Our top 10 Queenstown attractions
1. Skyline Gondola Queenstown:
Take the Southern Hemisphere’s steepest cable car ride and marvel at stunning panoramic views while travelling 450 metres above Queenstown to the top of Bob’s Peak. On arrival at the Skyline complex, visitors can enjoy cultural performances, the thrill of the downhill luge plus award-winning cuisine at the Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar.
2. Shotover River:
Dazzling blue rapids carve their way between near-vertical cliff faces, offering some of the most beautiful scenery in Queenstown. But despite its scenic attributes, the river’s main claim to fame is its adrenaline-pumping activities, including battling the rapids by raft or skimming across the top at 85 kilometres per hour by jet boat.
3. The Remarkables:
Arguably one of the most beautiful views in New Zealand, this towering mountain range rises some 2,000 metres off the shore of Lake Wakatipu, and is all about enjoying the great outdoors. Boasting some of the best ski fields in the country, the resort offers terrain and facilities to suit everyone from beginners to seasoned skiers and snowboarders.
4. Lake Wakatipu:
Lying in the shadows of The Remarkables, this stunning inland lake is a popular spot for swimming, kayaking, jet skiing and parasailing. Its unusual shape creates a regular wave motion, which according to Maori legend, is the heartbeat of Matau, a monster who is sleeping at the bottom of the lake.
5. Milford Sound:
This famous fjord needs no introduction as its name alone conjures up images of unsurpassed beauty with sheer cliff faces, lush greenery, gentle waterfalls and the iconic Mitre Peak. Most tours to this magical destination include a boat trip through the sound and for a spectacular bird’s eye view, there is also the option to do a scenic flight.
6. Skipper's Canyon:
A stunning gorge in the backcountry of Queenstown, this area is defined by its gold rush history. There are two main settlements to visit, Charlestown and Skipper’s Point, and both were abandoned at the end of the rush leaving the ruined ghost towns that stand today. Also of interest is historic Skipper’s Bridge, which is precariously wedged between two sheer rock faces some 90 metres above the Shotover River.
7. Nevis Bungy:
With a mind-blowing 134 metre drop and 8.5 seconds of adrenaline-fuelled freefall, New Zealand’s highest bungy gives a ground rush like no other. Not for the faint-hearted, those who conquer this leap of faith will leave with bragging rights intact, after all, the Nevis motto is ‘Go Big or Go Home’.
8. Onsen Hot Pools:
High on the cliffs overlooking the Shotover River canyon are Queenstown’s only private indoor and outdoor hot pools. Slip into the pure, warm alpine-sourced water and soak up the perfect combination of tranquillity, relaxation and amazing scenery.
9. Shotover Canyon Swing:
Fancy being launched from a 109 metre cliff-mounted platform? What about reaching heart-wrenching speeds in a 60-metre, vertical free-fall before being swung like a pendulum across the Shotover River? With over 70 solo and tandem jump styles available, the swing and its level of scariness can be managed to suit everyone.
10. The Kiwi Birdlife Park:
This wildlife sanctuary showcases New Zealand’s unusual native fauna, including rare birds such as the kiwi, tui and kea. Visitors can take a guided audio tour, see a conservation show and watch kiwis being fed, plus there is also a forest walk and Maori village, which gives an insight into this fascinating culture.