With spectacular scenery, exciting activities and adventure around every corner, it’s no wonder Queenstown is one of the top places to visit in New Zealand. The winter is bustling with ski bunnies in town for the famous Queenstown snow, but the summer brings so much more with a plethora of Queenstown activities, from hiking to jet boating to sightseeing. Read on for our top things to do in Queenstown this summer.
Just 20 minutes from Queenstown lays the picturesque Arrowtown. Settled during the Otago gold rush in 1862, most of the charming cottages, shops and churches still remain and ooze history and culture. Try your luck at gold panning in the Arrow River, grab a handcrafted souvenir or visit the Lakes District Museum.
Credit: Miles Holden
Whether by kayak, trek or scenic flight, Milford Sound is worth a day trip from Queenstown. Witness the majestic Sutherland Falls, discover Milford Sound’s breathtaking cliffs, carved by glaciers, or dive under the water for a world of wonders.
Credit: Rob Suisted
Onsen Hot Pools
Relax and rejuvenate at the Onsen Hot Pools, overlooking Shotover River canyon and only a 10 minute drive from Queenstown. Choose the ideal pool temperature, convert your room from indoor to outdoor at the touch of a button, enjoy complimentary refreshments and indulge with a revitalising massage.
Glenorchy is a charming town on the northern shores of Lake Wakatipu, just 45 minutes from Queenstown. Commonly known as “Middle-earth,” thanks to scenes from The Lord of the Rings being filmed here, its many landscapes can be enjoyed by boat, foot or horse. Don’t forget to pay a visit to Paradise, just outside of Glenorchy, with its breathtaking beauty and traditional sheep farms.
Skyline Queenstown Gondola
Travel at a tranquil pace, some 450 metres above Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu for breathtaking views of Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Queenstown and beyond. Once you’re at the top, take a walk on one of the many trails, enjoy lunch or dinner at Skyline’s Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar, go stargazing, or hop in a luge for a thrilling ride!
Hold on tight for an exhilarating ride through the spectacular canyons of the Shotover River. One of the first Queenstown activities, Shotover Jet first began operating in 1965, helping give Queenstown the name of “Adventure Capital of the World”. This is a must-do Queenstown attraction!
Credit: Shotover Jet
Walking tracks in Queenstown
Queenstown and its surrounding regions are steeped in beauty. One of the best ways to discover all of its splendour is by setting out on a hike or leisurely walk to the top of a nearby mountain or hill. Take your pick of Ben Lomond Saddle or Summit, the high peaks of Mount Aspiring and the Southern Alps or the Queenstown Hill walk through pine forests to the top of Te Tapunui.
Credit: Julian Apse
Just 10 minutes from Queenstown Airport and perfectly positioned on the banks of Lake Wakatipu, Peppers Beacon is the ideal Queenstown hotel. Relax on your private balcony with a glass of New Zealand pinot noir and take in the lake and mountain views or stroll into town for some world-class shopping and dining.
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