More Than Just Outdoor Thrills in Queenstown, New Zealand

Things to do in queenstown new zealand

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Queenstown New Zealand is quite possibly the outdoor thrill and adventure capital of the world.  But if you you would prefer something a little less life-threatening to keep you entertained, then there are still many things to do in Queenstown!  Here are some recommendations for things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand that don’t require you to sign a waiver!

Explore the Downtown Queenstown Shorefront

During our visit to Queenstown, we really enjoyed just hanging out in the downtown shorefront area.  There are a variety of shops and restaurants, as well as areas to kick back and relax.  Great for people watching on a bustling Spring day!  You may also catch a glimpse of the historic TSS Earnslaw, a 100 year old steamship that calls Queenstown’s harbor home.  Cruise tours of the lake are available.

TSS Earnslaw Queenstown new zealand
The TSS Earnslaw, a vintage steamship setting off from Queenstown, New Zealand

Stroll the Queenstown Gardens

The Queenstown Gardens are a Victorian era botanical garden right next to town.  Taking a walk through the beautifully manicured gardens is a great way to spend a summer day.  Trails through the gardens provide wonderful view of the surrounding mountains, and the lake too.  You will also find activities, including lawn bowling, disc (Frisbee) golf, tennis, and skating.

The Best View in Queenstown Via the Skyline Gondola

For the best views of Queenstown and the surrounding water and mountains, hop aboard the Skyline Gondola.  Located right near downtown, you can take a ride to the top and enjoy a café and souvenir shops, as well as an awesome observation deck.  If you feel up to it, you can take a walk on one of the trails or do a more strenuous hike.  Of course, it wouldn’t be New Zealand if there weren’t some thrilling activities too, such as the luge track.

At night, you may be interested in one of the cultural shows about the Maori and even enjoy some Haka dances.  This is also a great place to do some stargazing!

Downtown Queenstown NZ Shorefront
The Queenstown Skyline gondola overlooks the city’s shorefront and has great views of the surrounding mountains.

Enjoy a New Zealand Wine Tour

While we wouldn’t call ourselves wine connoisseurs, we always enjoy learning something new!  That’s one reason that we enjoy going on wine tours.  It’ about more than just drinking wine.  We enjoy learning all about the process, and different types of wines that are produced.  It’s also nice to have a chance to taste a variety of wines and see if we find a new favorite.  Plus, we have always found the company of fellow wine tour mates to be quite enjoyable.

You may be surprised to learn that New Zealand actually has a huge, and reputable wine industry.  Many people think it is too far south, but that’s not true.  New Zealand really does produce some fantastic wines, and there are many great New Zealand wine tours to choose from all around the country, including the Queenstown area.

Wine Tasting
Laughter & new friends during a New Zealand wine tour

Take an Aerial Tour of Milford Sound

Milford Sound New Zealand is a truly amazing place, but it is a good 4 hour trip by car from Queenstown.  You can take one of the many daily escorted tours from Queenstown to Milford Sound and back via bus, or you can hop on an airplane!

There are a number of air tour operators in Queenstown.  The trip is much shorter, up and over the mountains as opposed to the windy drive that goes all around them.  Plus, the aerial views are fantastic!

milford sound, milford sound new zealand, cruise milford sound, boat tours of milford sound, things to do in new zealand
Milford Sound New Zealand on a beautiful morning!

Indoor Gaming and Entertainment

If you are tired from being out and about, or if the weather is less than perfect, then take advantage of some of Queenstown’s indoor entertainment and gaming activities.  From motion theaters, sensory mazes, to crime-solving and escape games, there are many options for entertainment.  Queenstown is also home to a couple casinos in the downtown area.

Queenstown New Zealand - Peanuts or Pretzels
The view toward Queenstown, New Zealand from high on a nearby peak.

There’s a Lot of Fun to Be Had in Queenstown!

Although Queenstown, New Zealand really is the epicenter of adrenaline-filled entertainment, there are plenty of activities in and around Queenstown that are perfect for people who would rather not risk their lives!  The beautiful setting of Queenstown makes for a wonderful opportunity to simply relax and enjoy more low key activities.   Honestly, with the beauty of the surrounding bay of water, I could just relax on the downtown promenade and people watch for hours with a nice cup of coffee.

People enjoying Queenstown New Zealand - Peanuts or Pretzels
Relaxing on the grass along Queenstown’s shorefront, great for people watching on a nice day!


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