The Queenstown Underwater Observatory takes you below the surface of Lake Wakatipu, where you can see huge trout, eels, and diving ducks, and also view the "Time Tripper" cinema experience.
Opened in 1983, the observatory provides a window into underwater life, Lake Wakatipu style.
Located on Main Town Pier, Marine Parade Queenstown, the observatory is part of the Kawarau Jet (KJet) business, and is well worth a visit.
You can see the location on the Google map at the bottom of this page - click here.
The legendary lake wildlife
After descending down some stairs, you are met by some panoramic underwater windows, looking directly into the lake.
Tip: If you wear white, fluro or neon clothes, your clothing will glow as you head down. The kids love this bit.
Once downstairs, life below the surface is revealed. Huge trout (rainbow and brown), wriggling eels, and cute diving ducks swim past, and we are always amazed at how large some of the trout are.
Part of your entry includes a viewing of the fish, eels and ducks being fed. Those little diving ducks are not shy and eagerly compete with the larger trout and eels for the food.
It's great fun to watch.
As part of the observatory, the owners have added an attraction called Time Tripper.
It's an underwater cinema, which takes you on a journey through time, covering Maori legend and the natural formation of New Zealand and Lake Wakatipu.
Did you know that the lake was formed by an ancient glacier?
The Queenstown Underwater Observatory and Time Tripper are great fun for all the family, and it's an excellent rainy day option.
How much does it cost?
Your entry fee covers the underwater viewing and feeding of the fish, and the Time Tripper experience.
As at July 2023 the entry fee was NZD$15 for adults and NZD$8 for children (ages 3-14).
How long does it take?
The experience lasts 30 minutes which includes around 15 minutes of underwater viewing.
Don't forget the KJet!
While you are at the Queenstown Underwater Observatory, take the opportunity to book your KJet ride.
It's an awesome experience.
If you have never been on a jetboat, be prepared for a surprise.
This clever kiwi invention was developed by a farmer to provide better access to remote parts of his farm. The unique thing about the jetboat is that it can operate in water just a few centimetres deep.
On our last KJet ride we raced up the Kawarau River towards some small rapids and wondered when the skipper was going to stop. But he just kept going!
These things are truly amazing. KJet take you across Lake Wakatipu, and up the Kawarau and Shotover Rivers, on a thrill packed ride.
Reaching speeds of up to ninty five kilometres per hour, and capable of 360 degree spins, this has got to be one of the most exhilarating rides available.
Queenstown Underwater Observatory and Time Tripper Location
For more information please head to the Time Tripper website here.