Queenstown is the adventure capital of the South Island of New Zealand. Trust me when I say there is an abundance of adrenaline activities you can do here! As an adrenaline junkie myself, I tried to fit in as many activities as possible in my short 3 days here.
Not an adrenaline junkie? Don’t worry, I have included some other activities and places which are well worth experiencing with your time in Queenstown. Full disclaimer this list only contains 10 out of the 110 things you can do in Queenstown!
If you have ever wanted to go sky diving, Queenstown should be on your places to do it! This was my second time skydiving, and the views were just incredible from going up in the plane, to jumping out of the plan to parachuting to the landing point.
I went with NZONE and I couldn’t recommend them enough. They were very helpful to each customer and did their best when we had to get out jumps moved due to bad weather. The instructors are very professional, but also really want to make sure you have a good time.
I went for the 15,000 ft jump, but you can go for the lower ones. But I mean, go big or go home right!
2. Bungy Jumping
Likewise, to Skydiving, if you are going to go bungy jumping, you should do it in New Zealand! Bungy Jumping is like no other thing I’ve experienced. It is terrifying but at the same time exhilarating. You have to jump headfirst off the platform, and although walking up to the platform isn’t scary itself (unless afraid of heights), telling your brain to jump off while its telling you “no no no”, is the hardest, scariest part. So much fun though, and worth it!
You have a few bungy jumps to choose from, the Nevis, the Kawarau Bridge, and the Ledge Bungy. I went with the Nevi’s which is the tallest bungy jump in all New Zealand. It was scary, but epic. If you don’t want to bungy jump you can try the Nevi’s Swing too.
3. Shotover Jet
This adrenaline-based activity is a lot “calmer” than the activities mentioned above. The shotover jet is a speed boat which races down the Shotover canyon, while your skipper does 360 turns, and gets very close to the cliff faces. This would be a good one for families, who are looking for a bit of adventure, but not too much.
4. Shotover Canyon Swing
The Shotover swing can be completed as a package deal with the Shotover Jet, which I would recommend. The Shotover swing involves falling into the canyon at racing speed, before swinging through the canyons. The falling part is the scariest of this adrenaline field activity, but it is over in a few seconds.
The best part about this activity, is you can choose the way you want fall off the platform. From a slide, bicycle, chainsaw to being kicked off. You can complete this either tandem or solo. I choose the slide for my first jump which was so much fun and let the Jump master pick my second one. He chose to kick me off, which I will admit was scary, but good fun.
5. Hike Ben Lomond
Ben Lomond is said to be the best day hike in Queenstown. This 11km return track offers beautiful views over Queenstown and will take you roughly 3-4hrs to complete.
There are two ways you can complete this hike, either start at the skyline Gondola base station and walk the Tiki Trail. Or if you want to take some time and effort off the hike, you can take the Skyline Gondola and start the walk from the top. It is well signposted, but if you get lost, just ask the staff!
6. Soak in the Onsen Hot Pools
The Onsen Hot Pools are the perfect place to relax after all your adventure packed activities in Queenstown. The ‘Original Onsen’ involves 1 hour of relaxing in your own private hot bath, with your choice of beverage and snack. The hot tubs have wonderful views over the shover river and provide luxury and privacy.
7. Stuff your face at Fergburger
Fergburger has a lot of hype over social media as being the best burger in New Zealand. I will say, it’s a damn good burger! As it is a very popular spot, expect long lines and a bit of wait time. I stood in line for a burger at 11.30am and go my burger by 12pm, you can also pre order if you don’t wish to wait.
The burger is beautifully cooked, a generous serving and the chips were fresh. Make sure you check out the bakery next door too!
8. Ride the Luge
This is the most family -friendly activity in Queenstown. This gravity pulled go kart races down the mountain, the best part, you can control the speed! The luge is located at the Skyline building at the top of Bob’s Peak. You can either hike here using the Tiki Trail, or take the skyline gondola to the top.
This is another iconic activity to do in Queenstown. Parasailing departs from the water’s edge, you can fly solo, tandem or in a triple. Another perfect activity for families! This activity is available all year round.
Paragliding is similar to Parasailing, but instead of being pulled by a boat, you’ll fly off the edge of the mountain. If you are in Queenstown town you can hear the people screaming and having a blast while jumping off the cliff.
Where to stay?
I stayed in two different types of accommodation with my time in Queenstown. The first two nights I stayed at Luckie Lane homestay and it was incredible. There are 3 units to choose from, a 1 bedroom, 3 bedroom or 8 bedroom. I stayed in the 1 bedroom, it was a beautiful tidy space with beautiful views over Queenstown.
The second place I stayed was Driftaway Queenstown, in one of their Lakeview powered sites. The facilities at Driftaway are very modern, clean and just excellent quality. The Lakeview campervan spots offer the most perfect views over Queenstown. Driftaway Queenstown also has cabins and hot tubs available!
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