The wondrous city of Queenstown is like no other. Anything and everything is possible in this city nestled on the beautiful shores of the South Island’s Lake Wakatipu against the backdrop of the Southern Alps. The adventure or adrenaline capital of the world, however you may call it, definitely tests your limits and throws you out of your comfort zones. With heart-racing adventures from bungy jumping, jet boating, whitewater rafting, skydiving, and ziplining to skiing, hiking, relaxing in hot pools, and experiencing gastronomy, it is hard not to fall in love with this city. So, here is the list of the top 10 things to do in Queenstown. Let the adventures begin!
Go bungy jumping for some thrills
If you’ve been waiting to bungy jump, grab your chance. A leap of faith is just what you need in Queenstown.
The city is home to world-class, heart-pumping bungy jumping sites worth trying at least once in your lifetime. Start off with the Kawarau Bridge Bungy, a 43 m jump from the birthplace of Bungy, 20 minutes away from central Queenstown. You can try a freestyle jump with the 47 m Ledge Bungy at Skyline Queenstown, which will scare you to death but treat you to stunning views over the city. You think you can take more? Jump off from New Zealand’s highest, 134 m Nevis Bungy, a free fall of 8.5 seconds to satisfy your bungy jumping craze. You will surely have an experience of a lifetime.
Enjoy jet boating on the Shotover River
Jet boating is the talk of the town in Queenstown. This is an exciting and iconic thing to do while on vacation. Journey down the Shotover River on a jet boat at lightning speed about 85 kph, a one-of-a-kind adventure. Soak up the beauty of the mesmerising surroundings as you go through narrow canyons, passing rocky cliffs. If you are daring, you can try whitewater rafting on the Shotover River too!
Enjoy skyline views at Skyline Queenstown
Hop on the Skyline Gondola, the steepest cable car in the Southern Hemisphere, which will soar you 450 m up from the city to Bob’s Peak. This is by far one of the top sightseeing options in Queenstown. While on top, you’ll be treated to jaw-dropping views of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu, The Remarkables, Coronet Peak, and Cecil Peak. Try the fun Skyline Luge ride and get adventurous riding a luge cart downhill, taking on tunnels and turns. Those of you who are not up to trying the luge can do a little bit of shopping at the Jelly Belly store, sit back and enjoy a delicious meal at Stratosfare Restaurant, or experience stargazing at night.
Go on a Zipline Adventure
This is yet another exciting sightseeing alternative in Queenstown. If you are up for the ultimate ziplining adventure, try the world’s steepest tree-to-tree zipline at a rocketing speed of 70 kph for a nerve-wracking experience. Well, that’s not all. You will get zipline tours even for beginners, including 4-6 ziplines on one tour offering picturesque views of the lake and snow-capped mountains. The tours begin at Bob’s Peak and are open to anyone aged 6 and up.
Take a breathtaking tour to Milford Sound
Milford Sound is truly a spectacular natural phenomenon! You just cannot leave Queenstown without witnessing this natural wonder. Take a magical and unforgettable tour by cruise ship or helicopter to the fjord nestled in the South Island to witness mind-blowing scenery and spectacular landscapes. You can pick from the many tour options, including coach-cruise-coach, coach-cruise-fly, etc. You can also decide between a day cruise or an overnight cruise tour depending on your budget and time. Enjoy the 4-hour scenic Milford Road tour and witness the wonders of Milford Sound; Mitre Peak, incredible Lady Bowen Falls, Stirling Falls, and wildlife including seals and dolphins.
Go hiking to explore nature
What better way to explore nature than hiking? You will be pampered with Queenstown’s choice of hikes and walking trails, from short walks to strenuous multi-day hikes. Mount Crichton Loop Track, a 2-3 hour hike is an easy one to start off with which takes you to Twelve Mining Creek Gorge. You should also try the 3-hour, 4.2 km local favourite, Queenstown Hill Time Walk, which requires a little bit of energy.
The trail starts at a car park off Belfast Terrace and takes you through pine forests to witness the ‘Basket of Dreams’ sculpture and incredible views from the top. If you want to get a little more adventurous, go on the 6-8 hour Ben Lomond Hike and it is totally worth it. The trail starts at Douglas fir stands, and once you reach the top, you’ll be amazed by the views of Mountains Earnslaw and Aspiring. You should definitely try one of these, and you will not be disappointed.
Have a snow experience at Queenstown’s skiing destinations
Coronet Peak and The Remarkables are world-class skiing destinations in Queenstown. A 25-minute drive from Queenstown will take you to Coronet Peak, where you get night skiing too. The Peak is lit up every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, and it is a wonderful sight to watch. The food scene here is great, and you can try pastas, pizzas, and local wine.
A 40-minute drive will get you to The Remarkables with seven parks. Don’t forget to try the scrumptious burgers, sandwiches, and BBQ here.
Relax at Queenstown Gardens
If you are a lover of flora and fauna, you should definitely pay a visit to Queenstown Gardens. Located on the shore of Lake Wakatipu, immaculate gardens feature a rose garden, Douglas fir trees, oak trees, and a variety of international plants. You can enjoy a good picnic, take a stroll, and enjoy spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu while you are here. It will surely give you some peace and quiet amidst the hustle and bustle of the city.
Refresh yourself at Onsen Hot Pools
Situated at the bottom of Coronet Peak, Onsen pools overlooking Shotover River Canyon offer you ultimate relaxation. Take a dip in a steamy pool and awaken your senses while enjoying the stunning surroundings. This is the ideal way to end your adrenaline-pumped day.
Visit Arrowtown and Glenorchy
A 20-minute drive from Queenstown will take you to magnificent Arrowtown, the gold rush town located on the banks of the Arrow River. Spend some time exploring the perfectly preserved buildings and the Lakes District Museum and Gallery.
If you are a die-hard fan of The Lord of the Rings, spare some time to visit the ever-so-beautiful Glenorchy. You will find The Misty Mountains, Amon Hen, some of the filming locations, and a bountiful of things to do, including horseback riding, mountain biking, and even kayaking.
Queenstown is truly a stunner. It will inspire you to a whole new level with its unspoiled natural beauty and adventures. Ready to test your limits? Book your flight to Queenstown right away for an action-packed, one-of-a-kind, adventurous holiday!