15 EPIC Things To Do In Queenstown In 2024
Queenstown, nestled in the heart of the Southern Alps in New Zealand's South Island, is a breathtakingly beautiful and adventure-filled destination. Queenstown has something for everyone from its stunning landscapes to iconic activities and some of the most beautiful walks.
During peak times, this small town becomes one of the most vibrant places on earth and it’s not hard to see why. We’re lucky to have visited this epic place countless times now and we wanted to share some of the best things to do in Queenstown.
- Cruise Lake Wakatipu
A scenic cruise on Lake Wakatipu is a great way to take in Queenstown’s beautiful scenery. Cruises depart from right in town and head along Lake Wakatipu towards Glenorchy and back. It’s a stunning journey!
There are two main scenic cruises you can choose between. The first cruise is on the Spirit of Queenstown vessel operated by Southern Discoveries and involves riding on a catamaran. This cruise goes the furthest along the lake.
The other scenic cruise is on the TSS Earnslaw. It’s the last remaining vessel from the gold rush and is somewhat of a historic experience. It travels more or less the same route as the Spirit of Queenstown but onboard, you’ll find a beautiful bar and lots of seating.
If you really want to spoil yourself, you can also do the TSS Earnslaw Cruise with a gourmet BBQ lunch (our fav) where you’ll enjoy lunch at the Walter Peak High Country Farm. The food on the lunch cruise is one of the best meals you can have in Queenstown – trust us!
- Visit Moke Lake
The stunning Moke Lake doubles as a campground and a nice relaxed day spot. The views of the lake, especially on a calm clear day are unreal. The water is chilly but refreshing if you're feeling brave enough for a dip. It’s a great place near Queenstown to bring a chilly bin with a couple cold brews and enjoy a full day relaxing in the sun.
If you’re keen for a stroll then definitely head out on the Moke Lake Loop Track – the easy 6km loop walk follows the lake edge through grassland and will take you around 2 hours to complete. The towering mountains surrounding you provide incredible views whilst you enjoy the walk.
- Soak in the Onsen Hot Pools
The ultimate relaxation, visit the iconic Onsen Hot Pools and immerse yourself in pools overlooking the Shotover River! This is one of the most popular activities to do in Queenstown and with views this good, it’s not hard to see why.
- Walk to Bob’s Cove
Bobs Cove is a secluded little cove on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. It’s a 3km loop walk including the jetty lookout and the walk up to Picnic Point.
If you're after a cruisy walk you could just go to the jetty and back. For those wanting to work up a bit of a sweat, the views from the top of Picnic Point are well worth the short steep climb. There are so many great spots along the waterfront to park up for the day, so pack some tucka and your togs and make a day of it!
- Rock Jumping at Little Thailand
Little Thailand is a name given by the local climbing community in Queenstown to this beautiful cliff drop, rising straight from the lake.
A bit of a bush-bash takes you down to the cliff face from the road side.
This cliff hosts a few sport climbing routes and offers a few spots to jump into the lake from. The highest jumping point is at 11m, and the climb out is a few meters to the west.
You can pick and choose from various heights between the exit point and the highest one, to accommodate your level of braveness/fear. Just prepare yourself for the icy cold waters that await you!
For more information on this spot and everything else we’re mentioning - be sure to download the FREE Roady App.
- Ziplining with Ziptrek
If you’re feeling adventurous, a must-do Queenstown experience is a zip lining adventure with Ziptrek Ecotours. You’ll be flying through a forest canopy while taking in the stunning views around you. A unique way to get down the mountain, this beautiful guided journey through the native beech forest consists of six breathtaking, tree to tree zip lines that offer outstanding alpine vistas before returning you to the bottom of gondola hill on a complete physical and visual high.
- Climb up to Queenstown Hill
One of Queenstown's most popular hikes and conveniently it starts in the centre of the city. You'll need a relatively good level of fitness for the 1.5km climb as she's a steady uphill the whole way. The track weaves up through pine forest to a viewpoint overlooking the city.
The views of Lake Wakatipu, The Remarkables and Cecil Peak are pretty insane and up top you'll find the infamous 'Basket Of Dreams' sculpture.
- Take a day trip to Glenorchy
Glenorchy is a beautiful small town located about 45 minutes away from Queenstown on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. A day trip to this stunning location really is a must-do. The drive is just as beautiful as the destination itself and is up there as one of the most scenic roads in all of New Zealand.
There are a few spots worth stopping in on the way, including the Bennetts Bluff Lookout and Wilson’s Bay. You can find more information on both of these locations on the Roady app.
Your first stop has to be the iconic Glenorchy Wharf & famous red boat shed. These two features bring 100s of people to town every day and you can see why it’s quite the popular Instagram photo hot spot. The historic red shed is where the people of Glenorchy stored and sorted goods that arrived on steamers.
For a bit of adventure, jump on a jet boat wilderness experience with Dart River Adventures - you’ll explore iconic, untouched landscapes inaccessible by other means in the pristine Dart River Valley.
- Walk Wye Creek Track
Wye Creek is a great 3-4 hour return walk option for ya. The walk is a steady uphill offering some sweet views across Lake Wakatipu and the Bayonet Peaks. While it’s classed as an advanced track we would rate the difficulty as moderate. There is one part of the track that can be a little confusing as it is the same track that leads to Lake Alta (an 8 - 10 hour walk). You’ll want to take a right at the creek crossing and follow the water pipe along. If you keep going straight, you will be in for a long day!
- Milford Sound Coach & Cruise
Cruise around the stunning Milford Sound in Fiordland with transfers from Queenstown on this Coach and Cruise experience. The journey begins by boarding the comfortable coach in Queenstown and winding through the region en route to Milford. The bus has giant windows and a glass roof, so you'll be treated to incredible views as you're driven around.
Once arriving in Milford, you'll board the vessel to embark on your scenic cruise. You'll venture out of the dock and up close to cascading waterfalls to explore all the Sound has to offer. Keep an eye out for local wildlife such as seals and dolphins as they are often seen popping their heads out to say hello or lounging on the rocks.
The entire experience from start to finish with the transfers from Queenstown and back again lasts for almost 12-hours and is a full day. Throughout the day you'll enjoy some incredible scenes that will help make some unforgettable memories.
- Relax next to Lake Wakatipu at Bay Beach
Right in the heart of Queenstown, sitting on the lakes edge is the Queenstown Bay Beach.
This is a nice chill spot to relax if you're wandering through town. The views are incredible and it's a great place to sit and people watch. There are plenty of ducks hanging around and a few trees on the beach offering shade.
You’ve got Queenstown Gardens on the left hand side, and all the bars/restaurants/boats & water activities based on the right hand side.
- Watch a sunset up Coronet Peak
Coronet Peak is hands down one of the best spots to watch the sunset in Queenstown and you can get up into the mountains without having to walk which is a bonus. Head up to the top to check out the popular ski field or stop off at one of the many pull offs coming up the road.
- Jump on a scenic flight
One of the most amazing ways to see Queenstown is from the air, and they offer some pretty bucket list worthy scenic flights. The Milford Sound Scenic Flyover experience lasts for 80 minutes and takes in some of the best views you could imagine. Flying over some of the best of Fiordland before returning to Queenstown, showcasing all its stunning viewpoints. Keen to head out on a flight with a snow landing? The Glenorchy Heli Flight with an Alpine Snow Landing provides just that!
- Soak in the Driftaway Hot Tubs
Driftaway Queenstown is redefining your Queenstown Hot Tub experience. Sit back and relax in one of their private hot tubs overlooking Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountain ranges. If you use the code ROADY50 you’ll even get 50% off your soak. They also offer one of the best holiday park experiences in Queenstown, so we’d highly recommend a stay here too.
- Walk around Lake Hayes
Not far from Queenstown and a part of the Queenstown Trail is the Lake Hayes Walkway. A nice and cruisey 8km loop walk that will take you between 2-3 hours to complete.
Stroll, walk, run or cycle around the beautiful lake surrounded by those perfect mountain views this part of the country is known for. You could even go for a dip at the end to cool off.
No matter how you choose to spend your time in Queenstown, you're guaranteed to love it as much as we do!
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