Via Ferrata Queenstown

Via Ferrata Queenstown is Queenstown’s most unique adventure tour. But what exactly is Via Ferrata and what does it involve? Well, in this post we answer all of that and more! 

Via Ferrata Queenstown

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 as everyone else and have a great time doing it! Before last week Bailey and I had no idea what it was, but as we found out, it’s a great activity for those after a little challenge!

So, what is Via Ferrata? Here is everything you need to know about Via Ferrata Queenstown!

Via Ferrata Queenstown
Climbing high above Queenstown!

What 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 Italian for the phrase “Iron Path”. In short, Via Ferrata is a path up a cliff face made with iron rods that you use to 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. However, these days Via Ferrata is used for adventure-based tourism and 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 Via Ferrata Queenstown.

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Via Ferrata Queenstown!
Look, no hands!

Can anyone do it?

Anyone with a reasonable level of fitness can do Via Ferrata in Queenstown. There are two climbing routes that cover different fitness levels. Both Bailey and I climbed both routes and found them to be not 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 walk to the next cliff face.

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Via Ferrata Queenstown climbing in Queenstown
Practising on the easy parts!

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, however, Bailey has some comfort with heights, but not nearly as much as me! 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!

Via ferrata Queenstown
If you’re scared of heights just don’t look down!

About the tour

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 4 people to one guide so there is lots of one on one training and guidance over the whole climb!

Now its time to climb! Once on the wall, the real fun begins. Starting with some rather easy ladders, this is where I built all my confidence and got used to the procedure (its 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.

For more info or to book Via Ferrata Queenstown, check out their website here!

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Via Ferrata Queenstown
All smiles at the top!

Overall, 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!

What Next?

Queenstown

Check out all of our Queenstown blogs here! These guides include everything you need to know to plan your holiday!

Other

Leaving Queenstown? Check out all our posts on New Zealand here, including Mount Cook, Milford Sound, the Catlins and so much more!
-Daniel

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Via Ferrata Queenstown

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