Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand! The adventure junkie will love this city (and go broke) taking advantage of all the different options. Queenstown is well worth a visit, even if you are not interested undertaking an adventure sport!
Things To Do & See
There are many options for bungy jumping in Queenstown. You can do the jump that started it all off the Kawarau Bridge, or seek out a higher jump at one of the other locations (Nevis Bungy or Ledge Bungy). Alternatively, you can take a ride on the bungy swing! (Nevis Swing or Ledge Swing). They even offer combo packages to do multiple!
The area right outside of Queenstown is known as the Central Otago Wine region and is know for producing some great wines (pinot noir) with amazing backdrops. One of our favorite wineries that we visited was Peregrine. We also told about Gibston Valley Cheese, which is located in the wine valley, where you can tasting local cheese!
3) Shotover Jet
Take an adventure filled ride, skimming over the water and through the narrow canyons. Some of our friends enjoyed the adrenaline rush associated to the ride on the Shotover Jet.
4) Sky Diving, Hang Gliding or Paragliding
We attempted to sky dive on our first visit to Queenstown in 2004. Unfortunately, we were not able to jump due to the weather conditions. However, on a clear day you are likely to see people floating high up in the sky enjoying the sights over Queenstown.
Surrounded by mountains (The Remarkables) and water (Lake Wakatipu), Queenstown is an ideal playground. There are countless options for hiking in and around Queenstown, see the New Zealand Department of Conservation website for options and additional information on walking tracks.
The gondola is located a short walk from the city center. The ride up will provide you with breath-taking views over the city and Lake Wakatipu. Once you reach the top you can enjoy the views over a drink or meal. Other activities are also available in the area, such as a luge, walking tracks, and mountain biking paths. We did not ride the Gondola on this visit, but did on a previous visit. We enjoyed the views from the top at sunset.
7) Day Trips
Many people use Queenstown as a home base and do day trips to further explore the South Island. There are many options available, however be prepared for a very long day of travel! On our first trip to Queenstown, we enjoyed a day trip to Doubtful Sound for a boat cruise on the fjords. Other options include Milford Sound, Mt Cook, or hiking on the some of the famous tracks (e.g. Routeburn Track) In our opinion, a trip to the sounds is worth an overnight stay.
We toured the South Island in RVs with 12 of our friends from home. We stayed in our RVs at campgrounds and were pleasantly surprised by the facilities at most of the campsites. During our time in Queenstown, we stayed at the Queenstown Top 10 Holiday Park Creeksyde. In addition to powered campsites, the holiday park also had self contained motel-type rooms and was within walking distance from the town center.