Sitting on the shores of the south island of New Zealand, Queenstown is a town that delights at every turn, and offers you adrenaline by the bucket loads. Come and explore Queenstown with me.
New Zealand top the lists of my favourite countries in the world, alongside Sweden and The Netherlands. And it’s a favourite among tourists too… it’s a country to opposites, calm relaxed bays, alongside bungy jumping in to a canyon, weather that varies from hour to hour, and food so indulgent alongside juice bars and health retreats. Make sure you add a holiday to New Zealand to your bucket list now…
With its sweeping landscapes, adrenalin activities, and wilderness experiences it’s got to be one of the best countries in the world. If you want to find read more about my recommended places to visit in New Zealand I’ve popped a post together. Surrounded by majestic mountains and set on the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu, the natural beauty and the unique energy of the region create the perfect backdrop for a holiday full of adventure, discovery and rejuvenation.
No matter if you visit in winter or summer, there is always something to do in this wonderful region, whether that be skydiving, eating, drinking, hiking or skiing. The tow is renowned for adventure sports, partly increased because of the bungee jumping off Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge and jet-boating on the Shotover and Dart rivers. Queenstown is a thrill to visit, with stunning scenery, and a warm welcome from everyone you meet.
Participating in a Maori cultural experience should be at the top of your list when in New Zealand. Maori is the official second language of New Zealand and there are certain tips you should know when visiting Maori land or places of worship. You should never enter a marae ( Maori meeting space) without permission, always take off your shoes, do not consume food or drink while in a mare, and at the end of the welcoming ceremony, you will traditionally be greeted with a hongi—the touching of both nose and forehead. 15% of New Zealand’s population are Maori.
There is so much to do in Queenstown, some stuff I have already written about such as skiing or the luge, however here is a few more. We did some of those listed and were told about the others. It appears Queenstown really is the activity centre of New Zealand and there is just so much to do! Sitting on the shores of the south island of New Zealand, Queenstown is a town that delights at every turn, and offers you adrenaline by the bucket loads. Come and explore Queenstown with me.
10 Things to do in Queenstown
- Hike up Bob’s peak
- Eat a Fergburger
- Ride a gondola for iconic views
- Visit Milford Sound and take a boat trip
- Have a drink in one of the region’s wineries
- Take to the skies in a hot air balloon
- Zip Lining with Ziptrek
- Hit the slopes during the winter season
- Defy gravity with a bungy jumping
- Jump out of a plane
READ MORE: How to spend 5 days in Queenstown
READ MORE: 35 Unforgettable Things to do in New Zealand
What to do in Queenstown
New Zealand Facts
English, which is one of the country’s three official languages, is the predominant language of New Zealand, and almost the entire population speaks it either as native speakers or proficiently as a second language. The Māori language (te reo Māori), which is spoken natively by the indigenous Māori people, has been the country’s second official language since 1987.
When to visit
Best time to visit Queenstown is simply down to the weather and what you are after. Most activities are available in summer, so December to February is an ideal time to visit. Visit during spring, September to November, for smaller crowds but weather warm enough for outdoor activities.
New Zealand’s unit of currency is the dollar (NZ$). All major credit cards can be used in New Zealand, with Visa and MasterCard accepted most widely.
What to do in Queenstown
Top 10 Things to See and Do in Queenstown
- Hike up Bob’s peak – Enjoy clear mountain air and stunning vistas on one of the many walking trails within easy reach of Queenstown (or if you don’t fancy the walk do the next tip)
- Ride a gondola – Ride the Skyline Gondola for iconic views across Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu
- Play frisbee – Throughout Queenstown Gardens are 18 baskets begging for people to throw frisbees in them
- Visit Glenorchy – Set amongst ancient beech forests and on the doorstep of the Mount Aspiring National Park, it’s a great place to enjoy horse riding, kayaking, walking and skydiving
- Eat a burger – Queenstown is famous for its burgers at the famous Ferg! Go see what the fuss is about by demolishing a gigantic Fergburger with prices ranging from NZ$11-NZ$18.
- Visit Milford Sound – Marvel at the spectacular scenery on a day trip from Queenstown to Milford Sound with a tour company and take a boat trip around the sound
- Have a drink – Visit the region’s wineries to sample award-winning wines or take a guided wine tour with a friendly and knowledgeable guide
- Take to the skies – Get romantic with a dawn hot air balloon flight taking in the sights of this wonderful town
- Hit the slopes – If you’re visiting during the winter season, hit the mountains around Queenstown for an exhilarating day of skiing or snowboarding
- Defy gravity – Step out of your comfort zone with an adrenaline-pumping activity like bungee jumping, canyon swinging, canyoning or ziplining
- Jump out of a plane – Or if you are after even more adrenaline, why not hurtle through the air on a skydive or soar like a bird as you hang glide or paraglide through the region
What to do in Queenstown
Take a gondola up to the Skyline
Its reasonably priced and gives you impressive views across Queenstown! And once you are up there you can also jump on the luge and whiz down the tracks!
Check out Kawarau Gorge
One does not simply come to Queenstown and not check out the bungee jumping site at Kawarau Gorge. You don’t have to jump because it is almost as fun as watching the other crazy tourists giving it a go. All the fun without the panic attack!
Visit Minus 5 Ice Bar
I had never been to an ice bar before here and really wanted to ‘tick it off’. Like the many of the other ice bars across the world before you go in the ice bar you are wrapped up in huge coats and gloves as the temperature sits as a maximum of -5◦c! The drinks are expensive but I guess you are paying for the experience too so I would buy one drink, experience it and then go somewhere cheaper!
Eat a Fergburger
A rite of passage for any backpacker who visits Queenstown you must visit Fergburger! The most famous burger shop in Queenstown which now opens 22 hours a day and often has queues out the door and up the street. Crazy hay!? Now this doesn’t sound appealing at all but the burgers are well worth the wait! Fergburger has an amazing menu of some very well put together burgers with the most famous being ‘The Fergburger’ – it is huge and finishing it really is a challenge!
Sample the nightlife
Queenstown has a record number of bars and eateries per capita within New Zealand. Bars serving cold beer, local wines and cocktails are super easy to find! For the best cocktails visit World Bar! Every night during happy hour cocktail teapots are half price; with so many flavours to try between us we all bought a selection and then proceeded to try each other’s. Before we had even landing in Queenstown I knew all about the teapot cocktails and I was extremely excited to try it out.
Visit a Ski field
Obviously this depends on the time of year you descend on Queenstown but usually from April to September you can ski at one of the many ski fields surrounding the area of Queenstown. You have a vared choice from Coronet Peak to the Remarkables! Slopes vary for all abilities and the prices are actually really good! I rented ski equipment and grabbed a lift pass for two days for maybe only around $200, which is around one hundred pound. Bargain!
Zip Line with ZiptrekNZ
ZiptrekNZ Ecotours at the top of the Tiki trail in Queenstown is the perfect day out for any adrenaline junkie or newbie to the craze. The exhilarating zip line adventure is situated high above Queenstown, next to the Skyline Gondola and the Luge track at the top of the hill. Once up there you’ll hang out of tree huts, breathe pristine mountain air and then you’ll glide through the treetops on a series of zip lines all with amazing views over Queenstown and the surrounding area. I was placed on the Moa 4-line tour which included four zip lines through the Queenstown forest. It is a great tour for beginner zipliners and families with young children and is the perfect starter to an adventure experience in Queenstown, both starting and finishing at the top of the Skyline Gondola. The Moa tour, I was told, is designed to start slow and low and gradually build your confidence as it gets progressively longer, higher and faster, however I felt like every zipline was fast! But then again I was a newbie and had never done is type of thing before.
These are just a snippet of the things you can do in and around Queenstown in the winter. It offers so much and there really is something for everyone. Did you enjoy this post on what to do in Queenstown? Let me know your top tips!
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