Queenstown, wild at heart but oh so beautiful! Whether you came for the breathtaking views of snowy mountains, lakes, valleys and snowfields or you came to get the adventurer out with adrenaline outdoor sports and thrilling experiences, Queenstown has got it! Also known as the Adventure Capital of the World and a longtime backpackers paradise, Queenstown attracts all kinds of travellers with her stunning natural beauty and the wide range of amazing activities. Let’s take a closer look at this adventure paradise in the southwest of New Zealand’s southern island; 10 things to do in Queenstown you should not miss:
1. Go Bungee Jumping in nature
Bungee jumping may not be for everyone but if you dare to make the jump, there is no place on planet earth more incredible than right here in Queenstown, New Zealand. In fact, the first human being that ever made a bungee jump and commercialised it is New Zealander, AJ Hackett (the guy who made a bungee jump from the Eiffel Tower in 1987). There are numerous amazing bungee jumping spots, less scary and super scary ones. How about a 47-meter high jump from The Ledge Bungy? This is the tallest one around and definitely the craziest, too! Karawau Bridge and The Nevis jump are awesome, too! AJ Hackett Bungy has got professionals to help you overcome your fears and make the jump – an experience of a lifetime! One tip: do not look down! Just jump and enjoy the free fall!
2. Explore the stunning ski fields around Queenstown
In the winter, Queenstown is a snowy wonderland with stunning ski fields such as The Remarkables and Coronet Peak. Winter Sports are one of the main attraction points of Queenstown and nearby Wanaka and it is definitely an amazing place to go skiing or snowboarding. Beginners, intermediate and advanced, nobody gets left out! Enjoy the snow the breathtaking sceneries!
3. Hike up to Bob’s Peak
The Tiki Trail to get up to Bob’s Peak is quite a steep climb through absolutely stunning nature. Not an easy hike but the awe-inspiring natural surroundings will constantly reward you for your efforts and the view from the top is mesmerizing, literally causing your jaw to drop in that second of amazement. You can also hop in the Gondola to get up there the easy way but if you want to be proud of yourself – take the hike (you can do the Gondola later when you are longing to go back again). Bob’s Peak is a destination of its own with an endless range of activities to do so going up there twice is not something unusual at all. The Tiki Trail starts at the base of the Gondola and if you are fit, you can get this hike done in approximately 1 hour. From Bob’s Peak, you can see The Remarkables Mountain Range, Coronet Peak, Lake Wakatipu and Cecil and Walter Peak all at the same time. Let the power of nature strike upon you! Could do with a longer, more adventurous and challenging trek? You will love the Ben Lomond Hike, taking approximately 6-8 hours to hike up there and back down.
4. Skyline views from Queenstown’s Gondola
Want the views but not the hike or, do you want to get back up there once again after completing the Tiki Trail? Hop in the Gondola! The Gondola in Queenstown is the steepest one in the Southern Hemisphere and it’ll get your ass up those mountain peaks in no time. Not cheap but truly an amazing experience! From up there, you get to gaze at the most spectacular panorama and you can opt to zip back down with the luge. Great fun for adults and kids alike!
5. Queenstown Gardens & 18-hole Frisbee Golf
Soak up the peaceful ambience and have a fun time with friends and family inside the peaceful Queenstown Gardens. Featuring beautifully landscaped gardens with tranquil lakes and bridges over water, trees, flowers and grassy lawns, come here when the sun is out and bring yourselves a blanket, picnic basket and a bottle of wine. This stunning botanical garden in Queenstown makes a great hideaway from the buzzing city centre. At the same time, you can play badminton or frisbee – this beautiful park features an ‘18-hole frisbee golf course’. How cool is that? Spending the day at Queenstown Gardens is a wonderful activity that is completely free of charge. Who was it that said ‘the best things in life come free’? Well, here’s proof!
6. Downhill Mountain Biking
The picture-perfect postcard sceneries make Queenstown an amazing place to go mountain biking, especially in the summer months. You can take it nice and easy, starting with the Queenstown Trail, an off-road cycling route for beginners and families. Are you an experienced mountain biker? Queenstown is a paradise! Go for the Queenstown Bike Park, offering a thrilling selection of down-hill rides to sweeping vistas. More of this? Another hardcore mountain bike trail is the exhilarating Rude Rock Track (7km) and there are many more. Just head over the Queenstown and you might find yourself meant to be a mountain biker in heart and soul. It is very addictive! The mountain bike season in Queenstown runs from September to May.
7. Horse riding with Darts Stables
More of a horse-riding type of person? We don’t blame you! Horse riding in places like New Zealand is every cowboys dream! Darts Stables is a great place to get up on that horse and go ride. Beginners and experienced riders, everyone will find what they need, paired up with the perfect horse (they’ve got 60 horses at Darts Stables so you can be sure to find your perfect match!). You will cross rivers, ride through valleys and forests and it will be an unforgettable journey!
Dart River Adventures
Address: 45 Mull St, Glenorchy 9372, New Zealand
Contact: +64 3-442 5688
Opening hours: every day from 7 am – 7 pm
Prices: from NZD$147 / person (half-day trip).
8. Relax at Onsen Hot Pools
Just a couple of kilometres out of town (free shuttle services are offered from your accommodation in Queenstown centre), you can soak in a springwater-fed hot pool to the views of mountain vistas and all the other natural beauty that Queenstown, New Zealand has to offer. The Onsen Hot Pools give you a unique experience to relax your body and pamper your soul. You can top the experience off with a massage at the on-site spa. The gorgeous spa rooms feature round tubs to fit up to 4 people. Each bathing room (indoors and outdoors) boasts breathtaking views and the hot pools are great to visit all year round.
Onsen Hot Pool Queenstown
Address: 160 Arthurs Point Road, Arthurs Point, Queenstown, New Zealand
Contact: +64 3 442 5707
Opening hours: every day from 9 am – 11 pm
Fees: starts from NZ$60 /person/hour
9. Shotover Jet
When travelling through New Zealand, you will probably hear about the Shotover Jet Rides even before you have arrived in Queenstown. On this jet boat, you will be speeding through narrow canyons of Shotover River, having the adventure of a lifetime. The ride takes 25 minutes and it includes 360-degrees spins. Get this off your bucket list!
Address: 3 Arthurs Point Rd, Arthurs Point 9371, New Zealand
Contact: +64 3-442 8570
Opening hours: every day from 8 am – 6 pm
Price: NZ$ 155/adult & NZ$89/child
10. Spend time around Wakatipu Lake
Nothing more peaceful and inspiring than spending time around a beautiful lake. Wakatipu Lake is stunning, captured in between snow-capped mountains and the centre of Queenstown. You can go stand up paddle boarding, picnicking with a bottle of wine and waiting for the magical sunset to strike. If you are not the type to relax and enjoy the simple things in life, at Wakatipu Lake, you can also go on a lake cruise or hop on a Kjet, you can go parasailing or experience Hydro Attack, sitting in a shark-inspired jet machine that shoots you off into the air, underwater and across the lake. A unique lake experience in Queenstown, it is!