Promotion for Destination Queenstown
For a fun-filled family holiday, it’s hard to beat Queenstown! This South Island stunner has so many activities and attractions, meaning there’s a heap of family fun for all ages. From the mild to the wild, our 7-day itinerary will help you make the most of your family holiday in Queenstown.
Dive into your holiday by visiting Queenstown’s pool complex, Alpine Aqualand. Complete with two hydro-slides, a lazy river, a relaxing adult-only hot pool, and a lap pool, the whole family will enjoy a morning of splashing about. If you’re visiting in summer, the Arrowtown outdoor swimming pool opens in early December through to late February.
If the kids aren’t too worn out, there are a huge amount of short walks and lakeside tracks in the region. The Queenstown Gardens are a nice short scenic walk, and you could reward the family with an ice cream on the beach afterwards. If you want everyone to sleep well that night, the Queenstown Hill Time Walk is a 2-3 hour (return) climb to the iconic Basket of Dreams sculpture, with incredible views across Lake Whakatipu. Head into the Department of Conservation office on Stanley Street for advice on day walks, track closures and weather forecasts.
Take a day trip to Arrowtown, and have a go gold-panning on the Arrow River, you never know what you might find! Visit the Lakes District Museum and the Arrowtown Chinese Settlement for a bit of history. Make sure you stop for a quick treat at The Remarkables Sweet Shop or Patagonia Chocolates & Ice Creamery for free tastings.
Head back to Queenstown to enjoy a takeaway dinner on the beach. With fish and chips, gourmet burgers, Japanese, pizza and many other takeaway restaurants available downtown, you’re spoiled for choice.
Visit and experience real South Island rural life on a working farm tour. Catch the TSS Earnslaw steamship over to Walter Peak High Country Farm and spend a few hours enjoying the demonstrations and a freshly baked afternoon tea at the farm. There’s also Kiwi Park located right in the heart of Queenstown, where you might be lucky enough to spot a kiwi, as well as 30 other species of animals.
An easy five-minute walk from central Queenstown, Skyline Queenstown offers spectacular views of the region and plenty of entertainment and adventure for the whole family. At the top of Bob’s Peak, the luge is a family favourite, and you’ll probably find yourself in competition with your kids! Pop into a café on the way, or dine at one of the food and beverage outlets at the top of Bob’s Peak.
Biking is a great way to explore the beautiful lakeside tracks around Queenstown and Gibbston. If you haven’t bought bicycles from home, you can hire bikes from centrally located rental companies that will fit the bikes according to your ability and your planned biking destination.
If you’re looking for some thrills, no trip to Queenstown would be complete without booking a jet boat trip on the Kawarau or Shotover Rivers, Lake Wakatipu or up the stunning Dart River. Whether it’s a quick 30 minute excursion, or you need to entertain the kids for half a day, forest trips and four-wheel driving will provide plenty of adventure that suits your budget and timetable.
Keep these indoor entertainment options up your sleeve for a rainy day, or simply when you want the kids to entertain themselves! There are two cinemas showing the latest blockbusters, as well as go-karting, laser tag, indoor skydiving, a haunted house, an indoor trampoline centre, an ice skating rink and ten-pin bowling.
Have a night off the kids and book one of Queenstown’s in-house babysitting services, then enjoy a special night out with a meal at a restaurant along the waterfront or hideaway in a laneway restaurant for an intimate dining experience.
Bring out the thrillseekers in the family and try out the zipline, swing, bungy or skydive activities. There are height and weight restrictions for children, so make sure you check out these limitations before getting everyone’s hopes up! For the more relaxed adventurer, there’s a great bungy viewing spot at the Kawarau Gorge historic bridge, a thirty-minute drive out of central Queenstown.
Load up the picnic basket and head out to Kelvin Heights Beach, Lake Hayes, the Village Green, or the Queenstown waterfront for a picnic dinner. BBQs are also available along the Lake Esplanade for public use (if you’re quick!).
Horse trekking is a fabulous way to see the region’s beauty. There are tours available to suit all riding levels, as well as many locations offering a diverse range of scenery. You might find yourself in the middle of a working farm, or in the Glenorchy countryside underneath snow-capped mountains.
Written by Kidspot NZ with information supplied by Destination Queenstown.
Imagery credit: QueenstownNZ.co.nz