All the best family holiday ideas, in one place.
It’s not surprising that most New Zealand family vacation packages include Queenstown in their itinerary. Queenstown is a treasure chest of activities, with loads of exciting things to do with the whole family that appeal to both grown-ups and little ones.
Queenstown’s iconic scenery and easy access to our natural surrounds makes the region an outdoor playground with every type of adventure you can think of - the perfect location for a New Zealand family holiday. Create lasting memories and experience something new together, from scenic short walks and family bike rides, to adrenaline-pumping thrills like bungy jumping, jetboating and ziplining!
Have kids in tow? Queenstown’s compact town centre makes it easy to get around, and with 150 eateries and restaurants to choose from, even the fussiest of eaters are catered for.
Family Biking around the Queenstown Gardens
Here’s a few holiday ideas to help you make the most of your family holiday:
Explore further afield
Take a day trip to the southern end of Lake Whakatipu and visit the town of Glenorchy, where the mountains are vast and the walking trails bring you into true old growth native beech forest bursting with birdlife.
Get off the beaten track and venture into our backcountry on an off-road 4WD tour, crossing rivers and gorges to find yourself in an abandoned gold mining town.
Strap in and race up the river on a jet boat, through canyons and around rocks, experiencing the excitement of 360 spins and seeing breathtaking vistas from the water.
Views from above
Take the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak and try the luge, a thrilling, gravity fuelled downhill ride and fun for all ages. Or experience the Ziptrek Eco Tours ziplines and fly through the forest canopy above Queenstown, stopping to take in the views from the treehouse launching points.
Take to the skies with a helicopter tour into the mountains. Experience a snow landing on a glacier, or fly over Milford and experience the ‘eight wonder of the world’ by air.
Travel at your own speed
Rent some bikes and ride the Queenstown Trail to Frankton Beach (and beyond!). This wide, stunning trail meanders along the lakeside and is perfect for little legs. Stop for lunch or a fluffy at The Boatshed along the way.
Explore the heritage of Arrowtown on foot or by bike. Stroll through the historic Arrowtown Chinese Settlement for a glimpse into early life for the miners, discover artefacts at the Lakes District Museum or try your luck at gold panning to earn your family fortune! Grab a bite to eat at The Fork and Tap, where the kids can be kept entertained with a playground and sandpit.
Meet feathered friends at Kiwi Park and see conservation in action. Located on Breacon street near the Skyline Gondola, Kiwi Park is a wildlife sanctuary dedicated to saving New Zealand’s endangered wildlife species including Kiwi, Tuatara and Falcon.
Ever dreamed you can fly? Experience human flight at iFly, New Zealand’s only indoor skydiving attraction. iFLY is suitable for everyone, ages five to 105! So Grandpa can come along for the ride too.
Tips and tricks for your South Island family holiday
Queenstown knows how to make holidays stress-free for families, with family-friendly accommodation, kids pricing on activities and easy travel add-ons. Here are a few family perks.
Kids go free
Kids Go Free on all RealNZ tours during school holidays. Sail out on the Old Lady of the Lake, the TSS Earnslaw and see a working steamship in action!
All mountains have childcare options and fun kids ski lesson packages to keep the sprogs busy while parents get a few cheeky runs in.
Travel stress free
No need to haul all the baby gear with you as Tots on Tour has it all and can even deliver it ready to your room before you arrive.
Rainy day thrills
Family ski trip at The Remarkables Ski Area
See Queenstown in all seasons
Even if you’ve been to Queenstown before, it’s an entirely different experience each season as the colours change, the snow falls or the flowers bloom. Here's our guide to the seasons when planning a South Island family holiday:
In summer, Queenstown boasts a wealth of places to swim, near-endless trails to hike and cycle, boats to cruise on and rivers to float down, as well as kayaking and paddleboarding trips to take. Whether you book a rafting trip or jump off the pontoon in Queenstown Bay, summer is alive and well in Queenstown. The climate is hot and dry and the days are long, meaning more time for family adventures.
Autumn is a famously colourful time of year to visit, with the leaves changing to red and golden hues and the temperature crisp enough to pull on a beanie but not too cold for a walk or ride in the hills. This is also when Arrowtown hosts its annual Arrowtown Autumn Festival, a lively week of celebration, with music and entertainment for all ages.
Queenstown turns into a winter wonderland from June until September, and this alpine paradise is one of the best places to visit in New Zealand with family during the cooler months. Whether you’re up for a ski week or just enjoy playing in the snow and experiencing the excitement of a true, white winter, Queenstown has you covered. Wrap up warm and head out to any one of our four ski fields, all within easy access to downtown.
Spring is a time of beauty in Queenstown, with ornamental cherry trees blossoming and wildflowers popping their pastel-coloured heads up. It’s warm enough to hit the hiking and cycling trails but not so hot that you’ll be sweating. In early Spring you can still catch a few runs on the ski slopes, or head out on the mountain bike trails with the kids.
Family trip to Walter Peak Station
With iconic scenery and stunning natural landscapes, Queenstown is the ultimate place to make lasting family holiday memories, no matter what you’re into and whatever the season.