Before we went to New Zealand, anyone who had been told us how much they loved Queenstown. After visiting, we feel exactly the same. Queenstown is a gorgeous little town surrounded by mountains with beautiful views of Lake Wakatipu. It’s situated relatively south on the South Island and is pretty easy to get to via plane from most other places in the country.
Queenstown isn’t just a beautiful mountain town though. It’s also the adventure capital of the world. And whether to you adventure means bungy jumping, hiking, jet boating, or driving along windy roads, there is something (or everything) for us all.
If you find yourself in Queenstown, here are some of our recommendations for what to do:
Nevis Bungy and/or Nevis Swing – might as well get the adrenaline pumping! The Nevis Bungy is the highest in Australasia and you can check out the Nevis Swing as well. Toby and I had both jumped from Bloukrans Bridge in South Africa so we opted to check out the Nevis Swing instead and I highly recommend it. You think it’s a bit more relaxed because it’s called a swing and you don’t have to physically make the jump but — be prepared! And have fun!
Shotover Jet Boat – while there are numerous Jet Boat operators spread out throughout the country, we opted to do the Shotover Jet Boat located right outside of Queenstown because the scenery looked the coolest. While I originally didn’t care either way if we ended up doing a jet boat tour, speeding through the canyon in a few inches of water was a blast and worth the money!
Scenic Drive to Cromwell – if you have a car and feel like taking a drive, head out on the windy road to Cromwell. You’ll want to stop numerous times along the way – there are plenty of hiking trails, trails to the lake, and lookout spots to take photographs. Once you get to Cromwell there isn’t a whole lot to see or do (at least not that we found) but there is a General Store to grab a bite to eat and you can always spend time relaxing by the lake.
Skyline Queenstown – take the Gondola up and find yourself on a mountaintop overlooking Queenstown. From here you can hike, bike, luge, eat, drink, or just take in the sights. We actually skipped out on this activity because we had taken the Skyline in Rotorua and were in between hiking days in Tongariro and Wanaka.
Hike! – there are plenty of day hikes in Queenstown, with the most popular being the Ben Lomond Trail. Unfortunately, due to our limited time in Queenstown and the hiking we had planned before and afterward, we didn’t make it on any hikes in the area – however, the area is so beautiful I am sure you can’t go wrong!
Ski – we visited Queenstown in peak summer season, but I can only imagine how wonderful the town is during the winter and ski season. If you’re heading there then, I’d imagine you are looking to do some skiing or snowboarding!
Wine Tasting – Queenstown is the gateway to the Central Otago region where you’ll find 200 wineries! While we certainly enjoy wine and wine tasting, we were heading up through the region and into Wanaka so saved our winery visits for there (although we continued to taste plenty of New Zealand wines throughout the trip!).
And when you’re not heading out on an adventure in Queenstown, stop into any number of the lakefront restaurants, grab a bite to eat and enjoy the wonderful views!
To learn more about how we spent our 12 days in New Zealand, click here.