Taking the crown: best things to do in Queenstown
Got a love of adventure and the outdoors? Set your sights on Queenstown.
- December 2021
If you love an outdoor adventure, Queenstown is where it’s at. This lakeside town flanked by mountains attracts outdoor-sports fans from all over the world. You can go skiing, boating, quad biking and paragliding, or you can take it down a notch by exploring nearby heritage towns and local eateries. Whatever your speed, Queenstown will show you a royally good time.
Bungy off the Kawarau Bridge
Come on, you’re in New Zealand’s adventure capital, you’ve got to bungy at least once! The Kawarau Bridge Bungy is the absolute original, so steel yourself for a high-voltage experience. You’ll bungy 43 metres down, past rugged cliffs, until your hands skate the water’s surface. You can even grab a buddy and do a tandem bungy – talk about bonding. If bungy jumping isn’t quite your thing, you can zipline or strap in for an epic 300-metre swing. Whatever your appetite for adrenaline, this will be an experience you’ll never forget.
Cycle the Queenstown Trail
If you love two-wheeling, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Queenstown. Mountain bikers, you’ll find amazing trails, lift-assisted bike parks and an epic dirt-jump park here. For something more cruisy, there are plenty of scenic trails to explore, like the Queenstown Trail. This 130-kilometre trail weaves alongside Lake Wakatipu and meanders all the way to Arrowtown, taking in some of Queenstown’s prettiest sights.
Shoot across to Arrowtown or Glenorchy
Just 20 minutes from Queenstown is the historic goldrush town Arrowtown. Situated on the Arrow River, this pretty little village (extra pretty in autumn) makes for a lovely day trip. Check out the fascinating Lakes District Museum and Gallery, saunter the stores, galleries and cafes, and try some gold panning for kicks. Or, explore the forests and mountains of Glenorchy, 45 minutes from Queenstown. This photogenic town is where they shot The Lord of the Rings, so if you’re up for capturing some wild and captivating landscape, pack your camera and go wandering.
Go skiing at Coronet Peak
With its location in New Zealand’s Southern Alps, Queenstown is prime ski and snowboard territory. There are four ski areas to choose from and a long ski season (June to October), so there’s no shortage of snowy fun to be had. Coronet Peak, Queenstown’s oldest ski resort, is just 20 minutes from the centre of town. This family-friendly resort is suitable for skiers of all abilities, from newbie to pro. It’s also the home of Night Ski, where you can watch amazing sunsets then go for a ski after dark.
Feast on a famous Fergburger
Like the rest of New Zealand, Queenstown’s food scene showcases the country’s bounty of local produce. But if you’re going to eat one thing while you’re here, it’s got to be a famous Fergburger. Sure, you’ll probably be in the queue for an hour, but this juicy Queenstown icon has been written about and celebrated by global food writers and celebrities alike. They serve up breakfast burgers like the Morning Glory, hearty numbers like the Mr Big Stuff, vegetarian options like Ferg-lafel, and a super porky Chief Wiggum.