12 things to do in Queenstown and an event guide for 2021

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

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

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.

Pocket-friendly option:

The ultimate experience:



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.

Pocket-friendly option:

The ultimate experience:


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.

Pocket-friendly option:

The ultimate experience:


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.

Our top pick:


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.

Pocket-friendly option:

The ultimate experience:


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.

Pocket-friendly option:

The ultimate experience:


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.

Pocket-friendly options:

The ultimate experience:


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

Everything New ZealandEverything New Zealand

From NZ$35: New Zealand ski passes, rentals shuttles and tours

Book ski passes, tours, heliskiing experiences, gear hire and more in Queenstown, Christchurch and Wanaka.

Last verified

WotifWotif

Up to 36% off Australia and New Zealand hotels

Available on stays from July - November 2021. Destinations include Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Perth, Hobart, Queenstown and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

KlookKlook

Up to 40% off New Zealand activities

Available until December 2021 on activities including tandem skydives, skis and snow activities, jet boat rides, scenic flights and more. Destinations include Queenstown, Christchurch, Wanaka and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

AAT KingsAAT Kings
Exclusive

Extra 5% off adventures with code

Available on AAT Kings Guided Holiday or Inspiring Journeys tours from 1 June 2021 - 31 March 2022. Destinations include Hobart, Launceston, Uluru, Queenstown, Rotorua and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Everything New ZealandEverything New Zealand

Up to 75% off things to do in New Zealand

Plus kids go free on select activities including skydives, sightseeing cruises, tours and helicopter flights. Destinations include Queenstown, Auckland, Franz Josef, Taupo, Milford Sound and more.

Last verified

SkyscannerSkyscanner

New Zealand flights from $280 return

Available on flights until March 2022. Destinations include Queenstown, Christchurch, Wellington and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Auckland with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

Swiss BelHotelSwiss BelHotel

Up to 35% off Australia and New Zealand stays

Available on stays until 28 December 2021. Destinations include Sydney, Queenstown and Auckland. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

KayakKayak

Flights to New Zealand from $241 return

Available on flights from June - November 2021 to Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown and more. Sample fare is Sydney-Auckland with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

I Want That FlightI Want That Flight

Flights to New Zealand from $286 returns

Available from June - November 2021 to destinations including Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown and more. Sample fare is Gold Coast-Wellington with Jetstar.

Last verified

Deal ends

TourRadarTourRadar

Up to 10% off New Zealand ski tours

Available for travel from May - September 2021, May - September 2022 and May - September 2023. Destinations include Christchurch and Queenstown.

Last verified

Deal ends

Air New ZealandAir New Zealand

Flights to New Zealand from $404 return

Available on flights until December 2021. Sample fare is Gold Coast-Auckland. Destinations include Christchurch, Wellington, Queenstown and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Accor HotelsAccor Hotels

Australia and New Zealand stays from $105 per night

Plus members get 10% off on stays until December 2021. Destinations include Cairns, Sunshine Coast, Uluru, Gold Coast, Queenstown, Wellington and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

ContikiContiki

Up to 15% off New Zealand tours

Available on select tours in 2021 and 2022 to Auckland, Queenstown, Wellington, Rotorua, Christchurch, Dunedin and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

AAT KingsAAT Kings

Up to $600 off per couple for guided holidays and inspiring journeys

Available for travel from 1 April 2021 - 31 March 2022 across Australia and New Zealand, including Uluru, Darwin, Cairns, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Auckland, Queenstown and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

KlookKlook

Up to 48% off things to do in Queenstown

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

Last verified

Deal ends

HertzHertz

Up to 15% off New Zealand car hires

Available on rentals until 31 August 2021. Destinations includes Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Queenstown and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Everything New ZealandEverything New Zealand

Up to 60% off things to do in Queenstown

Available on select travel dates. Activities include dining experiences, sightseeing cruises, helicopter flights, jet boat rides and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Lastminute.com.auLastminute.com.au

Up to 23% off New Zealand getaways

Available on select travel dates to Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown, Wellington, Dunedin, Te Anau and more.

Last verified

Deal ends

Virgin AustraliaVirgin Australia

Queenstown flights from $259 each way

Available on flights from September 2021 - January 2022 departing from Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide and more. Sample fare departs from Melbourne. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Trip.comTrip.com

Flights to New Zealand from $301 each way

Available on select travel dates to Auckland, Wellington, Queenstown and more. Sample fare is Brisbane-Christchurch with Air New Zealand. Other airline includes Qantas Airways from $341. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

Compare and ChooseCompare and Choose

Up to 17% off New Zealand campervan hires

Available on select rental dates with Britz, Apollo, Cheapa and more. Destinations include Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown, Wellington and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Destination InternationalDestination International

New Zealand: Queenstown getaway with car hire + flights from $1,699

Available on select travel dates from 1 May 2021 - 31 March 2022 departing from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Includes return airfare, accommodation and car hire. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Deal ends

StayzStayz

New Zealand stays from $28/night

Available on select stay dates in Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown and more. Sample stay is in Waihi Beach Village. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Bookabach NZBookabach NZ

New Zealand stays from NZD$30/night

Available on select stay dates in Auckland, Queenstown, Christchurch, Waihike Island, Rotorua and more. Sample stay is at Waihi Beach Village. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Bookabach NZBookabach NZ

Queenstown stays from NZD$82/night

Available on select stay dates in 2021. Sample stay is near Queenstown centre. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

AAT KingsAAT 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.

Last verified

WotifWotif

Queenstown stays from $121/night

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

Last verified

Deal ends

TopdeckTopdeck

New Zealand trips from $1,209

Available for travel on select dates in 2021. Destinations include Queenstown, Christchurch, Franz Josef Glacier, Auckland, Wellington and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

TourRadarTourRadar

Up to 50% off tours

Sign up your email to subscribe and get member exclusive deals by email. Destinations included Australia, New Zealand, USA, Greece, Japan and more. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Go to site