Queenstown
Outdoor Activities

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Our most recommended Queenstown Outdoor Activities

Queenstown: Spirit of Queenstown Lake Wakatipu Scenic Cruise

1. Queenstown: Spirit of Queenstown Lake Wakatipu Scenic Cruise

Cruise farther and see more on this 1.5-hour Queenstown scenic cruise. Sit back, relax and enjoy spectacular views of the Remarkables, Bob’s Cove, Cecil Peak and Mt. Earnslaw from the comfort of the Spirit of Queenstown – an environmentally friendly and luxurious cruise boat. Take in panoramic views from the open top deck. Enjoy refreshments, snacks and lunch served in the café on board. Cruise across spectacular Lake Wakatipu as you enjoy entertaining commentary provided by the local skipper.

Queenstown: 3.5-Hour Quad Biking Experience

2. Queenstown: 3.5-Hour Quad Biking Experience

Experience a unique quad bike tour on a fully automatic 400cc quad bikes with 4WD, ensuring an experience that is adventurous yet safe. Full training on the quad bike ensures that all levels are catered for. All weatherproof and waterproof clothing is provided along with all safety gear. The tour operator has exclusive use of Queenstown Hill ensuring that you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views that are exclusively yours. Don’t forget your camera as the viewpoints provide stunning photo opportunities. Access a wealth of off-road trails covering different types of terrain allowing a tour that is tailored to the ability of the group. The tour is 3.5 hours in duration and all riders must be over 16 with a good command of the English language. A credit card bond is taken similar to a car hire procedure.

Queenstown: Kawarau River Jet Boat Adventure

3. Queenstown: Kawarau River Jet Boat Adventure

Discover Queenstown’s untouched and pristine wilderness during an authentic jet boat adventure across Lake Wakatipu and along the historic Kawarau River. Choose from a 25-minute or 1-hour experience and spend more time on the water with a convenient departure right from the heart of Queenstown. Depart from Thunder Bay next to Steamer Wharf in the heart of Queenstown and travel far up the Kawarau River, covering a distance of 47 km. Along the way, listen to interesting commentary from your experienced driver. After getting equipped with a life jacket and spray jacket, climb on board and experience exhilarating 360-degree spins, skimming the water at speeds of up to 95 km/hour.  Then, travel down the river where it is calmest, even when the lake is rough. Take your camera along to capture the stunning scenery of your jet boat experience with frequent photo opportunities.

Arrowtown to Queenstown: Self-Guided Bike Tour

4. Arrowtown to Queenstown: Self-Guided Bike Tour

Head out on a scenic 25-minute drive to Arrowtown. Get set up with your bike, receive trail tips, a map, and a safety briefing and then depart on your independent adventure ride. Explore Arrowtown and grab a coffee before setting off to ride at your leisure along the Arrow River Bridges Trail toward Morven Ferry Intersection. From here, either take a diversion to the Kawarau Bungy or follow the Twin Rivers Trail along the Kawarau and Shotover Rivers to the shores of Lake Wakatipu and onward to Queenstown Bay, where you can return your bike. If you are unsure if you can handle the distance, upgrade to an electric bike for only $50 more and keep the good times rolling.

From Queenstown: Mount Cook Small Group Adventure

5. From Queenstown: Mount Cook Small Group Adventure

At 3724m, Aoraki/Mt Cook is by no means among the world’s tallest but with the nearby Mt Cook village just 750m above sea-level, the mountain can be viewed without any acclimatization whatsoever, and so this tour is perfect for people of all levels of fitness. The guided tour begins with pickups in Queenstown and Frankton, before you then travel through the stunning Kawarau gorge to Cromwell. After making a comfort stop in the quaint township of Omarama (where you have the option to taste one of the best creamy chicken pies in New Zealand), you climb your way through Lindis Pass, one of only 3 alpine roads through the otherwise impassable Southern Alps. As you exit the Pass, you may catch glimpses of the mighty mountain itself; but before arriving there is much more to see, including what many consider one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Lake Pukaki is one of the bluest lakes you will ever see, and is framed by the backdrop of Aoraki and its brothers in the Southern Alps. The location of several scenes from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Lake Pukaki is a destination in and of itself. You soon pass the delta where the mountain’s various rivers, creeks and streams converge to form the lake, and the mountain continues to grow steadily in stature and grandeur until the shear scale of the view makes you feel powerless. Arriving at the alpine village of Mt Cook and the Hermitage - home of the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre - you now have the freedom to explore in whatever way suits your energy levels and budget. Please select the activity you would like to include during the booking process, which are at an additional charge.

Milford Sound Fiord Cruise & Helicopter Glacier Landing

6. Milford Sound Fiord Cruise & Helicopter Glacier Landing

Discover Milford Sound's stunning fjord from high in the air and on the water. Land in Milford and join an unforgettable fjord cruise past sheer cliffs and gushing waterfalls.Try to spot dolphins, seals, and adorable penguins. Then enjoy an exhilarating flight past spectacular rivers, valleys, and mountains with blue-green ice falls, and experience a glacier or mountain landing in the heart of Fiordland National Park. Today, many of the local landscapes can be recognized because of their use as film locations. You can even fly over where movies were filmed! The pilots regularly work with film production crews and are happy to share plenty of stories of life on the film set. Finally, for the photo opportunity of a lifetime, alight on a glacier and enjoy panoramic views. These highly experienced, well-known local pilots can’t wait to share with you their extensive knowledge and history of the area while showing you the best of New Zealand's amazing scenery. Please note that there may not be snow on the day of your flight depending on the season, especially during summer.

Arrowtown and Gibbston Valley: Self-Guided Bike Tour

7. Arrowtown and Gibbston Valley: Self-Guided Bike Tour

Enjoy having the team collect you from your accommodation before you cycle from Arrowtown to Gibbston Valley yourselves or get dropped off at Gibbston and explore the area by bike. All staff are locals and will have some top local tips for you. Once you have been fitted to a bike  and are all ready to go, jump on a Hardtail Cruiser bike or Premium E-bike to start the trip at your own pace.  You will be given maps that have all the information you will need to make the most of the trip back to Queenstown. The ride is between 2-20 kilometers: you can choose to be dropped off at Arrowtown for a 20-kilometer ride or at Gibbston Valley for a 2 kilometer ride.  Once in Gibbston Valley, you can stop by a range of award-winning wineries. These include Gibbston Valley, Chard Farm, Peregrine, Mt Rosa, Waitiri Creek/Cargo Brewery, Peregrine, Gibbston Tavern, and Gibbston Valley Cheese experience, to name a few.

Queenstown: Summer Tandem Paragliding Instructional

8. Queenstown: Summer Tandem Paragliding Instructional

There’s no better place to try paragliding than from Coronet peak, the highest of all the flying sites in Queenstown. This take-off gives you the opportunity to give flying a paraglider yourself a go (conditions apply). The friendly and highly qualified team is led by Angus Tapper, a 4-time New Zealand Paragliding Champion and runner-up in the 2010 National Hang Gliding championships. He has over 30 years of aviation experience. After a short drive up to the ski field, you’ll be teamed up with your highly experienced pilot. He’ll do a safety briefing with you followed by a short practice. Soon, you and your pilot will be flying away. Once up in the air, you’ll have amazing views of the whole Wakatipu area. There’s nothing better than seeing the spectacular Queenstown region from the air. Try your hand at flying a glider yourself while under the safe supervision of your instructor (conditions apply). Once you’re done, a courtesy van will pick you up from the purpose-built landing site, which has a café that offers hot food and drinks.

Queenstown: 15,000-Foot Tandem Skydive near The Remarkables

9. Queenstown: 15,000-Foot Tandem Skydive near The Remarkables

It takes a certain kind of person to jump from an aircraft at 15,000ft into thin air. It takes courage. Expect sensory overload as your mind, body and soul fight against every natural self-preserving urge. The challenge is immense. Harnessed by space-age materials to your experienced Jumpmaster, step out of that aircraft door and for 60-seconds plummet toward the ground at 200 kph - terminal velocity. Admire some of the most dramatic scenery in New Zealand from 15,000ft above the Remarkables Mountain Range. After a 15-minute scenic flight to altitude, you will nudge towards the edge of the plane before being thrown out. Keep your head up, smile at your skydive photographer and take in the stunning surroundings. After an exhilarating freefall, you will experience a 5-minute parachute ride, floating safely back down to the skydive drop zone. At the drop zone base, make use of the internet kiosks and Discovery Zone where you can watch the parachutes being packed. There are drinks and snacks available for purchase, bathrooms, a souvenir clothing and gifts store, as well as free Wi-Fi. There are also lockers onsite to store your valuables while skydiving.

Queenstown: Mount Cook Premium Guided Day Tour

10. Queenstown: Mount Cook Premium Guided Day Tour

The day begins with early morning pickup from your accommodation in Queenstown and heads through the heart of the South Island towards New Zealand’s tallest peak, Aoraki Mount Cook. Along the way, soak up unforgettable scenic views and stop at the Cromwell Fruit Bowl, Lindis Pass, Omarama, and Lake Pukaki. As you travel, listen to your guide’s fascinating commentary about the local scenery, history, and culture. Arrive at Mount Cook Village and spend 3.5 hours exploring. Choose to take a walk to the impressive Lake Mueller for a close-up look at Mount Sefton’s glaciers, or experience the incredible activities on offer at Mount Cook. On the return journey to Queenstown, enjoy a stop at the Twizel Salmon Farm, before arriving back to the city in the early evening.

Frequently asked questions about Queenstown Outdoor Activities

What are other things to do than Outdoor Activities that are worth visiting in Queenstown?

The other unmissable things to do in Queenstown are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Queenstown

Want to discover all there is to do in Queenstown? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Queenstown

The guide was lovely, helpful and very knowledgeable. The boat ride was awesome! The scenery along the way was breathtaking

The whole experience was breath taking. Tony the instructor was thorough, knowledgeable and funny. I felt very safe.

Bloody amazing , i would do it again tomorrow, it was my number one on my NZ bucket list

Absolutely fantastic day, very well organised and would certainly recommend.

We had the cheese board with the cruise, well worth it.