Stunning natural vistas. Thrilling adventure sports. Gorgeous hiking trails. Great food. Located amidst majestic mountains and the serene Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is the place to go for a picture-perfect holiday laden with adventure. We give you the 10 best things to do in Queenstown, NZ.
Want to plan your trip to Queenstown? Get it fixed in no time here.
1. Take the Skyline Gondola
To enjoy brilliant views of Queenstown, The Remarkables range of mountains and Coronet Peak, hop on the Skyline Queenstown gondola that takes you 1500 feet over the town to an observation deck atop Bob’s peak. A restaurant and a bar await you at the top, along with numerous bike trails and the main attraction – the luge tracks! In case you are wondering what that is, Luge rides are a unique gravity centered ride that came up first in New Zealand.
Price – Skyline + 3 Luge rides at 52 NZD for adults and 42 NZD for kids, with various attractive package deals
Open – 9 am to late, depending on the weather.
Time to spend – 2 hours
2. Sample the Fergburger
Going to Queenstown and not trying the Fergburger would be nothing short of a sin. With patrons queuing up for an hour to savor the delicious burgers, the waiting itself has become a must-do experience in itself. However, when you bite into your quirkily-named burger (Mr Big Stuff, Bun Laden, Holier Than Thou…you get the idea), you will know that the wait was worth it.
Pro tip: Not excited about waiting an hour for your burger? Simply call Fergburger up, choose from the amazing menu, place an order and pick up your burger when they call you back.
Price – 10 to 20 NZD
Open – 8 30 am to 5 am (Technically, all day)
Time to spend – Averaging 1 hour, if you want a story to tell back home.
3. Go Bungy Jumping or Take the Bungy Swing
Bungy jumping is a life changing experience, and there’s no better place to try it than Queenstown. AJ Hackett Bungy offers bungy jumping at multiple sites in Queenstown, like the Kawarau Bridge (the first commercial bungy jumping site), The Ledge, The Nevis and more. For those who want to try something different, there are the bungy swings. The most popular swing is the world-famous Nevis swing that propels you at speeds up to 120 kmph in 300 feet arcs across gorges and valleys.
Check out this video of our very own Pickyourtrail boys trying the Nevis Swing experience!
Price – Adults 195 NZD Children 150 NZD (Price varies across different locations)
Open – 8 am to 8 pm in general
Time to spend – 2 to 5 hours
4. Experience Skiing and More at The Remarkables and Coronet Peak
Fancy skiing across snow-covered slopes? Or love hiking across beautiful mountain paths and tracks? Look no further, as The Remarkables mountain range offers an amazing skiing and hiking experience, and more. Nestled behind Lake Wakatipu, The Remarkables offers a whopping 47 ski and snowboard trails, along with 3 terrain parks. In summer, hike up the picturesque mountain track to enjoy one of the most beautiful vistas you’ll ever come across.
Situated 25km away from The Remarkables, Coronet Peak is another fantastic skiing destination in Queenstown, with dedicated Learn To Ski classes for beginners.
Price – Adult ski passes are 119 NZD and above, depending on the number of days.
Open – June to August for Skiing. Hike away the rest of the year.
Time to spend – Half day to full day
5. Go Skydiving
Skydiving ranks high on the list of things to do in Queenstown. There is nothing that matches the sheer thrill of skydiving from a plane 15,000 ft in the air into nothingness, freefalling at speeds close to 200kmph before the tandem instructor opens and guides the parachute to a safe landing. All the way up in the sky, the beauty and magnificence of Queenstown’s landscape is a sight to behold. Check out other skydiving locations in New Zealand here.
Price – 289 NZD to 450 NZD, depending on the jump altitude
Open – 8 am to 8 pm, All year round.
Time to spend – 1 to 2 hours
6. Unwind at the Onsen Hot Pools
After exploring Queenstown’s natural beauty and engaging in the plethora of outdoor activities available, rest and rejuvenation is much needed. This is where the exotic Onsen Hot Pools come into play. Take the complimentary shuttle service from town to the facility. On arrival, you’ll be ushered into your private room where you can step in and soak away the weariness in the amazing cedar hot tubs. The walls and part of the ceiling can be opened so you can relax with a view of the stars along with the rich mountain landscape. With towels, an aromatherapy burner and your choice of wine/beer/juice being provided, what’s not to love?
Planning to pop the big question? Onsen Hot Pools has a special feature in place for your special moment too. After all, New Zealand IS the place to go for a romantic getaway.Price – A 1 hour hot pool + Tandeki pack costs 144 NZD for a couple. Open – 10 am to 11 pm Time to spend – 1 to 2 hours
7. Ride the Shotover Jet
The Shotover Jet ride is recommended by innumerable visitors as one of the best things to do in Queenstown. Hold tight as your Big Red Boat driver accelerates the boat through the Shotover river at 85 kmph, maneuvering sharp bends between jagged rocks and canyons. The 360 degree turns and the constant white water spra are sure to give you an experience of a lifetime.Price – Adults 145 NZD and Kids 75 NZD, with combo deals for families. Open – 8 am to 6 pm Time to spend – 1 to 1.5 hours
8. Hike the Ben Lomond Track
The Ben Lomond track hike is a must for anyone who wants to enjoy Queenstown’s beautiful scenery while being one with the natural setting. Access the track from the Skyline Access Road or reach the track from the Tiki Trail. You will reach the Ben Lomond Saddle (Ben Lomond Station) halfway through the hike, with the Ben Lomond summit coming up a good 3 to 4 hours away. A decent fitness level is recommended, since the last leg of the track can be a bit demanding. However, the stunning view at the summit is worth the hike, with the climber being rewarded with a panaromic view of the surrounding landscape. Definitely one of the most rewarding things to do in Queenstown.Price – Free Open – The hike is a full-day activity. So plan your day accordingly. Time to spend – 3 to 4 to reach Ben Lomond Saddle, and 6 to 8 hours to the summit.
9. Go on a Glowworm Cave Tour
You may have enjoyed Queenstown’s spectacular vistas and scenic landscape, but nothing prepares you for the surreal feel that going on a glowworm cave tour does. The Te Anau glowworm cave is home to millions of glowworms that leave a brilliant blue-green glow in their wake. The glowworm cave tour takes you on a scenic boat ride on Lake Te Anau, followed by a brief pit stop with informative exhibits, after which the guide will take you into the caves in groups. Marvel at the hidden beauty of the cave formation, as a boat takes you through the brilliant glowworm cave.
Find out where else in New Zealand you can experience the beauty of glowworm caves here.Price – 80 to 85 NZD, 156 NZD with the coach from Queenstown Open – 7:30 am to 9 pm Time to spend – A half day, inclusive of a 3 hour waiting time for the coach to Queenstown
10. Take a Lord Of The Rings Guided Tour
Queenstown is home to many of the locations where the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie series were shot. Fancy a walk down the paths of the Misty Mountain, or wish to visit Isengard, the Lothlorien forest and Amon Hen? Take a Lord of the Rings guided tour to Glenorchy and Paradise Valley, where the stunning landscapes and beauty of Peter Jackson’s epic works await you. Also get to know the history of the region and the stories behind the scenes shot there, as the guide takes you through the film locations.
Not content with just visiting Middle Earth? Want to stay at Frodo and Bilbo’s quaint Hobbit house over at Hobbiton? Look no further.
And it’s not just Hollywood that looks to the picturesque town for filming locations. Find out which of Bollywood’s iconic films and movie moments have been filmed in Queenstown and other parts of New Zealand here!Price – Adults 170 NZD and Children 90 NZD Open – 7:30 am to 8:30 pm Time to spend – 4 to 5 hours
Ready to enjoy the spectacular experience that is Queenstown, NZ?