Queenstown, New Zealand is a stunning destination for adventurers and nature lovers. Situated on the shore of Lake Wakatipu, it offers incredible views and activities to suit every type of traveler.
Whether you’re looking for an action-packed day trip or a relaxing getaway, Queenstown has 10 must-do experiences that you won’t want to miss.
From sky diving and bungee jumping to lake cruises and wine tasting, here are 10 of the best things you can do around Queenstown New Zealand.
1. Go Skydiving
Get your adrenaline pumping with a skydiving experience in Queenstown! Jump out of an airplane at 10,000 feet and take in the stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and the nearby mountain ranges while freefalling through the sky.
Jumping out of a plane at thousands of feet with views of Lake Wakatipu, The Remarkables mountain range, and beyond is an experience like no other.
With the most experienced skydiving staff in New Zealand, you’ll be taken care of during your jump while enjoying some of the most spectacular scenery in NZ.
Skydiving over Queenstown is available all year round and offers tandem and solo jumps to suit everyone from beginners to experts.
If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush or want to see Queenstown from above, then skydiving should definitely be on your list.
2. Bungee Jumping
Test your limits with a bungee jump off one of the world’s highest jumps located just outside Queenstown. Choose from various platforms such as The Nevis Swing or The Ledge Bungy for a thrilling experience.
Bungee jumping off the Kawarau Bridge is one of the best things to do around Queenstown. Located just outside of Queenstown city center, this popular bungee jump spot offers unmatched views of the surrounding mountains and lakes.
The bridge stands 43 meters above the river below and provides an adrenaline-filled experience for thrill-seekers looking for a rush.
Your journey begins with an exciting few-minute ride from Queenstown to get to the bridge and ends with an exhilarating plummet toward the depths of the river below.
Professional instructors strap you up and guide you through each step until you make that final leap of faith into the air. With breathtaking scenery, it’s no wonder why many locals and tourists alike
3. Take a Cruise on the TSS Earnslaw
Enjoy a relaxing 1-hour cruise on the vintage steamship, TSS Earnslaw, which has been operating for over 100 years. Get up close and personal with some of New Zealand’s most spectacular scenery including Snow-capped mountains, crystal-clear lakes, and rolling pastures.
This iconic vintage steamship has been sailing Lake Wakatipu since 1912 and offers an unforgettable experience of both the majestic mountains and interesting wildlife in the area.
During your cruise, you’ll get to take in some breathtaking views from its open-air decks or opt for a delicious meal at its onboard restaurant.
You can also join one of their entertaining shows with live music, dancing, and traditional singing – all sure to make it an enjoyable outing for everyone.
Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to experience some true Kiwi hospitality aboard this historic vessel.
4. Wine Tasting
Queenstown is home to some of New Zealand’s best wineries where you can sample amazing wines from the Central Otago region. Explore wineries such as Gibbston Valley Wines or Chard Farm which offer cellar-door tastings and stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Wine tasting is an experience that should not be missed while visiting Queenstown. The region’s wine scene has exploded in recent years, with dozens of small and family-run vineyards now dotting the landscapes.
Some of the best places for wine tasting around the town include Gibbston Valley Wines, Chard Farm Winery, Peregrine Wines, Amisfield Vineyard & Bistro, and Rippon Vineyard.
Whether you prefer red or white wines or want to sample some bubbles, these top wineries offer exciting experiences for visitors. Be sure to check out each one during your stay.
5. Visit an Adventure Park
Get your heart racing with a visit to the Shotover Jet, an incredible adventure park located in nearby Skippers Canyon. Take a thrilling jet boat ride through the narrow canyons and whirlpools of the Shotover River or jump on an extreme roller coaster ride for an unforgettable experience.
One of the biggest and most popular is the Shotover Jet, located on the Shotover River. It’s a fast-paced jetboat ride that takes you through narrow canyons and over shallow water, allowing you to experience some of the amazing scenery that New Zealand has to offer.
Another must-visit adventure park is iFLY Queenstown, where you can experience indoor skydiving with safe and experienced instructors.
Lastly, a trip to Queenstown wouldn’t be complete without visiting AJ Hackett Bungy – New Zealand’s first bungy jumping site. Here you can take part in an unforgettable experience as you launch yourself off the bridge into the depths of a river gorge below.
6. Visit Arrowtown
A few minutes’ drive from Queenstown lies Arrowtown, a charming old gold mining town where you can wander around quaint shops and galleries. Visit historic sites such as St Patrick’s Church or take a scenic walk along one of the many trails in the area.
It is home to one of the oldest Chinese settlements in New Zealand and gives visitors a sense of the area’s gold-mining history. The main street is lined with quaint shops, cafes, and galleries and it’s an ideal place for a leisurely stroll.
A visit to Lakes District Museum & Art Gallery will give you more insight into Arrowtown’s fascinating past.
Don’t miss out on trying some award-winning wines at the nearby Gibbston Valley Winery, or wander along the banks of beautiful Lake Hayes for stunning views of the surrounding mountains. If you’re looking for adventure, take an off-road quad-biking tour through the mountains and bushland.
No matter what you do in Arrowtown, it is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
7. Explore Milford Sound
Take a day tour to one of New Zealand’s most iconic destinations, Milford Sound. Cruise around the fjords and admire majestic mountains, cascading waterfalls, and wildlife such as dolphins and seals in their natural habitat.
The scenery here is absolutely breathtaking – soaring mountains, cascading waterfalls, pristine rainforests, rugged cliffs, and mirror-like waters combine for an unforgettable experience. Take a cruise on Milford Sound to see dolphins, seals, and penguins up close.
Or visit during winter for amazing views of snow-capped mountains like Mitre Peak. There are plenty of walks to explore including the famous Milford Track that runs from Lake Te Anau through Fiordland National Park all the way to Milford Sound itself.
8. Take a Hike
Queenstown is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise with plenty of hikes to explore. From the Ben Lomond Track which offers stunning views of the city from above to Bob’s Peak which takes you to the top of a local ski field, there are plenty of trails for all levels of fitness.
Queenstown is a hiker’s paradise, with many trails offering spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.
The best hikes around Queenstown are Routeburn Track, Ben Lomond Track and Remarkables Range Track. All three tracks offer stunning views of the Southern Alps and have clearly marked paths for hikers to follow.
If you’re really looking for a challenge, try tackling one of these iconic tracks in just a day – it’ll be an unforgettable experience.
For those who want to take their time exploring the area, there are plenty of overnight hikes available. Just make sure you come prepared with all the necessary gear and supplies before setting off on your adventure.
9. Explore Glenorchy
Glenorchy is a small settlement located at the southern end of Lake Wakatipu, just 45 minutes north of Queenstown, and offers some of the most spectacular scenery that New Zealand has to offer. The area is home to dramatic mountains, stunning lakes, and lush forests – all of which make for amazing photo opportunities.
Take a leisurely walk along the banks of Lake Wakatipu or hike up one of the many trails nearby such as Routeburn Track or Rees-Dart Track. If you’re looking for something more adventurous, take a jet boat ride through the wilds of Dart River or try your hand at fly fishing.
A popular spot for nature lovers and adventurers alike, Glenorchy boasts some of New Zealand’s most spectacular scenery. There are plenty of activities to keep you entertained here, from hikes along the Routeburn Track to kayaking on the lake or horse riding through the beautiful countryside.
You can also find a range of outdoor activities such as mountain biking and rock climbing nearby, while photographers will appreciate breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains, lush forests, and sparkling lakes. If you’re looking for something quieter then why not take a leisurely stroll along one of Glenorchy’s many trails?
10. Visit a Local Brewery
After a day of adventure, kick back and relax with a visit to some of Queenstown’s local breweries. Sample unique craft beers from one of the many microbreweries in town such as Altitude Brewing or take a tour at the famous Speight’s brewery for an unforgettable experience.
Thoughts and Conclusion
No matter what your interests are, Queenstown has 10 must-see experiences that you won’t want to miss out on! From skydiving and bungee jumping to wine tasting and hot air ballooning, there is something for everyone in this picturesque destination. So grab your friends and get ready to explore all that Queenstown New Zealand has.
You can also check out the Best Things to Do in New Zealand.