Summer fun in Queenstown
Warm days, long evenings and dazzling starry nights make the Queenstown region irresistible in the summertime. So do an incredible range of inspiring activities, ranging from easy to extreme. Which of these adventures will you put on your holiday hit list?
See blue skies from on high
Queenstown’s must-do, the Skyline Gondola sweeps up to iconic Bob’s Peak, 500 metres above town.
Staggering lake and mountain views are just the first course in a feast of alfresco adventure that includes the outrageously fun luge, world-class mountain bike trails, park, and tandem paragliding flights through beautiful blue skies.
Tour the sights on two wheels
An extensive network of peaceful cycle paths, the Queenstown Trail is a great way to immerse yourself in the region’s renowned landscapes while taking in many of its major sights.
Six themed trails – linking Queenstown, Arrowtown and the wine-soaked Gibbston – offer almost endless options for exploration with guided rides and shuttles easy to arrange.
Get the adrenaline buzz
There is no better place and time to take the plunge out of your comfort zone. With three different bungy jumps – including New Zealand’s highest – plus canyon swings, flying foxes, and one of the world’s most scenic skydiving drop zones, Queenstown will sate the cravings of first-timer and adrenaline junkie alike.
Head out on a hike
The region’s high country farms, lakeland, and World Heritage river valleys are an unforgettable backdrop for hiking adventures close to Queenstown.
Walkers of all levels are catered for on various trails, and some of our most famous day walks can be started right from your downtown Queenstown doorstep. Queenstown Hill, the Tiki Trail, Ben Lomond, the Frankton Arm Walkway, take your pick.
To Market, to Market
The Wakatipu Basin becomes a fruit, vege and produce basket in the warmer months, and markets spring up to sell locally produced art, crafts and souvenirs to complement the fresh fruit, produce and treats galore.
In summer 2017-18 there’s the Remarkables Market (Sunday 9am-2pm), The Creative Queenstown Market (Saturday 9am-4:30pm) and this year the Arrowtown Farmers Market will be held each Sunday.
Mild mornings can make way for hot days, so it’s a good idea to join the bustle on Lake Wakatipu and get out on the water! As well as jet boating thrills, options include sailing above the water while parasailing, kayaking, or taking a leisurely lake cruise on a vintage steamship or luxury yacht.
The heady days of summer call for a road trip – and there’s a few directions to take from Queenstown, each with their own distinct outlook.
Looking north, Glenorchy sits at the headwaters of Lake Wakatipu and is highly regarded as a gate-way to some of the Southern Lakes’ best walks, including the start of some of New Zealand’s famous Great Walks.
The red shed in Glenorchy is a must-visit, as is the wharf overlooking the head of Lake Wakatipu. Heading south from Queenstown is the small settlement of Kingston, a town known for its salmon fishing—and a pub to linger at and have a meal if the fish aren’t biting.
There’s also biking trails (the Around the Mountains trail starts here), hiking and the chance to play a round of golf in this southern-most part of the region.
No visit to Queenstown is complete without a meander around Arrowtown, an historic goldmining settlement made modern with cafes, restaurants and boutiques—with easy access to the Arrow River to enjoy the lupins in all their summery glory from November.
Start with brunch at one of the many cafes, go for a hike into the hills, or along the river and end with a drink or two at one of the friendly pubs along Buckingham Street or its alleyways.
If a night time visit is in order, Arrowtown bustles with restaurants and bars, and live music can be found—particularly on Wednesday or Sundays.