8 Must-Do Things in Queenstown This Summer

8 Must-Do Things in Queenstown This Summer

Despite being an absolute dream for anyone who prefers the colder, snowy climates and winter activities, Queenstown in summer is an alpine oasis of fun. There are certainly still a lot of things you can do in summer that will get your adrenaline pumping and we’ll get into that. But first of all, let’s consider some of the free, more relaxing Queenstown summer activities.

Queenstown itself is right on beautiful Lake Wakatipu so something that’s easy to do is spend some time sitting back on one of its beaches. If you’re really into the beach scene, then head down to the main beach in Queenstown Bay – spend a minute here and you’ll see how many activities show themselves to you. On the quieter side there’s also Sunshine Bay, Wilson’s Bay and Bob’s Cove, all of which are a little bit further outside of Queenstown but boast the perfect spots to sit down with a good book, have a family picnic and get some sun. You should also have check out Queenstown Life and My Destination Queenstown for some top free summer activities.

Now, let’s look at some of the more exhilarating things you can do during summer in Queenstown:

1. Bike Riding

No matter what level of rider you are, there’s an enjoyable bike track for you in Queenstown. You can rent bikes, go on a bike tour, explore mountain trails and even combine a biking and helicopter tour. If you’re with the kids there are also plenty of options for younger riders.

biking qt trails

2. Gondola and Luging

One of the nicest summer activities in Queenstown to do with the whole family is taking a gondola ride up iconic Bob’s Peak. Once you’re up there, a lunch at the scenic Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar followed by some traditional Kiwi Haka Maori performances, or alternatively take one of the many walking tracks. When you’ve had enough of the glorious views, luging down the mountain is a tempered thrill that can be enjoyed at any age and is a perfect finish to the day.

3. Stargazing

Also run by Skyline Queenstown, take the gondola up Bob’s Peak at night time and you’ll find expert guides running stargazing tours to show you a view of the Milky Way you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Regardless of whether you’re a naturally space-inquisitive person, this one is truly amazing.

4. Shotover Jet

Summer is arguably the best time of year to experience Queenstown’s iconic Shotover Jet. Climb aboard and let the boat’s driver hurtle you through an incredible and beautiful network of tightly wound canyons. While you’re at the Shotover River, another awesome activity you can check out is river rafting – it’s a mix of serene paddling through still pools and exhilarating white water mayhem – so be prepared to get wet and thrown around!

QT activities

5. Parasailing

You may be more accustom to seeing this in Hawaii, or the Bahamas, but flying behind a boat (attached to a parachute) over Queenstown’s Lake Wakatipu is just as awesome. You can do it solo or with a partner or child, just head over to Ultimate Queenstown for a list of prices – but make sure you pack some warm clothes because even though it’s summer, the alpine air still has the potential to send a chill to your bones when you’re in the air.

6. Bungy Jumping

Sure, not everyone wakes up in the morning and thinks they want to go bungy jumping, but AJ Hackett Bungyare a must visit for summer in Queenstown. Hosting New Zealand’s highest jump, the Nevis, this is more than just a rush – it’s an opportunity to experience something truly unique and really test yourself. If taking the jump isn’t your thing though, AJ Hackett also do swings and climbs, so if it comes to the day and you don’t feel like jumping, there are plenty more things on offer. 

bungy and ledge

7. Skydiving

Much like the above, this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but to really make your summer in Queenstown memorable, jump from a plane with NZONE Skydive. On top of the sheer thrill of free-falling from a plane, it’s also the best perspective you can get of the natural landscape. If you thought Queenstown’s surrounding environment was beautiful from the ground, you’ll be utterly blown away when you see it while gracefully drifting about with a parachute. And don’t worry, you’ll be skydiving in tandem with a highly experienced professional, so all you need to do is enjoy the ride!

8. Riverboarding

Get any ideas of floating peacefully down a sunny and slow Queenstown stream out of your head – riverboarding is an adventure. Riding whirlpools, catching standing waves and seeking out rock jumps makes this Queenstown summer activity an awesome time for people of all ages and budgets. Riverboarding operate on the Kawarau River, guides will take you through a couple of different sections depending on the water levels, and their main objective is to show you an epic white-water time!


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