Guided tours are one of the best ways to go beneath the surface of a destination and discover new things. You’ll experience hidden gems only locals know, meet people you’d never meet otherwise, and leave with a wealth of suggestions for what to do after your tour.

If you’re keen to discover Queenstown on a deeper level, check out this guide to some of the best Queenstown guided tours.

Guided sightseeing tours

From scenic cruises to movie location tours, there’s a wealth of guided sightseeing tours in Queenstown.

Tesla scenic tour

Take a guided scenic tour with Nomad Safaris in a Tesla Model X ESUV packed with stories and jaw-dropping scenery to Skippers Canyon, Glenorchy and Paradise, or Milford Sound.

Nomad Safaris founder David Gatwood-Ferguson says people who go on his tours are inquisitive and enthusiastic. “They like to know about the history and the local community. The drivers tell stories and ask questions, and everyone starts chatting. It’s a bonding experience. Strangers meet on our tours and go out to dinner together all the time.”

Stargaze with locals

Experience the majesty of the Milky Way, identify key stars, planets and constellations in the southern night skies, and take photos on a truly unique 4WD stargazing tour with AuthenticAs. Your local tour guides Simon and Emma are professional photographers and astrophysicists.

Private tour of Kiwi Park

In the heart of Queenstown, five acres of native bush is home to 20 species of native birds and reptiles, many endangered. You can take a private tour with a qualified wildlife professional around this wildlife sanctuary, enjoy a private Kiwi and Tuatara Encounter, and attend the Conservation Show. 

Guided historic walk

Step back in time to the 1860s on a historic walk guided by local, Richard Soper. Richard’s great-great-grandfather William Soper came to the region as a gold miner in 1864. He’ll lead you on a 90-minute walk around the historic buildings of Queenstown, sharing the stories of the people who built this town.

Family on Nomad Safari's Tesla Scenic Tour in front of the Remarkables mountainsTesla Tour, Nomad Safaris

Guided Queenstown activities

Here are a few guided activities that introduce you to people and place.

Ziplining on Bob's Peak

Zipline eco-adventure Ziptrek Ecotours offers a thrilling ride on the world’s steepest zipline and is also Queenstown’s first zero carbon tour operator. Two guides will accompany you as you glide through the forest on Bob's Peak on ziplines with views across Lake Whakatipu to the Remarkables. Your guides will tell you stories about local ecology and conservation along the way.

Trent Yeo, founder of Ziptrek Ecotours, believes the most important part of travel is what you take home from your adventures. He says, “Our purpose is to send people away with an understanding of place, environment, and how businesses can have a more positive impact. I see the future of adventure as embracing stories of place.”


Ride in the footsteps of rural New Zealanders, from the first colonial farmers to the sheep musterers of today. A guided horse-riding experience is a truly immersive introduction to place, learning horsemanship as you go. Choose from a ride through the stunning scenery of the Dart Valley or explore the hills of Walter Peak.

Walter Peak eco experience

On RealNZ's Walter Peak Eco Experience, you'll cross the lake to Walter Peak High Country Farm where you’ll meet resident horticulturist, Paul. He'll teach you about wildlife and conservation before you tour the property’s reforestation project and plant a native tree or shrub. Explore the kitchen garden and enjoy a platter of local produce before cruising back across the lake on the historic TSS Earnslaw.

Progressive dining

Experience the art of the distillers, food producers, and winemakers of the region, and explore the local region on this progressive dining adventure. Start with a local spirit tasting at the Gin Garden. Then move on to a Central Otago wine tasting and a main course at the Ayrburn in Arrowtown before dessert and a digestif at the historic Eichardt's Hotel.

High Country Horses GlenorchyHigh Country Horses, Glenorchy

Guided Queenstown biking adventures

These guided bike tours are a wonderful way to get off the beaten track and learn more about your surrounds.

E-bike to the sky

Locally-owned operator, Ride to the Sky specialises in tours that combine storytelling with spectacular scenery. Owner Ksena Proskur says, “On our tours, we share local history and Māori legends, introduce people to native birds and plants and talk about their traditional uses, like the way harakeke flax is used for weaving.”

Take a guided ride to the top of Grant Peak. Get an introduction to e-biking from the experts, then travel through private farmland to the 800m peak for 360-degree views around the Whakatipu Basin of the Pisa Mountains, the Remarkables, and Coronet Peak. Sit at the top and soak in the views.

Private mountain biking trips

The Ride Guide offers private mountain biking trips. Get an experience tailored to your skills, go straight to the best trails, link all the great trails together, and have more fun. Combine an hour or two of lessons with a guided trip and make the most of your new skills.

Owner, Finn O’Connor says, “It’s about getting to know a place. I really enjoy showing off our nature, wildlife, history, and geology. We’ll be riding along, and I’ll share a story about the Māori people of the region or tell people the names of the peaks and how high they are or point out an old gold mining water race. When you're on your own you miss all that detail.”

Guided e-bike wine tour

Ride from historic Arrowtown along the Arrow River into the stunning Kawarau Gorge towards Gibbston Valley on this guided wine tour. Visit Kinross Cellar door, home to six boutique Gibbston wines: Domaine Thompson, Coal Pit, Valli, Hawkshead, Wild Irishman and the Kinross label. Try a tasting flight and learn about the story of Central Otago wine.

Two people sitting on a hill with bikes next to them with dramatic mountains in the backgroundRide To The Sky Guided E-Bike Tour

Guided Queenstown hiking experiences

These guided hiking tours will unlock the stories of the land and introduce you to our native plants and birds while building your confidence outdoors. Plus you get to learn gear tips and tricks from the experts.

Skyline guided Ben Lomond hike

Climb to the summit of Ben Lomond on this guided walk that leaves from the top of Skyline Gondola. Enjoy lunch at the saddle with views of two high country stations and Mount Aspiring National Park. Then continue to the summit for 360-degree views of Queenstown, the Whakatipu Basin, and beyond to Fiordland National Park.

Ultimate Hikes guided Routeburn

A three day hiking adventure exploring one of New Zealand's Great Walks. You’ll hike through the Southern Alps, traversing Fiordland and Mt Aspiring National Parks, staying in private lodges. Ultimate Hikes is the only company with lodges on the track.

Friendly guides keep everyone safe and energised, sharing stories of the forests, mountains and landmarks on the trail. Ultimate Hikes also offers a guided walk on another Great Walk close to Queenstown, the Milford Track.  

BLACK private hiking tours

BLACK offers multiple private day hiking options with expert hiking guides, who’ve all hiked the local trails many times over the years. Their hikes include Bob’s Cove, Lake Alta, and the Routeburn. They’re happy to tailor an exclusive hiking experience to suit.

Nomad Safaris guided walks

Nomad Safaris take hikers on half and full-day hikes along the Routeburn, giving a fascinating commentary about flora, fauna and history as they go. The company founded the Routeburn Dart Wildlife Trust in 2013 to trap introduced predators and protect New Zealand birds. They manage 50kms of trap lines in the Routeburn Valley alone.

Ground of friends crossing a swing bridge on the Routeburn Track with a mountain in the background

Love Queenstown? Leave it Better.

If you enjoy your Queenstown guided experience and you’d like to help protect this special place for future generations, you can donate to Love Queenstown to support local conservation and biodiversity projects that make an impact. Or lend a hand and meet Queenstown locals while you’re here, by volunteering for a planting day.

Group of volunteers planting at Lake HayesLocal planting day