Nz queenstown jet boat view family see and do adventurous
nz-south-hot air balloon-queenstown view
Nz south island queenstown kawarau bridge bungy jumping
Nz queenstown jet boat view family see and do adventurous
nz-south-hot air balloon-queenstown view
Nz south island queenstown kawarau bridge bungy jumping
The adventure capital of the world


Discover one of New Zealand's most thrilling destinations. Surrounded by magnificent mountains and situated on the edge of a lake, Queenstown is the centre of adventure, adrenaline, and fun. Bungy jump off the historic Kawarau Bridge. Hike to the summit of Ben Lomond for breathtaking views of Lake Wakatipu or go skydiving over the Southern Alps.

Aerial view of a green mountain peak with a river winding around the bottom of it
Soar above the Wakatipu basin for panoramic views
Two people standing next to a 4x4 overlooking a lake and mountains
Let your inner explorer free as you discover the beauty of New Zealand


If you can count on one thing, it is that Queenstown will awaken your inner adventurer. Whether you're into leaping off bridges, chasing steep slopes, exploring trails, or indulging in food and wine, there are exhilarating experiences to be found for all tastes and tempos.

Best known as the home of bungee jumping, Queenstown is a bustling city with award-winning restaurants, bars, and boutique shops. Being outdoors and active is the order of the day with skydiving, bungee jumping, skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, luging, and rafting on offer.

A group of people riding in a jet boat with water spraying behind them
Go on an adrenaline pumping jet boat ride
A man and woman in a restaurant with a server showing them a bottle of wine
Discover a variety of wines from Gibbston Valley

Bungy Jumping

Queenstown is most famous for the first-ever commercial bungy operation that was launched at the Kawarau Bridge. At first, many locals dismissed it as a passing trend but it caught on and the bungy jump quickly became an international sensation – and the launch of adventure tourism in New Zealand.

AJ Hackett is the original bungy jumping operation in New Zealand. With more than 30 years and 4 million successful jumps, Skypark by AJ Hackett is the world's leading adventure tourism brand.

Leap off a bridge for spectacular views of a different kind

Nevis Bungy

The Nevis is the highest bungy jump in New Zealand. The 134-metre fall takes a mere eight seconds, amid fear and adrenaline, which may feel like eight years. Bearing in mind that the journey to the big jump over steep roads and across gorges will have your nerves going already.

Suspension bridge with bungy cables
Experience a heart-stopping drop off the bridge
A person hanging by a rope off a bridge with a river below
See nature in the most exciting way possible

Kawarau Bridge

This is the bungy jump that started it all in New Zealand. While it may not be as scary as the Nevis, the 43-metres drop into the gorge where you will dip your head into the river below is just as exhilarating.

The Ledge

Before you jump off The Ledge bungy, take a moment to enjoy the wonderful views of Queenstown. You have an option to leap upside down, backwards or straight on. Whichever you choose, it is 47-metres of pure thrills.

A girl with a red bungee cord strapped around her waist flying in the air
Fly in the air for a few seconds of a pure adrenaline rush
Two people in red and white clothing strapped to a parachute in the air
Sky diving is a possibility in Queenstown

Lake Wakatipu

Lake Wakatipu is renowned for its scenic beauty because it is bordered on all sides by tall mountains, the highest of which is Mount Earnslaw (2.819 metres). Queenstown and the villages of Kingston, Glenorchy and Kinloch surround the lake.

Learn about the Maori legend

When travelling through New Zealand you'll learn about many Maori legends. Lake Wakatipu is oddly shaped and because of that, it has a 'tide" ( "standing wave"), which causes the water to rise and fall about 10 centimetres every 25 minutes or so. According to Maori legend, this strange occurrence is the heartbeat of a huge monster named Matau, who they believe is sleeping at the bottom of the lake.

View of a large lake surrounded by mountains with white clouds and blue sky
Soak up the scenic beauty of NZ
Amazing views at Glenorchy National Park | New Zealand nature
Go on a tour to learn more about Glenorchy and other interesting places

Cruising across Lake Wakatipu on a restored steamship is a blissful way to appreciate the magnificent alpine scenery. The T.S.S. Earnslaw cruises the lake every day and is a New Zealand icon. The Spirit of Queenstown Scenic Tour is an alternate way to appreciate the beauty of this lake. Feel the breeze in your hair as you cruise across the lake to Mt Nicholas High Country Farm and into the waters of Bob’s Cove.

Go swimming, fishing and hiking

Lake Wakatipu offers year-round trout fishing and in summer, the lake's beaches are popular for swimming. The Lake Wakatipu Ride which is part of the Queenstown Trails is a relaxed way to experience the beautiful landscape.

A boat cruising down a lake with mountains in the background
Appreciate the alpine scenery with a cruise on a vintage steamship
View of a long lake flanked by a mountain range
Spend time relaxing in nature and take in the spectacular scenery
© Tourism New Zealand

Things to do

Cruising across Lake Wakatipu on a restored steamship is a blissful way to appreciate the magnificent alpine scenery. The T.S.S. Earnslaw cruises the lake every day. Complete with a bright red funnel, white hull and kauri timber decks, this vintage steamship is a New Zealand icon. The Spirit of Queenstown Scenic Tour is an alternate way to appreciate the beauty of this lake. Feel the breeze in your hair as you cruise across the lake to Mt Nicholas High Country Farm and into the waters of Bob’s Cove.

Go swimming, fishing and hiking

Lake Wakatipu offers year-round trout fishing at the mouths of the Greenstone and Lochy Rivers. In summer, the lake's beaches are popular for swimming. The Lake Wakatipu Ride, part of the Queenstown Trails, is a leisurely way to experience this stunning part of the country.

A tray of snacks and wine on a barrel in a farm setting
Taste local wine and gourmet food at nearby wine farms
© Tourism New Zealand
A man walking up a path to an old building with a mountain in the background
Wander around Queenstown and discover hidden gems
© Tourism New Zealand

Enjoy panoramic views of the Remarkables mountain range

If you love beautiful views of mountain ranges and lakes, the Queenstown Gondola, an icon in Queenstown, is a must. Ride 450-metres up to Bob's Peak and marvel at the unrivalled views of the Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu.

Cycle along the Queenstown Trail

One of the best ways to take in the spectacular landscape of Queenstown is by bike. Pick one of the Queenstown Trail’s routes, and relish the scenery of quaint towns such as Arrowtown, and stunning wineries and you could even stop at one of the bungy jump sites.

A small town with homes and cars surrounded by mountain
Explore Arrowtown, a historic gold mining town in the Otago region of the South Island
Two men and a woman sitting at a table on ski slope
Go skiing at the closest ski field, Coronet Peak
© Miles Holden

Get a bird's-eye view of Queenstown

Take to the air on a scenic flight and enjoy views of the mountain ranges, lakes, and lush greenery. There are so many options from helicopter rides to paragliding. Perhaps an early morning hot air balloon ride watching the sunrise with a champagne breakfast upon landing would appeal to your more romantic side.

Aerial view of a red and yellow hot air balloon riding above green fields, a long river and mountain ranges
Take your adventure to the next level with a hot air balloon ride
A plane flying over lakes and mountainous terrain
Get a panoramic view of Milford Sound

Visit nearby towns Arrowtown and Glenorchy

The historic and quaint Arrowtown was founded during the gold rush of the 1860s. Only a 20 minutes drive east of Queenstown, this picturesque destination is home to the Lakes District Museum and Gallery – which showcases the area’s history and relics. Why not try your luck at discovering gold while you are there? Hire a Gold Pan and head down to the river and who knows, you might strike gold.

Get lost in other-worldly film locations

Only a 45-minute drive from Queenstown nestled in the forest and towering mountain ranges, you will find the beautiful Glenorchy. It is a paradise for those who love walking tracks, horse riding, and fishing, not to mention avid photographers scouting the perfect shot. Fans of The Lord of the Rings can discover the shooting locations for Isengard, Amon Hen, Lothlorien Forest, The Misty Mountains and Ithilien.

Autumn colours in Arrowtown | New Zealand holiday
Enjoy a walk along the banks of the Arrow River in Arrowtown
An artistically decorated white plate of food
Awaken your taste buds with gastronomic delights

Food and wine regions

For a foodie, Queenstown’s diversity is best experienced via a culinary tour. Let your tastebuds do the exploring from famous burgers and delicious desserts to more refined meals at the many fine-dining restaurants.

The Gibbston area of Queenstown, known as the Valley of the Vines, is one of the most breathtaking areas to visit in New Zealand. Spend a day biking around mountains and rivers as you unearth beautiful vineyards and hidden little gems.

A glass of white wine next to a black plate with beautifully plated food
Let your taste buds take you on a culinary adventure
A bike with a basket of wine and food leaning against a brown wall in a winery
Enjoy a local bottle of wine in a vineyard

More than 70% of the grapes grown here are pinot noir. Spend some time leisurely exploring this area, sampling the wine, and meeting the locals. Go wine-tasting at any of these wineries and you won't be disappointed.

  • Gibbston Valley Winery
  • Mt Rosa Wines
  • Chard Farm
  • Amisfield Winery & Bistro
A green vineyard with a mountain backdrop
Book a tour of award-winning wine farms
A plate of fresh oysters and dip
Fresh, local food is always available to enjoy

Experience a picturesque autumn festival

During April, colourful leaves line the streets of Arrowtown and the historic gold mining town comes alive with the Arrowtown Autumn Festival. Mingle with locals, sample the wine and relax on a picnic blanket soaking up the views.

The Queenstown Trail

The Queenstown Cycle Trail network links Queenstown, Arrowtown and Gibbston, and is 130-kilometre of spectacular scenery. The cycling ranges from easy to advanced and you can choose simple lakeside trails or challenging cross-country treks.

A group of cyclists riding on a road through a mountainous valley
Mountain bike the Queenstown Trail to Arrowtownn
© Miles Holden
A cottage in a green lush mountainous valley
Rest in places as breathtaking as the destination itself

Wine tours in Queenstown and Gibbston

You cannot say you have visited Queenstown if you haven't done a wine tour. Stroll through vineyards, cycle to each winery or jump on a hop-on-hop-off winery tour bus. There is an option for everyone, just make sure you to relax and enjoy.

A woman standing in front of a wooden bar top with five bottle of wine and wine glasses
Sample New Zealand's world-class local wines
Garden terrace of a boutique hotel
Soak up the sun on a beautiful terrace

Nearby Towns


Wanaka is a vibrant alpine town, set around Lake Wanaka. It's the perfect place to stay if you want to explore the Southern Alps and Mt Aspiring National Park. There are several hiking tracks to try including the Rocky Mountain Track which offers stunning views. Lake Wanaka is ideal for fly fishing, boat cruises, jet boating, kayaking, and swimming.

Most activities revolve around the picturesque lake with bike tours, vineyards, and scenic flights on offer. The town centre is buzzing with lakeside restaurants, cafes, and boutique shops with local products. In the winter months, skiing can be enjoyed at Treble Cone and Cardrona Ski Resorts.

A man and woman hugging on a mountain peak overlooking a huge lake
Create memories in Wanaka that will last a lifetime
People in a green jet bat riding over blue glacial water surrounded by green forest
Start your day off with a thrilling jet boat ride through glacial waters

Te Anau

Te Anau is a picture-perfect town nestled on the edge of a lake. With many accommodation options available, it is a charming place to stay to visit Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound. It's best to book accommodation as early as possible as it gets booked out quickly.

Mountains reflecting over a clear lake
Enjoy a quiet walk around the peaceful Lake Te Anau
© Barton Matthews
Te Anau mountain range | New Zealand nature
Be mesmerised by views that go beyond the horizon
© Barton Matthews

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Te Anau & Manapouri, New Zealand

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New Zealand’s southernmost city was founded in the 1850s and with a population of approximately 60,000, it is the capital of Southland. Discover Victorian, Edwardian and Art Deco heritage buildings on an evening stroll and savour the old-world charm. A place with plenty of character you'll easily strike up a conversation with locals at the lively bars or restaurants.

A small bridge over a stream in a park with green trees and hedges
Enjoy an evening stroll through parks and heritage buildings
Green leaves and flowers, blue glacier and snow-capped mountains | New Zealand nature

Get inspired for your dream holiday to New Zealand

Join one of our live and informative presentations, hosted by one of our travel specialists. And find out how to travel to New Zealand in a uniquely local way. There are also plenty of opportunities to ask questions!

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Lake Tekapo

During the day the lake exudes a picture-perfect stillness and at night it transforms into a dazzling sight. Part of a UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, it is the perfect spot to spend the evening stargazing.

Lake Tekapo is a three-hour drive from Christchurch. The town is stunning as it faces north across the turquoise-coloured water looking out to the spectacular range of the Southern Alps.

Lake Tekapo sky observatory | New Zealand holiday
Spend a magical evening under the stars
Purple flowers, large blue lake and mountains in the background
Walk through colourful fields of flowers
© TravelEssence | Tobias Pelzer

Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park

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Explore Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand's most dramatic natural beauty. It has the highest mountains, longest glaciers, and permanent snow.

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Dunedin is a fascinating city full of history, abundant in wildlife and bustling with students. From edgy urban street art to adorable penguins, it is full of surprises.

Find hidden little gems and admire grand heritage buildings as you explore in and around the city centre. Stroll through the lush Dunedin Botanic Gardens and take a relaxing gondola ride as a floral wonderland passes you by. Or hike to the Signal Hill Lookout for panoramic views over the city and beyond.

A girl and boy standing at the entrance of a castle
Learn about cultural history at Larnach Castle
© Camilla Rutherford
Two sea lions cuddling on the beach
Witness sea lions having a cuddle on the beach

The Otago Peninsula is an eco-tourism destination renowned for its rare wildlife species including penguins, albatross and fur seals. A drive down the peninsula will reveal quaint villages set amongst wild landscapes. Take your time discovering local gems, including New Zealand’s only castle.

A man with a surfboard entering the ocean at sunrise
Play in the waves on your surfboard at sunrise
© TravelEssence
A person sitting on a bench overlooking the ocean
Sit on the edge of dramatic cliffs and spot penguins and seals
© Rene Winnie

Make sure you tick off these activities and attractions in Dunedin next time you're in town:

  • Enjoy a locally brewed beer
  • Visit Port Chalmers
  • Explore the Dunedin street art trail
  • Have fun at the stunning beaches
  • The Otago Museum or Toitu Otago Settlers Museum
  • Dunedin's heritage buildings
  • Larnach Castle
Purple and red flowers|New Zealand flora and fauna
Discover a floral wonderland
A large castle and garden
Uncover hidden gems, find spectacular views and walk through lush gardens
© Pixabay | ArvidO

National Parks

Many national parks are within just a few hours' drive from Queenstown.

Mount Aspiring National Park

Mount Aspiring National Park is two hours from Queenstown and is popular with hikers thanks to the untouched wilderness. Situated on the West Coast, it is part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. It is considered a mecca for outdoor adventure with alpine lakes, towering mountains, deep valleys and spectacular glaciers.

Deep blue glacial pool surrounded by green rock face
Capture the cool waters of the Blue Pools
Calm river of clear blue water flanked by green trees and mountains
Hike through lush forests and along crystal clear rivers

Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park

Mount Cook National Park boasts 19 of the highest 20 mountains in New Zealand and is three hours from Queenstown. It is a vast alpine landscape with snow-capped peaks, glaciers, lakes and ski fields, all set under a canopy of stars. A hiking and nature lovers dream, it has many walking tracks and native flora and fauna to discover.

Small brown bird on a rock
Spot the abundant wildlife as you journey through New Zealand
Man and woman hiking near a lake with snow-capped mountains in the background
Hike through the famous Hooker Valley
© Miles Holden

Fiordland National Park

Fiordland National Park has the distinction of being New Zealand's largest national park. Located three hours and forty minutes from Queenstown it is named on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Experience ancient rainforests, snow-capped mountains, cascading waterfalls and the remarkable Milford and Doubtful Sound fiords. They can be explored by kayak, on foot and by boat.

Clear water, dense green forest and mountains
Immerse yourself in an untouched natural landscape
Mountains peaks reflecting in clear water at sunset
Catch a sunset in the mystical Milford Sound

Where to stay?

Make your trip extra special by experiencing a unique stay from our large collection of hand-selected accommodations located in Queenstown and beyond. Your travel specialist will match you with accommodation that suits your wants and needs. A journey where your accommodation is an experience in itself.

Discover more

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Stunning lake and mountain views from your private terrace

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4 weeks from Queenstown to Christchurch

New Zealand

3-5 weeks - 5988 £

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10 of New Zealand’s best food & wine regions

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  • Carefully recommended activities based on your interests
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  • 30 years of experience in travel to New Zealand

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We'll take the time to get to know you to match your fully bespoke holiday with your pace, your interests, and anything you desire. Combined with first-hand, local knowledge, you'll receive a mapped-out itinerary from us - but the process isn't done until you are 100% satisfied. We take care of every detail, so you can focus on relaxing, rejuvenating and reconnecting with yourself and the world around you. Get in touch to get started now.

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At TravelEssence, we specialise in crafting custom-made holidays that take you off the beaten path and create memories to last a lifetime. We believe in connecting with the heart and soul of a place, introducing you to the locals who call it home. Engage in conversations with fascinating individuals who will share their stories, traditions, and way of life, leaving an indelible mark on your journey.