101 Things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand
This blog includes 101 things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand! It is the perfect list to help plan and organise your trip and the linked blogs include all the information you could possibly need!
101 things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown is without a doubt New Zealand’s most popular tourist destination. During its peak times, this small city becomes one of the most vibrant places on earth and the things to do in Queenstown are endless. From adventure sports to stunning scenic tours, Queenston has something for everyone!
I lived and travelled in Queenstown for 7 months and during that time I have discovered for myself just how things to do in Queenstown there actually are! The list of things to do in Queenstown is huge and could keep someone busy for months – I have managed to come up with this list so you can choose what suits you best.
Here are 101 things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand!
1. Enjoy a sunset on Lake Wakatipu
Lake Wakatipu is Queenstown’s crown jewel and every afternoon many visitors gather on her shores to watch the last few hours of light. From the Warf and beach area right in town, you have one of the best viewpoints as the sun sets behind the Southern Alps. Also in this area its okay to street drink until 10 pm, so grab yourself your drink of choice and enjoy!
2. Try Fergburger
Fergburger is arguably the most popular place in Queenstown one of the best things to do in Queenstown. Before I ate there I was unsure if the hype was warranted, but now I totally agree. Over the 7 months I lived in Queenstown I ate at Fergburger many times and honestly miss it to this day! Get down there and try it for yourself, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!
3. Visit the Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens in Queenstown are simply beautiful. Wandering these small gardens is a breath of fresh air from Queenstown’s busy streets. Its location is only a 5 minutes walk from town and the whole gardens only take around 30 minutes to walk. In spring and summer, the gardens become alive with many native and imported flowers.
4. Play disk golf in the Botanical Gardens
Also in the Botanical Gardens is a game I had never seen before coming to New Zealand – Disk Golf! It’s essentially golf with frisbees and it is super fun! You can find the start of the game at the very end of the gardens and your frisbees can be bought or rented in town at many stores (or even your hotel!)
5. Try some local beers
New Zealand’s craft beer scene is exploding and many bars in Queenstown have taken advantage of that by stocking a huge variety of local brews. Some of the best bars to try are Atlas on the waterfront and Smiths on Shotover Street. Here, the taps are constantly changing and the beers are flowing.
6. Creative Queenstown Arts and Crafts Market
Every Saturday many local artists set up small stalls on the waterfront in town to sell lots of locally made goods. Here is where you’ll find that special gift for a loved one back home or a souvenir to remember your trip. The Saturday markets open at 9 am in summer and 9:30 am in winter and close at 4:30 pm and 3:30 pm respectively.
7. Enjoy a BBQ on the lakefront
Queenstown’s vibrant waterfront is home to many BBQ’s provided by the council for free. These BBQ’s give visitors the perfect opportunity to grab some food and drinks and enjoy an afternoon in the sun. In winter, it’s easy to get a BBQ but in summer you do need to be there early. I recommend doing lunch as the late afternoons are the busiest!
8. Brewery hop around Queenstown
Located on the outskirts of Queenstown are a few local breweries you can visit yourself. The two main ones are Altitude and Search Light. At both places, you can taste some great local beers and meet the two pioneers behind Queenstown’s craft brewery scene!
9. Enjoy Queenstown’s Happy Hours
Many people assume Queenstown is super expensive. and in some cases this is true. However, at certain times of the day, you can enjoy some amazing deals around town! The most common happy hour time is 4 to 6 pm where you can enjoy drinks for as little as $4 (at a bar called 1876). Also. if you have just moved to Queenstown be sure to tell them you’re a local for even more discounts!
10. Get scared at Fear Factory
Queenstown has its very own Fear Factory and its downright scary! These guys are really good at scaring people and I guarantee you won’t leave the same as you entered. Located right in the town centre the Fear Factory Queenstown is a fun activity especially on a rainy day,
11. Test your skills at the Escape Room
Yep, Queenstown has an Escape Room! These places have become super popular recently and it is not hard to see why. They are super fun and a great thing to do among friends! Don’t be fooled though, it isn’t easy!
12. Join a Pub Crawl
Queenstown is of course home to a Pub Crawl. Every Friday and Saturday night large groups of partiers head out on the town and visit 5 bars and clubs. These are sometimes themed so you get dressed up and have an awesome time! It’s also a great way to meet other people.
13. Watch the ducks at Central Park
I really wanted to put this as number one as its likely the funniest thing out of all the things to do in Queenstown! Although it sounds strange, Queenstown’s birdlife really is the life of the party. The ducks that wander the streets are known for their mischievous personalities and complete fearlessness to humans. Just don’t visit them before 10 am or you will likely find them all sleeping!
14. Eat at duck nachos at Blue Kanu (no pun intended, there actually different ducks)
There are many great places to eat in Queenstown, however, the duck nachos at Blue Kanu is the best thing since sliced bread. It’s a hard dish to explain, but trust me, just go try it! (Please let me know what you thought in the comments!)
15. Try real Canadian Poutine at Smiths
Smiths bar is home to Queenstown’s most authentic poutine! For those who aren’t Canadian, you’re probably wondering what the hell “poutine” is, but don’t worry, I was the same before I met Bailey! Poutine, simply put is cheese, chips, and gravy, however, they use a particular cheese style called cheese curds that make it so dam great! Bailey has put her citizenship on the line and called Smiths poutine the best outside of Canada!
If you love food, be sure to check out our blog about the best food in Queenstown!
16. Visit one of the ice bars in town
If you haven’t already visited a bar made completely of ice then Queenstown is the place for you! The small town is actually home to two ice bars and they are both right in town. Entry usually includes a drink and they also provide you with a warm jacket!
17. Go stargazing or join a tour
Without any equipment, you can enjoy some pretty amazing stars in and around Queenstown. In fact, my favourite spot is about halfway between Queenstown and Glenorchy, on the side of the road. Here, there is next to no light pollution and the stars are insane. If you do want to get a closer look then you can join a stargazing tour at the top of the Skyline gondola and use the help of a telescope to see the planets and stars much closer!
For all of winter and spring, you can enjoy a snowshoeing tour in the mountains around Queenstown. One of the most popular places being the Remarkables mountain range. These tours usually involve hiking to Lake Alti, which is stunning! If you want to explore in the snow, then snowshoeing should be on your list of things to do in Queenstown!
19. Game Over, Queenstown
Game Over Queenstown is a great place to go for a little fun! They offer indoor go-karting, laser tag, and much more. This place is located in Frankton, around 15 minutes’ drive from town.
20. Go souvenir shopping
There are so many souvenir shops in Queenstown you probably can’t visit them all. However, this large volume means there is healthy competition and some good prices to be had. Just make sure you shop around as prices vary quite a lot from shop to shop!
21. Sunbake at the beach
During the warmer days, the small beach in Queenstown becomes a social and vibrant place to hang out. Here, many locals and visitors head to the lake’s shores to cool down and get some sun. Don’t forget to bring a few drinks and make a day out of it!
22. Play mini golf
Almost anyone can play mini golf, making it the perfect activity to do while in Queenstown. There is both an indoor and outdoor course so no matter the weather you can give it a go!
23. Play pool at Harry’s Pool Bar
Every afternoon and night Harry’s Pool bar packs out with those wanting to play pool. Whether it is with old friends or new friends Harry’s is a great place to go for a social drink and friendly game of pool.
24. Swim in Lake Wakatipu
Many people are surprised to find out that Queenstown gets quite hot in summer. This means that you need a nice place to cool down and what better than Lake Wakatipu. Even though outside temperatures get really hot the lake remains cool all year round so it’s likely only the brave will jump in!
25. Try a meat pie
If you’re Australian or Kiwi please move on to number 26, if you’re not however then this is a must! The humble meat pie is a staple in both Australia and New Zealand, and Queenstown is actually a great place to try one. The best place is, of course, Mrs Ferg Bakery where the highest quality pies in town are made! If you have never had a meat pie before, then this is one of the things to do in Queenstown you must prioritise!
26. Relax in the Onsen Hot Pools
The Onsen Hot Pools are the only place almost as famous as Fergburger and well, it’s for good reason. The Onsen Hot Pools are the only hot pools in Queenstown and they come with one magnificent view! Due to their popularity, you must book this activity well in advance (especially in the winter!)
27. Go fishing
Lake Wakatipu is home to many freshwater fish including salmon. If fishing is your thing then get in touch with a local guide or rent some gear for yourself! Just be sure to check where fishing is allowed before casting a line.
28. Eat at Queenstown’s oldest restaurant
The Cow is Queenstown’s oldest restaurant. This small rustic Italian restaurant isn’t just old though, they also serve up arguably the best pizza in town! These guys don’t take bookings so if you want a table get there early or be prepared to wait!
29. Explore Queenstown via Segway
Surprisingly there is no walking tour around Queenstown (which I found rather odd) however, there is a Segway tour. The Segway tours just make touring around the town that much more fun and you can also cover more distance with less effort.
30. Craft brewery tour
If you’re after a more in-depth insight into Queenstown’s craft brewery scene then simply touring around yourself just won’t do it. With a craft brewery tour, you’ll get a local guide with local knowledge and hit all the best breweries while trying all the best beers. Most tours visit around 4 breweries and include lunch.
31. High-End Shopping
Queenstown is home to some really high-end shops that include a Louis Vuitton store. If you have the money or just want to treat yourself then Queenstown could be the shopping district for you.
32. Aqua Bikes
Down on Queenstown’s small beach area, you can rent Aqua Bikes. These bikes float in the water and peddling turns two big wheels that propel you over the water. I haven’t tried this myself, but it does look fun!
33. Visit the casino
Even though Queenstown is small, it’s still home to a Skycity Casino. It’s not the largest casino but you can find all the typical Casino games here as well as some affordable food and drinks.
34. Try the ice cream at Patagonia Chocolates
Patagonia Chocolates make all their own products but the ice cream stands out the most to me and others. It’s so good it’s hard to visit in summer without a huge line, but trust me the wait is totally worth it and one of the best things to do in Queenstown!
35. Enjoy the local buskers
Queenstown’s waterfront always brings in new talented buskers every year. Some, however, have become icons to this small town and now play regularly. On a nice day, it’s awesome to sit back and listen to them play, sing, and entertain the crowds.
36. Fernhill Loop track
The Fernhill Loop track is more of a locals hike, however, it is a great choice if your wanting to explore a path less travelled. This hike takes around 3 hours total and offers amazing views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range.
37. Bob’s Peak hike
Bob’s Peak is the hill the Gondola climbs to the top of. A great option to save money is to walk up instead of taking the Gondola. The walk up takes around an hour and starts from the gondola on the Tiki Trail. The views on the hike aren’t amazing but once you reach the top it’s stunning!
38. Queenstown Hill Walk
Queenstown Hill is one of the best hikes in town. This is not just because of the 360-degree views of the area but also the fact it’s a short and rather easy hike. If you’re not a huge hiker then this is one of the best options in town.
39. Ben Lomond Trail
If you’re up for a longer more rewarding hike then Ben Lomond is a great option. In my opinion, this hike gives you the best views in town but it can take up to 8 hours to complete if you decide to do the summit. That being said, the views halfway up are also amazing.
40. Mt Crichton Loop Track
The Mt Crichton Loop Track is a little bit out of town at the 12 Mile Delta campsite. From here it’s only a 2 to 3-hour brisk walk. Some of the highlights along the way include the Sam Summers Hut, stunning waterfalls, and great viewpoints.
41. Bob’s Cove Track
Near the Mt Crichton Loop Track is the famous Bob’s Cove. This beautiful cove is surrounded by lush vegetation and crystal clear water. The Bob’s Cove track takes you to an amazing lookout and takes only 40 minutes to complete.
42. Moke Lake Loop Track
Moke Lake is a small lake located around 20 minutes from Queenstown. This small lake is famous for its amazing reflections and one of the best places to see the stars near Queenstown. Around the lake, there is a short trail that takes around 2 hours to complete. It is an easy walk that gives some pretty amazing views.
43. Secret Moke Lake viewpoint hike
If you’re feeling a little more adventurous at Moke Lake there is actually another hike that is almost completely unknown. This trail leads up to one of the best viewpoints around moke Lake. In my opinion, it’s one of the best views in New Zealand and one of my favourite things to do in Queenstown!
44. Lake Hayes Loop Track
Lake Hayes is another beautiful lake near Queenstown. On calm days the reflections of the surrounding mountains are stunning. The Loop Track takes a few hours to complete but is really beautiful. If you’re not up for the entire hike just park and walk to the water’s edge and enjoy the views.
45. Lake Dispute Walkway
The Lake Dispute Track is a 1.5-hour hike that starts on the Queenstown-Glenorchy road and finishes at Lake Dispute. This lake is a popular fishing spot. At Lake Dispute you can actually continue walking to Moke Lake.
46. Wye Creek Hike
The Wye Creek track is another great short hike near Queenstown. Starting from the Wye Creek bridge, this trail is situated at the base of the Remarkables mountain range. The entire trail takes around 4 hours to complete.
47. Big Hill Hike Arrowtown
If you’re after a trail a little off the beaten path then the Big Hill Hike in Arrowtown is a great choice. This trail leads you up high above Arrowtown and through New Zealand’s famous tussock grass. The trail takes around 4 hours to complete.
48. Lake Alta
In the winter season, Lake Alta becomes a frozen lake often visited by snowboarders and skiers. However in the summer when it melts and the ski lifts stop it becomes an amazing hike. To get to the start of the trail you will need to drive to the Remarkables Ski Field car park and begin the trail from there!
49. Explore the Remarkables
Lake Alta isn’t the only trail on the Remarkables and in fact, you can actually just drive up and explore at your own leisure. A great place to explore is at the top of the Shadow Basin ski lift. The views from the top are some of the best and well worth checking out.
50. Wander Coronet Peak
Coronet Peak is the closest ski resort to Queenstown. In summer the snow disappears and it then becomes a playground for downhill mountain biking and hiking. From the top, you get a 360-degree view and can actually see the Remarkables ski field. The best way to the summit is by parking in the ski resort car park. From there, it’s only an hour or so to the top.
51. Mountain biking
Queenstown is famous for mountain biking and every year thousands of people descend on the town for this reason. There are literally thousands of tracks suited to all ability levels. One of the most popular places to ride is Bob’s Peak. Bob’s Peak sits behind Queenstown and riders use the Gondola to get themselves to the top.
52. Heli mountain biking
If the Gondola isn’t getting you to the places you want you can always organise a helicopter mountain biking tour. These tours take you the some of the best trails in Queenstown and take away any of the hard work getting to them.
53. Skiing or snowboarding
In the winter months, you’d be crazy not to head to one of the Ski resorts near Queenstown and hit the slopes. Right in Queenstown, there are two resorts, the Remarkables ski resort and Coronet Peak ski resort. Both are owned by NZ Ski and only 45 minutes from Queenstown.
Queenstown is arguably the most beautiful place in the world to go skydiving and therefore it is one of the most popular things to do in Queenstown. The surrounding mountains look even better from 15,000 feet so there’s no better place to cross this extreme sport off your bucket list.
Parasailing is one of the best ways to take in some amazing views from Lake Wakatipu. Leaving right from the warf in town, this activity can be done solo or with up to 3 people!
56. Shark Attack
The Shark Attack is Queenstown’s most unique water activity. The Shark Attack is cross between a jet ski and a submarine meaning it can both jet across the water and dive down below. They are always out in the water so even if you don’t want to give it a go you can see them in action.
57. Paddle-boarding on Lake Wakatipu
On a beautiful day, paddle-boarding is a great way to get some sun and exercise at the same time. The calm waters of Lake Wakatipu are perfect for it and there is a large area that is off limits to boats. You can rent paddle-boards at the small beach area right in Queenstown.
58. Kayaking Lake Wakatipu
If you want to explore more of Lake Wakatipu then hiring a kayak is the perfect way. In a kayak, you can head out even further and paddle around with ease. Kayaks are rented on the lake’s edge a little out of town. To get there just walk along the lake towards Fernhill) on the large grassed area until you reach a small carpark. Here is where you can rent the Kayaks.
The mountains and hills that surround Queenstown are perfect for Paragliding. This adventure sport can be done solo or tandem making it an ideal activity to get some views from above. I was actually surprised at how affordable Paragliding in Queenstown was and how breathtaking the views were!
60. Jet Boating
Jet boating tours have been running in Queenstown since the start of tourism here. There are many companies in Queenstown that run jet boating tours but only two starts right in town. Jet boating is an exciting adventure activity that is also very affordable.
61. The Luge
The Luge is another super fun activity you can enjoy with amazing views of Queenstown. From the top of Bob’s Peak (where the Gondola goes to), you can race around a track with the help of gravity. There are two tracks – an easy one and another a little faster for those wanting a little more speed.
Be sure to read our blog all about the different things to do atop the Skyline Gondola!
62. Indoor Skydiving
Indoor Skydiving is Queenstown’s newest adventure activity. I even had the pleasure of working there during the construction phase. This world-class facility is run by I-Fly (one of the best companies in the game of indoor skydiving.) This is the perfect thing to do in Queenstown if the real thing seems a little too scary.
Canyoning is a sport I have always loved and done all over the world. However, the best I have ever done was in Queenstown! Abseiling, jumping, and traversing your way through some of the most breathtaking scenery is something you shouldn’t miss. The tour with Canyoning Queenstown is one of the best out there and one of the things to do in Queenstown that I highly recommend!
64. Via Ferrata
Via Ferrata translates to “the Iron route” and it involves climbing iron bars up the rock face. In Queenstown, the Via Ferrata climbing wall is over 300m high and takes around 2 hours to climb. It’s a great introduction to rock climbing and also very safe.
Funyaks are blow-up kayaks great for exploring the rivers around Queenstown. In Queenstown, Funyak tours run on the Dart River through the beautiful canyon areas. These tours are great for the whole family.
Riverboarding is essentially whitewater rafting but instead of an inflatable boat, you hold onto a small floating board, kind of like a body board! This is another unique adventure activity and a great way to explore the surrounding landscape!
67. Bungy jumping
Did you know that Queenstown is the home of commercialized bungy jumping? Many years ago Aj Hackett and his friends set up the world’s first bungy and since then have created the highest one in the Southern Hemisphere at 134m. Throughout the area, there are 3 places to bungy jump with the one on Bob’s Peak being the closest. to Queenstown.
68. Canyon Swing
If bungy is not your thing or you have done it before then one of the Canyon Swings near Queenstown should do the trick. These swings are huge and some have the option to be pushed off, just in case you need it!
69. Jet Ski tour
Jet ski tours on Lake Wakatipu are another great activity to do on a sunny day. Tours run from the main port and include an experienced guide who shows you all the best parts of Lake Wakatipu.
In winter the slopes can get a little crowded so some people opt for a more remote option and Heli Ski is the best way. Around Queenstown, there are hundreds of backcountry slopes only accessible by chopper made for all levels.
71. Water Jetting
I have never tried water jetting, but to be honest, it’s something I’d love to give a go. These guys operate just outside of the main city centre next to the kayak hire place mentioned above.
72. Drive to Glenorchy
The drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy is one of the best in New Zealand when it comes to stunning views! I love exploring this small stretch of road and think its one of the best free activities in Queenstown. The drive takes around 3 hours return with plenty of stops but you can do it in as little as 45 minutes one-way.
73. Head up Remarks or Coronet Peak
The views from both ski fields in Queenstown are amazing and you don’t have to be skiing to head up there and check out the amazing scenery. From town, each field is around a 45-minute drive to the top. In winter it is best to check road conditions before attempting the drive up to the top.
74. Cruise Lake Wakatipu
A scenic cruise on Lake Wakatipu is another great way to take in Queenstown’s beautiful scenery. These tours run towards Glenorchy and back. The cruise goes for around 2 hours. There are two companies in town including Southern Discoveries and Real Journey’s.
75. Helicopter ride
Helicopter rides are the best way to take in the sights around Queenstown. From above the views are magnificent and riding in a helicopter is a surreal experience I won’t ever forget.
76. Visit the Kiwi Bird Park
Seeing a wild Kiwi can be near impossible (trust me, I’ve been trying to spot one for ages.) However, luckily there is a bird park in Queenstown where you can see these little guys and many more different bird species. Even though they’re not wild you’re supporting a good cause and the future of this endangered bird.
77. Take the Gondola up to Bob’s peak
The Gondola in Queenstown has become an icon, and the view from the top even more so. This Gondola ride is rather short and only lasts for around 5 minutes but once there it’s not hard to see why Queenstown is so popular.
78. New Zealand Farm experience
Farming has always been New Zealand’s largest industry and around Queenstown, you can visit a few of these working farms and meet the animals. There are two farm experiences in Queenstown and they are run by Southern Discoveries and Real Journeys. If I had a favourite I’d say go with Southern Discoveries as their tour is really something.
79. Scenic cycle tour
In Queenstown, you can rent a bike from one of the rental shops and just simply explore its many paths and trails. However, if you want a really amazing experience I highly suggest joining Southern Discoveries self-guided bike tour. This tour takes you to the same farm as the Farm Experience via there scenic cruise and then you ride to another farm via a stunning 14km bike trail. After the bike ride, you then get on the TSS Earnslaw for another scenic cruise back to Queenstown. As far as things to do in Queenstown go, this tour is super unique and worth checking out.
80. Lord of the Rings tour
Its safe to say that the Lord of the Rings helped put New Zealand on the tourist map. These movies are so well known for some that it’s the reason they visit. Around Queenston, many of the scenes of the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed. If you don’t know where they are for yourself then joining a Lord of the Rings tour is the best way to visit them.
81. Cruise on the TSS Earnslaw
The TSS Earnslaw is the last remaining vessel from the gold rush. The TSS Earnslaw is a traditional coal powered ship that runs scenic tours on Lake Wakatipu nowadays. You can combine a scenic cruise with a buffet lunch that is always raved about by tourists.
Trips from Queenstown
82. Explore Moke Lake
As mentioned above, Moke Lake is a great place to hike but you don’t have to lace up your hiking boots to enjoy it. Just a short visit (possibly on your way to Glenorchy) is well worth it! The last part of the road to Moke Lake is not sealed but is kept in good condition.
83. Wander the streets of Arrowtown
Unlike Queenstown, Arrowtown has retained much of its Gold Rush heritage. This gives the town a very unique charm you should explore for yourself. Along the streets, you can visit the many gift shops and take home a piece of the area in the form of Gold.
84. Visit the Dorothy Brown cinema in Arrowtown
The Dorothy Brown Cinema in Arrowtown is a small boutique luxury cinema. They showcase many great new and old films and you can enjoy them while sipping a glass of wine accompanied by a few other finer treats.
85. Explore the Gibston Valley on a wine tour
The Gibston Valley is one of New Zealand’s top wine producing regions. The area is filled with boutique wineries that are known for some of the best Pinot Noir in the world. This region’s history is rather unique and a tour with Altitude Tours is the best way to learn and taste it!
86. Day trip to Milford Sound
If you don’t have the time to make it out to Milford Sound for a few nights (which I highly recommend) then a day trip is your only other option. Although it’s a super long day you simply can’t miss Milford Sound – there’s a reason it’s said to be the 8th natural wonder of the world!
87. Explore the lesser-known Doubtful Sound
Doubtful Sound is another amazing glacier-carved valley in Fiordland National Park. This lesser-known Fiord is said to be just as (if not more beautiful) than Milford Sound but it sees only a fraction of the visitors. This sound is a lot harder to get to so tours can be a little bit more pricey, but from what I’ve heard its well worth it!
88. Visit the Gibston Valley Winery
A full wine tour might not be your thing, but if you have the time then head out for a quick visit to Queenstown’s first winery – the Gibston Valley Winery is a great idea. Here, you can try some amazing wines, cheese, and visit New Zealand’s largest wine cave. The winery offers a shuttle from town that takes you to the winery and back and includes the winery and cave tour.
89. Hike the Routeburn Track
The Routeburn Track is the closest of New Zealand’s 9 Great Walks to Queenstown. The best part about this means you don’t need a booking to explore the trail and can, in fact, visit for the day. The trail starts around a 1-hour drive from Queenstown just past Glenorchy. The hike is 30km long so hiking halfway and back is a great idea (or at least to the Falls Hut and back!)
90. Visit the Glenorchy Animal Farm
The Glenorchy Animal Farm is an interactive farm. This means you can pet and feed some of the locals such as sheep, lambs, alpacas, horses and many more.
91. Take a day trip to Wanaka
Wanaka is said to be an up and coming Queenstown. For now, though, it’s still not quite as busy as Queenstown and some say it is more beautiful. Regardless, it’s well worth visiting for a day and exploring the lake’s edge and the cute little town centre.
92. Visit the Glenorchy Mirror Lakes
As you drive out of Glenorchy away from Queenstown (towards the start of the Routeburn) you will pass a few small lakes/wetlands on your left only 5 minutes from the centre of Glenorchy. On a calm day these small lakes give the best reflections of the Humbolt mountain range. Pull-over and go for a walk exploring the area.
93. Hunt for Lupins between Queenstown and Glenorchy
From the middle of November to the end of December it is Lupin season! These stunning flowers are actually a weed but that doesn’t mean they’re not beautiful. The best places to view them near Queenstown is between Queenstown and Glenorchy.
94. Hike Roy’s Peak
Just outside of Wanaka is arguably the best day hike in all of New Zealand. That hike is Roy’s Peak and even if you’re staying in Queenstown you can still make it there for a day trip. The hike starts 5 minutes from Wanaka and takes around 2 to 3 hours to summit and 2 hours back down.
95. Wanaka Tree
The Wanaka Tree is without a doubt the most famous tree in New Zealand. The old willow tree has been photographed millions of times (if you don’t believe me lookup #thatwanakatree on Instagram.). The tree is located in Lake Wanaka only 5 minutes from town and is around 50 minutes from Queenstown.
96. Wanaka Lavender Farm
In the summer months, the Wanaka Lavender Farm is one of the best gardens to visit. As the Lavender flowers, the park turns purple and thousands flock here to get some pretty amazing photos and also try some of the lavender products. The farm is only $5 entry and there are also some farm animals to meet!
97. Visit Cardrona Ski Field or Mountain Bike Park
In the winter Cardrona is home to one of the best ski fields in New Zealand. Its large park means plenty of lines and heap of big jumps. When summer rolls around and the snow melts, Cardrona then opens its doors to mountain bikers. Using their Gondola as transport you can ride down the mountain many times without the worry of getting back to the top.
98. Visit the bras near Cardrona
A great stop on your way to Cadrona or Wanaka is the famous fence of bras. These bras have been placed on this fence in support of women with breast cancer and there are now thousands of them. Drop by a leave a gift yourself or just show your support and drop a donation in the box.
99. Wander the small town of Glenorchy
It’s not just the drive to Glenorchy that’s beautiful, the town itself also is. Heading down to the warf you get amazing views of the Humbolt Mountains and the famous trees. These trees sit perfectly in a line and in about a foot of water.
100. Hike the Diamond Lake lookout
Another great hike just outside of Wanaka is the Diamond Lake Lookout. Unlike Roy’s Peak, this trail won’t require hours of gruelling hiking and instead only around 45 minutes to the top. The views are still pretty amazing and this trail is far less crowded!
101. Fly out of Queenstown
If you go here via plane then you may have already enjoyed the stunning views coming in. If not however flying out of Queenstown is a scenic flight, to say the least. I was lucky enough to get a flight at sunrise and the views were spectacular!
And there you have it, 101 things to do in Queenstown that are sure to keep you very busy!
Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments!
Be sure to check out all of our blogs about New Zealand for a ton of detailed guides and travel tips!
January 16, 2019