Aerial view of Queenstown with a lake and mountain background

This picture-perfect city is a tourist mecca of the South Island, or Mainland as the locals call it. Within reach of remarkable natural attractions, Queenstown deserves its reputation as the South Island adventure capital. While it makes the perfect base for more challenging expeditions, Queenstown is also a pleasant place to stay and explore in its own right. Famous for its breathtaking landscapes, Queenstown hugs the shore of the majestic 80 kilometres long Lake Wakatipu. Meanwhile, the Southern Alps surround the city to form a picturesque backdrop.

Things to do in and around Queenstown

The awe-inspiring natural beauty that surrounds you in and around Queenstown will have you reaching for the camera time and again. Yet beyond the sheer beauty, there are endless things to do. From adventure activities, scenic tours, gourmet food and wine tasting to nightlife and evening fun, Queenstown has it all. Moreover, Queenstown is a great base to start adventures or day tours to the famous South Island destinations. These include Milford SoundMount Cook, Te Anau and Wanaka. For example, check out some of the Cheeky Kiwi Travel Day Tours from Queenstown and make the most of your visit.

Colourful boats beside water at Queenstown, New Zealand
A building with many windows against a mountain backdrop

Explore Queenstown’s attractions on foot

At the heart of the town, you will find the tranquil sanctuary of the Queenstown Gardens. The Gardens are a popular place to chill out, go for a walk or enjoy a quick round of disc golf. From the gardens, you can take Marine Parade and walk along the idyllic Queenstown Beach. On your stroll, you will find the Bathhouse Café, a local icon. At the opening of the Winter Festival and on New Year’s Eve spectacular fireworks over the water entertain tourists and locals alike.

Queenstown adventures for every visitor’s taste

There is also a plethora of adventurous activities to choose from if you enjoy the odd adrenaline rush, or simply want a novel experience:

  • Jet-boat the Shotover River with its fast currents
  • Ski or snowboard the Remarkable Mountains and Coronet Peak
  • Go on the Skyline Gondola or trek the self-guided Tiki Trail for panoramic views at Bob’s Peak
  • Take a heritage cruise from the popular Skippers Canyon that spans 22 kilometres across the incredibly scenic gorge
  • Jump from the Nevis bungee platform, at 134 metres the third highest in the world and enjoy the view over the iconic Nevis Valley 
  • Take the leap from Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge, the birthplace of commercial bungee jumping
  • Sample the Pinot Noir varietals the Central Otago region is famous for due to its high altitude and diversified climate. Gibbston Valley is one of the closest wineries to Queenstown if you prefer not to venture too far.
A group of men standing in the entrance of Gibbston Winery near Queenstown, New Zealand
Mountain and Lake View with Clouds

South Island adventures from Queenstown

Queenstown has a conveniently central location. Hence, it is possible to take day trips to the legendary South Island adventure destinations from here. For instance, Queenstown is the perfect departure point for tours to Christchurch and Milford Sound, among others. Astronomy buffs and stargazers will love the exceptional dark sky reserve at Lake Tekapo. Mountaineers, hikers and aspiring explorers can take on the alpine challenges of the majestic Mount Cook. There is indeed something for everyone, and you will have many adventures to recount when you get home. See all Cheeky Kiwi Tours from Queenstown here.

Other Queenstown Tours & Activities