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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 10 attractions in Queenstown

#1

Lake Wakatipu

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Dazzling Lake Wakatipu is New Zealand's longest lake. Shaped like an inverted "n" it is a highlight of a trip to Queenstown, which nestles against a curve near the middle of the lake. During the last ice age a huge glacier carved out the lake, which sinks to a depth of 1,300 feet (400 meters).The surrounding mountains that fed the glacier provide a dramatic backdrop to the crystal waters. Atmospheric pressures cause the lake to rise and fall about 5 inches (12 centimeters) every 5 minutes. This gave rise to the Maori legend that the rise and fall of the water is the heartbeat of a giant who lies slumbering under the water. The magnificent lake was the location for the Lothlorein scenes in The Lord of the Rings movie. If you’d like to get out on the water the most genteel way is to climb aboard the refurbished vintage steamship the TSS Earnslaw. Cruises across the lake will take you to Walter Peak where you can see a working high-country farm.More
#2

Walter Peak High Country Farm

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Experience the tranquility of New Zealand’s South Island farm life with a visit to Walter Peak High Country Farm, a working sheep and cow station. The remote farm sits across Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown, along a section of lakeshore largely inaccessible by car. To get there, you’ll take a ride across the lake aboard the TSS Earnslaw, a beautifully restored Edwardian steamship. An open viewing area lets you watch the original steam engines as they power the ship across the lake. Once you’ve reached the farm, a guided tour takes you among highland cattle, deer, goats and sheep. You’ll also watch skilled sheepdogs corralling the herds before meeting and feeding the sheep up close and learning how to shear and spin their wool. Take a stroll through the lush gardens along the lakeshore before stopping at the Colonel’s Homestead to sip tea and eat scones around a roaring fire.More
#3

Kawarau Suspension Bridge

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Spanning 141 feet above the waters of dramatic Kawarau Gorge, no attraction is more iconic to Queenstown than the historic Kawarau Suspension Bridge. Built in 1880, there was a once a time when this rustic bridge connected Queenstown with the Otago gold fields. With the construction of an asphalt highway, however, traffic moved away from the bridge and it became frequented by bikers and joggers. Then, in 1988, adventure-seeker A.J. Hackett decided to strap a bungy cord around his ankles and throw himself off of the bridge. When his hands splashed down into the waters below and the cord bounced back towards the bridge, the extreme activity of Queenstown bungy jumping had officially found its start. Today, hundreds of visitors flock to the bridge to watch as thrill-seekers leap into the gorge. Shuffling out onto the wooden planks, the rush of the water cascading through the gorge drowns out whimpers of the timid and scared.More
#4

Skippers Canyon

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What was once gold-miners territory is now one of New Zealand’s most scenic tour destinations--with breathtaking mountain views and the always beautiful Shotover River, Skipper’s Canyon presents a great opportunity to splurge in fantastic sites of one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Hop into a 4WD off-road vehicle available via one of the many guided tours and shoot photos to your hearts delight, while you are navigated through Skipper’s Road, being recited the canyons plentiful and rural history. For a more romantic experience, Skipper’s wine tours are also a popular and fulfilling way to spend your time here. What could be better than enjoying Queenstown’s mouth-watering venison over a glass of locally made wine in the breadth of New Zealand?More
#5

Coronet Peak

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Located only 25 minutes from the adventure capital of Queenstown, Coronet Peak is one of the most popular ski resorts on the entire South Island of New Zealand. This historic ski field is officially the nation’s oldest, and when it opened for business in 1947 there was only a single tow rope. Today, however, Coronet Peak is a modern ski field on par with the best in the country. Aside from being the nation’s oldest, it’s also one of the last resorts in the country to watch its snow melt away. Given its southerly location, colder temperatures make for a longer season and better conditions for snowmaking. On most years, Coronet Peak will open its slopes sometime during the middle of June, and remain open throughout the winter until the mountain thaws in October. In addition to the long season, the resort offers views over Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding Southern Alps.More
#6

Shotover River

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In the late 1800s, the Shotover River was a storied outpost of gold, prospectors, and wilderness. Dust-covered panhandlers would camp in canyons in the foothills of the Southern Alps, and scour the raging, turquoise waters with the hope of striking it rich. Today, adrenaline and adventure have replaced sluicing and straining as the most popular pursuits on the river, as the Shotover has become the aquatic playground of visitors traveling to Queenstown. Bounce down frothing, blue and white rapids while paddling a whitewater raft, or try not to smile as your cheeks flap wildly on a high-speed jetboat up the river. The Shotover drains into the Kawarau River beneath the famous Kawarau Bridge, and you can dip your hands in the cool waters after bungy-jumping from the historic trestle. Even the drive towards the Shotover River is an outdoor adventure in itself, as the road leading into Skipper’s Canyon is a winding, mountainous time portal.More
#7

The Remarkables

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New Zealand’s outdoor playground, the Remarkables, located high in mountainous country, possesses a great sense of excitement for any visitor looking to rip-up the alpines. With fabulous skiing, hiking, snowboarding and opportunities to just hangout, the entire family will get a kick from these majestic reserves. Cool jumps, tunnels, trails, and even a bouncy castle at the crèche are available for children of all ages, while snow-sports schools are waiting for adults who have put off the slopes for too long. You can also have a look at how the pros do it, with international competitions that take place. See boarders go sky-high off the half-pipes, or see renowned skier’s flow between slaloms at immense speeds.More
#8

Queenstown Hill

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#9

Kawarau River

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If you’re a bungy enthusiast you’ll know that Kawarau River is the site of the world's first commercial bungy. It’s still possible to take a dive from the bridge that started it all. On your way down you’ll see the trademark sky-blue water and green cliffs of Kawarau River, you might even touch the water! The river is extremely popular with thrill seekers who come for river surfing, riverboarding and jet boating. The white-water rafting is particularly excellent with rapids to suit beginners to experienced rafters and some calm stretches where you can rest and take in the spectacular scenery. More sedate history seekers come to check out the gold-miners huts and relics from the river’s gold-rush days.More
#10

Kiwi Birdlife Park

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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

Trip ideas

Top activities in Queenstown

TSS Earnslaw & BBQ Buffet Lunch

TSS Earnslaw & BBQ Buffet Lunch

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182
From
US$96.07
Premium Milford Sound Small Group Tour, Cruise & Picnic Lunch from Queenstown

Special Offer

Lord of the Rings Scenic Half Day Tour

Special Offer

Lord of the Rings Scenic Half Day Tour

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159
From
US$113.94
US$134.05  US$20.11 savings

Recent reviews from experiences in Queenstown

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Excellent trip
Hiueni_N, Feb 2021
Milford Sound Experience Full Day from Queenstown
excellent service and the beautiful view of rainfalls, snow even summertime, mountains, The driver from Queenstown was excellent providing tour guide and explanation on our 4 hours drive to Milsfordsound.
star-5
A memorable experience
Stewart_G, Oct 2020
Queenstown Progressive Dinner & Wine Tour - 3 iconic locations
he is a Blackburn Rover supporter ( an English football team ) From there it was on to a lovely restaurant in Arrowtown for our main course and more wine and finally to Eichards hotel in Queenstown for cocktails and dessert.
star-5
We did this tour with our friends as...
Collette P, Oct 2017
Grand Circle Helicopter Flight from Queenstown
Definitely a must to see Queenstown from the air.
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Martin Kohn was excellent and lovely...
beattie11, Apr 2018
Private Tour Half Day Queenstown and Beyond Photography Tour
I re-learned a lot about photography that I had forgotten and got to see a beautiful area near Queenstown.
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Our Day with Rob and our new friends...
John C, Jan 2017
Milford Sound Experience Full Day from Queenstown
I am so glad we did this trip on a smaller bus with more stops to see and experience things.
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The scenery was spectacular...
suellis31, Feb 2016
Milford Sound Coach Tour with Lunch from Queenstown
The glaciers and waterfalls were amazing.
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This was brilliant. Great food...
Pete DL, Feb 2016
Wine and Food Sampler Tour from Queenstown
Good to do if you need a step back from the adrenaline activities in Queenstown.
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Beautiful place, fun activities...
Willem K, Aug 2014
Dart River Combo: 'Funyak' Canoe plus Jet Boat Tour from Queenstown
Beautiful place, fun activities, good food, great guides, excellent experience.
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The trip to Milford Sound from...
Albert B, Jan 2012
Milford Sound Coach Tour with Lunch from Queenstown
The trip to Milford Sound from Queenstown was a long one, but there were several stops along the way to see some beautiful sights.
star-5
8th Wonder of the World - the BEST way to see it!!!
Taylor_R, Mar 2020
Half-Day Milford Sound Flight and Cruise from Queenstown
Milford Sound was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen - and I was able to see it from above and up close on the water.
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Just Speechless
Anupam_D, Mar 2020
30-Minute Alpine Scenic Flight from Queenstown
It was exciting to see the Queenstown lake, the entire city, many peaks with few mountain capped with snow.
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Marvelous Milford
Laura_N, Feb 2020
Luxury Milford Sound Coach and Scenic Cruise
The folks on the boat were equally informative and got you up close to marine animals and many waterfalls.
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A lovely tour
Megan_G, Feb 2020
Lord of the Rings 4WD Tour (Half-Day)
I would highly recommend this excursion as a fun way to see the stunning landscapes around Queenstown.
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Stunning views
ktaylormartin, Jan 2020
Milford Sound Cruise from Queenstown or Te Anau
Take a jacket, it can be cold even in summer.
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Spectacular and awe-inspiring
Elizabeth T, Jan 2020
Luxury Milford Sound Coach and Scenic Cruise
5 hours cruise takes you around Milford Sound to see Mitre Peak, waterfalls, seals and other wonders.
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If you want to see Milford Sound on...
Roman M, Mar 2016
Milford Sound Experience Full Day from Queenstown
If you want to see Milford Sound on a tour from Queenstown, you MUST book this one!
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Great Day Visiting Queenstown's Best Breweries.
Ken S, Dec 2019
Queenstown Beer Tours
All in all a GREAT day and one that should be included on any list of must-do activities while staying in Queenstown.
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Great tour - Great guide !!!
L150NSjennifer, Oct 2019
Arrowtown and Wanaka Premium Tour from Queenstown
we got to visit Cromwell, Wanaka, Cardrona ,Crown Hill and Arrowtown with our very experienced tour guide Wayne.
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Queenstown to Queenstown via Cromwell, Wanaka,Cardrona, the Crown Range and Wanaka
Compass52218493938, Jul 2019
Arrowtown and Wanaka Premium Tour from Queenstown
There had been a slight fall of snow prior to our trip which made it look how Queenstown and surrounds likes to look in winter.
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Worth every dollar
Joe M, Jun 2019
Milford Sound Coach and Nature Cruise with Picnic Lunch from Queenstown
The glass roof coach enabling you to see everything the drive into milford sound has to offer coupled with an amazing and knowledgable driver (our driver was greg) makes this milford sound experience a must do in Queenstown.

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