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Things to do in Queenstown

Things to do in  Queenstown

Welcome to Queenstown

Nestled between the Remarkables’ towering peaks and Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown—nicknamed the adventure capital of the world—welcomes visitors year-round for skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, rafting, skydiving, and more. It’s an ideal base for exploring nearby South Island destinations such as Milford Sound and Fiordland National Park, historic Arrowtown, and Central Otago’s wineries. Queenstown itself offers loads of activities too: Bungee jump in the Kawarau Gorge, ride the Skyline Gondola to Bob’s Peak, or sample local wines and cheeses on a tasting tour. If you’re a Bilbo Baggins fan, make a pilgrimage to nearby Glenorchy, a filming location for ""The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

Top 15 attractions in Queenstown

#1
Lake Wakatipu

Lake Wakatipu

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Surrounded by mountains and shrouded in legend, Lake Wakatipu and its crystal waters draw visitors as the longest lake on New Zealand's South Island. As a popular spot for adventure activities—from fishing to catamaran cruises—a day on Lake Wakatipu is arguably the highlight of any trip to Queenstown and the Otago region.More
#2
Milford Sound

Milford Sound

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With its soaring cliffs, dramatic glacial valleys, and thundering waterfalls, it’s easy to see why Milford Sound is one of New Zealand’s most visited sights. This natural wonder is the star attraction of Fiordland National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and wildlife haven for dolphins, seals, and penguins.More
#3
Coronet Peak

Coronet Peak

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Coronet Peak is New Zealand’s oldest ski field and remains a popular choice for people heading to the slopes during the southern hemisphere’s ski season. Snow bunnies can take to one of the ski field’s many trails, while sightseers can enjoy the stunning views of the Wakatipu Basin and the Southern Alps from the summit of the peak.More
#4
The Remarkables

The Remarkables

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Looming over nearby Queenstown, the Remarkables are a formidable mountain range and one of New Zealand’s most popular ski fields. The Remarkables Ski Area has a wide range of exciting slopes and runs for skiers and snowboarders people of all ages and skill levels. Warm weather sees adventure here too, with hiking and biking trails galore.More
#5
Kawarau Suspension Bridge

Kawarau Suspension Bridge

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Rising 141 feet (42 meters) above the turquoise waters of dramatic Kawarau Gorge, no attraction is more iconic to Queenstown than the historic Kawarau Suspension Bridge. Most thrill-seekers know that the bridge is the site of the world's first commercial bungee jump. It’s still possible to leap from a platform suspended from the bridge where it all began.More
#6
Skyline Queenstown

Skyline Queenstown

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Hang on tight! Skyline Queenstown affords the city’s best views, but the gondola ride isn’t for the faint of heart. Zipping up 1,475 feet (450 meters) to the top of Bob’s Peak takes about 10 minutes aboard the steepest gondola in the southern hemisphere. En route, enjoy 220-degree vistas of Queenstown, the Remarkables, Coronet Peak, and Lake Wakatipu. At the top, dine at the mountaintop Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar amid panoramic views while the Skyline Luge track—with two steepness options, one easy enough for kids—sends adventurous riders screaming on their return trip to the mountain’s base.More
#7
Kawarau River

Kawarau River

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Not far from Queenstown, Kawarau River offers a variety of thrill-seeking possibilities including jet boating, whitewater rafting, and riverboarding. Alternatively, visitors can go off-road into the surrounding hills during an all-terrain quad bike tour or try bungee jumping from the Kawarau Suspension Bridge. There’s something for history buffs too, who come to check out the gold-miners’ huts and relics from the river’s gold-rush days.More
#8
Queenstown Hill

Queenstown Hill

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Arguably one of Queenstown’s best hikes, Queenstown Hill is home to the popular Queenstown Hill Time Walk, where informative placards provides an overview of Queenstown’s fascinating history. To native Maori, this hill was known as Te Tapu Nui, or mountain of intense sacredness, which makes sense considering the epic views you’ll get from the top.Climbing over 1,500 feet in only 1.5 miles, the steep climb is rewarded by views looking out over Lake Wakatipu, as well as The Remarkables and Southern Alps that are often snowcapped in the distance.Aside from hiking, ATV and quad bike tours are a popular way to visit, which crisscross over 15 miles of off-road trails on the hill.More
#9
Queenstown Gardens

Queenstown Gardens

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Set on a knob of land jutting out into Lake Wakatipu, these gardens offer a quiet respite from the noise of town, with a variety of trees including Douglas firs, sequoias, and monkey puzzles creating a natural barrier. Shoreside paths leading around the edge offer spectacular views of the lake and the ragged peaks of the Remarkables.More
#10
Odyssey Sensory Maze Queenstown

Odyssey Sensory Maze Queenstown

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At the Odyssey Sensory Maze in central Queenstown, visitors navigate a course with obstacles, illusions, and strange lighting, sound effects, and smells. As the name suggests, this unusual attraction requires visitors to engage all their senses as they move through various rooms. The maze is just as popular with adults as it is with older kids and teens.More
#11
Hollyford Track

Hollyford Track

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The Hollyford Track might not have the profile of Fiordland’s Great Walks, but it’s no less impressive. This low-altitude walk runs through the Hollyford Valley, part of the Te Wāhipounamu UNESCO World Heritage Area, and alongside the roaring Hollyford River, past towering mountains and crystal-clear lakes all the way to Martins Bay.More
#12
Te Anau Glowworm Caves

Te Anau Glowworm Caves

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The Te Anau Glowworm Caves are one of New Zealand's most mesmerizing natural wonders, boasting a labyrinth of grottoes, tunnels, dramatic rock formations, and underground waterfalls. Adventure abounds—visitors can cruise across Lake Te Anau, scramble through the caves, and marvel at a glittering canopy of tiny glowworms.More
#13
Jack’s Point Golf Course

Jack’s Point Golf Course

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Regarded as one of New Zealand’s best golf courses, Jack’s Point is not only known for the famously challenging course, but the phenomenally mind-bending, panoramic scenery that accompanies every hole. Just 20 minutes outside of Queenstown, Jack’s Point Golf Course is framed by the Remarkables and the shores of Lake Wakatipu, and in addition to views that include craggy pinnacles surrounded by alpine waters, rows of rolling, dry stone walls provide the feel of the Scottish highlands and a classic high country farm. Golfers consider it a “bucket list” course that you have to play once in your lifetime, though if you just want to see the remarkable scenery without even teeing up a ball, stop in for lunch at the Jack’s Point restaurant for either breakfast or lunch.More
#14
Kiwi Birdlife Park

Kiwi Birdlife Park

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There are two different ways to see a kiwi bird when traveling in Queenstown, New Zealand: Drive hours away to remote regions in the exceptionally slim hopes of spotting one, or drive two minutes from downtown Queenstown to Kiwi Birdlife Park. When visiting this 5-acre wildlife compound, visitors can spend time with—and even feed—New Zealand’s iconic birds, and also spot species such as alpine parrots and the rarely seen New Zealand falcon. When finished walking through the darkened hides that house the furry brown kiwis, gawk at the prehistoric tuatara that scientists claim has survived virtually unchanged for over 200 million years. Conservation is another key element of this informative and educational park, and funds from admission are used to rehabilitate and release birds back in the wild. Daily conservation shows discuss the programs in depth, and you’ll also find talks on Maori culture and the pounamu, or greenstone, that led the Maori to originally inhabit these hills.More
#15
Skippers Canyon

Skippers Canyon

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Skippers Canyon, a short distance north of Queenstown, is nothing short of dramatic. The Shotover River winds through the canyon’s steep rock walls, topped with coarse alpine scrub, for nearly 14 miles (23 kilometers). Not the best place to go driving, it’s perfect for hiking, jet boating, white-water rafting, and other adventure activities.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Queenstown

TSS Earnslaw & BBQ Buffet Lunch
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Half-Day Milford Sound Flight and Cruise from Queenstown
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Milford Sound Coach Tour with Lunch from Queenstown
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Milford Sound Coach and Scenic Cruise with Picnic Lunch from Queenstown
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Central Otago Wine Tour from Queenstown - Includes 4 Vineyards, Lunch & Wine
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Shotover River Extreme Jet Boat Ride in Queenstown, New Zealand
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Queenstown 60-minute Jet Boat Ride on the Shotover & Kawarau Rivers
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Premium Milford Sound Small Group Tour, Cruise & Picnic Lunch from Queenstown
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Small Group, Award Winning, Full Day Milford Sound Experience from Queenstown
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Milford Sound Sightseeing Cruise with Scenic Round-Trip Flight from Queenstown
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Milford Sound Coach and Nature Cruise with Picnic Lunch from Queenstown
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Milford Sound Small Group Tour from Queenstown with Scenic Flight
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Wine and Food Sampler Tour from Queenstown
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Milford Sound Day Tour and Cruise from Queenstown
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Recent reviews from experiences in Queenstown

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Jet boating
Chris_A, Jul 2022
Queenstown 60-minute Jet Boat Ride on the Shotover & Kawarau Rivers
Great way to see the beautiful views of Queenstown and the mountains.
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Fabulous helicopter ride...
Mel_H, Jun 2022
Southern Glacier Experience Helicopter Flight from Queenstown
Best way to see Queenstown/Milford area.
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The boat trip was great....
wendy_S, May 2022
TSS Earnslaw & BBQ Buffet Lunch
I am coming to Queenstown in the summer and will definitely repeat the whole experience
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Fantastic Experience.
Yanshan_H, May 2022
Private Tandem Paraglide Adventure in Queenstown
Such a great way to see the picturesque Queenstown skyline!
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Magnificent scenery
Tony_K, May 2022
Dart River Jet Boat and Wilderness Experience from Queenstown
Plenty to see and enjoy about the experience
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A different view
Kay_H, May 2022
Pilot's Choice Scenic Flight from Queenstown
Staff were very friendly and it was definitely worth the time to see Queenstown and area from a different angle .
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Very enjoyable day
Priscilla_M, May 2022
Milford Sound Coach Tour with Lunch from Queenstown
Milford Sound is breathtakingly beautiful and this is the perfect way to see it from Queenstown if you dont want to drive and can't afford flying.
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Highly recommended!
Myla_L, May 2022
Pilot's Choice Scenic Flight from Queenstown
A must do to see the beauty of the lake in a different angle.
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Fantastic
Fruean_E, Apr 2022
Must do ebike experience - Arrowtown to Queenstown -Door-to-door from Queenstown
Awesome way to see Queenstown scenery.
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20th Wedding Anniversary Trip Highlight
Fiona_C, Mar 2022
Half-Day Milford Sound Flight and Cruise from Queenstown
While we had the best 4 days for our 20th wedding anniversary in Queenstown covering a lot of activities and places, this was our special treat and was by far the highlight of our trip, just stunning and exceeded all expectations!!!
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Relaxed Cruising
Ian_W, Jan 2022
Lake Wakatipu Scenic Catamaran Cruise from Queenstown
The cruise was informative and gave us ideas about activities for our next stay in Queenstown.
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The queen on the lake 👸
rodger_h, Dec 2021
TSS Earnslaw Steamship Cruise from Queenstown
Beautiful day on the lake , best way to see wakatipu, highly reccomend to me a Quintessential Queenstown experience
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Great Service from Milford Sound Coach Tour & Enjoyed the time
Yiwen_H, Apr 2021
Milford Sound Coach Tour with Lunch from Queenstown
We enjoyed the time in Milford Sound, luckily saw Tasman dolphins, had lots of photo in front of the waterfalls.
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Excellent trip
Hiueni_N, Feb 2021
Small Group, Award Winning, Full Day Milford Sound Experience from Queenstown
excellent service and the beautiful view of rainfalls, snow even summertime, mountains, The driver from Queenstown was excellent providing tour guide and explanation on our 4 hours drive to Milsfordsound.
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We did this tour with our friends as...
Collette P, Oct 2017
Grand Circle Helicopter Flight from Queenstown
Definitely a must to see Queenstown from the air.
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Martin Kohn was excellent and lovely...
Nina_B, Apr 2018
Private Tour Half Day Queenstown and Beyond Photography Tour
I re-learned a lot about photography that I had forgotten and got to see a beautiful area near Queenstown.
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Our Day with Rob and our new friends...
John C, Jan 2017
Small Group, Award Winning, Full Day Milford Sound Experience from Queenstown
I am so glad we did this trip on a smaller bus with more stops to see and experience things.
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This was brilliant. Great food...
Pete DL, Feb 2016
Wine and Food Sampler Tour from Queenstown
Good to do if you need a step back from the adrenaline activities in Queenstown.
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Beautiful place, fun activities...
Willem K, Aug 2014
Dart River 'Funyak' Canoe plus Jet Boat Tour from Queenstown
Beautiful place, fun activities, good food, great guides, excellent experience.
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No Doubts about Doubtful Sounds
Heather_P, Aug 2021
Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise from Queenstown
I was expecting a quiet little cruise on Doubtful Sounds but due to the weather it was a totally exhilirating adventure with the most magnificent waterfalls everywhere thanks to the amount of rain.
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People Also Ask

What is Queenstown known for?

Queenstown is known for its attractive location beside Lake Wakatipu, surrounded by the Remarkables Range of the Southern Alps. It’s often called the adventure sport capital of New Zealand. In winter Queenstown is known as a skiing destination as ski fields are nearby, while in other seasons many other adventure activities are available.

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How do I spend a day in Queenstown?

In winter and early spring, head to the nearby ski fields: Cardrona, Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, and Treble Cone. Perfect your skills or learn to ski or snowboard. In other seasons you can spend the day hiking, kayaking, white-water rafting, bungee jumping, jet boating, paragliding, mountain biking, luging, taking a cruise on Lake Wakatipu, or riding the Skyline Gondola.

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What can you do in Queenstown during the summer?

There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in Queenstown in summer, for all fitness and activity levels. Hike in the mountains, walk along the lakeshore, kayak or join a cruise on Lake Wakatipu, bungee jump, paraglide, mountain bike, or simply grab a meal and a drink with lake and mountain views.

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What activities are open in Queenstown during the winter?

Queenstown is a popular snow sports destination and the nearby ski fields–Cardrona, Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, and Treble Cone–generally open in mid-June and close again in late September or early October. Many other outdoor activities are open in winter, including rafting, jet boating, and the Skyline Gondola.

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What are the main attractions in Queenstown?

In winter, the main attractions in Queenstown are the nearby Cardrona, Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, and Treble Cone ski fields. In other seasons (as well as winter), main attractions include the Skyline Gondola and lookout, the AJ Hackett Bungee, the Shotover River for jet boating and rafting, and Lake Wakatipu.

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Is Queenstown expensive?

Yes, Queenstown is one of New Zealand’s most expensive towns. Accommodation, food, and attractions are all costly, although how expensive you find it may depend on your current exchange rate. As Queenstown is popular year-round there’s not really a low season, although booking accommodation well in advance can help you find discounts.

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Frequently Asked Questions
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