Queenstown Family Activities: Your Ultimate Guide

By: Holly Royce, 24 May 2024

Queenstown, nestled amidst the majestic landscapes of New Zealand, is a haven for families seeking a memorable holiday. From the adrenaline-packed adventures to tranquil scenic views, Queenstown offers a diverse range of experiences that cater to families of all types. 

17 Queenstown Family Activities The Family Will Love

Thrilling Family Activities

Queenstown Adventure
Queenstown offers a no end of activities for families seeking adventure.


For the adventure-seeking families, Queenstown has a lot in store. A quick note that given the thirlling nature of some of these family-activities, they are better suited to older children, we're talking aged 6 and above. There are still plenty of Queenstown family activities for everyone, never fear!

From the exhilarating Highlands Outdoor Go Karting (passengers must be aged 6 and above drivers 10 and above), to the breathtaking aerial views with the Ziptrek Kea Tour, there's something for everyone. To participate in a Ziptrek tour, individuals must be at least 6 years old, weigh a minimum of 30kg (65lbs), with those under 30kg allowed to zip tandem with a guide on the Moa 4-Line tour only, and children (6-14yrs) must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is at least 15 years old.

And for those who love the water, the Shotover Jet Queenstown promises a thrilling ride through the Shotover River canyons. For the Shotover jet, passengers must be at least 1 metre tall, though this can be extended to 1.2 metres based on river conditions for safety. While children under 5 years old who meet the height requirement can ride for free with a fare-paying adult, they still need a ticket. Additionally, all children (0-15yrs) must be accompanied by an adult aged 16 or older.

Feeling brave? For those with children aged 10 and older, the iconic Kawarau Bridge Bungy promises an adrenaline-pumping leap with scenic views. For the families with big kids, over 16 years old, the adventurous Queenstown Quad Bike Tours provide an exhilarating ride through the region's rugged terrains.

Don't worry, we haven't forgotten the little kids and toddlers! It couldn't be a complete Queenstown family activities list without an animal experience. For a more relaxed family outing for the whole family, the TSS Earnslaw Cruise and Walter Peak Farm Tour offers a delightful blend of history, nature, and farm life. 

Iconic Attractions

Queenstown Attractions
Experience the unique attractions Queenstown has to offer.


Queenstown is not just about thrills; it's also rich in heritage and natural beauty. The serene Onsen Hot Pools offer a tranquil escape, though do note that children under 12yrs are not permitted for evening sessions after 5pm. So make sure you and the family enjoy yourself during the day. 

For families that enjoy exploring local wildlife, there is nothing more iconically New Zealand than meeting a Kiwi bird! Kiwi Park Queenstown lets you get up close with New Zealand's iconic bird.

Not this family activity was a tough squeeze between iconic and thrilling because really Queenstown's Time Tripper is both! It's captivating underwater virtual journey that transports you 90 million years back to the era of dinosaurs, unveils the Maori legend of Lake Wakatipu, showcases the lake's formation by a colossal glacier, and offers a mesmerising view of diving ducks, eels, and trout, all wrapped up in a state-of-the-art 14-minute animated show followed by 15 minutes of underwater observation. Children of all ages love this one and it's short run-times make it perfect for the younger kids.

Scenic Tours

Queenstown Scenic Tours
Discover the breathtaking landscapes surrounding Queenstown.


Queenstown is a gateway to some of New Zealand's most picturesque landscapes.  First up, hop on the Milford Sound Coach and Cruise from Queenstown for a jaw-dropping journey through fairy-tale fjords and whispering waterfalls. Got little explorers who dream big? The Paradise Valley and Glenorchy Half Day Tour departing Queenstown is like stepping into a storybook with landscapes that'll make their imaginations run wild! 

Movie night at your house always a Middle-Earth marathon? The kids will be starry-eyed with the Wakatipu Basin Lord of the Rings Tour and the Half Day Scenic Glenorchy and Lord of the Rings Tour. It's Middle-Earth come to life! 

For those chill-out moments, the Happy Hour Cruise Lake Wanaka is your ticket to relaxation with a splash of fun. 

And if glaciers and historic towns tickle your family's fancy, the Queenstown to Fox Glacier Tour and Arrowtown and Wanaka Full Day Tour are pure family gold. 

Soar High with Scenic Flights

Queenstown Scenic Flights
Experience Queenstown from a bird's-eye view.


For a truly unique perspective, consider taking to the skies. Scenic flights over Queenstown offer panoramic views of the region, from glaciers to the majestic Milford Sound. It's an aerial adventure that promises to be unforgettable. Explore the various options here.

Getting Around Queenstown

To enjoy any of these family activities you're going to have to know how to get around this beauitful location. When it comes to getting around, Queenstown offers several convenient options:

  • Public Bus: A reliable service connecting major suburbs to downtown. Fares start at $2 NZD with a Bee Card.
  • Ferry: Operates from various points, including Frankton Marina and the Hilton Hotel. Fares start at $10 NZD one-way.
  • Self-Drive: For those who prefer the freedom of driving or will be traveling with younger children who may require a carseat a rental car is your best bet to explore your way. Make sure to confirm your car seat specifications in advance.Queenstown is easy to navigate, though parking can be a challenge downtown. 

How to Get to Queenstown

Whether you're flying in or driving, Queenstown is accessible:

  • By Air: Queenstown Airport is just a 15-minute drive from the town center and offers direct flights from major cities.
  • By Road: Many opt to drive to Queenstown, with car and campervan rentals available. Buses also operate daily from various cities.

Camping in Queenstown

For the outdoor enthusiasts, camping is a popular choice:

  • Paid Campsites: Offer amenities like hot showers and kitchens. Book in advance during peak seasons.
  • DOC Campsites: Basic sites managed by the Department of Conservation at $15 NZD per person.
  • Freedom Camping: Popular in New Zealand, but with restrictions in Queenstown. Use the CamperMate app for updates.

Best Areas to Stay in Queenstown

Depending on your preferences, there are several areas to consider:

  • Frankton: Budget-friendly and a short drive from downtown.
  • Arrowtown: Historic and tranquil.
  • Arthurs Point: Near the ski field, perfect for winter enthusiasts.
  • Fernhill: Offers stunning views and proximity to attractions.

Queenstown promises a holiday experience like no other. From thrilling adventures to serene attractions, it offers something for every family. So pack your bags and get ready to create unforgettable memories in this iconic New Zealand destination.

More Holiday Reads

Affordable Family Adventures: Your Ultimate Guide to Budget-Friendly Activities on the Gold Coast
Sydney Staycation on a Budget: Fun-filled Adventures for Families with Young Children
Unlocking Cairns on a Budget: A Family Travel Guide You Can't Miss

Have you signed up to our newsletter? Join ellaslist to get the best family and kid-friendly events, venues, classes and things to do NEAR YOU!

  • Pregnancy
    Mums & Bubs
    All Ages