Home » Family-Friendly Activities in Queenstown: Enjoying the Adventure Capital

Queenstown, hailed as the Adventure Capital, beckons families from around the world with its stunning landscapes and adrenaline-pumping activities. 

Family-Friendly Activities in Queenstown

Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by majestic mountains, this charming town offers a plethora of experiences tailored for families seeking adventure and excitement. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the top family-friendly activities that Queenstown has to offer, ensuring an unforgettable vacation for you and your loved ones.

Imagine a place where every corner promises a new adventure, where nature’s beauty embraces exhilarating activities, and where memories are made against a backdrop of stunning vistas. 

Welcome to Queenstown, New Zealand’s crown jewel and the epitome of adventure tourism. 

Situated on the South Island, Queenstown has earned its reputation as the Adventure Capital for its myriad of thrilling experiences set amidst breathtaking scenery.

The Appeal of Family-Friendly Activities

What sets Queenstown apart is its ability to cater to travelers of all ages, including families. 

While adrenaline junkies flock here for heart-pounding pursuits like bungee jumping and skydiving, the town also boasts a wide array of family-friendly activities that promise fun and excitement without compromising safety. 

From scenic gondola rides to interactive wildlife encounters, Queenstown offers something for every member of the family to enjoy.

Top Attractions for Families

Skyline Queenstown: Aerial Gondola and Luge

One of Queenstown’s most iconic attractions, the Skyline Gondola, offers a bird’s-eye view of the town and surrounding landscapes. 

As you ascend Bob’s Peak, marvel at the panoramic vistas of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range. 

Once at the top, unleash your inner thrill-seeker with a ride on the Skyline Luge. 

Suitable for all ages, this gravity-fueled adventure allows you to race down the winding track at your own pace, providing hours of adrenaline-fueled fun for the whole family.

Kiwi Birdlife Park: Discover New Zealand’s Native Wildlife

Immerse yourself in the wonders of New Zealand’s native flora and fauna at the Kiwi Birdlife Park. 

Home to a diverse range of indigenous species, including the iconic kiwi bird, this conservation sanctuary offers visitors the opportunity to observe and learn about the country’s unique wildlife. 

From interactive feeding sessions to informative guided tours, the park provides an educational yet entertaining experience for families, fostering a deeper appreciation for New Zealand’s natural heritage.

Queenstown Gardens: Scenic Park with Recreational Activities

Escape the hustle and bustle of downtown Queenstown and retreat to the tranquility of Queenstown Gardens. 

Queenstown family adventure guide

Situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, this picturesque park offers a peaceful oasis amidst the surrounding mountains. 

Take a leisurely stroll along the scenic walking trails, or enjoy a family picnic in the lush greenery. 

With amenities such as a children’s playground, tennis courts, and even a frisbee golf course, Queenstown Gardens provides endless opportunities for outdoor recreation and family bonding.

Adventure Activities for Families

Queenstown is synonymous with adrenaline-fueled adventures, and families are not left out of the excitement. 

From thrilling jet boat rides to eco-friendly ziplining adventures, there’s no shortage of heart-pounding experiences to enjoy together.

Shotover Jet: Thrilling Jet Boat Ride

Hold on tight as you embark on a high-speed adventure through the rugged canyons of the Shotover River. 

Shotover Jet, one of Queenstown’s most iconic attractions, offers families the chance to experience the thrill of a lifetime aboard a state-of-the-art jet boat. 

Feel the wind in your hair as skilled drivers navigate narrow channels and perform exhilarating spins and turns. 

With its impeccable safety record and suitable for children as young as five years old, Shotover Jet promises an unforgettable experience for the whole family.

Ziptrek Ecotours: Eco-Friendly Ziplining Adventures

Experience Queenstown’s stunning landscapes from a different perspective with Ziptrek Ecotours. 

Combining adrenaline-pumping ziplines with a commitment to sustainability and environmental education, Ziptrek offers families a unique and eco-friendly adventure. 

Soar through the treetops and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and Lake Wakatipu. 

With various tour options available, including tours suitable for younger children, Ziptrek is the perfect choice for families seeking adventure with a conscience.

Horse Trekking: Explore Queenstown’s Scenic Trails on Horseback

Saddle up and embark on a leisurely horse trek through Queenstown’s picturesque countryside. 

Whether you’re a seasoned equestrian or a complete novice, horse trekking offers families a relaxing yet memorable way to explore the region’s stunning landscapes. 

Follow experienced guides as they lead you through scenic trails, showcasing the beauty of the New Zealand wilderness. 

With options ranging from short rides to full-day excursions, horse trekking caters to families of all ages and abilities, making it an ideal choice for a day of outdoor adventure.

Family-Friendly Dining Options

After a day filled with adventure and exploration, refuel your energy at one of Queenstown’s family-friendly dining establishments. 

From iconic burger joints to indulgent chocolate cafes, there’s something to satisfy every palate.

Fergburger: Iconic Burger Joint

No visit to Queenstown is complete without indulging in a mouthwatering burger from Fergburger. 

This legendary eatery has gained worldwide fame for its delicious gourmet burgers served in generous portions. 

From classic beef burgers to vegetarian options, there’s something for everyone on the menu. 

Families can enjoy the casual atmosphere and quick service, making Fergburger a popular choice for a satisfying meal after a day of adventure.

Patagonia Chocolates: Indulge in Delicious Treats

Treat the whole family to a sweet delight at Patagonia Chocolates. 

This artisanal chocolate shop and cafe offers a tempting array of handcrafted chocolates, decadent desserts, and creamy gelato. Situated in the heart of Queenstown, Patagonia Chocolates provides a cozy retreat where families can indulge their sweet tooth while soaking in the charming atmosphere. 

From rich truffles to indulgent hot chocolates, it’s the perfect place to satisfy your cravings.

Winnies Gourmet Pizza Bar: Family-Friendly Pizza Restaurant

For a casual dining experience that’s sure to please the whole family, head to Winnies Gourmet Pizza Bar. 

Located in the bustling town center, Winnies is renowned for its delicious wood-fired pizzas made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. 

With a diverse selection of toppings and specialty pizzas to choose from, there’s something to suit every taste. 

The family-friendly atmosphere and relaxed vibe make Winnies the perfect spot to enjoy a leisurely meal together.

After a satisfying meal, families can retire to their accommodations and recharge for another day of adventure in Queenstown.

Accommodation Recommendations

Finding the perfect accommodation is key to ensuring a memorable family vacation in Queenstown. 

Fortunately, the town offers a wide range of family-friendly hotels and resorts, each providing comfort, convenience, and a warm Kiwi welcome.

Family-Friendly Hotels and Resorts in Queenstown

  • Novotel Queenstown Lakeside: Situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Novotel Queenstown Lakeside offers spacious family rooms with stunning lake or mountain views. Kids can enjoy the onsite playground, while parents relax in the sauna or hot tub.
  • Copthorne Hotel & Resort Queenstown Lakefront: Nestled amidst picturesque gardens overlooking the lake, Copthorne Hotel & Resort provides family-friendly accommodation with a range of amenities, including an outdoor pool and tennis court.
  • Heritage Queenstown: Located just a short drive from the town center, Heritage Queenstown offers apartment-style accommodation ideal for families. Enjoy the indoor pool, sauna, and stunning views of the Remarkables mountain range.
  • Rydges Queenstown: Situated within walking distance of downtown Queenstown, Rydges Queenstown features spacious family suites with separate living areas. Kids will love the indoor pool and waterslide, while parents can unwind in the hot tub.
  • Holiday Inn Queenstown Frankton Road: Conveniently located near Queenstown Airport, Holiday Inn offers comfortable family rooms and suites with modern amenities. Take advantage of the onsite restaurant and fitness center during your stay.

No matter which accommodation you choose, rest assured that Queenstown’s family-friendly hotels and resorts will provide the perfect base for your adventures in the Adventure Capital.

Seasonal Activities for Families

Queenstown’s allure transcends seasons, offering a plethora of activities year-round. 

Whether you’re visiting in the winter months when snow blankets the landscape or basking in the summer sun by the lake, there’s no shortage of family-friendly adventures to embark on.

Winter: Skiing and Snowboarding

  • Skiing: Hit the slopes at one of Queenstown’s nearby ski resorts, including Coronet Peak and The Remarkables. With terrain suitable for all skill levels, families can enjoy carving through fresh powder and soaking in the breathtaking alpine scenery.
  • Snowboarding: Strap on your snowboard and experience the thrill of carving down the mountainside. Queenstown’s ski resorts offer terrain parks and halfpipes catering to snowboarders of all abilities, making it the perfect destination for a family snow sports getaway.
  • Snow Play: For families with younger children or those seeking a more relaxed winter experience, snow play areas abound in Queenstown. Build snowmen, engage in friendly snowball fights, or simply marvel at the winter wonderland that surrounds you.

Summer: Lake Activities and Hiking

  • Lake Activities: When the sun is shining, Queenstown’s pristine lakes beckon families to indulge in a variety of water sports. From kayaking and paddleboarding to scenic lake cruises, there’s no shortage of ways to cool off and enjoy the great outdoors.
  • Hiking: Lace up your hiking boots and explore Queenstown’s scenic trails on foot. With options ranging from leisurely lakeside strolls to challenging alpine hikes, there’s a trail for every fitness level. Don’t forget to pack a picnic and soak in the stunning views along the way.
  • Mountain Biking: Thrill-seeking families can hit the mountain bike trails and explore Queenstown’s rugged terrain on two wheels. With trails catering to all abilities, from beginner-friendly tracks to adrenaline-pumping downhill descents, mountain biking offers an exciting way to experience the region’s natural beauty.

Whether you’re carving up the slopes in winter or basking in the sunshine by the lake in summer, Queenstown’s seasonal activities promise endless fun and adventure for the whole family.

Safety Tips for Family Adventures

While embarking on family adventures in Queenstown promises excitement and thrills, it’s essential to prioritize safety at all times. Whether you’re speeding down a river on a jet boat or hitting the slopes for a day of skiing, following these safety tips will help ensure a fun and secure experience for everyone.

Local Culture and Events

Beyond its breathtaking landscapes and adrenaline-fueled activities, Queenstown boasts a vibrant local culture and a calendar packed with family-friendly events throughout the year. 

Immerse yourself in the town’s unique charm and discover the diverse array of experiences that await you.

Queenstown Winter Festival and Other Family Events

  • Queenstown Winter Festival: Held annually in June, the Queenstown Winter Festival is a celebration of all things winter. Families can enjoy live music, street performances, ice skating, and fireworks, creating a festive atmosphere that’s sure to delight visitors of all ages.
  • Arts and Crafts Markets: Throughout the year, Queenstown hosts a variety of arts and crafts markets where families can browse locally made goods, sample delicious food, and enjoy live entertainment. These markets offer a glimpse into Queenstown’s vibrant creative community and provide the perfect opportunity to pick up unique souvenirs.
  • Family-Friendly Concerts and Performances: Keep an eye out for family-friendly concerts and performances taking place in Queenstown. From outdoor concerts in the park to theatrical productions suitable for all ages, there’s always something entertaining happening in town.
  • Cultural Workshops and Demonstrations: Delve into Queenstown’s rich cultural heritage by participating in workshops and demonstrations offered throughout the year. Learn traditional Maori crafts, try your hand at indigenous cooking, or attend cultural performances showcasing the region’s unique cultural traditions.
  • Seasonal Festivities: From Christmas celebrations to New Year’s Eve parties, Queenstown knows how to ring in the holidays in style. Families can join in the festivities with activities such as carol singing, tree lighting ceremonies, and special holiday-themed events.

By immersing yourself in Queenstown’s local culture and participating in family-friendly events, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for this vibrant destination and create lasting memories with your loved ones.

Transportation Options

Navigating Queenstown and its surrounding attractions is made easy with a variety of transportation options available to families. 

Whether you prefer the convenience of public transport or the flexibility of renting a car, getting around Queenstown is a breeze.

Public Transport

  • Bus Services: Queenstown’s public bus network provides an affordable and convenient way to explore the town and its nearby attractions. The Connectabus service operates regular routes throughout Queenstown and the surrounding areas, including popular tourist spots such as Arrowtown and Glenorchy.
  • Shuttle Services: Shuttle services are available for travelers looking to reach specific destinations or participate in guided tours. These services offer door-to-door transportation and are a hassle-free option for families looking to explore Queenstown and its surroundings without the need for a rental car.

Car Rental Services

  • Rental Car Agencies: For families seeking flexibility and independence, renting a car is an ideal option. Several car rental agencies operate in Queenstown, offering a range of vehicles to suit every family’s needs and budget. With a rental car, you can explore Queenstown and its surrounding attractions at your own pace, stopping whenever and wherever you please.
  • Campervan Rentals: For families embarking on a longer journey or seeking a unique travel experience, campervan rentals are a popular choice. Campervans provide both transportation and accommodation, allowing families to explore Queenstown and beyond while enjoying the convenience of a mobile home.

Taxi and Rideshare Services

  • Taxi Services: Taxis are readily available in Queenstown and can be hailed from designated taxi ranks or booked in advance. While taxis may be more expensive than other forms of transportation, they offer a convenient option for families traveling short distances or in need of door-to-door service.
  • Rideshare Services: Rideshare companies such as Uber operate in Queenstown, providing another convenient option for families seeking transportation. With the convenience of booking rides through a mobile app, rideshare services offer flexibility and ease of use for families exploring Queenstown.

FAQs: Family-Friendly Activities in Queenstown

What are some family-friendly activities in Queenstown?

Queenstown, New Zealand, offers a plethora of family-friendly activities suitable for all ages. From thrilling adventures to more relaxed excursions, there is something for everyone in this adventure capital. Activities include glow-in-the-dark mini golf, virtual reality, escape rooms, paintless paintball, and drift carts at Thrillzone.

What outdoor activities can families enjoy in Queenstown?

Families can engage in outdoor adventures like kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding at Moke Lake, suitable for individuals aged 8 years and above.

Additionally, families can experience the thrill of jet boating through canyons and enjoy ziplining courses with beautiful views over Queenstown.

Are there any unique experiences for families in Queenstown?

Families can embark on a unique adventure by riverboarding on the Kawarau River, offering grade 3/4 rapids suitable for bodyboarding or sledging. 

This activity provides an adrenaline rush with opportunities to surf waves, spin in whirlpools, and ride underwater currents.

What are some must-visit attractions for families in Queenstown?

Families can enjoy the iconic Skyline Gondola and Luge package, offering stunning views from Bob’s Peak and an exciting luge ride suitable for all ages and abilities.

Another recommended attraction is the Ziptrek EcoTours, providing a thrilling ziplining experience through native beech forest.

How can families plan a memorable holiday in Queenstown?

To plan a fun-filled family holiday in Queenstown, families can explore a range of activities such as off-road adventures, indoor skydiving experiences, and riverboarding on the Kawarau River. 

These activities cater to various age groups and offer a mix of adventure and excitement for the whole family to enjoy.


In conclusion, Queenstown truly lives up to its reputation as the Adventure Capital, offering an abundance of family-friendly activities that cater to all ages and interests. 

From thrilling jet boat rides to serene walks in the park, this picturesque town nestled amidst New Zealand’s stunning landscapes provides the perfect backdrop for unforgettable family adventures.

Whether you’re speeding down the slopes in winter, exploring the tranquil lakeshores in summer, or immersing yourself in the vibrant local culture year-round, Queenstown has something to offer every member of the family. 

With an array of accommodation options, convenient transportation services, and helpful resources available, planning your family getaway to Queenstown is easier than ever.

By prioritizing safety, embracing the local culture, and taking advantage of the wealth of activities and experiences on offer, you’re sure to create cherished memories that will last a lifetime. 

So pack your bags, gather your loved ones, and embark on an unforgettable journey to Queenstown, where adventure and excitement await at every turn.