Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand and the place where a lot of daring travellers from around the world travel specifically to, to take part in an adrenaline pumping activity or two.
Think jumping from a plane, paddling over rapids or throwing yourself off a ridiculously high platform, Queenstown has an adrenaline pumping activity for everyone.
This list of the best Queenstown adventure activities will help you select which adrenaline pumping action will be right for you on your next visit to this New Zealand South Island beauty.
The Best Queenstown Adventure Activities
Let’s start with one of the more tame Queenstown adventure activities, jet boating.
Climb aboard a purpose built jet boat for a one hour scenic, yet trilling ride on Lake Waikatipu and through the Shotover and Kawarau River gorges at speeds of up to 95 kilometres per hour.
While onboard you will experience 360° spins in narrow canyons while (trying!) to take in the magnificent scenery of the surrounding Remarkables mountains and towering canyons above.
White Water Rafting
One of the best places in the world to experience white water rafting at its absolute best is Queenstown.
Tackle the grade 3-5 rapids on a half day trip just outside of Queenstown with an experienced rafting guide and all the safety gear you’d expect.
The journey starts off with a peaceful cruise before you hurtle your way towards the more intense rapids of the lower canyon. The adrenaline will be pumping as you paddle through rapids, in and out of darkness through the 550-foot Oxenbridge Tunnel. You’ll shoot over the Cascade Rapid to end this adventurous rafting experience.
Ever wanted to feel like Tarzan, flying through the tree tops? Well if you answered yes, then ziplining is for you!
There’s no better place to try out this fun adventure activity than Queenstown because of the spectacular views of The Remarkables and Lake Waikatipu as you soar through the air.
The tour runs for three hours over six different tree to tree zip lines, one of which is the steepest in the world. Experience speeds of up to 70 kilometres per hour while taking in those views. And finish the experience off with a spectacular 20 minute downhill walk back to town.
The mountainous terrain around Queenstown makes it one of the best places to give quad biking a go.
Over 3.5 hours you’ll enjoy the thrill of off-road driving through the most spectacular mountain ranges on the latest automatic ATV quad biking machines. There will be plenty of stops for photos along the way.
You’ll be fully training on using the ATV’s, so this is an activity for all levels, and you’ll be kitted out with quality safety gear and wet weather gear if needed too.
In my opinion, it takes a certain type of person to want to throw themselves out of a plane. And if that is you, experiencing the adrenaline of a skydive in Queenstown is a must!
You have a few options for tandem sky diving in Queenstown ranging from a 9,000 to 12,000 feet. Either option you’ll be free falling through the sky for up to 25 exhilarating seconds at up to 200 kilometers per hour before gliding your way safely back to land.
During the dive you’ll have absolutely spectacular views of the mountains and lakes around Queenstown that very few people will ever get to experience.
Indoor Sky Diving
If you want to try sky diving but the thought of jumping from a plane makes your heart race a little too much, then indoor sky diving might be for you!
At the Queenstown iFly facility you’ll be kitted out in safety gear and enter the high-tech wind tunnel that makes you float on a soft cushion of air.
You will feel weightless as you start to ascend and experience the sensation of free falling. On you second “jump” challenge yourself by doing flips, turns, twists, and a variety of tricks to make the most of your indoor skydiving experience.
New Zealand’s rocky rainforest landscape makes it one of the best places in the world to experience canyoning at its best.
Canyoning is a unique way to enjoy the scenic landscapes that surround Queenstown in an action pack half day adventure. You’ll be kitted out in all the latest safety gear and taken through the course with two experienced guides to ensure you are safe the whole time.
Tours run for all ability levels and will have you sliding down waterfalls, jumping off ledges into pools of fresh water and crawling through caves and tunnels in pitch black.
There are only a few places in the world that can rival Queenstown for bungy jumping action, with not just one but three bungy experiences to choose from not far from town.
At Kawarau Bridge you will jump from the 43-meter-high suspension bridge and enjoy a thrill like no other, with stunning scenery of the valley around and below.
The Nevis is the highest of the bungy jumps in New Zealand. It will have you falling 44 stories, with a thrilling 8.5 second free fall, towards the bottom of the gorge.
And finally at The Ledge you can choose from a Jump Menu if you are feeling a bit more daring. The views from this one look out over Queenstown, 400m below.
Similar to a bungy jump, the difference with a canyon swing is that instead of just jumping straight down, you’ll be launched off the platform and swung over the canyon below. Even more frightening in my mind!
There are three swing opportunities in Queenstown, the first being the Nevis Swing which has a 70 metre drop into a canyon with a 300 metre arc with a platform 160 metres above the ground.
Like The Ledge Bungy, there is a swing at the same location with the same spectacular views 400 metres above Queenstown.
And finally, the most popular of all Canyon Swings in Queenstown, the Shotover Canyon. Reach speeds of up to 150km per hour as you jump from the 109 metre platform into the Shotover Canyon. Here you can choose for up to 70 jump styles, so there is something for all the dare devils out there.
Car Hire in Queenstown
Due to the fact that New Zealand is an island, most people visiting Queenstown will need to hire a car when they arrive to help with getting around to see everything and taking some of these day trips.
For all my car hire bookings I use and recommend Hertz. I’ve found they offer the most comparable prices, let you search and compare multiple vehicle types and they have a great customer service team who can help if you come into any unexpected troubles.
Where to Stay in Queenstown
Here are three accommodation options to suit all budgets that I recommend you check out. All are centrally located, highly rated and come with excellent facilities.
Because of the spread of Queenstown city centre, most places to stay have easy walking access to town and Lake Wakatipu.
Budget – Adventure Queenstown Hostel
Mid-Range – Copthorne Hotel & Apartments Queenstown Lakeview
Luxury – Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa
Or check out my other post with a full list of places to stay in Queenstown here.
Read More About Queenstown
Over to You!
Which of these Queenstown adventure activities are you most egar to try?
Let me know using the comments section below or join me on social media to start a conversation.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post.