Adventure-Packed Activities For Kids In Queenstown

One of our favourite Kiwi holiday spots, Queenstown is the home of adventure. Offering up so many nature-based and adrenaline packed activities for the whole family, Queenstown is a great place to escape and make memories with your kids.

Whether you’re looking for a scenic bike trail, a lakeside hike or some fun out on the water, check out our guide to planning an adventure-filled weekend in Queenstown – great for the school holidays year round!

Adventure playground with a view

With activities for kids big and small, Queenstown is the perfect destination for family fun.

If you’re looking for a scenic escape, you can’t pass up a visit to Skyline Gondola. With breathtaking views of Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu, you’ll also find the ultimate thrill ride with their Skyline Luge experience. 

While you’re there, visit Ziptrek Ecotours for an experience your family will never forget! Hang out in treehouses and soak up the mountain air as you glide through the treetops – just like Tarzan. Featuring six ziplines with stunning views across Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables, the ziplines start slow and build gradually as your confidence does. 

If you’re a family of mountain bikers, you can also check out New Zealand’s first-ever, gondola-assisted bike park for an afternoon of downhill fun. With 30 world-class downhill mountain bike trails, a day on the mountain bike trail will see riders taking on over 450 metres of vertical descent – talk about heart-pumping fun!

At the base of the Gondola you’ll also find iFly indoor skydiving and the Kiwi Birdlife Park where little ones can visit an array of wildlife and take an easy walk through native bush.

Get out on the water

With crisp lakes and so many water-based activities, a trip to Queenstown isn’t complete without a little fun on the water.

For nervous sailors or little explorers, a scenic trip on the TSS Earnslaw cruising Lake Wakatipu is an iconic way to spend an afternoon. Kids can explore the decks and bridge, view the engine room and relax with some treats from the onboard Promenade Cafe.

For a more adrenaline-packed ride, hop on a jet boat and explore Queenstown’s wild rivers. Shooting through narrow rocky gorges and reaching breathtaking speeds, this is one experience you don’t want to miss.

From the same downtown wharf, you can also find other adventures such as the Underwater Observatory and Time Tripper, a state-of-the-art animated show about the creation of Lake Wakatipu.

The Hydro Attack is also one of the coolest activities for kids! Shaped like a shark, this semi-submersible watercraft leaps, dives and rolls around the lakefront.


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Sky-high experiences

Little bodies might not be ready to go bungy jumping just yet, but that doesn’t mean they can’t soar through the sky.

New Zealand’s first and only indoor skydiving centre lets kids as young as five experience the thrill of a freefall in a safe and specially designed wind tunnel.

If you’re wanting an experience for the whole family, ziplining is for you.

Whether you want a sprint through Gibbston with Kawarau Zipride, a more adventurous journey through the trees at Bob’s Peak, or you want to immerse yourself in the wilderness of Glenorchy, there are lots of options to suit most ages and stages.

If you do have older kids who are ready to take a plunge, they may want to take on an IG worthy adventure with the Canyon Swing. 100% designed to take you out of your comfort zone, this freefall experience can be done solo or in tandem.

Wet weather options

If the weather changes, don’t stay cooped up in your hotel, because Queenstown has so much more to offer.

Visit the indoor climbing centre or spend time jumping around at the trampoline park in Frankton. A great way for kids to stay active even when the sun isn’t shining, the whole family can have fun playing here.

If you’re looking for some virtual fun, get competitive on the racetrack or play a game of laser strike at Game Over. There is also paintless paintball and VR games at Thrillzone and ‘sky-high’ fun to be had at iFLY.

For the water babies in the family, the local swimming pool complex boasts a lazy river and two speedy hydroslides. And for those who like to test their limits, try the Odyssey Sensory Maze or let them get scared silly at Fear Factory!

Free activities around the region

With lots of trails, playgrounds and historical sites to visit, Queenstown is perfect for families on a budget.

On a sunny day, why not dip your toes in the water by swimming at Queenstown Bay.

Take a drive to Hanley’s Farm, visit the lakefront playground featuring a stream, bridges and climbing structures or head to the Queenstown Gardens for a game of frisbee golf.

If you’re driving to Queenstown, pack your bike or walking shoes and take a stroll through the town, around the Queenstown Gardens or along one of the many walking trails. In Arrowtown, the easy Arrow River loop is perfect for little legs. If you’re looking for something further afield and a bit more challenging, there’s a three-hour stroll around Moke Lake that makes a beautiful way to spend the afternoon.

To top it all off, take a scenic drive up The Remarkables for a picturesque view.


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Written by Kidspot New Zealand for Destination Queenstown.

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