Looking for the best Queenstown attractions?


Yep, there is an almost endless range of Queenstown attractions.

But which ones are the best?

Looking over Queenstown from the Skyline Gondola complex

Well, we've tapped into our own experiences in Queenstown, and have also listened to our customers, and have selected a few very special Queenstown attractions for you.

These are the ones that consistently rate at the top of customer reviews, and consequently, are always popular with visitors, meaning that they sometimes book out in advance.

So our advice, if you are coming here in the peak times, is to make your bookings before you come.

That way you won't be disappointed.

Before you read about our selection, you can search the full range of tours and activities by clicking HERE.

Here (in no particular order) is our selection of the best Queenstown attractions

We've included something for all ages and tastes, with everything from "mild" to "wild".

We hope you enjoy our selections. Just click on the link to move down the page for information on your chosen Queenstown attraction.

When you finish just click your browsers "Back" button to return here.

* Skyline Gondola complex

* The iconic Shotover Jetboat

* Magical, mystical Milford Sound

* Are you ready for the Triple Challenge?

* Cruise on the historic TSS Earnslaw




1) The Skyline Gondola complex

If you've seen the iconic landscape pictures of Queenstown (like the one above), chances are they have been taken from the Skyline Gondola complex at Bob's Peak.

Skyline Gondola complex - pic courtesy Skyline Gondola

Sitting 450 meters above the town, access to the complex is via the Skyline Gondola. The gondola terminal is located in Brecon Street, and is only a five minute walk from the town center.

After you buy your ticket, you make your way to the entry point and before you know it, your gondola car is lifting you smoothly skywards.

The trip up takes about 10 minutes, and the views are spectacular.

Once you reach the top it's time to explore.

The complex is a place where you can easily spend a day, such are the variety of activities available.

The Skyline Gondola Luge track - pic courtesy Skyline Gondola

There's the luge track (our favorite), a kiwi Haka show, the Ledge Bungy and Swing, the Jelly Belly lolly store, a gift shop, restaurant (with unbelievable views), cafe, stargazing tours, paragliding, walking trails, and an extensive mountain bike park.

But if you are like us, the first thing you will do is head out to the observation deck. Words don't do justice to the views, but we guarantee, you will not be disappointed.

We love the restaurant for dinner (but recommend booking in advance), and have to admit that the luge is infectious.

And if you just want somewhere to read a book, or have a coffee, the extensive outdoor areas are perfect for doing just that.

It's a spot that families will love, and we know you will too.

Here's a couple of typical customer reviews

Reviewed by: KC5, March 2016

Such a fun time! So happy we did this. My husband and I were on our honeymoon and did this our first day in Queenstown and we just had a blast! Felt like we were kids again racing each other. And the views were just breathtaking. Wish we had this in America! We rode down 5 times!!! Highly recommended

Reviewed by: Lauren N, April 2017

The views from the Gondola restaurant and the trip up the Gondola were breathtaking! The food was excellent and there was something for everyone with a diverse cuisine. Make sure you schedule your dinner during sunset hour for awesome views on the overlook patio and bring your camera. Amazing :


Gondola and Luge

Gondola and Lunch or Dinner

The Ledge Bungy




2) The iconic Shotover Jet

Perhaps one of Queenstown's best known action activities is the famous Shotover Jet.

The red jetboats have been a Queenstown institution for many years, and have thrilled hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world.

This is one of our favorite Queenstown attractions, and once you board the boat, your senses come alive.

The throb of the engines is ever present, and before long you are off, thundering along the Shotover River.

Your captain gives the "spin" signal and all of a sudden the boat spins around and spray flies everywhere. You get caught up in the excitement and cheer with your fellow passengers.

Before long you head into the gorge. Huge rock cliffs rise above you, and from your seat you can't see an exit.

Your boat carves its way through the ravine, so close to the rocks that you can almost touch them (don't try to), and you hold on as you swerve from side to side.

If you are looking for an adrenalin rush, this is the perfect introduction to Queenstown. They don't call it the "Adventure Capital" for nothing!

Here are some typical customer reviews

Reviewed by: Kay B, March 2017

This was the best thing we did in Queenstown, possible the best thing we did during out whole 3 weeks in New Zealand. A bit expensive but really worth the money. I would it again and recommend it as a must do in Queenstown.

Reviewed by: Jeffrey F, December 2016

Great price here, amazing experience--don't leave Queenstown without doing it. Can't comment on the other jet boat companies, but I believe this is the only one on the Shotover River through the canyons. Picture and videos were also great prices!


Learn more about the Shotover Jet by clicking on the button below:




3) Visit Milford Sound - New Zealand's Number 1 attraction

Okay, Milford Sound is not in Queenstown.

But Queenstown is the main departure point for Milford Sound tours.

A tour boat on Milford Sound - pic courtesy Tourism Holdings

Milford Sound, quite rightly, is recognized as New Zealand's number one attraction.

And it's easy to see why. Towering cliffs that rise thousands of feet and disappear into the mist, thundering waterfalls, and some amazing wildlife make it a "must do" if you are in this part of New Zealand.

Although Milford Sound is only about 70 kilometers away by air, by road, it's quite a journey.

You can take a fly/cruise tour, which gets you there much quicker, but which is more expensive. These tours are very much weather dependent, but the views are jaw droppingly good!

But the most popular option is an organized coach tour which includes your transport and cruise on Milford Sound.

Milford Sound Scenic Flight and Cruise from Queenstown

These are a full day tour and take around 12 to 13 hours Queenstown/Milford Sound/Queenstown.

Yep, it's a big day, but you will never be bored. The trip there is almost as good as the cruise, and the Milford Road has been referred to as one of the world's great drives.

Traveling through ancient native forests, past towering snow capped peaks, and crossing rivers littered with enormous boulders, it's a trip you will never forget. The views of the Cleddau Valley after you come out of the Homer Tunnel are unbelievable.

Another great option, if time permits, is the overnight cruise on the Milford Mariner. Waking up on Milford Sound is an experience to remember.

So if you are coming to Queenstown, PLEASE, set aside a full day and visit Milford Sound.

Here's some customer reviews of this great tour

Reviewed by: Ralph G, March 2017

The bus was very comfortable and our driver made the long trip as pleasant as possible. 12 hours round trip. There were several stops on the way out and opportunities for pictures. The boat ride was spectacular! If you visit the South Island, do not miss Milford Sound.

Reviewed by: Tatiana L, May 2017

Milford Sound is must see in New Zealand. Even on your way to this place you've got absolutely scenic views. It was cloudy when i went to Milford Sound but the fjords look amazing hidden behind the fog.


To learn more about the Milford Sound full day tour from Queenstown, just click on the button:




4) Cruise an amazing lake on a historic steamer

The historic steamer, the TSS Earnslaw has been cruising on Lake Wakatipu since 1912.

TSS Earnslaw at dock in Queenstown

Originally used to carry stock, supplies and timber, these days this graceful old lady ferries passengers between Queenstown wharf and Walter Peak station, a working farm further up Lake Wakatipu.

This has to be one of the most peaceful activities in Queenstown, and there is something special about cruising on Lake Wakatipu, with the Remarkables mountain range towering above, and just watching it all drift by.

There are a range of cruises and tours available, including the basic cruise, the cruise combined with lunch or dinner at Walter Peak station (highly recommended), or the cruise and a farm tour at Walter Peak.

Once on board the TSS Earnslaw, you find that progress is very serene, and the ample viewing decks are the perfect spot from which to take in the stunning surroundings and grab a few "trophy" pictures.

TSS Earnslaw docks at Walter Peak station

The ship has an on board cafe (the muffins and coffee are excellent), a museum detailing the ships history, and an internal observation deck where you can watch the crew stoking the coal powered burners. You can even watch the huge engines as they stroke away.

The ship even has a resident piano player, who is keen to take requests.

The Walter Peak station tours are great and give an insight of life on a traditional New Zealand farm. The tour includes a working dog display, and a chance to see lots of farm animals (the kids love it).

The BBQ lunch and dinner are delicious and feature several traditional New Zealand dishes and deserts, backed by the resident piano player.

If you are looking for a relaxing way to pass a few hours we can highly recommend the range of TSS Earnslaw tours.

Here's a few typical reviews

Reviewed by: Jill C, July 2016

Enjoyed boat ride. Very comfortable and fantastic snack bar. Guide at the farm was very nice and friendly. Great sheep demonstrations. We had the morning tea with amazing scones and plenty to eat and drink. Nice pace for the day.

Reviewed by: David W, April 2016

Cruise was lovely, and the meal was Absolutely fabulous! Roast meats of all kinds, salmon, prawns, anti-pasto, cheeses, salads, desserts.Wonderful food, as much as you wanted. Highlight of our trip.

TSS Earnslaw 90 minute cruise only

TSS Earnslaw cruise and dinner at Walter Peak farm

TSS Earnslaw cruise and BBQ lunch at Walter Peak farm

TSS Earnslaw cruise and farm tour at Walter Peak farm




5) Are you up for the triple challenge?

Need a little action on your Queenstown holiday?

Then this is the ideal Queenstown attraction.

Are you up for the Queenstown triple challenge?

Your challenge begins with a transfer to the Shotover River where the iconic Shotover Jetboat waits. Imagine racing through the narrow gorges at high speed. The rock walls are so close you can almost touch them. Then the skipper gives the "spin" signal and your boat spins around almost within its own length.

Then it's out to Cavell's Rafting Lodge. You don your full wetsuit then head to the heli-pad where you board your helicopter for a full on blast up Skipper's Canyon.

Landing at Deep Creek, your expert guide meets you then takes you through the safety procedures and training. Then it's time. You board your raft and head off into some nice peaceful water, and then it starts. Get ready for the Rock Garden, the Toilet, Jaws, and several other rapids before the final test. The one hundred and seventy meter long Oxenbridge Tunnel is a thrilling, bucking monster that will have you wanting to try it again.

Once you finish it's back to the lodge for a hot shower and sauna before heading back to town.

This is one of those "must do" adventures. Very highly rated.

Here's what a few guests had to say about the Queenstown Triple Challenge

Reviewed by: carol m, October 2012

What a great day. First the jet boat - what a buzz so close to the canyon walls. Then the helicopter (a bit of a cowboy) but a great way to go then the white water rafting- excellent!

Reviewed by: Aviad M, Israel, March 2014

This was a great experience. The Jet Boat ride was a real thriller, the helicopter ride a fun way to get to the rafting (instead of a 40 minutes bus ride) and the rafting a wonderful adventure. The whole tour was very well organized and the flow from one activity to the next was smooth. Highly recommended!




But wait, there is so much more to do here in Queenstown.

We hope you enjoyed reading about some of the best Queenstown attractions.

But with so much more to do here, Queenstown is one of those special places where you could easily spend a few weeks.

So to see what else there is here in Queenstown, to read reviews, and to check prices, just click HERE.

Of course if you have any questions about Queenstown attractions, don't hesitate to ask us.




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