Top 60 Things to Do in Queenstown


Nestled on the shores of the stunning Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Southern Alps, Queenstown is a paradise for adventurers and nature lovers alike. Known as the adventure capital of the world, this vibrant town offers plenty of activities that cater to all tastes and interests. From adrenaline-pumping bungy jumping and skydiving to tranquil cruises on the lake and scenic hikes in the mountains, Queenstown truly has something for everyone.

Here’s a list of the top things to do in Queenstown, offering a mix of thrilling adventures, relaxing experiences, and cultural attractions. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie seeking your next thrill, a nature lover wanting to explore stunning landscapes, or a foodie looking to indulge in local cuisine, you’ll find plenty of inspiration here.

Find out the very best things to do in Queenstown that need to be on your to-do list! Whether you’re planning your first visit to Queenstown or returning for another dose of its magic, read on to discover the best this remarkable town has to offer.

1. Cruise on Lake Wakatipu

A cruise on Lake Wakatipu is a fantastic way to take in the stunning landscapes of Queenstown. This is one of those Queenstown activities that’s a must in summer and winter, and the scenery changes with the seasons. As you cruise across the crystal-clear waters of the lake, you’ll enjoy panoramic views of the Remarkables mountain range and Cecil Peak.

  • Cruise on Queenstown’s famous steamship, the TSS Earsnlaw. You can include a gourmet BBQ lunch or dinner at Walter Peak too! Book a cruise with RealNZ here.
  • Cruise further down Lake Wakatipu and into secluded bays on the ultimate sightseeing Queenstown experience on the Spirit of Queenstown Scenic Cruise. This Queenstown cruise is around 1.5 hours and can include lunch. Book this with Southern Discoveries here.
  • For one of the most affordable Queenstown cruises, check out the Million Dollar Cruise. This 90-minute cruise embarks from the town centre and explores Lake Wakatipu and Kelvin Heights. Book the Million Dollar Cruise here
TSS Earnslaw
Image Credit: RealNZ

2. Skyline Gondola and Luge

The Skyline Gondola and Luge offer fun and excitement for visitors of all ages. The gondola ride takes you up to the top of Bob’s Peak, offering stunning views of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu, and the surrounding mountains. Once at the top, you can enjoy a meal at the restaurant, explore the walking tracks, or have a thrilling ride on the Skyline Luge. This gravity-fuelled ride takes you down a scenic track, offering good times at every turn. Whether you’re looking for a thrilling adventure or a relaxing outing with stunning views, the Skyline Gondola and Luge have something for everyone. It’s one of those Queenstown family activities that won’t disappoint. Book a Skyline gondola and luge experience here.

3. Onsen Hot Pools

After a day of adventure and exploration, there’s no better way to unwind than at the Onsen Hot Pools. These private hot pools, located on a cliffside overlooking the Shotover River, offer a tranquil setting for relaxation. Each pool is enclosed in a private room with a retractable roof and windows, allowing you to enjoy stunning views in any weather. If you’d rather be closer to the elements, check out their outdoor hot tubs. A complimentary drink and snack really tops off the experience. Soak in the warm waters, enjoy a massage, or discover a combination of both. The Onsen Hot Pools offer a unique and relaxing experience that’s a perfect Queenstown attraction for all. Book your Onsen Hot Pools experience here.

4. Explore the Queenstown Gardens

The Queenstown Gardens, a tranquil oasis in the heart of the bustling town, offers a serene escape from the everyday. Nestled on a small peninsula on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, this beautifully landscaped park is home to a variety of native and exotic plants, a serene duck pond, and a charming rose garden. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful spot for a picnic or a leisurely walk amidst stunning scenery, the Queenstown Gardens is a perfect choice. The views of the lake and the surrounding mountains from the park are simply breathtaking, making a visit one of the best things to do in Queenstown.

5. Wine Tour in Gibbston Valley

Gibbston Valley, often referred to as the ‘Valley of the Vines’, is a paradise for wine enthusiasts. This picturesque region, located a short drive from Queenstown, is renowned for its world-class pinot noir. A wine tour here offers the opportunity to visit multiple wineries, learn about the winemaking process, and of course, sample a variety of exquisite wines. Some tours also include gourmet lunch options, perfectly complementing your wine-tasting experience. The stunning landscapes of the valley, with its rolling vineyards and rugged mountain ranges, add to the charm of the wine tour. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or a casual wine lover, a wine tour in Gibbston Valley is a must-do Queenstown activity.

Private tours, group bookings, full-day adventures and twilight wine and craft beer tours – Altitude Tours are home of the ultimate Queenstown wine tour. Book a wine tour with Altitude Tours here.

Keep things casual with the hop on, hop off bus. Enjoy a great day of wine tasting in Gibbston Valley with stops at all the top wineries. Book a Hop on Hop Off wine tour here.

6. Taste the Renowned Fergburger

Fergburger is a culinary institution in Queenstown, known far and wide for its massive, mouth-watering burgers. This iconic burger joint, located on Shotover Street, is a must-visit for foodies. Despite the often long queues, the wait is well worth it. The menu features a wide variety of burgers, from the classic Fergburger with prime New Zealand beef to unique options like the Sweet Bambi made with wild Fiordland deer. Each burger is made with fresh, high-quality ingredients and served in a homemade bun. Pair your burger with some chunky fries and a local craft beer for the ultimate Queenstown dining experience. A visit to Fergburger is sure to be a highlight of your culinary journey in Queenstown.

Want to find more great spots to eat in Queenstown? Check out our list of 13 of the Best Queenstown Restaurants here.

7. Discover Arrowtown

Arrowtown, a charming historic gold mining town located just a short drive from Queenstown, is like a step back in time. The town’s picturesque streets are lined with well-preserved 19th-century cottages, giving it a unique old-world charm. The Lakes District Museum, located in the heart of the town, offers fascinating insights into the town’s gold rush history. You can also try your luck gold panning in the Arrow River, just as the miners did in the 1860s. A day out in Arrowtown is one of the best things to do in Queenstown in autumn, with the town’s trees turning wonderfully bright hues of orange, yellow and red.

8. Bungy Jump at the Kawarau Bridge

The Kawarau Bridge is the birthplace of commercial bungy jumping, making it a must-visit site for adrenaline junkies. This historic bridge, located over the stunning Kawarau River, offers a thrilling 43-metre bungy jump. As you stand on the edge of the bridge, heart pounding and adrenaline rushing, you’ll experience the thrill of a lifetime as you take the leap of faith. Whether you choose to touch the water or go for a full dunk, it’s an experience you’ll never forget. The Kawarau Bridge Bungy is not just a jump, it’s a rite of passage for any adventure seeker visiting Queenstown. Book your bridge bungy here.

9. Kiwi Birdlife Park

The Kiwi Park is a wildlife sanctuary located in the heart of Queenstown. This five-acre park is home to over 20 species of native New Zealand animals, including the elusive kiwi bird. The park offers a unique opportunity to see these fascinating creatures up close and learn more about their habits and quirks. Daily wildlife shows and conservation talks provide an educational and entertaining experience for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re a wildlife enthusiast or a family looking for fun things to do in Queenstown, the Kiwi Birdlife Park is a must-visit attraction in Queenstown. Book tickets to the Kiwi Park here.

10. Hike to Ben Lomond Summit

The Ben Lomond Summit hike is a challenging yet rewarding adventure for outdoor enthusiasts. Starting from the Queenstown Gondola complex, the trail winds its way up through native bush, offering stunning views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu along the way. Once you emerge above the tree line, you’ll be greeted by panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The summit, standing at 1,748 metres, offers breathtaking views that make the strenuous climb well worth the effort. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a fit beginner looking for a challenge, the Ben Lomond Summit hike is a top Queenstown walk.

11. Jet Boat Ride

New Zealand is the home of jet boating, and what better place to spike the heart rate than Queenstown! Jet boat operators offer the chance to explore the breathtaking rivers in the area on a fast-paced, exciting jet boat ride.

For the narrow canyons and high adrenaline, the Shotover Jet Boat is a must! At speeds of up to 85 km/h, jet boat drivers manoeuvre through the Shotover River with the odd 360-degree spin along the way. Book the Shotover Jet here.

60 minutes of high-powered jet boat fun along Lake Wakatipu, Shotover River and Kawarau River. See the sights and enjoy 360-degree spins on a KJet ride. Book a KJet ride here.

Race down the Kawarau River with RealNZ in one of their twin V8 machines. The thrill of the ride is paired with great banter from friendly drivers. Book a RealNZ jet boat experience here.

Dart River is one of the best unique things to do in Queenstown, thanks to its remote and utterly stunning location. Dart River Adventures take you to the wilderness to experience high-speed jet boats and more. Book a Dart River jet boat ride here.

Dramatic scenery makes this jet boat experience a must-do! Skippers Canyon Jet in Skippers Canyon offers a chance to experience an area rich in gold mining history on a 2.5 – 3 hour guided trip, complete with the thrill of a jet boat ride. Book the Skippers Canyon Jet here.

12. Lord of the Rings Tour

Queenstown and its surrounding areas served as the backdrop for many scenes in the Lord of the Rings films. Guided tours take you to some of the top Queenstown filming locations, where you can walk in the footsteps of your favourite characters and relive the magic of the films. Visit the stunning landscapes that were transformed into Middle Earth, including the Remarkables, which stood in for the Misty Mountains, and the Kawarau Gorge, the location of the Pillars of the Kings.

Small groups and 4WD vehicles make the Nomad Safaris LOTR tours unique and personalised. If you’re keen to explore the top movie locations in Queenstown with Nomad Safaris, book the full-day tour here and the half-day tour here.

To travel to locations like Paradise on a half-day Glenorchy LOTR tour, book it with Nomad Safaris here.

13. Fear Factory

If you’re up for a scare, the Fear Factory is the place to go. This haunted house experience, located in the heart of Queenstown, offers a spine-chilling journey through dark corridors filled with creepy characters and unexpected surprises. The Fear Factory is not just a haunted house, it’s an interactive experience that plays on your deepest fears and phobias. Whether you’re a horror fan keen on a thrilling experience or just wondering what to do in Queenstown, the Fear Factory is a must-visit attraction in Queenstown. Book for the Fear Factory here.

14. Stroll around Lake Wakatipu

Lake Wakatipu, the third largest lake in New Zealand, is a sight to behold. This lightning bolt-shaped lake, surrounded by majestic mountains, offers a tranquil setting for a leisurely stroll. The lake’s deep blue waters and the remarkable reflections of the surrounding landscapes are truly a sight to behold. Walking along the lake’s shore, you can enjoy the beautiful views, spot local wildlife, and soak in the serene atmosphere. Not to mention, a walk on the lake’s edge is a great free thing to do in Queenstown. The lake is also home to a variety of water sports activities, including jet boating, paddleboarding, and kayaking.

15. Drive to Glenorchy

The journey from Queenstown to Glenorchy is a scenic drive that is often described as one of the most beautiful in the world. This 45-kilometre journey takes you along the edge of Lake Wakatipu, offering views different to that from the heart of Queenstown. The road winds through diverse landscapes, from rolling farmlands to rugged mountain ranges, offering stunning photo opportunities at every turn. Once you reach Glenorchy, a charming small town nestled between the lake and the mountains, you can explore the local walking tracks, visit the iconic red boat shed, or simply soak in the tranquillity and natural beauty of the area. This scenic drive is a must-do experience when visiting Queenstown.

Glenorchy Lagoon Walkway

16. Skiing or Snowboarding

Queenstown is an alpine resort town, that comes to life over winter. Multiple ski fields make for a fantastic atmosphere in town during the day, and into après ski at night. In this South Island winter destination you’ll find a range of slopes catering to all skill levels, from beginners to advanced. Queenstown is a paradise for skiers and snowboarders alike. Ski fields are set in a stunning alpine environment, with panoramic views of the Southern Alps and Lake Wakatipu.  Equipment rental, ski schools, and a variety of dining options are all possible here. Whether you’re carving up the slopes, building a snowman, or simply enjoying a hot chocolate, Queenstown ski areas make for a memorable winter adventure for all ages.

The Remarkables is a world-class ski field located just a short drive from Queenstown. Shop for ski passes here.

Coronet Peak is the closest ski field to the centre of Queenstown and has ideal terrain for all from beginners to advanced skiers and snowboarders. Shop for ski passes here.

Cardrona Alpine Resort is in the Cardrona Valley, about an hour’s drive from Queenstown. In the summer months, mountain carting and mountain biking are the activities of choice here. In winter, this is one of the top ski fields in the South Island. Find out more about Cardrona Alpine Resort here.

17. Time Tripper Underwater Observatory

The Underwater Observatory, located at the main town pier, offers a unique glimpse into the aquatic life of Lake Wakatipu. Descend into the viewing room, located 1.5 metres below the lake’s surface, and marvel at the variety of fish species, eels, and ducks, all in their natural habitat. The observatory also features informative displays about the lake’s ecology and Māori legends. Whether you’re a nature lover or a family with kids, the Underwater Observatory offers a fascinating and educational experience and it’s a great cheap thing to do in Queenstown. Book tickets for the observatory online now.

18. White Water Rafting in Shotover River

The Shotover River, with its thrilling rapids and stunning canyons, offers one of the best white water rafting experiences in New Zealand. Under the guidance of experienced guides, you’ll navigate through the river’s challenging rapids, experiencing the thrill of white water rafting. Along the way, you’ll also enjoy the stunning natural beauty of the Shotover River, with its crystal-clear waters, dramatic canyons, and lush vegetation. Whether you’re an experienced rafter or a beginner looking for an adrenaline-filled adventure, white water rafting on the Shotover River is a must-do experience in Queenstown. Find out more about rafting in Queenstown with RealNZ here.

19. Visit an Ice Bar

The various Queenstown ice bars offer a unique and cool experience, quite literally! As the name suggests, everything in these bars, from the walls and furniture to the glasses, is made of ice. Upon entering, you’ll be provided with a warm jacket and gloves to keep you comfortable in the sub-zero temperatures. Enjoy a range of cocktails served in ice glasses as you marvel at the intricate ice sculptures and carvings. Whether you’re looking for a unique photo opportunity or a cool way to chill out, ice bars are a top place to visit in Queenstown.

Check out Queenstown Ice Bar, Minus 5° Ice Bar and Below Zero Ice Bar.

20. Queenstown Hill walk

The Queenstown Hill walkway is a popular hiking trail that offers stunning views of Queenstown and its surroundings. The trail winds its way up Queenstown Hill, passing through pine forest and open grassland. At the top, you’ll find the Basket of Dreams sculpture, a large woven basket that symbolises the hopes and dreams of the local community. The panoramic views from the top are simply breathtaking, making the climb well worth the effort. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a casual walker, the Queenstown Hill Walkway is one of the best things to do in Queenstown.

21. Paragliding or Hang Gliding

Queenstown’s stunning landscapes provide the perfect backdrop for paragliding or hang gliding. Tandem flights with experienced pilots offer breathtaking views of Lake Wakatipu, the Remarkables, and other landmarks. As you soar like a bird, you’ll experience a sense of freedom and exhilaration like no other. Whether you choose a gentle glide or an adrenaline-filled acrobatic flight, paragliding or hang gliding in Queenstown is an unforgettable experience.

Get amongst the year-round paragliding in Queenstown with Gforce. Book with Gforce here.

Try hang gliding, paragliding or a combination of both with Coronet Peak Tandems. Book with Coronet Peak Tandems here.

22. Queenstown Scenic Flight

A scenic flight over Queenstown is an unforgettable experience. From the comfort of a small plane or helicopter, you’ll enjoy bird’s eye views of the city, Lake Wakatipu, the Remarkables mountain range, and more. Some flights also offer the opportunity to land on a mountain peak, where you can step out and take in the stunning panoramic views.

Embark on an incredible scenic flight in Queenstown with The Helicopter Line, which covers all the must-see spots and includes a landing. Book a Queenstown flight with The Helicopter Line here.

If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, check out the helicopter experiences with Over The Top. Tee off from the most remote golf tee there is, or land on a glacier for a picnic. Book an experience with Over The Top Helicopters here.

With plenty of experience and exciting flight options, a scenic helicopter flight in Queenstown with Heliworks is not only the most affordable option but it’s also completely amazing and won’t disappoint. Book a flight with Heliworks here.

For a fixed-wing flight that takes you further to destinations like Milford Sound and Aoraki Mt Cook, book with True South Flights.

23. Skydive in Queenstown

Skydiving in Queenstown is an adrenaline-pumping experience that offers the thrill of a lifetime. Imagine the rush of freefalling at speeds of up to 200 km/h from a height of 15,000 feet, followed by a picturesque parachute descent. As you soar through the sky, you’ll be treated to stunning panoramic views of Queenstown’s breathtaking landscapes, including Lake Wakatipu, the Remarkables mountain range, and the surrounding countryside. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or a first-time skydiver, skydiving in Queenstown is an unforgettable experience that should be on every adventure seeker’s bucket list. Choose between 9,000 ft, 12,000 ft and 15,000 ft when booking a skydive with NZONE here.

24. Ziptrek Ecotours

Ziptrek Ecotours offers a unique and thrilling way to experience Queenstown’s natural beauty. On this tour, you’ll zip line through the forest canopy, enjoying stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains. The tour also includes a guided walk through the forest, where you’ll learn about the local flora and fauna and the importance of conservation. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or a nature lover, Ziptrek Ecotours offers a fun and educational experience that’s not to be missed. Book an experience with Ziptrek Ecotours here.

25. Moke Lake

Moke Lake is a hidden gem just a short drive from Queenstown. This beautiful lake, surrounded by mountains, offers a tranquil setting for a picnic, a walk, or a horse ride. The lake’s reflective waters, especially at sunrise or sunset, create a stunningly picturesque scene. The Moke Lake Loop Track, a scenic trail that circles the lake, offers stunning views and is suitable for all fitness levels. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful escape or a scenic walk, Moke Lake is a must-visit spot in Queenstown.

If you’re looking for a horse trek in Queenstown, book with Moke Lake Horse Treks here.

Get out on the lake for some paddle boarding or kayaking. Book a Moke Lake paddle experience with Paddle Queenstown here.

Check out the Moke Lake Loop track for a stunning 6km walk.

26. Canyoning

Canyoning is a thrilling adventure that combines hiking, climbing, swimming, and abseiling. You can explore hidden gorges, slide down natural water slides, and abseil down waterfalls! Canyoning offers a unique and exciting way to experience Queenstown’s stunning natural beauty. This is the perfect outdoor activity in Queenstown.

Canyoning New Zealand runs guided canyoning tours in both Queenstown and Wanaka. Book an experience with them here.

27. E-Bike Hire

Exploring Queenstown and its stunning surroundings becomes a breeze with an e-bike. With several rental companies in town offering a range of e-bikes, you can choose one that suits your comfort and needs. E-bikes make it easy to navigate the town’s hilly terrain, allowing you to cover more ground with less effort. Whether you want to ride along the beautiful trails around Lake Wakatipu, explore the charming streets of Queenstown, or venture further afield to places like Arrowtown or the Gibbston Valley, an e-bike gives you the freedom and flexibility to explore at your own pace. Plus, it’s a fun and eco-friendly way to get around. So, hire an e-bike and start your Queenstown adventure on two wheels!

See even more of the Queenstown bike trails with bike hire and shuttle transport when booking with Around the Basin.

28. Brewery Tour

Queenstown is not just about adventure sports and stunning landscapes; it’s also a haven for beer lovers. A craft beer tour in Queenstown takes you on a journey through some of the town’s best breweries, where you’ll have the opportunity to sample a variety of locally brewed beers. From crisp lagers to hoppy IPAs and rich stouts, you’ll get to taste the diverse range of beers that Queenstown’s craft breweries have to offer. Along the way, you’ll learn about the brewing process, meet the brewers, and gain insights into the art and science of beer making. Whether you’re a beer aficionado or a casual drinker, a beer tour is a fun and informative way to explore Queenstown’s thriving craft beer scene.

Small groups, five hours and a local and passionate guide – Queenstown Beer Tours is a great way to taste craft beer in Queenstown. Book a tour here.

Combine great wine and craft beer with the Altitude Tours twilight wine & craft beer tour. Book this tour here.

29. The Nevis Swing

The Nevis Swing is the world’s biggest swing, offering a thrilling 300-metre swing across the Nevis Valley. Suspended high above the valley floor, you’ll experience the thrill of freefall and acceleration as you swing out over the landscape. You can choose to swing forwards, backwards, upside down, or even tandem with a friend. The Nevis Swing is not just a swing, it’s a thrilling adventure that offers stunning views and an adrenaline rush like no other. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or just looking for a unique experience, the Nevis Swing is one of the best things to do in Queenstown. Book the Nevis Swing here.

30. Discover Skippers Canyon

Skippers Canyon, a historic and scenic area located a short drive from Queenstown, offers a journey back in time. This area was the epicentre of the Otago gold rush in the 1860s, and remnants of this era can still be seen today. A 4WD tour through the canyon offers stunning views of the rugged landscape, historic sites such as the Skippers Suspension Bridge, and a thrilling drive on the narrow Skippers Road, carved out of the cliff face over 120 years ago. The combination of stunning scenery, historic significance, and thrilling adventure makes a visit to Skippers Canyon a must-do experience in Queenstown.

Check out Skippers Canyon by 4WD tour with Nomad Safaris. Book a tour here.

31. Hydro Attack

The Hydro Attack is a unique water adventure that offers a thrilling ride on and under Lake Wakatipu. In this one-person (plus your pilot) partially submersible vessel, you’ll leap out of the water like a shark, perform thrilling spins, and dive under the water’s surface. The Hydro Attack is the only one of its kind in New Zealand, making it a unique and exciting way to experience the lake. This is a great Queenstown activity for adrenaline junkies or simply those looking for a fun and unique experience. Book the Hydro Attack here.

32. Tiki Trail

The Tiki Trail is a popular hiking path in Queenstown that offers a rewarding outdoor experience. Starting at the base of the Skyline Gondola, the trail winds its way up Bob’s Peak, through lush native forest and past picturesque streams. As you ascend, you’ll be treated to increasingly stunning views of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu, and the surrounding mountains. The trail is well-marked and suitable for most fitness levels, though it does involve a steady uphill climb. Once you reach the top, you can enjoy a well-deserved rest at the Skyline complex, where you can grab a bite to eat, explore the luge track, or simply soak in the panoramic views before descending. The Tiki Trail offers a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in some natural beauty and it’s one of the top free things to do in Queenstown.

33. Lake Alta

The Lake Alta Track is a popular hiking trail located in The Remarkables mountain range. This challenging trail takes you up to Lake Alta, a beautiful glacial lake nestled among the peaks. The trail offers stunning alpine scenery, including rugged peaks, snowfields, and the serene lake itself. Despite the challenging terrain, the stunning views and the sense of achievement when you reach the lake make it well worth the effort.

34. Frisbee Golf in the Queenstown Gardens

The Queenstown Gardens is home to one of the first frisbee golf courses in New Zealand. This fun and challenging game, also known as disc golf, involves throwing a disc into a series of baskets set along a course. The 18-hole course winds through the beautiful gardens, offering a unique and enjoyable way to experience this tranquil oasis in the heart of the city. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a first-timer, frisbee golf is a fun and accessible sport and one of the best free things to do in Queenstown.

35. Visit Milford Sound

Milford Sound/Piopiotahi is one of New Zealand’s most stunning natural attractions. Get here by coach on a guided tour or drive yourself along the picturesque road from Queenstown. If your budget stretches far enough, consider flying here on a fixed-wing plane or helicopter. A scenic helicopter flight offers breathtaking views of the sound’s towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and deep blue waters. You’ll also fly over the stunning alpine landscapes of Fiordland National Park, with its snow-capped peaks and pristine lakes. Some flights also include a glacier landing, adding to the unforgettable experience.

Check out the Milford Sound day trips with RealNZ here.

If you’re opting for a flight, book with True South Flights here. 

Book a scenic helicopter flight to Milford Sound plus a Cruise with Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters here.

36. Lake Hayes Loop Track

Lake Hayes is a beautiful lake located just a short drive from Queenstown. Its calm waters reflect the surrounding mountains, creating a stunningly picturesque scene. Enjoy a picnic on its shores, then walk the Lake Hayes Loop, a scenic 8km trail that circles the lake. This is a 2-3 hour cruisy walk that kick starts a day out in Queenstown nicely. Carry on to Arrowtown for more fun things to do in Queenstown afterwards.

37. Quad Biking & Buggy Tours

For a fun and exciting outdoor adventure in Queenstown, book a quad bike tour and explore Queenstown’s stunning landscapes. Whether you’re zooming along dirt tracks, splashing through mud puddles, or climbing steep hills, it’s a thrilling way to experience the area’s natural beauty. You’ll also have the chance to visit some of Queenstown’s most scenic spots, which are often inaccessible by car. With a variety of trails to choose from, suitable for all skill levels, a quad bike adventure is a fun and exciting way to explore Queenstown.

On a self-drive buggy tour with Off Road Adventures, you’ll explore over 650 acres of private land, all just three minutes from the centre of Queenstown. Book a guided trip here.

Self-drive a quad on a tour with an experienced guide to see some of the most breathtaking scenery with Nomad Safaris. Book a Quad Biking tour here.

38. Walter Peak BBQ Dining

A trip to Queenstown wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the famous Walter Peak BBQ lunch or dinner. This delightful culinary experience begins with a scenic cruise across Lake Wakatipu aboard the historic TSS Earnslaw steamship. Upon arrival at Walter Peak High Country Farm, you’ll be treated to a gourmet BBQ lunch featuring a selection of succulent meats, fresh salads, and delectable desserts, all prepared on the spot by talented chefs. After lunch, you can explore the farm, meet the animals, or simply relax and enjoy the stunning lake and mountain views. The combination of delicious food, stunning scenery, and a unique farm experience makes the Walter Peak BBQ lunch (or book for dinner!) a must-do when in Queenstown. Book the Walter Peak BBQ lunch or dinner with RealNZ here.

39. Off-Roading 4×4 Tour

Off-roading 4WD tours, are one of the best ways to see the sights and spike the adrenaline rush. Venture off the beaten track and into the heart of the region’s rugged backcountry. You’ll traverse rivers, climb mountains, and navigate through forests, all while enjoying stunning views and learning about the area’s history and geology from your knowledgeable guide. Tours can also include a visit to some of the area’s iconic filming locations, including those used in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a nature lover, or a film fan, a 4×4 off-roading tour offers a unique and exciting way to experience Queenstown.

Book a tour to either Macetown or Skippers Canyon with Nomad Safaris.

40. Gin Tour

For lovers of fine spirits, a gin tour with Altitude Tours is an absolute must-do. This unique tour takes you on a journey through the area’s best distilleries, where you’ll have the opportunity to sample a variety of locally produced gins. You’ll learn about the distillation process, discover the botanicals used in gin production, and gain insights into the art of crafting this popular spirit. The tour also includes a scenic drive through the stunning landscapes of Queenstown and its surroundings, adding a touch of natural beauty to your gin tasting experience. Plus, they offer a heli-gin tour for those who want to take it to the next level! Book a gin tour with Altitude Tours here.

Altitude Tours

41. Mountain Carting at Cardrona

For a unique and thrilling downhill adventure, try mountain carting at Cardrona. These specially designed three-wheeled carts allow you to zoom down the mountain on a dedicated track, offering a fun and exciting way to experience the stunning alpine scenery. The carts are easy to handle and require no previous experience, making this activity suitable for most ages and skill levels. With a variety of tracks to choose from, ranging from gentle slopes to more challenging routes, you can tailor your ride to your comfort and thrill level. So, strap on a helmet, hop on a mountain cart, and get ready for an exhilarating ride down the slopes of Cardrona! Book mountain carting here.

42. Visit Paradise, Literally

Just beyond Glenorchy lies Paradise, a stunning area of natural beauty that lives up to its name. With its pristine forests, crystal-clear rivers, and snow-capped mountains, Paradise offers a tranquil escape from the world. It’s also a popular filming location, having featured in movies like The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Whether you’re a film fan or a nature lover, a visit to Paradise is a fantastic thing to do in Queenstown. Book a day tour out to Paradise with Nomad Safaris here.

43. Downhill Mountain Biking

Strap on some gear and check out the Queenstown Bike Park. There are over 30 top-notch downhill mountain bike trails here making this one of the best places to have a go at mountain biking in Queenstown. Ride the Skyline Gondola up the hill, and enjoy over 30 km’s of trails through the bush. You’ll be a converted mountain biker in no time.

44. Go Out for Dessert

Queenstown is home to a variety of eateries that serve delectable desserts. From decadent chocolate cakes to creamy gelato and traditional New Zealand pavlova, there’s a sweet treat to satisfy every craving. Try the famous Fergbaker for their mouth-watering pastries and pies, or Patagonia Chocolates for their exquisite chocolates and ice creams. For a unique dessert experience, visit the Cookie Time Cookie Bar and enjoy their warm, gooey cookies served with milk or ice cream. Don’t miss out on Balls and Bangles, a local favourite, known for their delicious donuts and bagels. Going out for dessert in Queenstown is not just about indulging in sweet treats, it’s also about enjoying the town’s vibrant culinary scene and cosy atmosphere.

Got a sweet tooth? Check out our list of The 7 Best Spots for Dessert in Queenstown here.

45. The Queenstown Market

The Queenstown Market is a vibrant and colourful showcase of local talent. Held every Saturday in Earnslaw Park, this market features a wide range of handmade goods, from jewellery and ceramics to paintings and textiles. As you browse the stalls, you’ll have the opportunity to meet the artists and crafters, learn about their creative process, and perhaps even pick up a unique souvenir or gift. The market also often features live music, adding to the lively and festive atmosphere. Grab some food from a local stall and lap up the lake views as you enjoy the Queenstown Market.

46. Land on a Glacier

For a truly unforgettable experience in Queenstown, consider a helicopter tour that includes landing on a glacier. This thrilling adventure begins with a scenic helicopter flight over the stunning alpine landscapes of Queenstown and its surroundings. As you soar above the rugged terrain, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks, pristine lakes, and winding rivers. The highlight of the tour is landing on a glacier, where you can step out onto the ice and experience the awe-inspiring beauty of this frozen landscape. Whether you’re an adventure seeker or a nature lover, landing on a glacier offers a unique and unforgettable experience that’s not to be missed. Book a Glacier Landing Helicopter Flight with Over The Top Helicopters here.

47. Funyaks

Funyaks offer a unique and exciting way to explore the stunning waterways around Mount Aspiring National Park. These inflatable kayaks, also known as ‘duckies’, are stable and easy to manoeuvre, so they’re suitable for all skill levels. A funyak journey typically begins with a thrilling jet boat ride, followed by a leisurely paddle through this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along the way, you’ll enjoy stunning views of the surrounding landscapes, from towering cliffs to lush forests. Tours depart from the Dart River Adventures booking office in Queenstown, or out in Glenorchy. Whether you’re an experienced kayaker or a first-timer, Funyaks offer a fun and memorable way to experience Queenstown’s stunning natural beauty. Book a Dart River Funyak experience here.

48. iFly Indoor Skydiving

If you’re looking for the thrill of skydiving without jumping out of a plane, iFly Indoor Skydiving is the perfect choice. This unique experience uses a vertical wind tunnel to create a freefall sensation, allowing you to fly on a cushion of air. With the guidance of experienced instructors, you’ll learn how to control your body in the air, performing turns, moves, and even flips. iFly Indoor Skydiving is suitable for all ages and fitness levels, making it a fun and exciting activity for the whole family. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or just looking for a unique experience, add iFly Indoor Skydiving to your things to in Queenstown list. Book an iFly experience online here.

49. Heli-Ski

When winter rolls around, Queenstown is a hub for memorable snow activities. For the ultimate skiing or snowboarding experience, try heli-skiing in Queenstown. A helicopter takes you to untouched snowfields, far from the crowded ski resorts, where you can carve your own tracks in the pristine snow. With a range of packages available, from beginner to expert, heli-skiing offers an unforgettable adventure for all skill levels. The combination of thrilling helicopter rides, stunning alpine scenery, and incredible skiing makes heli-skiing a must-do for any winter sports enthusiast.

The ultimate terrain and vertical runs are waiting for you! Book with Alpine Heli-Ski here.

50. Bob’s Cove

Bob’s Cove viewpoint offers stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains, though its seclusion makes it feel like a hidden oasis. A short walk from the car park takes you to the viewpoint, where you can enjoy the tranquil beauty of the lake and the stunning alpine scenery. Whether you’re a photographer, a nature lover, or simply looking for a peaceful spot to relax, Bob’s Cove Viewpoint is a must-visit spot in Queenstown.

51. Stargazing Tour

Queenstown’s clear skies and minimal light pollution make it a perfect spot for stargazing. A guided stargazing tour takes you to some of the best viewing spots, where you can gaze at the stars, planets, and galaxies through a telescope. Along the way, you’ll learn about the southern hemisphere’s constellations, the Milky Way, and other celestial bodies. Whether you’re an astronomy enthusiast or simply curious about the night sky, a stargazing tour is a magical and educational experience that’s not to be missed.

Take a ride up the Skyline Gondola for this stargazing Queenstown tour. Book with Skyline here.

52. Ice Skating

Queenstown Ice Arena offers a fun and exciting activity for the whole family. Whether you’re a seasoned skater or a first-timer, ice skating is a fun way to stay active and enjoy some icy fun. The arena offers skate hire and lessons, making it accessible for all skill levels. So, lace up your skates and hit the ice for a fun-filled session of ice skating – one of the best indoor activities in Queenstown. Book a public skating session here.

53. Farm Tour

A farm tour offers a unique insight into New Zealand’s rural life. Visit a working farm, where you can see sheep shearing, watch a sheepdog demonstration, and even feed the animals. Some tours also include a traditional Kiwi barbecue lunch or afternoon tea, adding to the enjoyment of your farm visit. Whether you’re a city slicker or a country lover, a farm tour is a fun and educational experience that’s suitable for all ages. Learn more about a Walter Peak farm tour here.

54. Jet Skiing

For a thrilling water adventure in Queenstown, consider hiring a jet ski. This exciting activity allows you to explore the stunning Lake Wakatipu at your own pace, offering a unique perspective of the surrounding landscapes. Whether you’re zooming across the water or cruising along at a leisurely pace, jet skiing is a fun and exhilarating way to experience the lake. Several local companies offer jet ski hire, with safety equipment and instruction provided, making it a safe and accessible activity for all skill levels. So, if you’re looking for a mix of adventure and sightseeing, jet skiing on Lake Wakatipu is one of the best things to do in summer in Queenstown. Book a jet ski hire with Water Sport World here.

55. Heli-Bike

Strap your mountain bike to a helicopter and set off for bigger, better terrain. This Queenstown activity takes you to back-country tracks and private high-country stations to experience some of the best mountain bike trails there are. Get away from the masses and soak up the joy that is heli biking. This Queenstown must-do is a unique and thrilling way to explore the region’s stunning landscapes. Enjoy a thrilling downhill ride through beautiful alpine scenery. With a range of trails to choose from, heli biking offers an unforgettable adventure for all skill levels.

HeliBikeNZ will take you to DOC land and private high country stations that they have exclusive access to. Book a HeliBikeNZ experience here.

Experience a guided heli biking tour with Southern Lakes Helibike. Book an unforgettable tour here.

56. River Boarding

Riverboarding is a thrilling water sport that allows you to ride the rapids of Queenstown’s rivers on a specially designed board. With flippers on your feet and a buoyant board under your chest, you’ll navigate through the white water, experiencing the thrill of the river from a unique perspective. Whether you’re surfing on waves, riding whirlpools, or simply floating along, riverboarding is a fun and exciting way to experience Queenstown’s stunning waterways. Book with Serious Fun River Boarding here.

57. Mt Crichton Loop Track

The Mt Crichton Loop Track is a scenic hiking trail that offers stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. The trail winds its way through native bush, past a historic gold mining tunnel, and up to a viewpoint overlooking Lake Wakatipu. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a casual walker, the Mt Crichton Loop Track is one of the great free things to do in Queenstown.

58. Shotover Canyon Swing

For adrenaline junkies, the Canyon Swing in Queenstown is an absolute must. This thrilling activity involves jumping off a platform suspended 109 meters above the Shotover River and swinging across the canyon at high speed. With a variety of jump styles to choose from, including forwards, backwards, and upside-down, the Canyon Swing offers a unique and exhilarating experience. The combination of heart-stopping freefall and stunning canyon views makes this one of the most thrilling activities in Queenstown. Don’t forget to mix up your jumping style when you inevitably come back for more. Book the Shotover Canyon Swing here.

59. Odyssey Sensory Maze

The Odyssey Sensory Maze is a unique and mind-boggling adventure located in the heart of Queenstown. This interactive attraction is full of surprises and will challenge your senses as you make your way through a series of rooms and zones, each with its own distinct sensory environment. From mirrored mazes and dark spaces to strange sounds, lights, and textures, the Odyssey Sensory Maze offers a fun and immersive experience that’s unlike anything else. Whether you’re navigating the twists and turns of the mirror maze or braving the dark corners of the horror-themed rooms, this attraction promises a fun and memorable adventure for all ages. Buy tickets for the Odyssey Sensory Maze here.

60. Deer Park Heights

Deer Park Heights is a unique attraction that offers stunning views and a chance to interact with a variety of animals. Located on a high ridge overlooking Queenstown, this private park is home to deer, alpacas, llamas, and even miniature horses. As you drive through the park, you can stop to feed the animals, making this a fun and interactive experience for all ages. The park also offers panoramic views of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu, and the Remarkables mountain range, making it a great spot for photography. Whether you’re an animal lover, a nature enthusiast, or simply looking for a unique experience, Deer Park Heights is a must-visit when in Queenstown.

Editor’s note: New Zealand Guide writers select and write about the things we love in New Zealand, and we know our readers will love too. New Zealand Guide has affiliate partnerships, so may we get revenue from your purchase.

New Zealand Guide
New Zealand Guide
Sharing the best of food, travel and lifestyle in New Zealand | Share your stories with us at #newzealandguide

Latest Articles