Taking the crown: best things to do in Queenstown

Got a love of adventure and the outdoors? Set your sights on Queenstown.

Aerial view of Queenstown and surrounding snow-covered mountains at dusk, New Zealand. Image credit: Destination Queenstown
  • Jetstar
  • 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.

Back view of a person jumping off a bungy platform with water below at Kawarau Bridge, Queenstown, New Zealand.
Go solo or tandem when you bungy at Kawarau Bridge.

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.

Two people on bikes, cycling through greenery in Arrowtown, near Queenstown, New Zealand. Image credit: Destination Queenstown
Queenstown is home to many scenic bike trails. Image credit: Destination Queenstown

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.

Aerial view of Arrowtown and autumnal foliage in surrounding hills, New Zealand.
Sitting pretty: Arrowtown in autumn.

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.

People skiing while other people ride chairlifts and gondolas overhead at Coronet Peak, Queenstown, New Zealand. Image credit: Destination Queenstown
Peak hour at Queenstown’s oldest ski resort. Image credit: Destination Queenstown

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.