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Family Adventures! Top 7 Best Things To Do In Queenstown 2023

Queenstown, New Zealand is an incredible vacation destination for the family. With its stunning scenery, abundance of outdoor activities, and vibrant culture, it’s one of the best places for a family getaway. But with so much to do, how do you narrow it down? Here are our top things to do in Queenstown with a family.

Queenstown Overview
Tss Earnslaw
Queenstown Shotover

Queenstown Overview

Top Thing To Do: Shotover Jet Boat Ride

Where To Stay: One of our favorite hotels in downtown Queenstown is the Novotel Queenstown. This hotel boasts a central location, making exploring the town easy and enjoying its many restaurants, cafes, and shops.

Where To Eat: Fogo Brazilian BBQ Experience

How To Get There: Queenstown (ZQN) is the closest airport, just a few minutes from downtown. Long-distance international flights require a connection in Auckland (AKL)

The flight to Queenstown, New Zealand in the Southern Hemisphere from the United States is the hardest part of the trip. But the amazing scenery from the window seat makes it worth it. As you get closer to Queenstown, the mountains come into view, and the scenic arrival is breathtaking.

The snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps rise dramatically from the landscape, and the lush greenery of the South Island is a sight to behold. The views of the sparkling lakes and Milford Sound below provide a stunning backdrop for your descent. The experience of flying into Queenstown will stay with you forever, and the memories of the amazing scenery will be cherished for years to come.

Downtown Queenstown with kids

The scenery is breathtaking, and the atmosphere is friendly and inviting in the world’s adventure capital. Plenty of activities keep the kids occupied, like ice skating (just a short walk away from downtown) or riding to the top of Bob’s Peak on the Skyline gondola. Grab a hotel room in the town center; everything is close to the main street.

Exploring the outdoors: Adventure is calling! A Queenstown holiday is a perfect adventure for kids. With so much gorgeous nature and exciting activities, there’s no better place to taste the great outdoors. From skiing on Coronet Peak to biking around Lake Wakatipu, there are many opportunities for kids to explore and get active. Not to mention all the fun experiences in between! Older children may even be interested in a bungee jump adventure from Kawarau Bridge. One of the most popular things to do in Queenstown, the birthplace of bungee jumping!

Where to Stay in Queenstown

When staying in Queenstown, there are many great options to consider. However, if you’re looking for a convenient and family-friendly option, we highly recommend staying in the downtown area. This bustling area is just a short walk to Lake Wakatipu, where you can enjoy stunning views and outdoor activities.

Our Pick
Novotel Queenstown

Novotel Queenstown

One of our favorite hotels in downtown Queenstown is the Novotel Queenstown. This hotel boasts a central location, making exploring the town easy and enjoying its many restaurants, cafes, and shops. The Novotel Queenstown offers spacious family rooms, making it a great choice for those traveling with children.

The Novotel also has a great breakfast buffet included in some rates.

Check Expedia

another great choice
Crown Plaza Queenstown

Crowne Plaza Queenstown

The Crowne Plaza Hotel Queenstown is an excellent accommodation option for travelers visiting Queenstown. This hotel boasts a stunning location overlooking Lake Wakatipu, offering great views of the mountains.

The hotel’s location is also a plus, within walking distance of many of Queenstown’s best attractions, restaurants, and shops.

Check Expedia

Top things to do in Queenstown with a family

Queenstown is a great place to take kids! Located in the beautiful South Island of New Zealand and offers plenty of kid-friendly activities. From mini golf to luge rides and the skyline gondola rides up to Bob’s Peak, there are many ways for families with kids to have fun. And, best of all, it’s all set against the stunning backdrop that New Zealand has to offer – making Queenstown an ideal destination for New Zealand with kids!

Downtown Queenstown

Are you looking for something fun to do with the kids in New Zealand? Queenstown is the perfect place to bring them! From ice skating at Queenstown Ice Arena (a good rainy day activity), to jet boating over the beautiful landscape, family-friendly adventures are not uncommon. You and your family can enjoy a unique experience unlike anywhere else. So make sure to check out what Queenstown offers next time you’re travelling with kids in New Zealand!

Top Things To Do In Queenstown With A Family

Shotover Canyon Jet Boat Ride

Without question, this is the coolest excursion we have ever done, on the best part of our trip to Queenstown.
The Queenstown adventure of a lifetime awaits you on the Shotover Canyon Jet Boat ride. This thrilling experience is one of the most popular activities and for a good reason. Shotover Jet will take you soaring through the narrow canyons of the Shotover River, surrounded by the majestic mountains of Queenstown. You’ll be dazzled by the canyon walls’ amazing scenery and the jet boat’s incredible power as it skims across the Kawarau River.

The adrenaline rush you’ll experience as you take sharp turns and speed through the canyon is unforgettable. You’ll also experience 360-degree spins and other exciting maneuvers while exploring the canyon. With its breathtaking views, thrilling ride, and incredible experience, the Shotover Canyon Jet Boat ride is an unforgettable Queenstown adventure.

Shotover Jet is sure to be a hit with older kids. Young children will enjoy it, too, depending on their adventure level. Ours was 7 years old and loved it!

TSS Earnslaw Steamboat & Farm Tour

The Walter Peak High Country Farm Tour on TSS Earnslaw offers a unique insight into New Zealand’s rural life. One of the best things to do, this day trip lake cruise tour starts with a steamboat ride across Lake Whakatipu, providing beautiful views of the lake and its surrounding mountains.

Upon arrival, visitors explore the working sheep farm and witness the amazing skill of the farm dogs herding the sheep. After the farm tour, visitors enjoy a delicious lunch and drinks in the historic homestead. The return steamboat scenic cruise provides more stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding scenery. This tour is a great way to experience New Zealand’s rural life’s beauty and stunning landscapes. This is a great option for the entire family, especially for younger children who may not be ready for the excitement of a jet boat canyon ride.

There are several options for the tour, including a tour with lunch or afternoon tea with some snacks like biscuits, which is the option we did.

There is also a steamship cruise without the farm tour, but our entire family enjoyed the farm tour and would do it again.

Click here for your TSS Earnslaw experience options, including farm tours with lunch or tea.

Glacier Helicopter Landing

This 50 minute Glacier Explorer Flight is a great choice to take in the amazing mountain scenery of Queenstown, complete with a landing on a glacier! Or combine a helicopter ride with a tour of Milford Sound (see below). The weather didn’t cooperate to allow this on our recent June visit.

Helicopter Landed On Franz Josef Glacier, South Island.

Family rafting trip

Family Adventures rafting trip is a 4 1/2 hour river adventure suitable for younger kids as young as 3! Enjoy the amazing views as a guide helps you navigate the Shotover River’s class I and II rapids.

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Coronet Peak Ski Area

Coronet Peak in Queenstown is a great idea for a winter months place to spend the day with kids. Skiing down the slopes of Coronet Peak, just a short drive via shuttle from Queenstown, is a thrilling experience, and the Remarkables mountain range’s amazing scenery will stay with you forever.

For our Florida-born kids, this was their first time seeing snow in June!

Try some family skiing lessons. For a different type of fun, or for young kids, try snow tubing. Younger kids will enjoy Coronet Peak’s ice castle! The snow tubing experience is a great way to get kids outdoors and have fun in the snow. Coronet Peak is a popular destination for families and kids, and the snow tubing experience will surely be a hit with everyone.

Kiwi Park Queenstown

Kiwi Park Queenstown is a great place for families to explore and experience the native wildlife of New Zealand. Kids will love seeing over 20 native species, including the iconic kiwi bird, in their natural habitat. The park has plenty of things to do, from learning about the native species at the wildlife center to taking part in guided hikes. With its beautiful scenery and abundance of wildlife, Kiwi Park Queenstown is an ideal spot for kids to learn about the native plants and animals of New Zealand. Whether looking for a fun day out with the family or observing some of the country’s most beloved wildlife, Kiwi Park Queenstown is the perfect destination.

Milford Sound

Milford Sound is one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand. It’s a long drive to get there, but it’s worth it. . The weather can be unpredictable in the winter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the beautiful scenery.
The best things to do in Milford Sound are to take a scenic cruise and enjoy the stunning views of the mountains, cliffs, and waterfalls. There are also plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife, including seals, dolphins, and penguins.

Milford Sound

Milford Sound is a great destination; however, it is a full-day trip to get there and back from Queenstown. Expect about 12 hours from start to finish. There are some more exciting and faster (but more expensive) options for this tour, including round-trip helicopter transportation from Queenstown (4 hours) but the flying options depend on the weather. During our June trip, the weather didn’t allow these during our short stay.

Here are the different options for transportation to and from Queenstown.

Final Thoughts on Exploring Queenstown with Kids

If you’re looking for an amazing Queenstown holiday, look no further. Queenstown is the place to be, with plenty of activities and attractions to keep the whole family happy, even kids! From jet boating to bungy jumping, there is something for everyone in Queenstown. It’s the perfect place to entertain children and have some much-needed adult fun.

Queenstown is a perfect destination for a family holiday – for kids of all ages! With stunning scenic views and a huge array of activities, it’s no wonder why Queenstown is one of the most popular places in New Zealand for a vacation. From bungy jumping to pony rides, there is something for everyone – these unforgettable experiences in Queenstown are guaranteed to be cherished memories for the kids.

Queenstown Top Things To Do With Kids

Meanwhile, exploring Queenstown with the kids is an adventure of a lifetime! From hitting the ski slopes to getting close and personal with some of New Zealand’s wildlife, you and your family will have stories to share and memories to last forever. There’s so much to do in Queenstown that appeals to all ages; it is a perfect destination for families.

Queenstown Top Things To Do With Kids

Queenstown is a great place for kids, with plenty of opportunities for adventure! From hiking and biking, to kayaking and even bungee jumping, Queenstown offers something for everyone. There’s no better way to get outdoors and explore New Zealand’s amazing scenery than by taking the kids on a fun-filled trip to Queenstown!

For other top scenic destinations, check out the Top Things to do in Switzerland with a Family

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