Embark on a journey to explore the hidden treasures of Queenstown, New Zealand. This blog will guide you through a step-by-step tutorial on the lesser-known activities and experiences that will make your trip to Queenstown truly unforgettable.

Step 1: Discover the Historic Charm of Arrowtown

Autumn in Arrowtown, New Zealand

First up, immerse yourself in the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown. Just a short 20-minute drive from Queenstown, this charming place is a must-visit. Wander through the picturesque streets, marvel at the beautifully maintained heritage buildings, and explore the local shops, cafes, and restaurants. If you visit in the fall, you’ll be treated to the stunning red and golden colors of the autumn season. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Lake District Museum to delve into Arrowtown’s gold mining history and take a walk through the former Chinese gold mining settlement.

Exploring Arrowtown

  • Wander through the picturesque streets
  • Marvel at the beautifully maintained heritage buildings
  • Explore the local shops, cafes, and restaurants

Learning About History

Don’t forget to visit the Lake District Museum to learn about Arrowtown’s gold mining history and take a walk through the former Chinese gold mining settlement. It’s a fascinating experience that offers insight into the area’s rich heritage.

Explore more about Arrowtown’s historic charm here

Step 2: Explore the Breathtaking Skippers Canyon

If you’re seeking adventure and stunning scenery, Skippers Canyon is a must-visit. Carved out by the Shotover River, one of the richest gold-bearing rivers in the world, this rugged area offers a breathtaking fusion of natural beauty and rich history. We highly recommend taking a guided tour through the narrow, winding roads to learn more about the gold mining history while leaving the driving to the experts, especially due to the deep drops along the road.

Guided Tour Experience

Scenic view of Skippers Canyon

  • Discover the area’s rich history on a guided tour
  • Marvel at the stunning natural beauty of Skippers Canyon
  • Leave the driving to the experts and focus on soaking in the experience

Embark on a guided tour of Skippers Canyon here

Step 3: Elevate Your Golfing Experience with Helicopter Golfing

Take your golfing experience to new heights with helicopter golfing in Queenstown, New Zealand. Fly in a helicopter up Cecil Peak mountains to an elevation of 4,500 ft, overlooking Lake Wakatipu. Tee off from the mountain top surrounded by breathtaking landscapes. This exclusive heli golfing tour with Over The Top Golf offers a truly unique and unforgettable golfing experience. With four tee boxes for the altitude golfer to attempt the hole in one, it’s an opportunity you don’t want to miss.

Helicopter golfing in Queenstown

Unforgettable Golfing Experience

  • Fly in a helicopter up Cecil Peak mountains
  • Tee off from the mountain top with stunning landscapes
  • Exclusive heli golfing tour with Over The Top Golf

Elevate your golfing experience with helicopter golfing in Queenstown

Step 4: Discover the Scenic Wonders of Glenorchy

Embark on a day tour to Glenorchy from Queenstown and step into a postcard-worthy setting. Located on the northern end of Lake Wakatipu, Glenorchy offers one of the most scenic drives in the world. Upon arrival, explore the charming town and hike through the surrounding Mount Aspiring National Park. Alternatively, simply soak in the natural beauty that has been featured in many movies, such as The Lord of the Rings. Taking a guided tour allows you to fully immerse yourself in the scenic wonders of Glenorchy.

Scenic Day Tour

  • Explore the charming town of Glenorchy
  • Hike through the Mount Aspiring National Park
  • Soak in the natural beauty and cinematic landscapes

Discover the scenic wonders of Glenorchy on a guided day tour

Step 5: Immerse Yourself in the Routeburn Nature Walk

Immerse yourself in the stunning variations of vegetation and wildlife on the Routeburn Nature Walk. Starting from Queenstown and traveling to the end of Lake Wakatipu, you’ll be surrounded by snowcapped mountains and the breathtaking backdrop of Mount Aspiring National Park. Begin your walk through the ancient red beech forest, amidst lush ferns, lichens, and mosses. Follow the Routeburn River to reach the Routeburn Ridge Shelter, offering stunning views into the valley.

Exploring the Routeburn Nature Walk

  • Start from Queenstown and travel to the end of Lake Wakatipu
  • Walk through the ancient red beech forest and lush vegetation
  • Reach the Routeburn Ridge Shelter for breathtaking views

Whether you prefer to explore independently on a day hike or with a local guide from Queenstown, this nature walk is a must-visit. For more details on guided options, check out the Routeburn Track Guided Tours.

Step 6: Interact with Friendly Farm Animals at Glenorchy Animal Farm

If you’re interested in farm life, the Glenorchy Animal Farm is a delightful attraction well worth your visit when traveling to the Glenorchy area. Conveniently located along the road to the Routeburn Track in the Paradise Valley, this family-friendly farm allows you to interact with a variety of animals such as sheep, alpaca, horses, deer, and more. Enjoy the beautiful countryside and learn about farm life while bonding with these friendly animals.

Exploring Glenorchy Animal Farm

  • Interact with a variety of farm animals
  • Enjoy the beautiful countryside and scenic views
  • Learn about farm life and bond with friendly animals

For a memorable experience with farm animals, make sure to include a visit to the Glenorchy Animal Farm during your trip to the area.

Step 7: Indulge in Queenstown’s Food and Wine Scene

Queenstown is a haven for food and wine enthusiasts. Embark on a food and wine tour to explore the picturesque wineries in the Central Otago region, renowned for its exceptional pinot noirs. With a knowledgeable local guide, you’ll have the opportunity to sample some of the finest wines while indulging in gourmet food pairings. The experience of meeting passionate winemakers and learning about the wine-making process firsthand adds an extra layer of enjoyment to your visit.

  • Explore beautiful wineries in a picturesque environment
  • Sample exceptional wines from the Central Otago region
  • Indulge in gourmet food pairings and meet passionate winemakers

For an unforgettable food and wine experience, book your wine tasting tour today with Appellation Wine Tours | Queenstown & Otago Wine Tours.

Step 8: Explore Queenstown’s Scenic Bike Trails

If cycling is your passion, discover the beauty of the Gibbston Wine Valley on two wheels. Just a short distance from Queenstown, the Gibbston Valley Trail offers a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation as you pedal through the vineyards alongside the Kawarau River. Cross the iconic bungy bridge and savor the stunning scenery. Many bike tours also include stops at wineries, allowing you to indulge in both cycling and foodie delights.

  • Explore the beauty of the Gibbston Wine Valley on two wheels
  • Experience a mix of adventure and relaxation while cycling
  • Enjoy scenic stops at wineries and foodie delights along the way

Plan your Gibbston biking adventure and explore the region’s wineries and eateries by bike with Bike the Wineries. Explore Gibbston By Bike | Queenstown NZ.

Step 9: Visit the Queenstown Kiwi Park and Night House

Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of New Zealand’s native birds at the Kiwi Park and Night House in Queenstown. This conservation sanctuary is home to over 20 species of native birds, including the elusive and nocturnal kiwi bird. It’s a rare opportunity to witness these iconic creatures up close, as the nocturnal flightless kiwi is seldom seen in the wild. Learn about the conservation efforts dedicated to protecting these unique birds and enjoy live conservation tours that are both educational and entertaining.

  • Get up close with New Zealand’s native birds
  • Experience the nocturnal flightless kiwi bird in a rare setting
  • Learn about conservation efforts and enjoy live tours

For an unforgettable wildlife experience, visit the Kiwi Park Queenstown | Wildlife Sanctuary.

Step 10: Embark on a Thrilling Queenstown White Water Rafting Adventure

For thrill-seekers, white water rafting on the Shotover and Kawarau rivers is a must-do activity in Queenstown. The Shotover River offers an exhilarating grade 5 rafting experience, perfect for adrenaline enthusiasts. Alternatively, the Kawarau River provides a grade 3 to 4 rafting adventure suitable for both beginners and experienced rafters. Your trusted rafting guide will navigate you through thrilling rapids surrounded by imposing rock boulders. With options to suit all levels, including morning and afternoon departures, you can easily incorporate this thrilling adventure into your Queenstown itinerary.

  • Experience the adrenaline rush of white water rafting
  • Navigate through exciting rapids with a trusted guide
  • Options available for all levels of experience

Embark on your white water rafting adventure and book online today with Queenstown Rafting | Shotover River & Kawarau River I RealNZ.

South Island Self-drive Road Trips:

Christchurch to Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo to Mt Cook National Park

Lake Tekapo to Dunedin

Dunedin to Invercargill

Invercargill to Te Anau

Queenstown to Milford Sound

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