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ULTIMATE Guide to Canyoning in Queenstown: The BEST Tours and More!

ULTIMATE Guide to Canyoning in Queenstown: The BEST Tours and More!

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This blog is your complete guide to canyoning in Queenstown including what you should know before you go, what is all involved, which company to choose, what we loved, and more!

Canyoning in Queenstown

Queenstown is an outdoor lover’s dream and the adventure capital of New Zealand! This small town is surrounded by everything that’s needed to support such activities, so it’s no wonder canyoning has become one of the top activities to do in Queenstown.

I had been canyoning twice before in both Vietnam and Ecuador and was super keen to give it another go here in New Zealand!

Deciding to go canyoning in Queenstown turned out to be one of the best decisions I made as it was so much better than my two previous experiences – so much fun!

If you’re not sure if canyoning is the right activity for you, then this blog is for you! This is a complete guide to canyoning in Queenstown as well as a review of the company that we chose and loved!

But first…What is “Canyoning” exactly?

Canyoning in Queenstown adventure sport
Abseiling down the canyon!

Essentially, canyoning is navigating your way through gorges and down waterfalls by abseiling, jumping, walking, zip-lining, sliding, and swimming. It is an adventure activity that with competent guides, is easily completed safely.

You will get wet, and of course, have a good time!

Related Read: There’s a lot of fun things to do up at Skyline Queenstown, just the view alone is worth the visit!

Who should try Canyoning in Queenstown?

canyoning in Queenstwon
Instead of walking to the start, we zip-lined!

Canyoning is in no way only for the adrenaline junkie. On our tour canyoning in Queenstown, there were people from all walks of life who all seemed to have a great time!

The only requirement is to have a high level of fitness and to be under the weight limit of 120 kg (265 lbs). Also, if you are pregnant, their health and safety policy will not permit you to go on the tour.

Every descent is guided by professionals and they offer alternative ways of navigating the canyon if you’re not comfortable with any particular descent or jump.

Anyone reasonably comfortable around water can do this activity, and kids as young as 10 can do it. With that being said, if you’re after an adrenaline rush, you will be sure to get it!

The experience is easily tailored to all levels of adventure-seekers!

What do you need to bring for Canyoning in Queenstown?

Canyoning in queenstown
Head to toe everything is provided!

On the tour we joined, you don’t really need to bring anything! From head to toe, everything is supplied! Just wear swim shorts/swimsuit for under your wet suit and bring a towel!

Book the same amazing canyoning tour as us! More info here!

Related Read: After an exertive day canyoning you’ll want to eat from one of the best restaurants in Queenstown.

The Queenstown Canyoning Company we Chose

Canyon Explorers is the tour company we chose for our canyoning experience in Queenstown and we have nothing but positive things to say about these guys!

The staff is professional, the equipment was top-notch, and the tour was a blast! We couldn’t recommend this canyoning tour more – you will love it!

We also joined Canyon Explorers on their Via Ferrata climbing tour – which was equally as fun! Read all about our time with them trying out Via Ferrata in Queenstown for our very first time!

The BEST Canyoning in Queenstown Tour

Clearly, we can’t say enough good things about the Canyoning Experience Queenstown! Here’s a little more about how your day will go on the best canyoning tour in Queenstown…

The tour will start early at 8:30 am from 2 Marine Parade, Queenstown 9300, which is right outside of the Eichardts Hotel.

From there, it’s only a 20-minute drive to the starting point where you will then go into a thorough safety briefing and be properly fitted with your canyoning equipment. Through the different sections, there are different choices (less or more challenging) you can make to navigate the canyon based on your comfort level.

Plus, there will be a guide to help instruct you on the way down. Once your group has made their way down the canyon you’ll get to relax in their heated lockers with a hot shower.

What I loved most about Canyoning in Queenstown

The Activities

canyoning in Queenstown review
Down the waterfall Bailey goes!

After going canyoning twice before, I was well aware of the usual procedures and thought I had an idea of what to expect. However, what I learned was that canyoning in Queenstown turned out to be so different than any canyoning I had done before! The biggest difference was the variety of activities!

With the other trips I had done previously elsewhere, were mainly based around abseiling down waterfalls.

However, canyoning in Queenstown was filled with all sorts of different methods of getting through the canyon including zip lines across gorges, zip lines to abseil, lots of jumps, and of course, abseiling.

This huge variety kept everyone really engaged with the tour, and at no point did we know what to expect was coming next!

The Guides

canyoning queenstown
The guides provide support both at the top and bottom of each descent

On any guided trip the tour guides can make or break your trip. If you feel safe and relaxed you’re going to have a better time and the guides at Canyon Explorers were good at that!

They were super fun, professional, and knowledgeable and it really helped everyone partake and have a good time!

It’s Affordable

Canyoning in Queenstown
Bailey jumping down a waterfall!

In comparison to every other tour in Queenstown, canyoning is cheap.

For around $200 you get a half-day experience. It’s a guided activity that involves a high level of safety and equipment. If you compare it to bungy jumping or skydiving it can be half the price and lasts a lot longer!

Don’t forget, you also get to take in some pretty spectacular views both in and around the canyon

My Overall Thoughts About a Canyoning in Queenstown Tour

Canyoning is actually the best thing to do in Queenstown
Canyoning in Queenstown was super fun and we both highly recommend it!

After completing this tour, both Bailey and I said it was one of the best tours we had done in Queenstown and maybe all of New Zealand!

The best part about us both loving it is that we have very different levels of comfort around water and dealing with heights. Bailey is a lot more nervous when it comes to heights and in the water but still had an amazing time! Heights don’t faze me and I am a fish in the water, but I also had an awesome time!

I guess that means that it’s a great tour for couples, groups, or families who enjoy different levels of excitement!

I highly recommend this tour and am really confident you will also have an amazing time!

Related Read: Take part in one of New Zealand’s most scenic stretches of road on a road trip from Queenstown to Milford Sound.

Other Adventure Activities to do in Queenstown

the luge track at skyline queenstown
The Luge track! Doesn’t it look like fun?!

They don’t call Queenstown the “adventure capital of New Zealand” for no reason – there is a HUGE range of things to do for anyone looking for a bit of excitement!

If you’re going to Queenstown for some fun tours and activities, don’t just stop at canyoning, some other great experiences are:

  • Bungy Jumping – the tallest bungy jump in all of New Zealand is right in Queenstown!
  • Heli-hike – the only thing better than hiking is hiking on the side of a mountain where a helicopter dropped you off!
  • Skydiving – The most extreme thing you can do is jump out of an airplane!
  • Ride the Luge – This is another fun activity suitable for all ages. Not only is it as exciting as you want it to be, but the views along the ride are spectacular!
  • Rock Climbing – this is rock climbing for those with no experience. Feel safe, climb higher, and get better views!
  • Whitewater rafting – the ultimate water activity!

Related Read: Check out some of the best New Zealand road trip itinerary ideas and start planning!

Renting a Car or Campervan in New Zealand

Bailey takes a selfie with a JUCY campervan
Ready to hit the road!
Bailey stands infront of a JUCY campervan in New Zealand
JUCY is another favorite!

The first step to planning your New Zealand road trip is choosing your set of wheels! Most people rent a campervan or motorhome to get around, but you can also just rent a normal car and stay in hotels (as opposed to camping.)

You can search for rental cars online here in advance to compare car models and prices.

You can also do this with motorhomes and campervans on a website called Motorhome Republic. It shows all of the available campervans and motorhomes for your specific New Zealand road trip dates. You can compare prices and company reviews here too!

JUCY is our personal favorite campervan rental company in NZ. We love JUCY because they have such a range of both cars and campervans available, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to find something to suit your budget and travel style.

We’ve actually secured an exclusive discount code for our readers with JUCY. Just click here to browse their availability and use the code DTRAVEL24 at checkout to get 5% off! What a good deal!

You can check prices, availability and book with JUCY online here.

Star RV is another company we personally recommend but specifically for motorhomes! They offer larger motorhomes (as opposed to budget campervans) at really reasonable rates.

Star RV has actually given us a discount code for our readers too! Use the code DTRAVEL24 at checkout to get 5% off your motorhome rental! Note, this code is only valid for bookings made before June 21, 2024 with travel dates before Dec 21, 2024. Click here to browse availability, prices, and book with our discount code!

Thanks for reading!

woman at a restaurant overlooking queenstown
Thanks for reading and enjoy your time in Queenstown!

We feel so extremely lucky to have called Queenstown “home” for seven months. And in that time, we got to know this amazing town better than most!

We have a ton of insider info on the best things to do in Queenstown as well as tips on how to have the best time possible. Check out our complete guide to visiting Queenstown! Or read some of our other blogs about Queenstown:

The BEST Queenstown wineries

Complete guide to winter and skiing in Queenstown

The most instagramable spots in Queenstown

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