5 Scenic Experiences Your Family Won’t Forget In Queenstown, Home of Family Adventure

Queenstown is bursting with amazing scenery and fun family activities that combined, make for some amazing holiday memories.

No matter what your family is in to, Queenstown offers an exciting range of options for you to curate your perfect memorable holiday in the home of family adventure.

Please note: Venue information was correct at the time of publication. Please check with individual venues for the latest opening dates, times, prices, etc, before making plans.

1. By land

Queenstown is surrounded by some of the most stunning landscapes in the world, from soaring mountains to stunning valleys and beautiful trails that make land-based activities an experience to remember.

4WD Adventures – experience a thrilling and educational 4WD adventure with Nomad Safaris into the depths of the infamous Skippers Canyon, or follow the miners’ old wagon trail and explore the historic gold mining town of Macetown.

Horse trekking – enjoy a gentle horse ride through breathtaking scenery in the exceptional Dart Valley. Experienced guides ensure a memorable experience for riders of all levels.

Luge races – take a gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak for a bird’s eye view over Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu below. Then take on the thrilling downhill Luge tracks in an epic family competition.

Quad bikes and buggy tours – take the drive of your life on a quad bike or buggy. Off-Road Adventures will ensure an exciting adventure for off-road enthusiasts of all abilities and age 6 years old and up.


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Segway tours – explore the scenic Queenstown Bay with a sightseeing adventure. After a quick training session you will be off, enjoying the unique sensation of riding a Segway. Approximately 35kg minimum weight requirement.

2. Get some air

The dramatic mountain scenery around Queenstown means there are some stunning opportunities to get some good air.

Zipline – harness up for some fun on one of the three fantastic zipline options in the  Queenstown area. Glide down the glistening Kawarau river with Kawarau Zipride or through the trees above Queenstown with Ziptrek Ecotours. Just 1 hour out of Queenstown in magical Glenorchy you can zip over a pristine and through beautiful mature forest with Paradise Ziplines. Drive yourself or they can pick up you all up in  town.

High in the sky – take a scenic helicopter, plane or even a hot air balloon flight to discover the stunning alpine scenery from above.

Go jump in the … air – soar majestically through the air on a paraglider. Take off from Bob’s Peak or Coronet Peak and either have an aerobatic ride filled with spins and turns or a more gentle scenic ride. You’ll get the front row view and your tandem pilot will ensure your safety.


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3. On the water

Queenstown is surrounded by mountains and water. Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand’s longest lake, was formed by glaciers more than 15,000 years ago, and to be fair, it hasn’t warmed up much since then! It’s fed by the Dart and Rees Rivers and then flows out through the Kawarau River.

Cruise Lake Wakatipu  – experiencing Queenstown from the water gives you a whole new perspective. The historic TSS Earnslaw steamship with its bright red funnel, cruises the lake every day. Southern Discoveries Spirit of Queenstown catamaran also offers scenic tours.

Jetboat – take a thrilling jet boat ride through steep ravines, under The Remarkables, across the open waters of Lake Wakatipu or through the pristine wilderness of Glenorchy, with one of the fantastic jet boat operators. The skill of the drivers as they skim past rocks and cliffs and throw a thrilling 360° will leave you awestruck.

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4. Under your own steam

There are so many ways to blow out the cobwebs and get the lungs pumping a bit in and around Queenstown.

Biking – the Queenstown Trail Network covers 130km of wide open scenic trails with plenty of must-stop locations along the way so the family can have fun exploring on two wheels. All along the trail are spectacular views of lakes, mountains, and rivers and you will cross loads of new and historic bridges.  There are many bike hire and bike transport options, along with tour and transport companies so you can just cycle one way and they will pick you and your bikes up and return you to your starting point.

Walking – Queenstown has a wide range of short, easy and accessible walks to take in the mountain and lake views. Pack a picnic or stop at one of the many family friendly cafes. Start in town or explore a bit further out.

Pedal or paddlePaddle Queenstown, located centrally in Queenstown Bay, has a range of aqua bikes and kayaks so you can get up close to the crystal clear water.


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5. Chew with a view

After all the fun and excitement, it’s time to refuel before the kids get hangry.

Take away – order your Fergburger, Erik’s Fish & Chips, or Hawker & Roll to go and simply park up on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and watch the sun set on another beautiful day.

Dine in – sit by the lake at Ivy and Lola’s in Steamer Wharf.

Marina menu – situated in Queenstown Marina, The Boatshed Café is family friendly, located on the Queenstown Trail with stunning views across the lake to the Remarkables.

Family funCargo at Gantleys, just 5 minutes drive from the Shotover Jet and nestled under the base of Coronet Peak, offers cruisy evening dining with big bean bags and a spacious garden to play in so you can kick back and take in the views while the kids entertain themselves.


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Written by Kidspot New Zealand for Destination Queenstown.

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