Queenstown in New Zealand: 8 x the best things to do

Queenstown (“Tāhuna” in Moari) is one of the larger cities found on New Zealand’s South Island. Queenstown is worth a visit for nature alone, with its beautiful location on Lake Wakapitu surrounded by the impressive mountain range “the Remarkables. In addition, this city of 10,000 is also known as the “Adventure Capital of the World. Whether you want to skydive, raft, bungee jump, … here you can do it all. Therefore, this diverse city cannot be missed during your tour of New Zealand! Discover the 8 best attractions in Queenstown here in advance!

8 x the best things to do in Queenstown

Queenstown in New Zealand is the adrenaline capital of the world, so it did not steal its name. It is the place to do things, some more exciting than others! We’ll get you started with the 8 best things to do in Queenstown!

1) Hike the Ben Lomond track

The Ben Lomond track is the most beautiful hike you can do near Queenstown. This challenging 10.6-mile round trip hike begins at the Skyline Gondola on Bob’s Peak. The hike is well marked and takes you slowly up a slope to the Ben Lomond Saddle. Here you have a phenomenal view of Queenstown and Lake Wakapitu. Those who really enjoy a challenge can hike further to the top. In total, you climb 1011 altimeters, so be sure to bring plenty of water and food. Your fitness will be tested, but you will be rewarded with beautiful views. And who knows, you may come across a Kea at the summit, one of New Zealand’s native birds.

TRAVEL TIP: Another fun hike that is easier to do in Queenstown is the Mt. Crichton track. This 6 km loop follows a stream through the woods and passes a waterfall.

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2) Take the Skyline Gondola to Bob’s Peak

Those who are not so fond of walking can take the Skyline Gondola. From downtown Queenstown, you climb 480 meters until you reach the top of Bob’s Peak. There you have a fantastic panoramic view of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown and the surrounding mountain range The Remarkables. A return trip on the gondola costs 46 NZD or €27 per person. Another option is to take the Tiki trail, a short but spirited 1.5 km hike that also takes you to the top of Skyline Queenstown. If you take the gondola only to the bottom, though, this is free.

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3) Do one of the many activities on Bob’s Peak

In addition to enjoying the magnificent views of Bob’s Peak, you can do all sorts of activities that will get your adrenaline pumping! At the end station of the gondola, you can do one of the following activities:

  • Queenstown Luge: Toboggan down a 1600-foot track on a beautifully maintained toboggan run. Departing from Bob’s Peak, you take a chairlift after which you can race down on a toboggan cart.
  • Ziptrek Eco Tour : Through various ziplines through the forest, you’ll go from one treetop to the next before finally ending up back down in Queenstown.
  • Queenstown Paragliding: If you would like to get your feet off the ground for a change, you can get back to Queenstown with a tandem paragliding jump.

4) Do an extreme sport

What better thing to do in the adrenaline capital of the world than an extreme port? Therefore, when you walk through Queenstown you will find plenty of offices where you can book one of the following extreme sports:

  • Skydiving : Always wanted to jump out of a plane? Then Queenstown is the place to be!
  • Rafting: The nearby rivers around Lake Wakatipu offer great rafting. But other water sports such as kayaking or jet-boat racing are also certainly possible
  • Bungee jumping: This sport was invented in New Zealand. At 134 meters, Queenstown is home to New Zealand’s highest bungee jump!
  • Paragliding: Jump off Bob’s Peak and imagine yourself a free bird above Queenstown.
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5) Explore Lake Wakatipu from the water

Queenstown sits on Lake Wakatipu, the second-largest glacial lake in the South Island that is nearly 80 kilometers long. You can take several boat tours on Lake Wakatipu and it is one of the best ways to explore the Queenstown area. We recommend a trip on the TSS (Twin Screw Steamer) Earnslaw. This steamboat has been in operation since 1912, and you truly sail with a piece of the city’s history. A short trip of an hour and a half, or yet prefer to enjoy four hours on the water with an accompanying dinner, you’ve come to the right place. Book your ticket online here!

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6) Imagine yourself in Lord of the Rings at Glenorchy

A 45-minute drive from Queenstown in New Zealand you will find the village of Glenorchy. The scenic road to Glenorchy alone is worth the effort thanks to the beautiful landscapes you traverse. This makes Glenorchy a popular day trip with tourists and locals alike. Glenorchy and its surroundings are best known for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. In fact, many scenes from the film were shot here, including Isengard. For those who want, you can also book a Lord of the Rings tour on site. You’ll also find lots of great walks in Glenorchy, including the starting point of one of the Great Walks: the Routeburn track.

Find out what the best hikes are on New Zealand’s South Island!

7) Strolling along the pier in Queenstown

Even if you’re not an adrenaline junkie or hiker, we recommend a stop in Queenstown. The town is not that big and ideal to explore in one day. The Kiwis themselves feel that the city has changed a lot and fallen somewhat victim to its success, but we found it well worth it. Wander through Queenstown’s charming downtown and look for a nice souvenir or plop down at one of the many cozy outdoor cafes on the pier along Lake Wakatipu’s waterfront.

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8) Eat the best burger in the world: the Ferg burger

If you’re not yet convinced to visit Queenstown, the Ferg Burger surely will! The Ferg Burger is called by many the best burger in the world. The burger joint has become a true cult in New Zealand and far beyond, and you can tell by the long queue. Too hungry to sit down? Then you can always go to Ferg Baker, which is right next door. Here you will find the typical savory “pies” found in New Zealand, a crispy puff pastry pie filled with some kind of stew and gravy.

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Where to stay in Queenstown

There are numerous options for lodging in Queenstown. If, like us, you are traveling around New Zealand in a campervan, the Queenstown Holiday Park Creeksyde is an ideal base! Just a 5-minute walk from downtown and the gondola, this cozy campground has all the necessary facilities. You will also find cozy tinyhouses as an alternative if you are not traveling with an RV. Or indulge yourself and stay at the Kamana Lakehouse which has the best view of Lake Wakapitu.

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How to get there

Queenstown is on New Zealand’s South Island, located on the west coast. Most travelers reach Queenstown by RV or car. From Schiphol Airport, you can fly into Christchurch International Airport. From Christchurch, it is about a 6-hour drive to Queenstown. Are you from the North Island of New Zealand? Then you can take an internal flight from Auckland to Queenstown or take the ferry to Picton and drive on today. In this article, you’ll already find the ideal travel itinerary through the South Island!

Do you have any questions about Queenstown in New Zealand or have you been there yourself? Let us know in a comment below! Looking for more information about your next trip? Please do not hesitate to contact us or send an email to snoezelsontheroad@gmail.com

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