As the ‘adventure capital of New Zealand’, you’ll probably never run out of things to do in Queenstown. This is especially true if you have access to a local unlimited-kilometres rental car, as you can see not just the famous town itself, but also the bounteous surrounding area.
Want some road trip ideas? Read on for 10 things to do here.
Go jet boating
Some of the nation’s most iconic jet boat companies operate in the area, in spectacular places such as the Shotover and Skippers Canyon, Lake Wakatipu, Kawarau River and more.
Hit the slops come winter time, as there are four awesome ski resorts within less than two hours of Queenstown. These cater to all levels of ability, so you don’t even need to have touched snow before to enjoy the sport!
Attend a festival
Festivals are a big part of New Zealand culture, and a great opportunity to see how the local people celebrate. We recommend Queenstown Winter Fest as a must-visit, which kicks off around June each year.
See ‘The Lord of the Rings’ filming locations
A few filming sites from Peter Jackson’s famous trilogy are dotted around this area. Glenorchy (43 minutes away) was used for Isengard, while parts of the Arrow River (20 minutes away) featured in the Ford of Bruinen scene.
Enjoy a picnic by the lake
Lake Wakatipu is almost unrivalled in its beauty. Soak it in by enjoying a picnic on the stony lakefront adjacent to Marine Parade and its gardens, or on the pier by Lake Esplanade. Plenty of seating is available.
The first ever commercial bungee jumping operation was opened by A. J. Hackett in 1988 above the Kawarau River. What better area to try this thrilling activity than where it all began?
Go wine tasting
Not only is the sumptuous Gibbston Valley a mere 20-30 minutes away, but the rest of Central Otago is less than an hour beyond that.
See the town from above
One of the most iconic images of Queenstown is up the local gondola, where you can get a fantastic view, a luge ride and an excellent dinner.
Pan for gold
Arrowtown and the Kawarau Gorge were built on gold mining, which has led to numerous gold panning adventures opening up in the area. Will you find any flakes?
Top it off with the ultimate vista
Complete your journey by taking in an unparalleled view. The Crown Range Lookout (30 minutes up the road) will afford you a sight you’ll remember for years, with Lake Wakatipu sparkling in the distance and the Kawarau River meandering gently towards you.