New Zealand’s South Island is a paradise filled with hidden gems and natural wonders. With plenty of amazing things to do in South Island, travellers often tend to overlook Queenstown, thinking that it’s just a starting point for their road trip. Well today, I’m here to tell you all the best things to do in Queenstown with teenagers!
Queenstown is worth at least a couple of days to explore and enjoy especially if you are travelling with teens who love food and the outdoors.
Located at the southern part of the South Island, Queenstown is home to one of the two international airports in New Zealand South Island and also various great foods! Without further ado, let’s dive in and see what are the best things to do in Queenstown with teenagers!
Go Bungy Jumping in Queenstown
Now, do you know that commercial bungy jumping was started in Queenstown, New Zealand? Yep, the first commercial bungy jumping started in Kawarau Bridge at 43m plunge, with AJ Hackett Bungy Jumping. Book your epic Bungy jump experience here!
While AJ Hackett started with bungy jumping, they now have so much more than that to offer. Now, you have the options to go for swings, catapults, and ziprides! There really is something for everyone in the family when you are holidaying with teenagers in Queenstown.
Find the most suitable package for yourself and your teen to get your adrenaline pumping! Check out our top activities in Queenstown here.
Take a walk around Queenstown Garden
Queenstown certainly has one of the best parks in the country. At Queenstown Garden, you will enjoy great views, along with well-maintained tracks and various facilities.
The reason I recommend this is because Queenstown Garden is also an excellent spot for a family picnic. Grab some sandwiches and have a picnic snack around here while enjoying the snow-capped mountain in the background.
After that, you also have the option to have a coffee in the café nearby, which offers the lake view as well!
Enjoy Queenstown City View on Skyline Gondola
Skyline Gondola offers the best scenic city view of Queenstown. From the foothill, take the gondola up 450m to the top of Bob’s Peak and enjoy the magnificent panoramic view over the city, surrounding lakes and alpine mountains.
At the top of Bob’s Peak, there will also be some activities like magic shows, luge rides, or if you fancy it, you can even have dinner inside the gondola! However, if you’re up for the dinner option, you need to book early especially during the peak season as they are often booked out! Get in early and book here.
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Have a Jet Boat Adventure in Shotover River
Queenstown is often referred to as the home of adrenaline rush lovers because there are so many extreme sports available in this town. The jetboat is one of them. Shotover River is located on the outskirts of Queenstown.
To have your jet boat adventure there, simply go to one of the jet boat rides offices in the town or to get your jet boat ride in Queenstown sorted well before you go. Click on the pictures for the best deals in Queenstown.
One thing you should note is that sometimes the operation might get cancelled for the day if the river condition is not good, for example, the water level is too high. It’s one of the best things to do in Queenstown with teenagers though!
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Mountain biking in Queenstown
Queenstown and the surrounding area lends itself to challenging and thrilling Mountain Biking. Mountain biking in Queenstown is very popular with many stores hiring bikes by the hour, day and week. Mountain biking with teenagers in Queenstown is a thrilling way to experience the sites and get some exercise.
You can find some great Queenstown mountain biking paths at Queenstown Bike Park, Jardine Park and Wynyard Freestyle Terrain. You can find a Queenstown mountain bike rental shop to suit your needs by searching here
Take a Cruise in Queenstown
If you’re looking for a more relaxing experience with your family, then the cruise in Lake Wakatipu is the way to go. Enjoying the epic view on the deck of a cruise is not something that every traveller in Queenstown experiences.
Most of the cruises also offer lunch or dinner on board, so plan ahead! Psst, it’s not as expensive as you imagined make sure you pick the perfect cruise for your family. There is so much for you all to enjoy in and around Queenstown.
Go Skiing & Snowboarding in Queenstown
Queenstown is particularly busy during the winter season for a good reason – skiing. With famous ski fields like The Remarkable and Coronet Peak, snow lovers tend to stay in this very town for weeks. Both of the ski fields are located quite far from the town centre, so you will need to take the shuttle bus.
If you’re new to skiing or snowboarding, there are also lessons which include all ski gears as well! To be honest, it will be a little rushed if you’re only staying in Queenstown for 2 or 3 days, but if it’s your thing, I’d say Queenstown is a great place to try it out. Just treat yourself with an amazing dinner after the exhausting day!
Do I need travel insurance in New Zealand?
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Having lunch in Flame Bar & Grill
Travelling in New Zealand South Island for 6 months, I can’t tell you who plants the sweetest kiwifruit, but I can assure you that the pork ribs at Flame Bar & Grill are the best you can find.
Opinions might differ, but the fame of the restaurant is obvious, the queue is always there, and it’s recommended by all my friends who had a holiday in Queenstown.
If you’re up for it, go and queue early, write your name in the book, and go wander around for some time while waiting. The serving speed is also top-notch, so are the environment and the vibes.
Have a Burger in Fergburger
Think the queue in Flame Bar & Grill is long, wait until you visit Fergburger. Fergburger has one of the best burgers I’ve ever tasted in my life. The portion, the juiciness, and the aroma are killers. While you have to queue up for that, the serving speed is very quick so it’ll be just a matter of minutes until your turn.
The extensive menu is also impressive. Most of the customers prefer to take-away their food instead of dining in because of the queue and there are not that many chairs and tables.
I recommend having them by Lake Wakatipu, where you can enjoy the lakeside view with the snowy mountains as a backdrop with the ducks.
Otherwise, you can also do it at Queenstown Garden, but by the time you walk there, your burgers might get cool due to the cold weather.
Learn More! How do we keep our teens social when we travel? Our post on how we keep our teenagers social on holiday can help your teens get the most out of a family holiday!
Queenstown Winter Packing list
Winter in New Zealand means warm and dry clothes are needed. We have put together a list of essentials for your trip to Queenstown
Shopping in Queenstown
A little bit of retail therapy is always appreciated by teenagers. A visit to Queenstown with teenagers will certainly provide you with enough shopping options to keep you happy. Your first stop with teenagers in Queenstown should be
O’Connells Queenstown Shopping Centre
Queenstown Shopping Centre is a multi-storey, covered shopping mall which hosts a range of shops.
You will find fashions, phones, sporting goods and personal care. A food court will help you get some food on the go.
Remarkables Park Town Centre
When planning some shopping in Queenstown a trip to Remarkables Park Town Centre is a must. Shop, eat and socialize in this outdoor picturesque retail setting set at what seems the base of the Remarkables mountain range.
We know because we go! Have you considered staying in a hostel with your teens when you travel? Read why we love staying hostels with our teens
Cinemas in Queenstown
Looking for some downtime with your teenagers in Queenstown? Some time spent watching the latest blockbuster at a Queenstown Cinema might be a great option. 2 of the best cinemas in Queenstown include
Dorothy Brown Cinema
This cinema is a boutique place, a bit of a throwback to a time gone by. A fully licensed bar, a cosy fire, and large seats. This could just be the best venue for families in Queenstown. Mum and dad can enjoy a glass of wine while watching the big screen with the kids.
Address: 18 Buckingham Street Arrowtown 9302 Queenstown
Reading Cinema Queenstown
Reading Cinema is your typical cinema complex. Featuring plenty of screens showing all the latest movies, snack bar overflowing with popcorn and treats and timezone arcade to play the latest amusements. A great way to spend an afternoon with teenagers and one of the top things to do in Queenstown.
Address: 11-14 The Mall Queenstown 9300
Escape rooms in Queenstown
For those new to Escape rooms, this is a quick run down.
An escape room, also known as an “escape game”, is a physical adventure game in which players solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints, and strategy to complete the objectives at hand.
Escape rooms may consist of a large, single room, or span multiple rooms. Players are given a set time limit to unveil the secret plot which is hidden within the rooms. If your teen likes this stuff it is definitely one of the top things to do in Queenstown with teenagers.
You will have 60 minutes to solve the puzzle and find the truth
Escape Quest Queenstown
Escape Quest Queenstown has 4 different rooms to test out your puzzle-solving skills. Challenge yourself to solve a murder or find the thief from a gold heist.
Address: Level 1 Mountaineer Building,32 Rees Street, Queenstown 9300
10 pin bowling in Queenstown
If you’re looking for a bit of fun, friendly family competition in Queenstown then 10 pin bowling might be just the activity for you and your teenagers in Queenstown. You can go 10 pin bowling in Queenstown at:
Strike Bowl Queenstown features 7 full-sized lanes for all your strikes, spares and gutter bowls. Strike Bowl features a bar, pool tables and arcade games and a cafe. Strike bowl will even pick you and drop you off if Mum and Dad want to have a drink while the teenagers bowl.
Address: Swiss-Belresort Coronet Peak 161 Arthurs Point Road
Queenstown, New Zealand 9371
Not sure what your teen will need on holiday? Click here to get all the top sellers for your travelling teens
Going to the gym in Queenstown
Fitness is very important to a lot of teenagers these days. Working out is a big part of a healthy lifestyle. Lifting weights, using the cross trainer, exercise bikes and more. Just because one is travelling it does not mean you need to stop working out.
In Queenstown, you can go to a number of Gyms that sell passes ranging from a day to a week and a month. Day passes start at 16 euros a day while a week pass costs 45 euros. You can book a gym in Queenstown here
Where to stay in Queenstown
Queenstown has two very distinctive seasons. You will find that accommodation in the winter months can be very expensive. Summer is the second-highest season, bargains can be found in the shoulder seasons.
In saying this you will find a large range of hotels, apartments, cabins and more in Queenstown. The usual suspects such as Hilton, Ramada, Mercure and Holiday Inn are available for accommodation in Queenstown.
Queenstown Airbnb alternative for your stay
If you prefer a home away from home-style accommodation in Queenstown then Air BnB is the best choice for you. There are so many options for singles, families and budget-friendly options as well. Check out the map below to find the perfect Queenstown Airbnb.
How to get to Queenstown New Zealand
Queenstown Airport is located in Frankton, Otago, New Zealand, and serves Queenstown and surrounds. The airport is 8 km from the Queenstown CBD. The airport is the fourth busiest airport in New Zealand.
The airport is serviced by Air New Zealand and Australian carriers Jetstar and Virgin Australia. You can book your flights through Skyscanner
Queenstown can be reached by bus from many locations around New Zealand
- Bus Christchurch to Queenstown: 8 hours
- Bus Fox Glacier to Queenstown: 7 hours 30 minutes
- Bus Franz Josef to Queenstown: 8 hours 15 minutes
- Bus Tekapo to Queenstown: 4 hours
- Bus Dunedin to Queenstown: 4 hours 20 minutes
- Bus Wanaka to Queenstown: 1 hour 40 minutes
- Bus Mt Cook to Queenstown: 4 hours
- Bus Invercargill to Queenstown: 3 hours 45 minutes
- Bus Te Anau to Queenstown: 2 hours 20 minutes
There are no direct trains that service Queenstown in New Zealand
You can drive to Queenstown. The road system in New Zealand is very good and the roads are in great condition. Driving time from Christchurch (where many people may arrive by plane) to Queenstown via State Highway 6 to Queenstown takes around 5-6 hours
So what do you think about these things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand? I hope that this article helps you plan your trip to this lovely town. Let me know what you think of this article in the comment section below. And nevertheless, travel safe and enjoy New Zealand!
This article was contributed by Yen who blogs at www.swingabroad.com for us here at Wyld Family Travel. We hope this helps you with Queenstown attractions for you and your teenager. Queenstown with teenagers has many attractions and activities for you and your teen to do, see, try and taste. Your teenager in Queenstown will be entertained and educated by this amazing city. For more amazing ideas on where to holiday in New Zealand click through to our New Zealand Destination Page for more brilliant inspiration.
We know because we go! Travelling with older kids has just as many issues as travelling with younger kids. Use our Travel with Teenagers Destination Guides from all over the world for your next family holiday inspiration.
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