Plan Your Adventure to Queenstown
Queenstown, in the South Island of New Zealand, is famous for its adventure scene. Located on the banks of the impressive Lake Wakatipu, this lively town is full to the brim with adrenaline-filled activities and surrounded by opportunities for discovery. From high-speed jet-boating and white-water rafting to alternative bungy jumping, sky diving and world class skiing, Queenstown is every adventure-lover’s dream. With so many exhilarating activities to choose from, we have put together a guide of our ‘top picks’ to help you plan your Queenstown adventure, by day and night.
Hold on to your seat!
Jet Boating & Kayaking
One thing which makes this town so characteristic is its prime location on the side of one of the most beautiful lakes in New Zealand. For this reason, water sports are extremely popular in Queenstown, and with good reason. We recommend trying out a thrilling high-speed jetboat ride, where you can skim across the water, spin round corners and dash through rocky gorges, taking in the nature at ultra-high speed. Queenstown was the first place in the world to offer commercial jet boat tours, thanks to brother Alan and Harold Melhop and their company Kawarau Jet Services; who brought a whole new kind of water adventure to Queenstown. Today they offer a variety of tours from white water rapids, wilderness tours to boutique wine tasting tours.
If you are looking for something more serene, kayaking is the perfect way to take in the beautiful scenery at your leisure. Kayak rental stores such as Paddle Queenstown, offer kayaking practice, organised tours and they also recommend self-guided tours of the lake, with tips on where to stop for a picnic lunch.
Queenstown is a supreme cycling and mountain biking destination, attracting thousands of biking enthusiasts each year. The region offers everything from rugged downhill mountain tracks to leisurely lakeside trails. It has an avid mountain biking culture, with world renowned tracks and dirt jump parks, which attract pro mountain bikers from around the world, as well as a range of terrain for different levels. For a more relaxing pace, there is a fantastic network of beautiful scenic trails to explore, including The Queenstown Trail which offers over 130km of bike trail alongside Lake Wakatipu, the regions’ rivers and throughout the surrounding vineyards. Cycling is the perfect way to explore this magnificent region with total freedom.
Vibrant Evening Out
As well as being the perfect location for action packed days, Queenstown boasts a variety of eclectic restaurants and trendy bars, so you will be spoilt for choice in the evening too. For an exciting and alternative evening out, we recommend checking out Queentown’s SkyCity Casino, ranked one of the top three casinos in New Zealand. While Queenstown is no alternative city to Las Vegas, this boutique casino in the heart of the town offers a variety of casino table games as well as live shows, salsa nights and live sports nights. Here you can enjoy a bright and vibrant evening, while taking in Queenstown’s stunning backdrop of lakes and mountains, surely a winning combination.
To truly embrace Queenstown’s spectacular views, there is no better way than a magnificent gondola ride. Taking you a whopping 450 metres high, Queenstown is home to the steepest cable car in the Southern Hemisphere! The ‘Skyline Queenstown’ takes you for a scenic journey over the famous Luge, Lake Wakatipu and the remarkable mountain ranges. You can turn this into a full dining experience by stopping off for a buffet lunch or dinner at the Stratosfare Restaurant, which is perched high above the mountain town, with breath-taking views of the surrounding peaks. During holidays such as Christmas and New Year the restaurant offers a themed buffet and live entertainment.
If you are still seeking more adrenaline, you can push your adventure to the next level with one of Queenstown’s monumental bungy jump experiences. ‘The Ledge’ Bungy jump can be found at the very top of the gondola ride and boasts some of the best views over Queenstown, while ‘the Nevis’ offers the unique and exhilarating experience to jump out of a cable car, over a canyon – one for the true thrill seekers. We love the Kawarau Bridge jump which was the first commercial bungy jump site in the world! This site has breath-takingly beautiful views over the Kawarau River and lush surrounding greenery as you dive towards the water. The beauty of this jump is rivalled only by the famous Taupo bungy jump. This is the smallest bungy jump in Queenstown, making it a perfect choice for beginners.
Hopefully, this has got your heart pumping with inspiration for your adventure to Queenstown. This is just a small taster of the hundreds of action-packed options available in this adventuresome town. We hope it helps you to plan your trip. Happy exploring!