A trip to Queenstown, known as the adventure capital of New Zealand, will wow you with its vibrant nightlife, inspiring nature and a long list of heart-pumping activities. They totally swept me right off my feet! Flying to Queenstown Airport already gets your blood rushing, — think of me when you gaze out of that plane window, and you’ll hear my voice: “I told you so”.
If you want to feel adrenaline rush all day long, then Queenstown is the place to be. Whether you decide to go bungee jumping off Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge, jet-boating along the Shotover Rivers or skiing at the Remarkables Ski Area, Queenstown is home to a long list of energetic activities. To top it off, Queenstown has some of the most scenic views in New Zealand!
1. Skyline Queenstown
Head for Skyline Gondola if you’re seeking one of the best panoramic views in New Zealand — it’s just so beautiful! Enjoy the unobstructed sights of Lake Wakatipu, Coronet Peak, or Walter Peaks right below you.
Beyond the spectacular views, Skyline has more to offer. Extreme mountain biking and full speed luge carts (yep, that’s my thing!) are some of the popular activities that will make your heart go crazy.
Once the adrenaline rush is over, get a lovely dinner at Stratosfare Bar & Restaurant for a sumptuous buffet before heading back to your crib. Be there early to snatch the highly coveted window seats and sip some cocktail before the dinner begins.
2. Shotover Canyon Swing
The canyon is definitely not the place to go if you are afraid of heights. You have two options here: jumping from a 109-metre-high cliff and swing over the Shotover River or zip-lining across the canyon. Hell, yesss!
If you don’t feel like going high, try the jet boating on the Shotover River or the nearby Lake Wanaka. Till today, I still can’t forget how it feels to be skipping along the river canyons at 53 mph. Pretty sure my heart skipped even faster then! Just wait until you experience the 360-degree turn!
3. Eat a Fergburger
For me, Fergburger is the number one must-do in New Zealand. The hole-in-the-wall burger joint quickly garnered popularity beyond its location in a small resort town. Tourists and locals flock the shop almost 24 hours! When I finally took the first bite of this thick and juicy iconic Queenstown food, it was on my very last day, but I felt I was in heaven!
Besides the classic beef burger, Ferg also does other protein sources like wild Fiordland deer, cod, tofu, falafel, pork belly to name a few. The burgers are definitely worth every penny and raving reviews they get!
4. The Remarkables Ski
Do you remember all those New Zealand postcards with breathtaking winter views? The Remarkables, right smack in the centre of Queenstown, has all the snowy experience you’re looking for. Head there for some ski or snowboarding sessions. If this is your first time ever, guides are available to teach you on the spot.
If you prefer passively enjoying the beautiful views, hop onto the Shadow Basin chairlift to soak in the sights of the Southern Alps. Meanwhile, children can enjoy themselves with the snow-sledging area in the mountain range.
Book a stay at the Heritage Queenstown Hotel for a private 2-bedroom suite — a lovely place to wind down after all the snow activities.
5. Bungee Jumping in Kawerau Bridge
Queenstown earns the title of the bungee capital of New Zealand for a reason: it is home to one of the most exciting flying adventures.
Kawerau Bridge is the world’s first bungee jump site, making it one of the most iconic tourist attractions in New Zealand. At Kawerau Bridge, you can share the adrenaline rush with a friend with the tandem jumping.
The Nevis Bungy Jump is also the highest bungee points in the Southern Hemisphere, located at 134-metre-high.
6. The Boatshed Cafe & Bistro
Boatshed Cafe & Bistro is my favourite spot to get delicious food and freshly-brewed coffee on the shores of Lake Wakatipu.
Pay this cafe a visit during lunchtime and get pampered with the wide selection of local wines and beers. The dishes are made a la minute using local produce, but my favourite gotta be the pulled pork eggs benedict and chilli coriander scramble. To end your meal on a sweet note, get your hands on the sticky buns!
7. Milford Sound and Mirror Lakes at Fiordland National Park
Milford Sound is probably on the bucket list of anyone travelling to New Zealand, and I can understand why. Although it’s a bit far off the central town, Milford Sound indeed deserves Rudyard Kipling’s appraisal as the 8th wonder of the world. Don’t forget to bring your camera to this exceptional place and immortalise the Mitre Peak or the lush rainforest.
The highlight of the Milford Sound has to be the Mirror Lake where New Zealand’s smallest duck, locally called scaup or pāpango, live. You can stretch your legs with a stop at the Mirror Lakes Queenstown and get to see the reflection of Earl Mountain in the clear water. Besides Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park has two other walks: Kepler and Routeburn, each comes with its own stunning views.
9. Onsen Pool Spa
After all the rigorous activities, head for Onsen Hot Pools for some relaxation. It is a tranquil escape to nature to rejuvenate and pamper ourselves.
These cedar-lined pools set on a cliffside offer a one-of-a-kind view of the Shotover River canyon. Immerse yourself in the hot water while munching on the local refreshment before heading for a relaxing massage.
9. QT Queenstown
QT Queenstown offers incredible views over Lake Wakatipu and the Southern Alps peaks. The hotel is perfect for any kinds of travellers — honeymooners, groups of friends, or solo travellers simply looking for a relaxed stay in the city. The cosy room and friendly staff are plus points to the stunning views the hotel offers.
10. Botswana Butchery
Fabulous food is what best describes Botswana Butchery. The fresh local ingredients served here matches the incredible lake views around the restaurant. Their ribeyes and steaks are must-orders but don’t skip other popular dishes like the seafood.
The restaurant is one of the most stylish places in town and prides itself with their incredible attention to detail. Customers always sing praises of the friendly staff making them feel like a king or queen in the land of adventure.
Whether you are going for the thrill or the scenic nature, Queenstown is packed with tons of activities that will leave you speechless.