Spring is a unique season when you can do everything Queenstown offers. The valleys burst to life with spring buds to the backdrop of the surrounding snow-capped peaks. The days are warm, and with the sun shining from early morning until around 7-8pm, you can pack a lot of memories into one day.
With so much to see and do, you're sure to have a great time exploring Queenstown and getting to know this place on a deeper level this spring. Here’s your guide to some of the best things to do with your family these spring school holidays.
Sightsee on two wheels
Renting a bike for an afternoon ride is a popular activity for families visiting Queenstown, and plenty of bike hire options are available. Better by Bike has a range of e-bikes and mountain bikes for hire for all ages, including baby seats and buggies for the smallest riders.
From Arrowtown, it’s possible to jump straight on the Arrow River Bridges Trail, which ambles alongside the river among the trees. Kids will love riding over the bridges and testing out the infamous rope swing.
In Kelvin Heights, a sculpture trail takes you along the lakeside to Kelvin Beach and the head of the peninsula. This is an easy loop trail for families on bike or foot, with many little bays for picnic stops, sculpture installations to spot along the way, and amazing views across the lake towards Cecil Peak.
Family biking around Queenstown Gardens
Explore on foot
For a fun and easy outing close to town, stroll around the Queenstown Gardens with its lofty trees, colourful blooms and duck ponds complete with lily pads. Finish at the fun lakefront playground to burn off any excess energy. Coffee is available right next door at The Bathhouse – a win-win for parents and children.
Queenstown Gardens in spring
Get closer to nature
Kiwi Park is a family-owned and operated sanctuary home to over 20 native species. Here you can see some of New Zealand's most iconic wildlife including kiwi, tuatara, and kea. Kids will love the kiwi encounters and interactive conservation talks, with multiple show times daily.
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.
Family viewing kiwi in an enclosure at Kiwi Park
Take a ski day
Queenstown's ski season typically runs until early October. The warmer spring conditions mean softer snow which is great for beginners and families. Queenstown's ski fields offer a variety of terrain for all levels of skiers and snowboarders and lessons for all ages and abilities.
Spring skiing at The Remarkables
Find indoor fun
Spring weather can be unpredictable. If the weather isn't cooperating, there are still plenty of indoor activities to keep you and your kids entertained.
At iFLY Indoor Skydiving, anyone aged five and older can experience the thrill of flying. Venture further up the street to Kingpin, which offers tenpin bowling, escape rooms, an arcade, VR activities, karaoke and family-friendly restaurants and eateries all in one location.
If you’re visiting with older children, they may be brave enough to conquer Fear Factory, a live-action haunted house experience.
Younger kids will love the animated show experience of Time Tripper in the underwater theatre at the main downtown pier – and they may even learn a thing or two about the history of the area too. Also downtown, Thrillzone has many of indoor activities on their menu, from glow-in-the-dark mini golf, VR experiences, escape rooms and laser tag – and they even offer a KidzClub childcare service!
Further afield in Frankton, Red Oaks Drive is a hub of activities for kids, with SITE Trampoline and Basecamp Adventures indoor climbing. Across the road at Game Over, challenge your kids to a race on the go-carts, or let them battle it out with a round of laser tag.
Where to eat in Queenstown with kids
After a big day of adventures, you're going to need to fuel up. Here are some local family favourites that provide entertainment for the kids and great food and drinks for parents needing a relaxing break.
- Erik's Fish and Chips, Queenstown CBD: Nothing beats fish and chips by the lake on a spring afternoon. At Erik's, the entire menu can be made gluten-free and is certified Halal. The family meal deal is great for a picnic on the lake.
- The Fork and Tap, Arrowtown: With a tree hut and play area in the rear of the garden and plenty of outdoor tables complete with heaters and shelter, this is a firm favourite for families all over Queenstown and makes a great pit stop or final destination after a walk or ride down the riverside.
- The Crown Pub and Beer Garden, 5 Mile Frankton: A dedicated indoor playroom gives this British pub-inspired restaurant its family-friendly credentials. Toys, a TV screen and arcade games in an enclosed room might see you having to drag the kids away to eat - but it could also provide a few golden peaceful moments.
- The Hayes, Lake Hayes Estate: An outdoor onsite playground and a location next door to a public park makes this spot in a residential neighbourhood, close to its namesake lake, a favourite for kids and parents alike.
- Margos, Queenstown CBD: With authentic Mexican food in a bright and colourful upstairs location in the centre of town, Margos will bring a smile to even the most tired child’s dial. The kid's menu echoes the adult one, with less spice and more cheese, and they even do a kids version of a frozen margarita (a slushie!) to match the adult’s real deal.
- Farelli's Trattoria, Queenstown CBD: This spot on Steamer Wharf downtown has a quintessential Italian vibe, with checked tablecloths and a bustling, vibrant atmosphere. The food caters to all sorts of tastes, with a full vegan menu available as well as a clever kids menu that provides such fussy-kid favourites as plain cheese pizza and pasta without bits.
Family enjoying Erik's Fish & Chips by the waterfront
Plan your Queenstown local experience
Stay a bit longer to experience all Queenstown has to offer this spring – find ways to immerse yourself in Queenstown’s natural beauty and connect with the locals in our 6-day travel itinerary.
As you explore Queenstown, share your experiences with us on Instagram by tagging #QueenstownLive.