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Gold Panning along the Arrow River, Queenstown

Gold Panning along the Arrow River

Family Fun on a Budget

Looking for some family activities that won’t break the bank, or even better, are free? Check out some activities that are under $50 or free for your family holiday to Queenstown.

Queenstown Gardens in autumn

Queenstown Gardens in autumn

Become a People Watcher

Visit the historic Kawarau Bridge and watch bungy jumpers, and zipliners while keeping your feet firmly on the ground!  It’s a scenic 30 minute drive from downtown Queenstown alongside the Kawarau River.

 

Go Beneath the Surface

Check out the underwater observatory located at the main town pier, and learn about the history of Lake Wakatipu and check out the rainbow and brown trout, and if you’re lucky you might spot the New Zealand Long Finned Eel and watch ducks dive beneath the surface in search of morsels.

 

Gardens and Disc Golf

Visit the Queenstown Gardens and play a game of disc golf. You can purchase a disc at many of Queenstown's outdoor stores, or hire them from the Queenstown Ice Arena in the Queenstown Gardens.

The TSS Earnslaw leaving Queenstown Bay

The TSS Earnslaw leaving Queenstown Bay

Watch the Water Action

Watch the jet boats, steamship and state of the art catamaran in Queenstown Bay. The bay is a hive or activity with scenic cruises and  jet boats leaving every hour, often performing 360’s before leaving the bay, and you won’t miss the iconic TSS Earnslaw coming in to Steamer Wharf, every two hours or so.

 

Visit a Playground

Visit some of Queenstown’s playgrounds. There are over twenty playgrounds in the region from Arrowtown to Sunshine Bay and in between, with six located in Queenstown and Frankton. For a complete list visit the Queenstown Lakes District Council website.

 

Spot Paragliders

Head out to Flight Park (along Malaghans Road to Arrowtown) in spring, summer and autumn to watch paragliders and hang gliders land. Even if you stay in Queenstown you can see paragliders slowly heading for the ground from the top of the gondola.

 

Find Beach Time

Head out to Frankton beach as the water is slightly warmer due to it being shallower than Queenstown Bay. Find a swimming hole in Arrowtown,  or a spot under the willows at Lake Hayes for a dip.

 

Lakes District Museum

Learn about the history of Queenstown at the Lakes District Museum in Arrowtown, and try your hand gold panning on the Arrow River (you can hire gold pans from the museum and from a number of other premises in the township). You can even hire dressups and have your picture taken as if you were from Victorian times.

 

To Market, To Market

Visit the Saturday markets at Steamer Wharf and Remarkables Park, pick up some local food for a picnic, or something unique to the region to remember your time in Queenstown.

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