat ride, a guided nature walk and a backcountry off-road tour are the highlights of this Dart River wilderness safari from Queenstown. During this 6-hour tour with a naturalist guide, venture into Glenorchy, gateway to the World Heritage–listed Mt Aspiring National Park. Surrounded by awe-inspiring peaks and hidden valleys, you’ll twist and turn down the glacier-fed Dart River. Finish with a leisurely walk through an ancient forest to learn about the wildlife and the area’s original Maori inhabitants.
  • Duration: 6 hours
From
$181.76 USD
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  • Duration: 6 hours
From
$181.76 USD

Shotover Canyon Swing

Thrill-seekers in New Zealand’s ‘adventure capital’ will love free-falling over the river on the Shotover Canyon Swing. A jump instructor prepares both first-timers and seasoned daredevils to swing solo or tandem along a special rope and cable system suspended between two cliffs. You’ll swing safely in a secure harness and hear encouragement throughout your pendulum ride above the Shotover River.
  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
From
$174.74 USD
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  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
From
$174.74 USD

Skippers Canyon Jet Boat Tour

Enjoy two trips in one on this good-value jet boat tour: a guided tour of Skippers Canyon and a thrilling ride on the Shotover River. Zip up some of the narrowest canyons on the Upper Shotover, and learn about the gold mining history of the area from your knowledgeable guide on the journey there. This combined tour is ideal for history buffs and adrenaline seekers.
  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$111.58 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$111.58 USD

Milford Sound Helicopter Flight and Cruise from Queenstown

This 4-hour tour gets you quickly to Milford Sound from Queenstown the most scenic way — by helicopter. Swap the roadways for the skies, soaring over the Southern Alps then landing at Fiordland National Park while your pilot-guide provides commentary along the way. After an informative cruise on Milford Sound, with plenty of photo ops of waterfalls and Mitre Peak, you're treated to a second landing on a snow-capped peak. Book on a shared helicopter, or upgrade your experience to a private charter exclusive to your group.
  • Duration: 4 hours
From
$894.75 USD
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  • Duration: 4 hours
From
$894.75 USD

Queenstown Lord of the Rings Off-Road 4X4 Adventure from Queenstown

Go off-roading near Lake Wakatipu on a thrilling 4WD adventure from Queenstown. With an expert guide at the wheel, your 4x4 navigates long-forgotten trails past former gold rush settlements. Hear entertaining commentary about this scenic region captured by ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. You'll see multiple LOTR filming sites while jolting down Skippers Canyon and splashing across the Arrow River.
  • Duration: 4 hours
From
$122.81 USD
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  • Duration: 4 hours
From
$122.81 USD


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