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The Via Ferrata climbing tour is quite possibly Queenstown’s most unique adventure tour. But what exactly is Via Ferrata and what does it involve for those with no previous experience? Well, in this post we answer all of that and more!
Rock Climbing is one of Queenstown’s many popular summer activities. Every summer thousands of climbers come to test their skills on the world-class climbing routes in the area.
However, if rock climbing is something you haven’t done before, then heading out onto a rock face to give it a go can be daunting, and not to mention a little boring. The reason for this is that you’re likely not going to climb very high or far on your first time.
Via Ferrata, however, is perfect for anyone regardless of experience level.
With Via Ferrata, you can climb as high the most experience rock climber and have a great time doing it!
Before last week, Bailey and I had no idea what Via Ferrata was, but as we found out, it’s a great activity for those after a little challenge!
So, what is Via Ferrata? What is the Via Ferrata tour in Queenstown like? Here is everything you need to know about Via Ferrata in Queenstown including what should know before you book the tour!
What exactly is “Via Ferrata”?
Unless you’re from Europe or have done Via Ferrata before it’s likely you’re not sure what it is.
Well, “Via Ferrata” is actually an Italian phrase meaning “iron path”. In short, Via Ferrata is a path up a cliff face made with iron rods that you use to climb. Think of ladders, steps, and handles made of iron to assist in your climb.
Back in the day Via Ferrata was used as a way of simply getting around/up cliffs and was used in both the first and second World Wars. But these days, Via Ferrata is simply a fun thing to do and often seen in adventure-based tourism!
It is a great way for people without rock climbing experience to give climbing a go!
In Queenstown, there is only one Via Ferrata route and its owned and operated by the company called Canyon Explorers!
Can anyone do Via Ferrata?
Anyone with a reasonable level of fitness can join the Via Ferrata tour in Queenstown.
There are two climbing routes that cover different fitness levels. Both Bailey and I climbed both routes and found them not to be overly challenging strength-wise. Your guide will also show you how to use your legs instead of arms to make climbing the wall even easier.
On the wall, you are also able to rest frequently. This is done by sitting back in your harness so you no longer need to hold yourself up. There are also sections where you simply walk to the next cliff face.
What about a fear of heights?
This is a hard one to answer as everyone deals differently with heights.
I’m not overly fussed by heights, and Bailey has some comfort with heights, but not nearly as much as me! Bailey did find it a little bit scary at first but soon after starting to climb she had no issues. Plus, being a little nervous is all part of the fun!
I think it’s important to understand that the entire time you are hooked up with a safety harness so even if you have a fear of heights you can do Via Ferrata – and in the end completing the climb would be even more rewarding for you!
About the Via Ferrata Tour in Queenstown
The full Via Ferrata tour in Queenstown climbs to over 300m! This is done in two main sections, the bottom half and the top half.
This Via Ferrata route is located just outside of Queenstown and involves only a 5-minute drive to the start. From here, you will go through gear checks as well as some training to get you ready.
The tours run with a maximum of four people to one guide so there is lots of one on one training and guidance over the whole climb!
Once on the wall, the real fun begins.
It starts with some rather easy ladders, this is where I built all my confidence and got used to the procedure (it’s so simple, but it helps to practice).
We continued to climb the wall and conquer the harder spots while our guide watched closely. We rested at halfway and then began the last part of the climb.
The total climb time was around 2 hours, but with breaks the tour lasted over 3 hours.
What we really thought of the Via Ferrata Experience
Overall, we thought that Via Ferrata was a great activity that was both fun and challenging.
In my opinion, this is the perfect activity for those wanting to experience rock climbing or overcome a fear of heights. By the end of the tour, both Bailey and I felt really comfortable on the wall and would definitely give Via Ferrata another go!
Plus, the views from up on the wall were unlike any you could get elsewhere – simply breathtaking!
We also joined Canyon Explorers on their canyoning tour in Queenstown – it was equally as exciting and fun!
More Adventures in Queenstown
Via Ferrata isn’t the only awesome adventure tour in Queenstown, in fact, there are tons of awesome tours in Queenstown!
If you want some adrenaline on your holiday, then Queenstown in the best place to find it in all of NZ!
Here are some heart-pumping and exciting tours and adventures you should do while in Queenstown:
- Hiking Ben Lomond – This is one of the best hikes in Queenstown and it can be done in only one day!
- Skydiving – If you’re looking for adventure and incredible views, this is definitely the best activity for you!
- Drive to Glenorchy – Okay, so this isn’t necessarily “adventurous” but it is beautiful and some everyone should do!
- Canyoning – This might be my overall favorite adventure tour in Queenstown, it is so much fun!
- Jet Boating – The perfect way to get a lot of excitement in a short amount of time!
Make the Most out of Your Time in Queenstown
Visiting Queenstown can be overwhelming, there is just so much to do and see!
We are experts on Queenstown (we actually lived there for a significant amount of time!) We have written so much about it to help people like you make the most out of their trips and having the best time possible.
Some of our Queenstown blogs you might find helpful are:
- Where to Stay in Queenstown – A guide to accommodation in Queenstown for all types of travellers and budgets
- The Best Food in Queenstown – Queenstown is the perfect place for foodies to get their fix!
- Wine Tour in Queenstown – Our review and guide to joining a wine tour from Queenstown
- The Truth about #thatWanakaTree – One of the world’s most photographed trees in the world is located not far from Queenstown, but is it worth the hype?
- Ideal Trip Itinerary to Milford Sound from Queenstown – Heading to Milford? We’ve been many times and have created the most idea road trip!
Where are you going next in NZ?
Renting a Car or Campervan in New Zealand
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! You must act quickly, though, as this code is only valid for bookings made before June 30, 2024, with travel dates before December 21, 2024!
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!