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10 Most Interesting Things to See in Queenstown, New Zealand

The Allure of Queenstown: A Paradise for Adventurers and Explorers

Nestled amidst the Southern Alps and Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is a haven for those who seek thrills, natural beauty, and a touch of luxury. 

Often dubbed the “Adventure Capital of the World,” this New Zealand gem offers a plethora of activities and sights that cater to all kinds of travelers.

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, a nature lover, or someone who just wants to soak in the serene landscapes, Queenstown has something for you.

In this comprehensive tour guide, we’ll explore the 10 most interesting things to see in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Skydiving Over Lake Wakatipu

If you’re looking to kickstart your Queenstown adventure with a bang, skydiving over Lake Wakatipu is a must. 

Imagine free-falling from 15,000 feet with the stunning lake and alpine scenery as your backdrop. Not only does it offer an adrenaline rush like no other, but it also provides some of the most breathtaking views you’ll ever witness.

Why You Should Do It:

  • Unparalleled views of Lake Wakatipu and the Southern Alps
  • A variety of jump heights to suit different comfort levels
  • Highly experienced instructors ensure a safe and memorable experience

Cruise Through Milford Sound

Milford Sound, often considered the Eighth Wonder of the World, is a fjord located within Fiordland National Park. 

A cruise through this natural marvel will leave you spellbound. Towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and unique wildlife like dolphins and seals make it a surreal experience.

Why You Should Do It:

  • Witness the iconic Mitre Peak
  • Opportunity to see unique marine wildlife
  • Various cruise options, including daytime and overnight cruises

Bungee Jumping at Kawarau Bridge

For those who want to experience the thrill of bungee jumping, Kawarau Bridge is the place to be. 

As the birthplace of commercial bungee jumping, this 43-meter jump offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Why You Should Do It:

  • Jump from the world’s first commercial bungee site
  • Option to do a water touch or a full dunk
  • Spectacular views of the Kawarau River

Explore the Queenstown Gardens

If you’re looking for a more relaxed activity, the Queenstown Gardens offer a peaceful escape. 

Located just a few minutes from the town center, these well-maintained gardens feature a variety of native and exotic plants, a pond, and even a frisbee golf course.

Why You Should Do It:

  • Perfect for a leisurely stroll or a picnic
  • Offers panoramic views of Lake Wakatipu
  • Free to enter and open year-round

Take a Shotover Jet Boat Ride

 

The Shotover Jet Boat Ride is another adrenaline-pumping activity that Queenstown has to offer. 

Navigate through the narrow Shotover Canyons at speeds of up to 85 km/h, as the skilled drivers perform thrilling maneuvers like 360-degree spins.

Why You Should Do It:

  • Experience the world-famous Shotover Jet, operating since 1965
  • Navigate through narrow canyons and rocky outcrops
  • A unique blend of excitement and scenic beauty

Hike Up Ben Lomond

For hiking enthusiasts, Ben Lomond offers an invigorating trek with a rewarding view at the summit. 

The trail starts from the gondola complex and takes you through lush forests and alpine meadows. Once you reach the summit, you’ll be greeted with panoramic views of Queenstown and the surrounding areas.

Why You Should Do It:

  • Offers one of the best panoramic views of Queenstown
  • Suitable for intermediate to advanced hikers
  • A great way to experience New Zealand’s natural beauty up close

Indulge in Fergburger

No trip to Queenstown is complete without indulging in a Fergburger. 

This local burger joint has gained international fame for its juicy, mouth-watering burgers. The long queues are a testament to its popularity, but the wait is well worth it.

Why You Should Do It:

  • Taste what many consider to be the best burger in the world
  • A wide variety of options, including vegetarian and gluten-free
  • Open almost 24/7, making it a convenient dining option

Visit the Kiwi Birdlife Park

If you’re interested in New Zealand’s unique wildlife, the Kiwi Birdlife Park is a must-visit. 

This wildlife sanctuary offers you the chance to see the elusive Kiwi bird and learn about various other native species.

Why You Should Do It:

  • A rare opportunity to see a Kiwi bird in a nocturnal house
  • Educational shows and talks throughout the day
  • A great activity for families and wildlife enthusiasts

Go Wine Tasting in the Gibbston Valley

New Zealand is renowned for its wines, and the Gibbston Valley is the perfect place to sample some. 

Known as the “Valley of the Vines,” this region offers a range of wine-tasting tours that take you through scenic vineyards and let you sample some of the finest wines.

Why You Should Do It:

  • Sample award-winning Pinot Noir and other varietals
  • Enjoy stunning views of the valley and surrounding mountains
  • Various tour options, including helicopter tours for a luxurious experience

Experience Maori Culture at a Traditional Show

Understanding the local culture enriches any travel experience, and Queenstown offers you the chance to immerse yourself in Maori traditions. Attend a traditional Maori show to learn about their history, and customs, and enjoy performances like the Haka.

Why You Should Do It:

  • Gain insight into New Zealand’s indigenous culture
  • Enjoy traditional Maori food in some shows
  • A unique, enriching experience that’s different from the usual tourist activities

Try Your Hand at Fly Fishing

Queenstown offers some of the best fly fishing spots in the world. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a complete beginner, the crystal-clear rivers and lakes provide an ideal setting for this relaxing activity.

Why You Should Do It:

  • Fish in some of the most pristine waters in the world
  • Opportunity to catch a variety of fish species
  • Guided tours available for all skill levels

Take a Scenic Flight Over the Southern Alps

For a bird’s-eye view of Queenstown’s stunning landscapes, consider taking a scenic flight over the Southern Alps. These flights offer unparalleled views of glaciers, lakes, and mountain ranges.

Why You Should Do It:

  • Witness the grandeur of the Southern Alps from above
  • Various flight options, including helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft
  • This a once-in-a-lifetime experience that offers fantastic photo opportunities

Visit Arrowtown: A Historic Gold Mining Town

 

Just a short drive from Queenstown, Arrowtown offers a glimpse into New Zealand’s gold mining history. With its well-preserved buildings and charming streets, it’s like stepping back in time.

Why You Should Do It:

  • Learn about New Zealand’s gold mining history
  • Explore the Arrowtown Chinese Settlement, a historic site
  • Numerous cafes and shops to enjoy local flavors

Go Mountain Biking in The Queenstown Bike Park

For those who prefer two wheels to four, the Queenstown Bike Park offers a range of trails suited for all skill levels. From beginner tracks to challenging downhill runs, it’s a mountain biker’s paradise.

Why You Should Do It:

  • Over 30 trails to choose from
  • Conveniently located near the town center
  • Rentals and lessons available for beginners

Relax in the Onsen Hot Pools

 

After all the adventure and exploration, you might want to unwind and relax. The Onsen Hot Pools provide a tranquil setting with stunning views, making it the perfect place to rejuvenate.

Why You Should Do It:

  • Private pools with adjustable temperatures
  • Overlooking the Shotover River canyon
  • Various packages available, including twilight and candlelight options

Visit Queenstown 

Queenstown is not just a destination; it’s an experience that caters to a wide array of interests and passions. 

From adrenaline-pumping activities like skydiving and bungee jumping to the serene landscapes of Milford Sound and Queenstown Gardens, this New Zealand gem offers a balanced blend of thrill and tranquility. 

Whether you’re a solo traveler, a couple seeking a romantic getaway, or a family looking to create unforgettable memories, Queenstown has something to offer for everyone.

So, why settle for the ordinary when you can experience the extraordinary? Pack your bags, book your tickets, and get ready to embark on an adventure of a lifetime in Queenstown, New Zealand. Your quintessential Queenstown experience awaits!

 

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