These fun Queenstown adventures will appeal to both kids and grown-ups. Uncover the best swim spots, bike tracks, and indoor attractions you can do together this summer.
Whether you're looking for high-energy adventures, indoor fun, or simply a chance to soak up the scenery, Queenstown has something for everyone, of every age.
Free family fun things to do
There are plenty of free things to do in Queenstown with kids.
Discover Arrowtown's history
Catch the bus to nearby Arrowtown. Children under 12 travel for free with an adult when you grab a Bee Card from Queenstown iSITE.You can wander through the historic Chinese settlement or pan for gold on the Arrow River together; it’s a favourite spot for local kids, with swimming holes and a great rope swing.
Hang out at Queenstown’s lakefront playground
Located right on the shores of Lake Whakatipu, this playground is a haven for children and the young at heart. The nearby Bathhouse Café is a great spot for parents to grab a coffee while the kids play.
Pack a picnic and make a day of enjoying the adjacent Queenstown Gardens. There’s a frisbee golf course, rope swing, skateboard halfpipe and the Queenstown Ice Arena onsite.
Hike Queenstown Hill
The Queenstown Hill Time Walk is one of the most popular and accessible walks in the region, great for those with older children. The scenic trail offers a perfect blend of challenge, history and vistas for young explorers.
As you ascend the steep, 1.5km track, you’ll pass through an enchanting fairy garden and come across informative signs detailing interesting moments in Queenstown’s history. Before you know it, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of Queenstown, Lake Whakatipu, and the Remarkables mountain range.
Queenstown Gardens Rope Swing
Rainy day – or not, there's so much fun to be had at these indoor activities in Queenstown.
- Experience the thrill of skydiving indoors at iFly Indoor Skydiving. Anyone aged 5 and up can take flight with an experienced skydiver.
- Go ice skating at Queenstown Ice Arena, and take a spin on their fun ice bumper cars.
- Experience 12D multi-dimensional motion picture fun at Thrillzone
- Dare to visit the famous Fear Factory
- Enjoy delicious mocktails at Below Zero Ice Bar
- Solve a gold mining mystery at Escape Quest.
- Travel back millions of years and learn Queenstown history, the fun way, with KJet’s Time Tripper.
Bumper cars at Queenstown Ice Arena
Explore the outdoors and meet our wildlife
There are plenty of ways to see and enjoy the natural beauty of Queenstown – around every corner is scenery that will take your breath away. You can discover it for yourself on a family-friendly cruise, by jet boating, whitewater rafting, or even on horseback.
Say kia ora to kiwi
Kiwi Park is part of a breed and release programme for the North Island Brown Kiwi. Their kiwi house is one of the largest in the country and an incredible immersive experience for families. You can stroll down a walkway with overhanging trees and see kiwi on both sides. You'll feel like you're walking through an ancient forest.
As well as meeting kiwi, you can also make some new native feathered friends and see ancient tuatara. Kiwi Park manages breeding programmes and insurance populations for over 20 native bird and reptile species. Being primarily visitor-funded, your ticket will help to support their important conservation work.
Visit a farm
Sail over to Walter Peak High Country Farm on the TSS Earnslaw. On the farm, kids can meet sheep, alpacas and highland cattle, watch a farm demonstration and learn about the rural New Zealand way of life.
Tour a mānuka honey farm at Buzzstop Bee & Honey Centre & Cafe. At Buzzstop, mānuka trees grow onsite. You can admire their beautiful white flowers in November and December, and their delicate, fragrant foliage the rest of the year. Buzzstop offers plenty of hands-on educational fun. Kids can try their hand at being a beekeeper, do a honey tasting, or make beeswax wraps, candles, and honey soap, all whilst learning about bees and beekeeping
Horse riding, Glenorchy
Best swim spots for the family
Needing to cool off on a hot day? Below are some of the locals’ favourite swim spots to take the kids:
- Moke Lake: great for paddling, bike riding and walking. You can even bring a tent and camp overnight for a small fee.
- Frankton Beach: it’s shallow and warm way out into the bay, making it one of the safest and most appealing Lake Whakatipu swimming beaches.
- Arrowtown River Trail: almost anywhere alongside the trail is wonderful for cooling down and splashing around between your bike ride or walk.
- Queenstown Bay Beach: there’s lots to see and do here with an adventure playground right on the beach, plus kayak, paddleboard and aqua bike hire available from Paddle Queenstown.
Summer fun at Queenstown Bay Beach
The Queenstown Trail and other bike tracks
There is over 100km of easy family biking and bike hire available right on the Queenstown Trail, either in central Queenstown, Kelvin Heights or Arrowtown.
Electric bikes are a great option for families – you can all stay together and go further. Queenstown is also a mountain bikers’ mecca with dozens of trails suitable for novice or younger bikers. Good locations for your young shredders to hit up include 7 Mile Bike Park and Queenstown Bike Park which have both green (beginner) and blue runs (for more advanced).
Family fun biking in Queenstown Gardens.
Take part in adventure fun
Experience something new together when you take part in one of Queenstown’s famous, thrilling adventures this summer.
Some activities have age, height or weight restrictions, but there is plenty you can still do with your team of almost any age. Check with individual operators for more information before booking but here is a handy guide to some of the fun activities you can do in Queenstown at different ages.
Minimum age 3 or 4
- Go rafting down a gentle stretch of the Shotover River with Family Adventures,
- Take a jet boat ride down our wild rivers (most jetboat companies cater to young ones but check criteria directly with the operator).
- Jump in an Off Road Expeditions 4x4 Buggy
- Go on a parasailing adventure and glide above Queenstown.
Minimum age 5 or 6
- Sightsee on horseback
- Explore the Dart River with a jet boat and funyak adventure
- Ride the Skyline Luge
- Embark on an exhilarating zipline eco-adventure with Ziptrek Ecotours. As you fly through the forest and enjoy views across Lake Whakatipu to the Remarkables, you’ll be supporting their efforts to restore the forest they operate. Local guides will entertain both adults and kids with stories about local ecology and conservation.
- Take a high-speed shark ride with Hydro Attack through the depths of Lake Whakatipu.
- For the brave little adrenaline seekers, you can even skydive as young as six!
Minimum age 7 or 8
- Cruise alongside the Kawarau River on the AJ Hackett Kawarau Zipride,
- Riverboard the Kawarau River for an amazing immersive adventure.
Minimum age 9 or 10
- Leap into a Shotover Canyon Swing
- Explore Queenstown on a Segway
- Go canyoning
- Experience the original bungy jump at Kawarau Bridge.
Today, many of Queenstown’s famous hair-raising adrenaline activities are reaching even greater heights and pushing new boundaries by giving back to people and place, learn more about their efforts here.
ZipTrek Eco Tours, Moa tour
More ways to get more from your family visit to Queenstown
As you explore Queenstown together this summer, share your experiences with us on Instagram by tagging #QueenstownLive.