1. iFLY Indoor Skydiving
- Where: iFLY Indoor Skydiving, 27 Brecon Street, Queenstown
- Good for these subjects: Tourism, business studies, science, technology, engineering, maths
- Timing: Allow 1.5-2.5 hours for talk and flight. Larger groups may need longer.
The iFLY team love sharing their tourism and business acumen with students. After Covid, iFLY successfully pivoted to serve the New Zealand domestic market, shifting their business model, and embracing digital marketing and PR. They offer two educational experiences. All iFLY school visits also include a flight in the iFLY wind tunnel.
- Tourism & Business seminars. Get the inside scoop on running a tourism start-up in Queenstown. Learn the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. Understand tourism marketing and technology and get insights into why iFLY are thriving post Covid.
- STEM field trips. Use iFLY’s wind tunnel to explore STEM concepts in a fun interactive way. Explore the aerodynamic differences between solids and fluids. Use objects to show how the air velocity required to fly an object depends on size, shape, and weight. And discuss engineering careers and how engineers use wind tunnels to test their designs.
2. Ziptrek Ecotours
- Where: Ziptrek Ecotours, Bob’s Peak, Queenstown
- Good for these subjects: Tourism, science, technology, engineering, maths
- Timing: Allow 1 hour for talk and zipline tour. Add an extra hour for each additional zipline.
Ziptrek Ecotours owner Trent Yeo believes the most important part of travel is the thing you take home from your adventures. Their product is a thrilling ride on the world’s steepest zipline, but their purpose is to send people away with an understanding of place, environment, and how businesses can have a more positive impact.
Their educational programme is packed with good gear to complement your STEM curriculum:
- Biodiversity, introduced species, and predator control.
- Becoming a zero-carbon business.
- The challenges of designing and building among trees.
- Cable design for the ziplines.
- Designing energy-efficient power systems for remote areas.
You’ll also get insights into their successful tourism business, from business metrics to the technology they use to streamline marketing and operations. Cap the experience off with a Ziptrek tour, complete with commentary on sustainability and ecotourism.
3. Lakes District Museum
- Where: Lakes District Museum in Arrowtown
- Good for these subjects: History, geography, tourism
- Timing: Activities can take 1-2 hours, or you can organise an itinerary for a full day.
The Lakes District Museum educational experience
The Lakes District Museum offers a hands-on education programme to bring Arrowtown’s historic goldmining past to life and enrich the Social Studies curriculum for your students.
Fun learning activities for years 0-10 include experiencing a class in an 1800s schoolhouse, learning how to make butter and rag mats, panning for gold, and building shelters. Older students are covered with a range of activities aligned to NCEA.
History students can visit historic sites and learn how to research using a variety of primary and secondary sources in the museum archives.
Geography students can analyse tourism in Queenstown as a cultural process, with talks from local experts on spatial variation, temporal changes and the social effects of tourism in the region.
The museum’s education team will work with you to design your school trip and offer a range of resources for your students to use before the visit.
4. Chinese settlement in Arrowtown
- Where: Chinese Settlement in Arrowtown
- Good for these subjects: History
- Timing: Allow 40 minutes for self-guided tour or 2 hours for an organised activity.
The Chinese Settlement educational experience
The Arrowtown Chinese Settlement is a New Zealand Icon Heritage site. You can explore under your own steam, using the interpretation panels that tell the story of the Chinese gold miners and explore the significant contribution made by Chinese people to the region’s cultural and business history.
The Lakes District Museum offers visits to the Chinese Settlement, educational activities and research as part of their education programme.
5. Goldfields Mining Centre
- Where: Goldfields Mining Centre, Kawarau Gorge
- Good for these subjects: History
- Timing: Allow 1-2 hours for tour and gold panning.
The Goldfields Mining Centre educational experience
The Goldfields Mining Centre is on the Gee’s Flat gold field, where gold was mined for 100-years from 1861 until 1969. A recent survey suggests there’s still gold in the area. The site includes mine shafts, tunnels, a blacksmith’s forge, and a Chinese village.
Explore the site yourself using a map and information boards explaining how the miners lived and worked. Or book a tour for a talk about the Central Otago Goldrush. The tour shows how the California sluice gun uses water pressure to dislodge gold bearing ore and demonstrates the stamper battery used to crush gold-bearing rock. The tour ends with your guide showing you how to gold pan before you try your luck.
6. AJ Hackett educational talks
- Where: Kawarau Bungy Centre, Kawarau Bridge
- Good for these subjects: Tourism, business studies
- Timing: Allow 2 hours for talk and activity for 10 students. Larger groups may need longer.
The AJ Hackett educational experience
The AJ Hackett operation is one of the pioneers of Queenstown adventure tourism. In 1988, AJ and Henry van Asch opened the world’s first commercial bungy jump on Kawarau Bridge. The launch attracted attention around the world and boosted local tourism, amping up Queenstown’s growing reputation for extreme thrills.
Learn from the grandaddies of the local extreme scene, with a talk from their head-office team, paired with a zipline or bungy adventure for your students. Talk topics include branding and marketing, innovation, technology, health and safety and HR. You can also watch the history of bungy video on the big screen.
7. The Playground resilience & personal strengths programme
- Where: The Playground, Alan Reid’s Road, 15 minutes from Queenstown
- Good for these subjects: Tourism, teamwork, personal growth
- Timing: Allow 2.5 hours for talk and discussion.
The Playground educational experience
Learn resilience and strength in this huge outdoor adventure zone. The Playground team have put together a programme of challenges for your students. Channel their inner Katniss Everdeen with archery combat and put their strength, balance, and coordination to the test with the Ropes Challenge.
Students will learn how to recognise and deploy their different strengths to work together and succeed. After the activities there’s a team debrief where the Playground team will discuss how your students can use the valuable skills they’ve discovered in real life.
Owner Penny Bolton is also happy to speak with groups of students about her journey setting up a tourism business in Queenstown, and how resilience is essential for entrepreneurs.
8: RealNZ jet boat and rafting adventures
- Where: RealNZ, Steamer Wharf, Queenstown
- Good for these subjects: Tourism
- Timing: Jet Boat 40 minutes – 1 hour and 20 minutes. Rafting 4 hours and 20 minutes.
The RealNZ educational experience
The RealNZ crew will deliver a talk on a tourism topic of your choice, ranging from careers in adventure tourism to swift water rescue. Get insights into the RealNZ business behind the scenes before heading off on a jetboating or rafting adventure. Your guides can answer questions about RealNZ adventures, careers in tourism, and working at RealNZ.
Activity options include jetboating down the Kawarau river at speeds of up to 95kmph, with plenty of 360-degree spins. Rafting starts with a knuckle chewing bus ride on the vertiginous cliff road through Skippers Canyon, infamous as one of the most dangerous roads in the world. Then experience grade 3–5 white water on the Shotover River.
9. Kiwi Park
- Where: Kiwi Park, Upper Brecon Street, Queenstown
- Good for these subjects: Eco-tourism, sustainability, conservation
- Timing: 1.5-2 hours.
The Kiwi Park educational experience
The Kiwi Park is a five-acre oasis of native bush in the heart of Queenstown. The park runs four conservation programs. The South Island kākā, the North Island brown kiwi, the pāteke (brown teal) and the whio (blue duck) are bred here for release into the wild. They also manage breeding programmes for 20+ native birds and reptiles.
The park is also a rich habitat for wild birdlife, and you may see tui, kākāriki, korimako (bellbird), piwakawaka (fantail), kererū, riroriro (grey warbler), and the kārarea (NZ falcon).
A transparent beehive allows students to see honeybees build comb, feed brood, and make honey. Talk to the beekeeper and taste different flavours of native New Zealand honey.
Your group can do a self-guided audio tour as part of a classic park visit, or take a private guided park tour. Kiwi encounters and conservation talks happen throughout the day. The park team also offer talks for student groups on:
- Sustainability and environmental impact.
- Eco-tourism and tourism.
- Native wildlife, including birds, bees and reptiles.
10. Millbrook Resort educational visit
- Where: Millbrook Resort, 1124 Malaghans Road, Arrowtown
- Good for these subjects: Tourism, hospitality management
- Timing: 1-2 hours.
The Millbrook Resort educational experience
Get a private tour behind the scenes at one of New Zealand's finest luxury resorts. Learn about luxury tourism, Millbrook Resort’s products and services, careers in the tourism and hospitality industry, and enjoy a tour of the resort grounds.
Smaller groups of hospitality management students may be able to schedule mock interview sessions with Millbrook’s People and Culture Manager.
Millbrook offers 5-star luxury accommodation, a 27-hole championship golf course, a day spa and fitness centre with swimming pool, hot pools, sauna and gym, tennis courts, restaurants and bars.
Planning your student group visit to Queenstown
If you’re planning an educational field trip to Queenstown for your school, college, or university we’re here to help. Use our student groups information hub, or contact the Queenstown Convention Bureau team and we can give you information and advice.