Who could get bored of breathtaking and adventurous Queenstown? Full of stunning scenery, a huge range of activities and a World-renowned warm welcome make it New Zealand’s favourite visitor destination.
Queenstown’s beauty is down to being surrounded by the soaring indigo heights of the Remarkables and framed by the meandering coves of Lake Wakatipu. We had a blast here and in the nearby towns which make for unforgettable day trips.
If you don’t know where to start, here are our top picks:
Parasailing on the Wakatipu Lake
Queenstown is known by many as the ‘Adventure Capital of the World.’ You are absolutely spoilt for choice of adrenaline fuelled activities to suit every taste in every season. We decided to have a go at Parasailing, i.e. being strapped into a parachute and dragged behind a boat at 250 metres above the lake.
If you get a clear day, like we did, then the views are stunning. So stunning, in fact, that you almost forget how high you are. That is until you look down at the tiny white speck which used to be a 20ft speed boat. Scary times.
We went with Paraflights, the guys with the huge smiley-face parachute, who were great. Friendly and light-hearted but professional enough to make us feel safe. Make sure you book through Bookme.co.nz – if you’re flexible with the times you can get a big discount.
Go Ferg Yourself
We weren’t too sure if we wanted to go to the famous Fergburger. Everyone will tell you you need to go, meaning there is always a huge queue outside.
We toyed with going to Devil Burger, apparently just as good but with no queue, but our curiosity of the famous Fergburger got the better of us.
Boy were we glad we went.The queue really wasn’t that bad, especially as they gave us menus and free cookies in the queue.
We also recommend visiting Mrs Ferg’s Ice Cream Parlour and the Ferg Bakery just next door.
Queenstown Frisby Golf
If you’re not familiar with frsby golf, it bascially involves a game of golf but there is not golf ball or clubs – instead you chuck a small, heavy frisby disk. The ‘hole’ is a basket full of chains, designed to catch the frisby in its jaws.
Queenstown Disc Golf was established in 2010 so it’s getting pretty well established. It’s a super fun game to play with friends – most people aren’t too good at it so relax and wing that disk as far as you can (watch the lake, though, it’s claimed many a disk)! Consisting of 18 baskets in the beautiful Queenstown Gardens, it is a relatively short course at 1220 metres. There are a couple of tricky par 4 holes, with two of them being over 100 metres.
We bought a picnic to have in the park afterwards, which is just as well as no one has decided to build a 19th hole (pub) yet! You can rent a disc from Sport Planet Sports in town.
Visit Historic Arrowtown
Ok so there isn’t a huge amount to do in Arrowtown, but it’s only a twenty minute drive from central Queenstown and there are some awesome ice cream parlours. Have a steady stroll around the historic gold rush town, pop into the antique shops and peruse the vintage fashion stores. If you’re staying in Queenstown and have an afternoon to spare, check it out.
Day trip to Glenorchy
Looking for a more adventurous road trip out of Queenstown? This might be the answer. Glenorchy town itself isn’t up to much (depsite being quite pretty) but the surroundings offer up some incredible hikes, extreme sports locations and even some Lord of the Rings sight-seeing! Click for pictures from our Glenorchy Road Trip.
Queenstown Hill Walk
Are you a fan of hiking? Doesn’t really matter if not, this walk is short but very rewarding. The ascent is 500m over 1.5km through beautiful pine forest and at the top you’ll be rewarded with 360degree views of Queenstown and Wakatipu.
If you fancy walking some more, head past the big metal basked sculpture (“Basket of Dreams”) to the summit of Te Tapunui, where the views get even more impressive as you can see above all the surrounding mountains. Definitely work an extra 20 minutes. All in all, you’ll need about 3 hours for the walk up/down.
No matter how much or how little time you have in Queenstown, you can guarantee that there will be something to keep you satisfied. Although it does make things easier if you get some local help – big shout out to Steve and the gang for letting us stay in your house and borrow your car (sorry I ripped the bumper off!). Thanks!