Dart Wilderness Jet Forest walk

Nature & Wildlife in Queenstown

Queenstown’s mountains, lakes, rivers and valleys are just waiting for your footprints. So get outside and enjoy its natural beauty with a Queenstown nature experience.

Queenstown and the surrounding Southern Lakes region are stunning natural playgrounds with outdoor adventures, wildlife encounters and nature experiences for everyone. Take a guided nature walk to learn about the local flora and fauna, get up close and personal with kiwi or tuatara (New Zealand’s very own pre-historic lizard, it’s a true dinosaur!), see seals and dolphins as you kayak on a fiord, or choose from any of the other amazing experiences on offer that will help you get in touch with nature.

Take the time to walk quietly, hear the sounds of our environment, and see the true nature of Queenstown – majestic, uninterrupted beauty.

The region’s geography, flora and fauna are incredibly diverse and can be explored via a range of stunning trails. Short scenic walks abound from Queenstown’s town centre and the inspiring grandeur of Fiordland and Mount Aspiring national parks is within easy reach.  

Day Walks

The Queenstown Trail network offers 110km of easy to intermediate gradient trails following pristine rivers, lakes and mountain ranges as well as passing by iconic Queenstown experiences such as bungy jumping, jet boating and wine tasting.    

Nature Walks

For those wanting to get even closer to nature, there are various multi-day walks easily accessible from Queenstown which explore native forests, alpine areas and even glaciers. Fully guided trips and hire equipment are available to suit every traveller's needs. Maps and trail information are on hand at information centres and Department of Conservation (DOC) offices. 

National parks

The Fiordland National Park is one of the world’s largest areas of protected land at over 1.2 million hectares, and is a designated World Heritage Area Te Wahipounamu. Milford Sound is the most famous and accessible of the fiords in the parklands and the road is a spectacular alpine journey. Dolphins and a wealth of other marine life often reward a visit to the more remote Doubtful Sound. The fiords are just a small part of this vast area waiting to be explored.

A range of activities provides the opportunity to discover every aspect of this unique environment, from kayak and cruise options, scenic flights, diving or visiting the unique “Discovery Centre” underwater observatory.

Overnight water journeys

You can’t get much closer to nature than by spending a night amongst it, your only mode of transport your own two arms and a kayak or a raft.

By day set off on a multi-day pack-rafting trip into Queenstown’s backcountry, or glide over the eerily dark waters of Fiordland on a kayaking adventure with an experienced guide who will help you make camp each night.

Combine a sense of adventure and some rewarding physical exertion to create some amazing memories of your time in Queenstown’s natural surrounds.

And remember to leave only footprints, and take only photos.

Nature & Wildlife Stories

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Kepler Track Hut Queenstown NZ

Great Walks From Queenstown

Some of New Zealand's most scenic nature walks and multi-day hikes are accessible from Queenstown. Choose your track and embark on an unforgettable adventure exploring our untouched wilderness.

Conservation at Kiwi Birdlife Park

The Kiwi Birdlife Park is a five-acre wildlife sanctuary for native New Zealand animals. All animals at the park are part of a managed conservation programme which currently involves over 20 native species.

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Hoje foi dia de experincia com animais . . . . #newzeland #glenorchy #sheep #happy #queenstown #farm #animal #feliz #mylife #mymoment #vemjunto #aiquefesta #vencinavida #ovelha #fazenda #spring #winter #passeio #goodvibes #positividade #pazeamor #eueele #powergirl #grlpwr #beautiful #sorria #sovem

Wakatipu Reforestation Trust

Making a world of difference

Meet the Wakatipu Reforestation Trust and the local volunteers who run the environmental project that aims to restore our native flora.

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At least one of the alpacas knows where the camera is

The Remarkables Lookout in Autumn

The Heart of Queenstown

After a day or two in Central Otago, meeting inspirational locals, it was clear that you shouldn’t judge a destination only by its tourist brochures and TripAdvisor posts. Queenstown, at its heart, is a community.

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@daveatlife connecting with wildlife on the top of Ben Lomond at 1784m at 630am . . . . . . . #mountain #newzealand #kia #meetingastranger #benlomond #queenstown #nature #wildlife #sunrise #scenery #photography #cannon

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