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12 things to do in Queenstown and an event guide for 2020

Queenstown is the top pick for adrenaline junkies seeking a holiday packed with thrills and nature lovers.

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Snowcapped mountain Queenstown

Queenstown is here to impress with scenic views and to uphold its name as the outdoor adventure capital of the country. Get ready for some fresh air as you enjoy the high octane activities such as skydiving and bungee jumping. Naturally, there are a few more relaxing activities on the cards here as well, including wine and cheese tasting, relaxing cruises through Milford Sound and a unique ice bar experience.

Top things to do in Queenstown

1. Go skydiving

When in Queenstown, you shouldn't pass up the chance to experience an adrenaline rush. Skydiving is one of the ultimate items you can tick off in Queenstown. Experience the feeling of free falling as you tandem dive with an experienced guide from above the city. Choose between jumping from 9,000, 10,000 or 12,000 feet, depending on how adventurous you're feeling.

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2. Take a trip to Milford Sound

Queenstown is a gateway into Milford Sound. A place like no other, don't miss out on taking a day trip to the World Heritage Fiordland National Park. When you arrive, you have the option to discover this New Zealand wonder on a boat cruise around Mirror Lake and 1,200-metre rock walls. Waterfalls and dense rainforests also make up the area of the Southern Alps. Its size and beauty will leave you speechless.

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Things to do in Queenstown in winter

3. Get involved with snow sports

Queenstown is not just about heart-pumping adrenaline fixes, it's also a mecca for amateur and professional skiers and snowboarders. Some of the country's most popular snowfields are just a short drive from Queenstown, including Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Cardrona. Transport and snow gear can be easily organised from Queenstown's city centre or you can organise everything before you arrive.

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4. Get your gloves ready and head to Queenstown's iconic ice bar

It sounds pretty ironic, but heading to an ice bar is the perfect way to occupy time on a cold and rainy day in Queenstown. Conveniently located right in the city centre, Minus 5º Ice Bar is a unique spot where you can enjoy an exotic cocktail poured into an ice glass and sit on furniture carved out of ice. You'll be provided with a warm custom-made jacket, boots and gloves to ensure the cold doesn't seep in. The fluorescent lights and ambiance make for a bar experience unlike any other.

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5. See Queenstown from new heights

What better way is there to see Queenstown than from above? There are plenty of options for you to take the skies. Enjoy an alpine flight over Queenstown and set your eyes upon Skipper Canyon and Queenstown Basin, before making a landing on an alpine peak that is guaranteed to provide stunning scenery. If an action-packed scenic helicopter journey entices you, combine your ride over the western face of The Remarkables mountain with a snowmobiling adventure in the Garvie Mountains.


Things to do in Queenstown in summer

6. Take a spin on a jet boat

Get ready for a hair-raising experience on the Shotover River where you'll make your way through narrow canyons, around boulders and speed through rapids at a pace that is sure to get your heart racing. Hand rails are provided in front of you to hang onto as you make swift movements and 360º spins. Jet boating is a perfect activity to tick off your bucket list whether you go it alone, with friends or with family.

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7. Wine and cheese tasting

Wine tasting is a must in New Zealand, but if we had to choose just one place to do it, it would be in Queenstown. That's because it's home to some of the world's best wine, notably Pinot Noir.

You'll be able to sample numerous wines and a guide will educate you on the region's wines while you sample them with cheese.

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8. Take the ultimate leap of faith

What's a trip to Queenstown without returning with a story of your epic bungee jumping experience? Before you tick off this bucket list activity, you will be given an orientation by expert guides to ensure maximum safety and comfort. The experience is sure to get you screaming at the top of your lungs as you launch yourself off the platform before being pulled back up by the rope. An experience not to be missed, this escapade will really put the icing on the cake for your Queenstown adventure.


Things to do in Queenstown at night

9. Skyline Gondola

Don't miss your chance to ride up the Skyline Gondola for pristine views overlooking Queenstown. While on top, enjoy views of the city's skyline and opt in for a stargazing tour so you can marvel at the clear Queenstown skies at night.

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Ice Bar

10. Spend a night out on the town in Queenstown

Discover the buzzing nightlife in Queenstown by making your way around the best bars to enjoy drinks, play local games with the chance to win prizes and meet new people along the way. Once the bar crawl winds down, you can continue to party the night away or head back to your accommodation to catch some sleep after a big day exploring and making your way around Queenstown.


Free things to do in Queenstown

Queenstown Hill

11. Make your way up Queenstown Hill

An alternative route to reach Skyline Queenstown, you can start this walk from the city centre and make your way up the 500-metre trail. You'll be met with lush greenery and native flowers. You may even spot wildlife along the way. Whether you want to soak up the sun, breathe in crisp and clear air or simply have a few hours to spare, you won't regret taking this easy hike that will lead you to breathtaking views overlooking the mountains and city.


Queenstown Beach

12. Relax at Queenstown Beach

When the sun sticks around longer during the summer months, there's no better way to spend an afternoon than basking in the shallow waters at Queenstown Beach. Set on the edge of Queenstown's town centre, this small beach is secluded by greenery and mountains. You can hire kayaks, aqua bikes and stand-up paddle boards so you can make your way around the water at your own pace. Although you'd have to be game to dip your toes in the water during winter, it's a great place to stop to capture the snow-capped mountains of Mount Nicholas and Walter Peak.




See the latest Queenstown activity and experience deals

Airbnb Airbnb

New Zealand stays from $30/night

Available on select dates from July onward for Auckland, Wellington, Queenstown and Christchurch stays. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Skyscanner Skyscanner

New Zealand flights from $233 return

Available on select flights from August 2020 - February 2021. Destinations include Christchurch, Queenstown, Wellington and more. Sample fare is Gold Coast-Auckland with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

G Adventures G Adventures

Up to 15% off Australia and New Zealand tours

Available on select dates until 31 July 2021. Destinations include Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Auckland, Queenstown and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Stayz Stayz

New Zealand stays from $20/night

Available on stays in 2020 in Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin and more. Sample stay is for a bed in a dormitory in Queenstown.

Last verified

Destination International Destination International

14-day New Zealand getaway from $4,799 with flights

Available on select dates from February - November 2021. Package includes return flights, accommodation, Queenstown Skyline Gondola with dinner, transfers and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Trip.com Trip.com

Queenstown stays from $12

Available on stays until 31 December 2020. Sample rate is for a stay at Nomads Hotel Queenstown. T&Cs apply

Last verified

Deal ends

STA Travel STA Travel

New Zealand flights from $414 return with Virgin Australia

Available on flights from September - November 2020 to Auckland, Queenstown and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Christchurch. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Oaks Hotels & Resorts Oaks Hotels & Resorts

Up to 30% off Australia and New Zealand stays

Available on stays until 1 March 2021 in Sydney, Adelaide, Darwin, Auckland, Queenstown and more. Plus get a further 10% off by joining MYOAKS. T&Cs apply.

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Deal ends

Bookabach NZ Bookabach NZ

Queenstown stays from NZD$100/night

Available on select 2020 dates. Sample rate is for a stay at a studio apartment in Cardrona Valley. T&Cs apply.

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Deal ends

Wotif Wotif

Queenstown stays from $121/night

Available on select 2020 dates. Sample fare is for a stay at Rydges Lakeland Resort Queenstown. T&Cs apply.

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Contiki Contiki

Up to 15% off New Zealand trips

Available on selected trips departing from 1 October 2020 - 8 October 2021 to Christchurch, Auckland, Rotorua, Queenstown and more. T&Cs apply.

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Deal ends

Agoda Agoda

Up to 87% off Queenstown hotels

Available on select 2020 dates. T&Cs apply.

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Deal ends

Momondo Momondo

New Zealand stays from $30/night

Available on select stay dates from September - December 2020 across Auckland, Queenstown, Wellington, Christchurch and more. Sample rate is for a stay in The Backyard Inn at Rotorua. T&Cs apply.

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Deal ends

Lastminute.com.au Lastminute.com.au

New Zealand stays from $55/night

Available on select 2020 dates to Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown, Wellington, Dunedin and more. Sample fare is for a stay at Zest OK, Auckland. T&Cs apply.

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AAT Kings AAT Kings

Up to 5% off per person

Available for travel on select dates on bookings of 5-16 people. Destinations include Queenstown, Rotorua, Alice Springs, Uluru and more. T&Cs apply.

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Viator Viator

Things to do in Queenstown from $38.35

Available for activities like jet boat ride, tours, cruises, luge adventure and more. Sample price is for Queenstown skyline gondola and luge adventure combo.

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Experience Oz Experience Oz

Up to $100 off things to do in Queenstown

Available on select activities including jet boat ride, tours, cruises, skydiving, flying experiences and more.

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Klook Klook

Up to $48 off things to do in Queenstown

Available on select activities including jet boat ride, tours, cruises, skydiving, flying experiences and more.

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TourRadar TourRadar

Up to 10% off New Zealand ski tours

Valid from May - September 2020. Destinations include Christchurch and Queenstown. T&Cs apply.

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TourRadar TourRadar

Up to 50% off tours

Sign up your email to subscribe and get member exclusive deals by email. T&Cs apply.

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