9 Best Things to Do in Queenstown, New Zealand

9 Best Things to Do in Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown is a small town with a big reputation. It’s been touted as the adventure capital of the entire planet!!! A pretty bold statement for sure but it does have some incredible topographical features and lots of activities that rank it highly amongst other competitors, such as Banff in Canada or Cape Town in South Africa.

If you’re planning on coming to New Zealand, I have created free road trip itineraries which all spend a considerable amount of time in Queenstown, but also explore much more of New Zealand’s other places, which are arguably just as beautiful.

1. Ben Lomond

Ben Lomond
This is the major peak that’s climbed in Queenstown. The reason for its popularity is the fact that the first ascent to Bob’s Peak is done via the Queenstown Gondola. This makes the rest of the hike much easier.

From the summit you’ll be able to see The Remarkables Mountain Range stretching off into the distance, Cecil Peak above Lake Wakatipu and several other distinct peaks in the Southern Alps of New Zealand.

2. Glenorchy Drive

Glenorchy Drive
The roads in New Zealand are one of the main reasons that tourists flock to this corner of the world. They wind amongst mountains between the peaks, along the coast under the long white cloud and, in the case of the Glenorchy-Queenstown Road, at the side of a glacially carved lake called Lake Wakatipu.

The road is roughly 46km and should take around an hour of non-stop driving. If it’s the first time you’ll be driving it, however, you’ll want to stop so much that it could take you almost three hours.

Bennetts Bluff Lookout is one of the first, and my personal favourite, spots along the road to stop and take in the view. Before this you can go cliff jumping at Little Thailand which has a 10m jump and a 6m jump, and after you can stop at picturesque abandoned boat piers and several small beaches ideal for summer barbecues.

The final destination is in itself a great place. Many scenes in Lord Of The Rings were filmed in and around Glenorchy, and if you’re a keen LOTR fan, you’ll be able to spot them easily.

3. Ferg Burger

Ferg Burger
After a hard days adventuring around Queenstown you’ll have surely worked up quite an appetite. That’s where Fergburger comes in. I know it’s a cliché to stop here but the burgers really are quite good and well-priced. I think part of the fun in going is waiting in the queue as well, smelling the fragrances from the gelateria next door or getting a waft of pie crust from the adjoined Ferg Bakery. My favourite burger is the “Sweet Bambi” a perfect mixture of wild Fiordland Deer, Brie Cheese, Boysenberry and caramelised onion. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

4. Jet Boating

Jet Boating
Lake Wakatipu is the final resting point of many rivers in the area. These glacially create pathways have been carved down into deep canyons at times only a few metres wide. What could be more fun that hurtling around these canyons reaching speeds of 85km/h on a powerful jet boat?

The Skippers Canyon and the Shotover Canyon are popular spots and there are several well established companies with varying prices and available tours.

5. Bungy Jump

Bungy Jump
The famous Karawau Bridge bungy jump was the first commercial bungy jump in the entire world. The bungy scene was pioneered by AJ Hackett, a kiwi daredevil who created the most famous name in bungy world.

AJ Hackett now have 3 jumps and 2 swings in Queenstown all of which are an adrenaline junkies dream.

6. TSS Earnslaw

TSS Earnslaw
For those looking to get out on the water in a less extreme way, the TSS Earnslaw is a more relaxing scenic cruise which leaves from Queenstown harbour and transports you to the other side of Lake Wakatipu offering a completely different vantage point. This 1912 Edwardian vintage steam boat is one of the oldest attractions on the South Island of New Zealand and the only remaining commercial passenger-carrying coal-fired steamship in the southern hemisphere.

7. Sky Diving

Sky Diving
If you haven’t had enough adrenaline pumped around your veins, then Sky Diving over the Remarkable Mountain Range is a way to get your fix. It’s one of the more expensive activities on your list but is guaranteed to show you a once in the life time view.

8. Sharkboating

If someone said Sharkboating to me before I went to Queenstown, I’d picture a vessel in the middle of the ocean with a cage attached where you view sharks from. Nowadays I know that it’s a small two-seater semi submergible vessel shaped like a shark that carves in and out of the water much like a dolphin. I have yet to see this attraction anywhere else in the world and at roughly 130NZD per person it's a story your friends and family simply won’t believe when you get back home.

9. Luging

At the top of the Queenstown gondola there’s also a luge track. For those people who don’t know what luging is, it’s kind of like Go Karting but downhill using gravity as your means of propulsion. If you manage to get a good deal, you can score a gondola ride and 7 luge rides for as low as 50NZD.

Author Name: Marta Kulesza
Author Bio: I am Marta Kulesza - the photographer and creator of www.inafarawayland.com. I come from Poland, but I've been living, travelling and working around the globe since I turned 18. A few years ago, during one of my trips to Scotland, I bought my first DSLR and my adventure with photography began. When I am not stuck to my computer editing photos, you can find me hiking somewhere in the mountains

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