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16 Top Things To Do In Queenstown, New Zealand

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Heading to the stunning city, Queenstown in New Zealand? You are definitely in for a great time! We are here to guide you to the best things to do and explore in this beautiful city, Queenstown.

Queenstown is undoubtedly a perfect vacation destination for adrenaline-fueled activities. It is one of the most beautiful towns in the world. Queenstown is definitely a top destination in New Zealand and somewhere on everyone’s bucket list for a good reason, because a trip here never disappoints. It also has stunning landscapes and you may say it – they are just beyond beautiful.

Queenstown has grown from a small gold mining community to an adventure sport capital hosting thousands of visitors every year. Not just for adventure seekers, it’s a must visit for those who are looking for a relaxing holiday too.

With an amazing combination of spectacular mountains, clear skies and a tranquil lake, Queenstown will truly make you fall in love with it. Here are some of the best and unmissable things to do in Queenstown.

Best Things To Do In Queenstown, New Zealand

1. Hike Up The Tiki Trail For Mesmerizing Views Of Queenstown

Tiki Trail Hike - Things To Do In Queenstown
Tiki Trail Hike – Things To Do In Queenstown

If you are all in for an amazing hike, following the iconic Tiki Trail is a must do in Queenstown. This hike is a free route that takes you through a native forest and alpine trails to the top of Bob’s Peak. It may take you about 45 minutes to an hour to get to the top. The views of the mountain peaks and Lake Wakatipu from the top are truly marvelous.

Do grab your camera, breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the breath taking views of Queenstown. You can easily spot the signs for the Tiki Trail from the base of the Skyline Gandola that also takes you to the top of Bob’s peak.

2. Ride On The Skyline Gondola And Luge

Luge Ride - Things To Do In Queenstown
Luge Ride – Things To Do In Queenstown

Reaching the top of Bob’s peak to soak in the enchanting panoramic views of the surrounding mountain peaks and Lake Wakatipu is one the best things to do in Queenstown. Taking the Skyline Gondola is a great way to sail over and up to the mountains to reach the Bob’s peak. What’s more? You could dine in at the Stratosfare Restaurant which is located at the top while enjoying the stunning views of Queenstown.

To cater a little more to your adventurous streak, take a luge ride to go downhill from the peak. Imagine the feeling of racing down the hills in a luge cart.

Click here to prebook your Skyline Gondola and luge ride. You could also choose an optional buffet lunch/dinner at the Stratosfare restaurant.

3. Visit The Milford Sound

Milford sound - Things to do in Queenstown
Milford sound – Best things to do in Queenstown

Milford Sound is one of the best things to see on the Southern Island and it is absolutely breathtaking. It’s an incredible fjord, with waterfalls running down the mountains, glacial valleys and an amalgamation of various landscapes. The dramatic transformations of the fjord are just of it’s kind thing that you could be witnessing. It’s a once in a lifetime experience to see such a wonder. And yes, it is known to be the 8th wonder of the world.

Do not miss out visiting Milford Sound during your stay in Queenstown. Click here to book a day to tour the Milford Sound.

4. Take A Helicopter Ride To Explore The Glaciers Of Mount Aspiring National Park

Mount Aspiring
Mount Aspiring National Park – Things To Do In Queenstown

The helicopter ride to the Mount Aspiring National Park unfolds a dramatic alpine landscape that includes snowfields, peaks, glaciers, sheer rock cliffs, and waterfalls. You would be in awe of the spectacular scenic beauty, while the helicopter lands on one of the many glaciers within the Forbes Mountains.

This helicopter ride is certainly one of the most unforgettable and unique things to do while you are in Queenstown. Click here to book now.

5. Get Sporty On Lake Wakatipu

Water Sports
Water Sports On Lake Wakatipu – Things To Do In Queenstown

There are plenty of ways to explore the Lake Wakatipu. You could go kayaking, jet boarding, rafting and lookout for more boat tours on the lake. The most popular water sport in Queenstown is the Shotover jet board ride. These speedy jet boards take you through the curves and bends of the Shotover river which is flows across the Lake Wakatipu.

Be ready to witness the jaw-dropping scenery as you make your way through the incredibly narrow Shotover River Canyons. Click here and book your jet board ride on the Shotover river now.

6. Cruise Along Lake Wakatipu

Undoubtedly, cruising along Lake Wakatipu is one of the most endearing things to do in Queenstown. The Spirit of Queenstown Scenic Cruise would take you across spectacular Lake Wakatipu to the hidden gem Mount Nicholas. Marvel at all the wonderful sites and also capture some breath taking landscapes in your cameras. Soaking in the views of the ranges from the cruise is a surreal experience.

7. Sail On The Historic TSS Earnslaw Across Lake Wakatipu

tss Earnslaw - Things To Do In Queenstown
Sail the TSS Earnslaw – Things To Do In Queenstown

You may also love to sail on the TSS Earnslaw, a historical steamship that would also take you way back in time. It’s a fun sightseeing cruise that would introduce to New Zealand’s farming lifestyle at the Walter Peak High Country Farm. You could also explore the decks and visit the steam room of this historical steamship.

At the country farm you would get a chance to feed the farm animals, watch a sheep shearing demonstration and tour the lakeside gardens. Going cruising on the TSS Earnslaw is one of the most fun things to do in Queenstown with your family. Click here to book your cruise time on the TSS Earnslaw.

8. Take A Scenic Drive To Glenorchy

This scenic route from Queenstown to Glenorchy is about 50 minutes long, keep yourself ready to get down for many photo stops. If you are a fan of the movie, Lord of the Rings, then you should know that multiple scenes of the movie were shot in this little town abd it’s nearby locations. The best way to explore Glenorchy is by a guided tour which will take you to all the stunning places of interest. Click here to book a tour to Glenorchy now.

9. Visit The Gorgeous Arrowtown

Arrowtown - Hidden Gem of New Zealand
Arrowtown – Hidden Gem of New Zealand

Make a visit to the charming Arrowtown, one of New Zealand’s hidden gems. It’s located at about 25 minutes drive from Queenstown. This quirky town caters to both history buffs and adventure lovers. You will find many historic buildings, restaurants, shops, and cafes along the Buckingham Street in Arrowtown.

The Arrow River located at a short walk from the Buckingham Street is surrounded by greenery and very picturesque peaks. You could also go bike-riding along the suspension bridge on the beautiful Arrow River trail. Here’s a great day trip to Arrowtown added up with Glenorchy and Gobbston valley.

10. Go Bungee Jumping

Queenstown is known to be the place where Bungee Jumping has originated from. The first bungee jump ever was at 43 meters on the Kawarau Bridge near Queenstown. This may not be the highest in the world, but it’s one of the best. Bungee jumping over the incredible mountains and blue waters of the scenic Queenstown is unlike anywhere else in the world. Click here to book your Bungee jump over the the historic Kawarau Bridge.

11. Take A Ziplining Adventure Tour

Flying past across the Lake Wakatipu, the pine trees and the surrounding mountain ranges through a Ziplining tour would be an epic way to fuel in your adventurous side. Soak in the spectacular views of Queenstown and feel the breeze like never before while being on a safe harness. Check out this Zipline tour for a great adventure.

12. Go Skydiving

If you have an adventure bucket-list, then get ready to strike off Skydiving from it. New Zealand gives you a skydiving experience unlike anywhere else. The breath taking and unrivaled views including the Southern Alps, coasts of islands and greenery of the alpine forests would certainly give you the most enthralling Skydive adventure ever. Book your epic Skydive adventure in Queenstown with NZone here.

13. Enjoy A Fun Packed Day Whilst A Canyoning Adventure

Canyoning is a great summer adventure to look out for while you are in Queenstown. It is a great escapade if you enjoy some water activities on river streams and waterfalls. You would get to zip line, climb up the rock walls, abseil, and slide down river streams. We highly recommend this activity as it is one of the most unique and best adventure experience you must dare to go for in New Zealand.

14. Take A Wine Tasting Tour In The Central Otago Wine Region

Otago is undoubtedly New Zealand’s most beautiful wine region and is known best for its amazing Pinot Noirs. Some of the best wineries with boutique vineyards in the area include Chad Farm, Gibbston Valley and Bannockburn. We recommend you to go for a winery tour. That way you are guided by a local while being driven to the best wineries near Queenstown.

Click here to prebook a tour including boutique vineyard tstops, all wine tastings, platter style lunch and hotel transfers.

15. Eat The Fergburger

Get ready for a burger feast in Queenstown. The Fergburger is literally known to be World’s best burger. So, Fergburger is a joint that serves uniquely innovative and delicious burgers in Queenstown. It’s not just a restaurant, it’s an attraction not to be missed in the city. No matter how long the queue is, you should get one of those burgers and savor on them. They are totally worth the wait.

16. Visit Wanaka

Wanaka Itinerary - Lake Wanaka

Wanaka is a fairytale lake front town located at about 1 hour drive from Queenstown. The journey itself is incredibly packed with most amazing views of the ranges and lakes. There are many things to see and do in Wanaka. We would highly recommend you to stay for a few days in Wanaka for a mesmerizing outing. But if you are short of time, do visit Wanaka on a day trip. See the famous Wanaka tree #ThatWanakaTree that stands on the lake Wanaka and make sure to capture wonderful memories along the shores.

Where To Stay In Queenstown, New Zealand

Here are some of the best accommodation options that you may check out as per your budget. All are centrally located, highly rated and have excellent facilities.

Hostel (Under $50)

Tahuna Pod Hostel

Being a centrally located hostel in Queenstown, Tahuna Pod is a great stay for backpackers. Click here to book this hostel or to check its availability.

Mid Range ($50 – $100)

Mi-pad Smart Hotel

The Mi-pad Smart hotel offers guests a selection of rooms with gorgeous views of the mountains, river and greenery through private balconies. The hotel boasts top-notch facilities and comfortable rooms with views of the relaxing, peaceful and charming surroundings. Click here to book this hotel or to check its availability.

Luxury ($100+)

Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa

The Hilton Resort & Spa is located and the shores of the scenic Lake Wakatipu. The resort features beautiful pool, a fitness centre, day spa and a selection of rooms with gorgeous lakefront views from the private balconies. Hilton Resort & Spa is highly recommended specially of you are visiting Queenstown with your family. You may probably won’t want to leave! Click here to book this hotel or to check its availability.

So, these are the best things to do in Queenstown for a magical and adventurous holiday. Hope this guide inspires you to visit this charming town and make some amazing memories.

Have you been to Queenstown before? Let us know in the comment section below, if we have missed out anything on the list of things to do in Queenstown.


Anjali Wadhwa (cheerfultrails) is a travel consultant and enthusiast who has traveled to 15+ countries. She shares about her explorations through her writings. You will find detailed itineraries, best travel tips and well experienced recommendations for food, transportation and hotels on her blog.

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