Queenstown’s Family Favourites and Hidden Gems

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With a bit of help from the locals, we take a look at some hidden gems and family favourite activities that make holidaying in Queenstown a magical fun-filled family time.

There is a huge variety of fun family activities on offer in Queenstown this winter. While skiing is a favourite for some families, that is only a small part of the Queenstown story. Along with the classic activities that you may have long wanted to share with your family, there are some fantastic new adventures that make for a memorable family day out.

No matter if your family are thrill seekers or more interested in pitting their skills against each other, prefer to hang out indoors, or happy to layer up and enjoy the winter wonderland, it’s all here waiting for you.

iFLY – skydiving approved by mum!

iFLY

Experience the feeling of flying at iFLY!

iFLY is  New Zealand’s only indoor skydiving attraction so make sure you tick this one off while you’re in town!

The specially designed tunnel has a smooth, wall-to-wall cushion of air on which anyone aged from 5 to 105 can safely fly. There’s no need for parachutes or psyching yourself up to jump – it’s just YOU, indoor skydiving in the heart of New Zealand’s adventure capital. iFLY simulates skydiving with no strings, parachutes, planes, or scary heights. It’s ‘skydiving approved by mum’!

Highly trained, world class instructors are experienced in supporting new flyers of all ages and abilities. You don’t have to be an athlete to indoor skydive and iFLY welcome’s customers of all abilities, encouraging and supporting anyone with a disability to fly.

Your session will include a brief orientation and some coaching tips and then it’s time to fly – your instructor will be right there with you, guiding you and ensuring you have safe but exhilarating flights. That’s right, you get two chances to experience the joy of flying in your session at iFLY.

It’s really easy to get ready to fly – you don’t need to remember to bring anything with you except maybe hair elastic to tie back long hair. Jeans and a t-shirt  with sport shoes are the perfect flying clothes!

Now you can fly like your favourite superhero!

Visit iFly

Thrillzone – one-stop venue for awesome, adrenaline-fuelled activities

Thrillzone

Step into Thrillzone, Queenstown’s fun and high-energy activity destination! Your hosts Sonja and Francis Painter have created an indoor destination where families can customise an entertainment experience to suit. Their goal? To make people happy!

Experience wild roller coasters, creepy haunted houses and crazy jetpack adventure in the 12d Motion Theatre or enjoy the latest in single and multiplayer VR technology –  in fact Thrillzone is the only place in the world where you can experience Omni VR and Holgate VR!

If someone in your whānau is into car racing, the brand-new DX Race Car Simulator will get their adrenaline pumping as will the 360 degree battleground area where you can get tactical with unlimited ammo playing Lastertag, Heroblast, Paintless Paintball, or Bazooka Ball ! Settle the adrenaline with a round of Putt N’ Glow indoor UV mini golf.

The Thrillzone Escape Adventure is a unique variation on the typical escape room utilising indoor and outdoor adventures along with virtual reality!

Thrillzone also has Queenstown only Kidz Club where the kids can enjoy supervised access to all the activities, leaving you to head away and enjoy Queenstown at your own pace.

Thrillzone really is a destination that will make happy family memories.

Visit Thrillzone

Shotover Jet – the ultimate jet boat experience

Shotover Jet

The world famous Shotover Jet experience has thrilled nearly 4 million people  – and now it’s your turn!

The Shotover River features spectacular canyons that have been carved out over the ages by fast flowing water. The base for the Shotover Jet experience is tucked away on the edge of this magnificent awa, just ten minutes drive from central Queenstown.

The Shotover Jet experience includes fast wall-to-wall canyon action and exciting spins on this most dramatic section of the Shotover River – Shotover Jet enjoy exclusive rights to operate here.

Boats used by Shotover Jet are designed specifically to handle the Shotover Canyons and are made for speed! They can travel at up to 90 kilometres an hour on water as shallow as 10 cm! You will ride rapids, nd performing thrilling, gravity-defying stunts within a hair’s breadth of the awe-inspiring cliff faces. Shotover Jet enjoy exclusive rights to operate on this most dramatic section of the Shotover River.

Dress warmly, pop on a hat and gloves (even though the handrails in the boat are heated for your comfort) and make the most of the epic family pass offer these school holidays – just $299 for two adults and two children – to create family memories you’ll never forget.

Visit Shotover Jet

Clip ‘n Climb – action packed indoor fun for everyone

Clip n Climb Basecamp Adventures Queenstown

Indoor climbing has never been so exciting, safe, or fun!

Clip ‘n Climb is an action-packed activity for all the family – from pre-schoolers to adults. No climbing experience is necessary, and their unique automatic belay takes in the slack as you climb and then lowers you gently to the ground.

There are heaps of innovative climbs to tackle – climb individually, race each other on the speed climbing challenge, take the Stairway to Heaven and battle the elements on the Lightning Crack. If you are feeling extra brave, add to the fun and take the Leap of Faith on to a flying trapeze or plunge down the Vertical Drop Slide.

Just wear your usual comfy clothes and closed toe shoes – everything else you need for an excellent family adventure is ready and waiting for you. Booking ahead is advised and sessions last for up to an hour and start on the hour.

Clip ‘n Climb is the most exciting, newest thing to hit indoor climbing so why not give it a go!

Visit Clip ‘N Climb

Odyssey Sensory Maze – get lost in a world of a-maze-ment

Odyssey Sensory Maze

Go on a sensory adventure in the heart of Queenstown.

Test and stimulate your senses as you experience dark spaces, quirky physical obstacles, illusions, lighting effects, scents, sound effects and strange sensations as you take a journey through the maze at your own pace. It’s not just about finding your way out – it’s a sensory journey too!

For added fun, purchase crazy goggles from the Odyssey shop – their light diffracting lenses mean you can enjoy an extra sensory experience.

Odyssey is recommended for those aged 8 and over but do get in touch to discuss if it’s ok for your younger children.

Get ready to be a-maze-d!

Visit Odyssey Sensory Maze

Buzzstop Bee & Honey Centre – buzz in for sweet family fun

Buzzstop

Out at Frankton (opposite the Queenstown Events Centre) you can find a perfectly family friendly spot where you can learn all about bees and why they are our best friends.

Enjoy a fun and educational bee experience where the beekeeper will share some of the very special information about bees. Get hands-on and sticky when you get your own frame from a hive and then spin, filter and bottle your very own jar of honey to take away with you – featuring your own personalised label!

You can refuel with food from the honey inspired seasonal menu at the warm and cosy family friendly on-site cafe.

There’s also a shop selling all things honey and wax and you might like to pop in to The Barn next door – it’s not really one for the family but it’s perfect for someone who loves browsing an eclectic collection of children’s clothing, furniture, jewellery, gifts and homewares!

Visit Buzzstop

Get out on Lake Wakatipu

Queenstown activities

No trip to Queenstown is complete without getting out on the lake and an easy way to do this is to grab a ride with Queenstown Ferries.

Queenstown Ferries depart from Steamer Wharf in central Queenstown every hour during the day and head up Frankton Arm, stopping at Frankton Marina and Hilton Kawarau Village. It’s a fun way for your family to explore the area by water.

The BoatShed Cafe at Frankton Marina is a popular cafe (reservations recommended), or you could get off a the Hilton Kawarau Village and pop into Stacks Pub for a gourmet pub meal.

Jump back onto the water taxi, or it’s just an easy 6km walk back into town along Frankton Track.

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