Queenstown (map) is a true gem in New Zealand’s crown of scenic destinations. The town is a favourite among nature-lovers, skiers and snowboarders, as well as those seeking more adventurous sports such as bungy-jumping (it was practically invented here), mountain biking, paragliding and jet-boating. Queenstown’s spectacular location, up in the Southern Alps amidst imposing snow-capped mountains, gushing rivers and a seemingly endless string of lakes, makes it a spot that can be enjoyed by everyone – from the casual visitor to the extreme sports fanatic. There are many ways to enjoy the breathtaking Queenstown scenery. Here are a few options:

things to do in queenstown
Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand (image by Y.Negi/Unsplash)

Ways to enjoy the Queenstown scenery

The Skyline Gondola

The town is situated in a corner of Lake Wakatipu and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains – the Remarkables, in particular, provide a magnificent backdrop. A great way to enjoy the scenic beauty of Queenstown, the lake and the mountains is to ride the Skyline Gondola, a cableway, to the top of the mountain overlooking Queenstown. Once at the top, there’s a viewing terrace and a café. Sit back, relax and take in the awe-inspiring scenery.

queenstown view
Panoramic view of Queenstown.

TSS Earnslaw

For a different perspective of Queenstown, join a leisurely cruise on the TSS Earnslaw, a historic steamship. The lake and mountain views are absolutely awe-inspiring! Book a 1.5 hour cruise or add a visit to Walter Peak Station and a terrific BBQ to the cruise.

TSS Earnslaw (image by N.Leclercq/Unsplash)

Other more thrilling options

Sky Swing

The thrill-seekers among us will also appreciate The Ledge – Sky Swing, which is located adjacent to the Skyline Gondola. Designed and created by the legendary AJ Hackett (the founder of bungy jumping madness), you’ll be harnessed in and lowered out over the ledge before being swung out and dropped 400 meters above Queenstown! Not for the faint-hearted or those scared of heights! Would you try it?


For those seeking a slightly less adrenaline-infused experience, I can recommend an exhilarating paragliding flight from the top of the Skyline Gondola. The initial adrenaline rush I experienced during the take-off quickly evaporated as we glided silently in the air and the spectacular Queenstown views unfolded below me. The flight is a ten minute experience you’ll never forget.

Paragliding in Queenstown.

For any visitor, Queenstown is definitely one of the must-visit places in New Zealand, alongside nearby Milford Sound.

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9 Responses

  • We haven’t done the Sky Swing yet, sounds like such fun though. We loved visiting with kids and can’t wait to go back again

  • […] 6. Get an adrenaline shot in Queenstown – Queenstown is my favourite town in New Zealand. A breathtaking location certainly helps! On the shores of Lake Waikatipu, Queenstown is surrounded on three sides by majestic mountains, the most spectacular being the Remarkables and the Eyres mountains. The town is also the adventure tourism capital of New Zealand. If you’re looking for an adrenaline boost, Queenstown is the perfect place to be. Bungy-jumping was invented not too far from here. I enjoyed paragliding (something I highly recommend for the unforgettable experience of silently gliding high up in the air and taking in the spectacular scenery) and the jet-boat ride down Shotover River. You can also opt to take the scenic Skyline cable-car to enjoy the views over Queenstown. […]

  • I don’t think I would do it… It sounds scary! ;P But I would love to go to Queenstown. When I was in New Zealand with my family a few years ago it was our plan to go there, however we ended up having far to short a time in the country to have time for half the things we had planned! Ah well, we’ll just have to go back again I suppose… 😉

  • Great views from up there! If you’re on a budget, I’d recommend simply hiking to the top of gondola and saving yourself the absurd $23 they charge for a return ticket!

  • Thanks Isabelle! Yes, the jetboat is an awesome experience too. Absolutely loved the 360degree spins. Woohoo! 🙂

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