Love New Zealand

Top Things to Do in Queenstown

Queenstown is a popular tourist destination, with a huge range of things to do and world class attractions. From world reknown ski fields to sky diving and high speed jet boat rides through twisting canyons, there is something to entertain everyone!

1. Play on Lake Wakatipu

Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown
Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown

Lake Wakatipu is a deep blue pool of pure mountain water, framed by The Remarkables range.

Queenstown - as well as the settlements of Kingston, Glenorchy and Kinloch - border the beautiful lake which is a focal point throughout the year.

There are so many things to do on, in and even under the lake! Activities include freshwater fishing, boating, kayaking, swimming, jet boating, jet skiing, historic boat rides, underwater fish viewing and much more.

The T.S.S. Earnslaw is an historic steamship which cruises the lake every day.

The Underwater Observatory provides a unique aquarium experience where the fish live in their natural habitat, rather than a tank. Descend 64 steps underwater into a large, fully air conditioned viewing area and see an amazing array of underwater sea life, fish and diving ducks through the large windows.

2. Jet Boat Skippers Canyon

Jet boating in Glenorchy, Queenstown
Jet boating in Glenorchy, Queenstown. Photo by Alistair Guthrey.

Skippers Canyon was once the very centre of gold mining activity in the Queenstown region. Today, historical sites still remain and you can see original gold mining workings that are progressively being restored.

Skippers Canyon offers a range of adventure activities, including four wheel driving, bungy jumping, flying fox and jet boating.

One of the most popular adventure things to do on the Skippers Canyon is jet boating. The Shotover Jet takes you on a breathtaking ride through dramatic and narrow canyons on the Shotover River. Hold on tight for Queenstown's only exhilarating full 360 degree spins.

Visit Beautiful, Historic Arrowtown

Arrowtown, New Zealand

Located about 21 kilometres from Queenstown, Arrowtown is a quaint village swathed in history.

Wander the banks of the Arrow river and discover life as it used to be for thousands of Chinese miners. Their humble village can still be seen tucked into the riverbank. Browse the shops and cafes of Buckingham St (the main street), - a testament to the town's determination to preserve its past.

Visit in April or May and witness one of the best and most magnificent autumn displays in New Zealand.

3. Ride the Kingston Flyer Steam Train

Kingston Flyer Steam Train, Queenstown
Kingston Flyer Steam Train, Queenstown

The Kingston Flyer is New Zealand's famous vintage steam train, taking you back to the 1920's colonial era of romance and glamour. Climb aboard and experience the magic!

Ideal entertainment for the whole family!

4. Gondola Ride with Skyline Queenstown

Gondola ride in Queenstown, New Zealand

Skyline Queenstown offers great entertainment for the entire family. Enjoy stunning views from the 450-metre gondola ride up the Ben Lomond hill - the steepest cable car ride in the Southern Hemisphere!

At the top there are a range of activities. Experience a full dining experience with a buffet lunch or dinner, or relax and enjoy a coffee at the cafe.

The gravity-fuelled luge rides provide fun for everyone in the family. These purpose-built carts take you on a fun down-hill ride of over 1600 metres of banked corners, tunnels and dippers. At the bottom, ride the chairlift back up and do it again and again!

5. Bungy Jumping

If you are looking for a thrill, then bungy jumping is for you! AJ Hackett Bungy offer 3 extreme jumping options:

Nevis Bungy - jump 134 metres from a high wire cable car suspended over the Nevis Canyon. The highest bungy in New Zealand!

Kawarau Bridge Bungy - jump 43 metres from the Kawarau Bridge.

The Ledge Bungy - run and jump off the "ledge" some 400 metres over Queenstown. Freestyle bungy so you can jump how you please.

6. High Country Horse Trekking

High country horse trekking in Glenorchy, Queenstown
High country horse trekking in Glenorchy, Queenstown. Photo by Miles Holden

A short drive from Queenstown, Glenorchy is a small, tranquil settlement with the option of over 150,000 acres to ride on.

Experience riding through glacial fed rivers with stunning panoramas. Some of this scenery was used in the filming of "The Lord of the Rings Trilogy".

7. Fine Dining at the Casino

Whether gambling is your thing or not, the Queenstown Casino offers a variety of entertainment options in a fine-dining, high-class environment. Experience fun salsa dancing evenings, watch live sport and enjoy a delicious meal.

8. Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking at Coronet Peak, Queenstown
Mountain Biking at Coronet Peak, Queenstown. Photo by Sven Martin.

When it comes to mountain biking trails, Queenstown is a destination bringing thousands of biking enthusaiasts each year from all around the world. From the extreme mountain biking trails on Ben Lomond Hill where bikers can ride the gondola up and bike back down, to the Queenstown Trail which offers over 130km of bike trail, there are trails of all levels of ability.