10 Things to Do in Queenstown, New Zealand

Updated August 11, 2020.

Queenstown, New Zealand: the Adventure Capital of the World! The city did not earn this reputation for no reason. If you’re up for an adventure or a fun time, check out these 10 things to do in Queenstown!

10. Take in a Sunrise

I have seen sunrises all over the world (thanks in no small part to jet lag!), but I have to admit that the most unique sunrise I have ever seen was in Queenstown, New Zealand. It started as a purply-pink and got pinker with every moment. There was snow on top of a mountain across the lake, the peak of which loomed over a morning cloud. It was stunning. I was out for a run, but I had to stop every few steps to take another photo from another angle.

More Sunrise
Related: Epic Landscapes of the World

9. Take the Skyline Queenstown Gondola

Who doesn’t love and admire a good view? Well, Queenstown has some magnificent ones! Take the Skyline Queenstown Gondola up to Bob’s Peak and enjoy the views all the way up and all the way back down afterward! Taking a look around, you’ll have your breath taken away by the evergreens surrounding you, Lake Wakatipu growing farther away below you, and the Southern Alps as you come eye-to-eye with these snow-capped giants!

Going up!
Keep reading: New Zealand Packing for Men

8. Visit the Spa

Queenstown is known for its activities, but all that fun and all those adrenaline-inducing activities can leave your body wracked with tension (in the best possible way, of course!). So why not treat yourself to a massage, facial, mani-pedi, etc.? I got a bamboo massage (excellent for runners!) and a honey facial from one of the local hotels’ spa, and it was definitely the right choice! I came back to our room relaxed and happy.

Spa time!
More here: How to Practice Self Care on Travel

7. Eat Incredible Food

Queenstown is home to some amazing restaurants, so come hungry! Our favorite was the Pescara Pizza from Winnie’s Gourmet Pizza. Not only is pizza always a winner, it’s even more so when that pizza includes New Zealand green-lipped mussels, shrimp, and salmon! Plus the feeling of the restaurant was welcoming and rustic, and the service was friendly. We learned to expect nothing less from Kiwis!

Pescara Pizza!
Still hungry? Read What We Ate on New Zealand’s South Island!

6. Visit the Kiwi Birdlife Park

We wanted to see kiwis SO BAD! But we had no idea they’re nocturnal. Epic tourist fail. But we got our chance when we visited the self-supported, family owned and operated Kiwi Birdlife Park. They have many species of New Zealand birds to ooh and ahh over, but we were, of course, most interested in the kiwis! Because they’re nocturnal, the Birdlife Park has created nocturnal houses that are dark in the daytime, and bright as day in the night. This is basically the only way you’ll see these cuties unless you get REALLY lucky in the wild. Definitely worth the cost, and definitely worth your time! Plan to spend a couple of hours here so you can see the kiwi feeding and the bird conservation show!

Meet Jack at the conservation show!
Need to know: Packing for Women in New Zealand

5. Test the Waters

There are countless water sports to enjoy in Queenstown! Try your hand at rafting, kayakking, canoeing, flyboarding, water skiing, jet skiing, jet boating, etc. You can even take a ride in a sharkmobile! I’ll be honest, we were water wimps since the temperatures were hovering around freezing on our visit, but in the summer it would have been a different story!

4. Ride the Luge!

What’s a luge? It’s like a go cart and a sled in one! There is a track at Bob’s Peak at the top of the Skyline Gondolas, and you can even get a package deal with a number of rides plus your ticket up and back on the Gondolas. Nothing like fun times with a view like this!

The Luge Track at Bob’s Peak
More here: Road Tripping New Zealand’s South Island

3. Try Bungy Jumping

Feeling adventurous? Love the feel of falling? Queenstown is home to the first commercial bungy jump in the world! There are a few to choose from, including one up on Bob’s Peak. Just remember everyone will hear you scream!

Down she goes!
More here: What to Know Before You Visit New Zealand

2. Go Paragliding

If there is one thing I wish I’d done in Queenstown, it’s paraglide! The timing didn’t work out for me, but perhaps it will for you! Book online and you’ll get a free t-shirt. Book it for 10:00am and get NZ$20 off with their Early Bird Special! Make sure there’s someone up at the top to get your photo. This is a stranger, but I wish it was me!

More here: New Zealand’s Striking Scenery

1. Go Hiking

If you’ve followed my blog for long, you know I love a good hike! Queenstown has some doozies with all those hills and mountains around, but the views from the top are worth it. Want to take in the view from Bob’s Peak but don’t want to pay for the Skyline Gondola? You can hike it! Want the best sunrise shots? Take quick walk on the trails down by the lake!

First light on the mountain!
Helpful info: The Ultimate List of Hiking Tips

Are you ready to take on Queenstown on your trip? Comment Below! And don’t forget to find everything else you need on my New Zealand Page!

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