Guide To Queenstown Activities

Our overview of the main types of activities to experience in Queenstown

As New Zealand’s favourite adventure playground, Queenstown has a well earned reputation for adventure. Situated on Lake Wakatipu with the awesome Remarkables mountains towering above, the natural beauty of the region is a sight to behold.

A huge array of activities are on offer to satisfy each end of the adventure scale, from a relaxing game of golf on world-class golf courses, sampling award winning pinot noir in the nearby wineries, to jetboating, skydiving, rafting and bungy jumping at the other end of the scale.

To help you get the most of your stay in Queenstown, we’ve put together our 'Things to do In Queenstown Guide'.


  • Bungy: AJ Hackett, the world’s first commericial bungy operator, run 3 bungy jumps -  Kawarau Bridge, The Ledge Bungy and Swing from the Gondola, and the mighty  Nevis Bungy and Nevis Swing, the highest bungy jump in Queenstown. Canyon Swing operate ‘The Shotover Canyon Swing’.

  • Jetboating: There are three operators in Queenstown. The legendary Shotover Jetboat run shuttle buses from downtown to Shotover River Canyons while K-Jet and Thunder Jet depart from the main town pier. Further out in Glenorchy, Dart River Wilderness Journeys combine jetboating on Dart River with a guided walk and 4WD adventure. Wanaka River Journeys provide half day jetboating in World Heritage Mount Aspiring National Park.

  • Paragliding: Coronet Peak Tandems take off from Coronet Peak, the highest commercial jump in Queenstown. Take a ride up the Gondola to enjoy a jump over Queenstown with G-Force.

  • Rafting: The two main players are Queenstown Rafting and Challenge Rafting that both provide a trip along the Kawarau River (better for beginners) and a more high octane trip on The Shotover River from Skippers Canyon. For the ultimate advenure, try the 5 day Brodrick & Landsborough Wilderness Experience with Queenstown Rafting. 

  • River Boarding: An alternative to rafting on white water rapids is to try river boarding along them. Both Serious Fun Riversurfing and Frogz White Water Sledging offer exhilerating river surfing options along the Kawarua River.

  • Zipline: Ziptrek Ecotours run thrilling zipline tours from the top of the Gondola. The experience features the steepest tree to tree zipline in the world.

Scenic Cruises:

  • Lake Wakatipu: TSS Earnslaw is the iconic steamship that makes regular crossings with the option of combining with a visit to Walter Peak Farm. The Million Dollar Cruise travels in the opposite direction and takes you up to Kawarau Falls. Their lunch cruise includes a 2 course meal at the Hilton Hotel overlooking the lake.

  • Milford Sound: You can either drive the 5 hours to Milford Sound or book a coach and cruise package tour. The spectacular cruise on Milford Sound lasts between 90 minutes and two hours. However, there is also an overnight cruise option. Mitre Peak CruisesJUCYSouthern Discoveries and Milford Sound Cruise all depart from the ferry terminal building.

  • Doubtful Sound: Doubtful Sound Cruise provide a full day experience that includes a 30km cruise on Lake Manapouri, a visit to Manapouri Power Station and a three hour cruise on the stunning Doubtful Sound.

Scenic Flights:

  • Milford Sound & Doubtful Sound: Flights depart from Queenstown Airport in Frankton. Air Milford and Milford Sound Flights include a cruise along the sound. Helicopter Line will take you over both sounds departing from Te Anau.

  • Queenstown: Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters, Helitours and Helicopter Line offer scenic flights around Queentown and Canterbury and also include wine tours. 

  • LOTR: Glenorchy Air will take you to many of the locations used in the Lord of The Rings film trilogy. They also fly you to Milford Sound, Fiordland, the Glaciers and the Treble Cone ski field.

  • Wanaka: U-Fly will actually let you take controls of the plane over the stunning Wanaka scenery. Wanaka Flightseeing offer flights options to Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound and Mount Cook. 


  • Championship quality courses including, Milbrook, The Hills, Jack's Point and Kelvin Heights. Arrowtown Course is a great option just 15 minutes from Queenstown and favoured with locals. The 9 hole course at Frankton includes a driving range and is a good option for the casual player. Read more in our Queenstown Golf Guide.

Skiing & Snowboarding:

  • Coronet Peak and The Remarkables are the two ski resorts close to Queenstown. Regular shuttle buses will pick up and drop off from all the major hotels and from the town centre. Further out, between Wanaka and Queenstown, Cardrona is a great family ski resort that's ideal for the beginner skiier, while Snow Park is a favourite with snowboarders. The largest ski resort is Treble Cone in Wanaka.  Read more in our Queenstown Skiing guide.


  • From Belfast Street in the town centre, there is the three hour Queenstown Hill Walk that offers stunning views of Lake Wakatipu. The Kelvin Peninsula Trail is a gentle 90 minute lakeside walk around the edge of Kelvin Heights Golf Course. Jack's Point has a few walking trails that showcase the incredible views of the Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu with a good clubhouse cafe/restaurant to relax in afterwards. Check out our Queenstown Walks for a guide to the best walks within easy reach of the town centre. 

Wine Tasting:

  • Central Otago is one of the world's premier wine growing regions. Gibbston is the closest to Queenstown with most wineries featuring cellar doors. Bannockburn is a 50 minute drive away. The rugged landscape features some great walks, lots of art galleries and welcoming cellar doors including Mt DifficultyCromwell is just past Bannockburn and includes the recreated Old Cromwell Town and Lake Dunstan. Alexandra is larger town with a rich goldmining history and includes the world's most southernly vineyward, Black Ridge. Alexandra is also known for the second stop of the Otago Central Rail Trail.

Fo more inspiration, you can also check out our ‘Top 10 Things To Do' list. Have fun!