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Things to do in Queenstown

Things to do in  Queenstown

Welcome to Queenstown

Nestled between the Remarkables’ towering peaks and Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown—nicknamed the adventure capital of the world—welcomes visitors year-round for skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, rafting, skydiving, and more. It’s an ideal base for exploring nearby South Island destinations such as Milford Sound and Fiordland National Park, historic Arrowtown, and Central Otago’s wineries. Queenstown itself offers loads of activities too: Bungee jump in the Kawarau Gorge, ride the Skyline Gondola to Bob’s Peak, or sample local wines and cheeses on a tasting tour. If you’re a Bilbo Baggins fan, make a pilgrimage to nearby Glenorchy, a filming location for ""The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

Top 15 attractions in Queenstown

Lake Wakatipu

Surrounded by mountains and shrouded in legend, Lake Wakatipu and its crystal waters draw visitors as the longest lake on New Zealand's South Island. As a popular spot for adventure activities—from fishing to catamaran cruises—a day on Lake Wakatipu is arguably the highlight of any trip to Queenstown and the Otago region.More

Milford Sound

With its soaring cliffs, dramatic glacial valleys, and thundering waterfalls, it’s easy to see why Milford Sound is one of New Zealand’s most visited sights. This natural wonder is the star attraction of Fiordland National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and wildlife haven for dolphins, seals, and penguins.More

Kawarau River

Not far from Queenstown, Kawarau River offers a variety of thrill-seeking possibilities including jet boating, whitewater rafting, and riverboarding. Alternatively, visitors can go off-road into the surrounding hills during an all-terrain quad bike tour or try bungee jumping from the Kawarau Suspension Bridge. There’s something for history buffs too, who come to check out the gold-miners’ huts and relics from the river’s gold-rush days.More

Coronet Peak

Coronet Peak is New Zealand’s oldest ski field and remains a popular choice for people heading to the slopes during the southern hemisphere’s ski season. Snow bunnies can take to one of the ski field’s many trails, while sightseers can enjoy the stunning views of the Wakatipu Basin and the Southern Alps from the summit of the peak.More

Kawarau Suspension Bridge

Rising 141 feet (42 meters) above the turquoise waters of dramatic Kawarau Gorge, no attraction is more iconic to Queenstown than the historic Kawarau Suspension Bridge. Most thrill-seekers know that the bridge is the site of the world's first commercial bungee jump. It’s still possible to leap from a platform suspended from the bridge where it all began.More

The Remarkables

Looming over nearby Queenstown, the Remarkables are a formidable mountain range and one of New Zealand’s most popular ski fields. The Remarkables Ski Area has a wide range of exciting slopes and runs for skiers and snowboarders people of all ages and skill levels. Warm weather sees adventure here too, with hiking and biking trails galore.More

Queenstown Hill

Arguably one of Queenstown’s best hikes, Queenstown Hill is home to the popular Queenstown Hill Time Walk, where informative placards provides an overview of Queenstown’s fascinating history. To native Maori, this hill was known as Te Tapu Nui, or mountain of intense sacredness, which makes sense considering the epic views you’ll get from the top.Climbing over 1,500 feet in only 1.5 miles, the steep climb is rewarded by views looking out over Lake Wakatipu, as well as The Remarkables and Southern Alps that are often snowcapped in the distance.Aside from hiking, ATV and quad bike tours are a popular way to visit, which crisscross over 15 miles of off-road trails on the hill.More

Skyline Queenstown

Hang on tight! Skyline Queenstown affords the city’s best views, but the gondola ride isn’t for the faint of heart. Zipping up 1,475 feet (450 meters) to the top of Bob’s Peak takes about 10 minutes aboard the steepest gondola in the southern hemisphere. En route, enjoy 220-degree vistas of Queenstown, the Remarkables, Coronet Peak, and Lake Wakatipu. At the top, dine at the mountaintop Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar amid panoramic views while the Skyline Luge track—with two steepness options, one easy enough for kids—sends adventurous riders screaming on their return trip to the mountain’s base.More

Te Anau Glowworm Caves

The Te Anau Glowworm Caves are one of New Zealand's most mesmerizing natural wonders, boasting a labyrinth of grottoes, tunnels, dramatic rock formations, and underground waterfalls. Adventure abounds—visitors can cruise across Lake Te Anau, scramble through the caves, and marvel at a glittering canopy of tiny glowworms.More

Queenstown Gardens

Set on a knob of land jutting out into Lake Wakatipu, these gardens offer a quiet respite from the noise of town, with a variety of trees including Douglas firs, sequoias, and monkey puzzles creating a natural barrier. Shoreside paths leading around the edge offer spectacular views of the lake and the ragged peaks of the Remarkables.More

Kiwi Birdlife Park

There are two different ways to see a kiwi bird when traveling in Queenstown, New Zealand: Drive hours away to remote regions in the exceptionally slim hopes of spotting one, or drive two minutes from downtown Queenstown to Kiwi Birdlife Park. When visiting this 5-acre wildlife compound, visitors can spend time with—and even feed—New Zealand’s iconic birds, and also spot species such as alpine parrots and the rarely seen New Zealand falcon. When finished walking through the darkened hides that house the furry brown kiwis, gawk at the prehistoric tuatara that scientists claim has survived virtually unchanged for over 200 million years. Conservation is another key element of this informative and educational park, and funds from admission are used to rehabilitate and release birds back in the wild. Daily conservation shows discuss the programs in depth, and you’ll also find talks on Maori culture and the pounamu, or greenstone, that led the Maori to originally inhabit these hills.More

Jack’s Point Golf Course

Regarded as one of New Zealand’s best golf courses, Jack’s Point is not only known for the famously challenging course, but the phenomenally mind-bending, panoramic scenery that accompanies every hole. Just 20 minutes outside of Queenstown, Jack’s Point Golf Course is framed by the Remarkables and the shores of Lake Wakatipu, and in addition to views that include craggy pinnacles surrounded by alpine waters, rows of rolling, dry stone walls provide the feel of the Scottish highlands and a classic high country farm. Golfers consider it a “bucket list” course that you have to play once in your lifetime, though if you just want to see the remarkable scenery without even teeing up a ball, stop in for lunch at the Jack’s Point restaurant for either breakfast or lunch.More

Hollyford Track

The Hollyford Track might not have the profile of Fiordland’s Great Walks, but it’s no less impressive. This low-altitude walk runs through the Hollyford Valley, part of the Te Wāhipounamu UNESCO World Heritage Area, and alongside the roaring Hollyford River, past towering mountains and crystal-clear lakes all the way to Martins Bay.More

Odyssey Sensory Maze Queenstown

At the Odyssey Sensory Maze in central Queenstown, visitors navigate a course with obstacles, illusions, and strange lighting, sound effects, and smells. As the name suggests, this unusual attraction requires visitors to engage all their senses as they move through various rooms. The maze is just as popular with adults as it is with older kids and teens.More
Walter Peak High Country Farm

Walter Peak High Country Farm

Experience rural life on the South Island with a visit to Walter Peak High Country Farm. This working sheep and cow ranch sits across Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown, along a section of lakeshore that is largely inaccessible by car. To get there, most passengers ride across the lake aboard the beautifully restored TSSEarnslaw, steamship.More
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Top activities in Queenstown

TSS Earnslaw & BBQ Buffet Lunch
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Half-Day Milford Sound Flight and Cruise from Queenstown
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Shotover River Extreme Jet Boat Ride in Queenstown, New Zealand
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Central Otago Wine Tour from Queenstown - Includes 4 Vineyards, Lunch & Wine
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Premium Milford Sound Small Group Tour, Cruise & Picnic Lunch from Queenstown
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Milford Sound Sightseeing Cruise with Scenic Round-Trip Flight from Queenstown
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Mt Cook Small Group Tour from Queenstown with Optional Activities
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Milford Sound Cruise & Tours
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Milford Sound Cruise & Tours

Lord of the Rings Scenic Half Day Tour
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Gourmet Food and Wine Tour - Cave Tour, Cheese, Lunch, Chocolate and more!
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People Also Ask

What is Queenstown known for?

Queenstown is known for its attractive location beside Lake Wakatipu, surrounded by the Remarkables Range of the Southern Alps. It’s often called the adventure sport capital of New Zealand. In winter Queenstown is known as a skiing destination as ski fields are nearby, while in other seasons many other adventure activities are available.

How do I spend a day in Queenstown?

In winter and early spring, head to the nearby ski fields: Cardrona, Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, and Treble Cone. Perfect your skills or learn to ski or snowboard. In other seasons you can spend the day hiking, kayaking, white-water rafting, bungee jumping, jet boating, paragliding, mountain biking, luging, taking a cruise on Lake Wakatipu, or riding the Skyline Gondola.

What can you do in Queenstown during the summer?

There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in Queenstown in summer, for all fitness and activity levels. Hike in the mountains, walk along the lakeshore, kayak or join a cruise on Lake Wakatipu, bungee jump, paraglide, mountain bike, or simply grab a meal and a drink with lake and mountain views.

What activities are open in Queenstown during the winter?

Queenstown is a popular snow sports destination and the nearby ski fields–Cardrona, Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, and Treble Cone–generally open in mid-June and close again in late September or early October. Many other outdoor activities are open in winter, including rafting, jet boating, and the Skyline Gondola.

What are the main attractions in Queenstown?

In winter, the main attractions in Queenstown are the nearby Cardrona, Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, and Treble Cone ski fields. In other seasons (as well as winter), main attractions include the Skyline Gondola and lookout, the AJ Hackett Bungee, the Shotover River for jet boating and rafting, and Lake Wakatipu.

Is Queenstown expensive?

Yes, Queenstown is one of New Zealand’s most expensive towns. Accommodation, food, and attractions are all costly, although how expensive you find it may depend on your current exchange rate. As Queenstown is popular year-round there’s not really a low season, although booking accommodation well in advance can help you find discounts.


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