Family adventures in Queenstown

People going down the luge in Queenstown

With so much to explore, the only challenge in when travelling to Queenstown is what to do first!

It’s New Zealand’s most famous adventure playground! Queenstown is known for its friendly people, energetic vibe, incredible activities and stunning landscape. With something for every age — from the tots right through to tweens and teens — it’s easy to keep the kids as excited as their parents as they explore what the region has to offer. From mild to wild, you’ll find activities and attractions to cater to everyone in your family.

Thrill seeking

Keen for the blood-pumping thrills that Queenstown is famous for like skydiving, bungy jumping, jet boating, luging, skiing, quad biking, buggy tours and paragliding? Many parents are surprised to learn that while age, height and weight restrictions apply on many adventure activities, they are often more family-friendly than you might imagine. However, do your research online beforehand to avoid disappointment.

A family going up the luge skyline in Queenstown

Chill out

If you’re looking for a little less high-octane excitement then there are plenty of great options to suit every age, ability and budget. Popular choices for whānau include a steamship or boat cruise on the lake, a Segway tour around the bay, a trip up the gondola, luging, bowling, frisbee golf, indoor karting and mini golf, ice skating, farm tours and the Kiwi Birdlife Park to name just a few.

Kids petting a cow at Walter Peak farm station in Queenstown

Active intent

Walking and biking are perfect ways to spend some quality family time together and explore the great outdoors. Some of the most scenic trails in the world are within five minutes’ walk from downtown Queenstown and suit all ages and abilities. The Queenstown Trail offers over 130kms of walking and cycling trails with a range of tracks suitable for all ages and abilities. For bike enthusiasts there’s everything from easy gradient scenic open trails, backcountry trails, jump parks and even lift accessed bike parks.

Mountain high

Basing your tribe in Queenstown for a ski holiday means you can easily access a range of ski fields including Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Cardrona and Treble Cone. Coronet Peak is just a 20-minute drive from downtown Queenstown, meaning you’ll escape the inevitable ‘are we there yet?’ question from your little ones. All ski fields offer fantastic family orientated facilities and services, from hiring all the gear you need, to ski school, crèche, snow sports academies and kids’ clubs.

Kids learning to ski at Cardrona

Short trips

A great place to take the children for a day out is the picturesque former gold mining village of Arrowtown – an easy 20-minute drive away. Here you can step back in time and explore the quaint tree-lined streets, old miners’ cottages, restored Chinese Village and the fascinating Lakes District Museum. Or get away from it all and enjoy a slice of paradise in Glenorchy – a 45-minute lakeside drive from Queenstown. There are plenty of great picnic spots and amazing views to keep the kids interested. If you’re keen to explore further, try jet boating up the Dart River, horse riding, kayaking or the renowned Routeburn, Greenstone and Caples walking tracks.

A family and a dog walking on a farm with mountains in the background


All this activity works up a pretty hearty appetite, but with more than 150 cafes, bars and restaurants, finding somewhere to eat and drink is easy. Many are family-friendly and go the extra mile with children’s menus, highchairs, toys or colouring-in for entertainment. For a special treat, pop into the ice-cream and sweet shops which offer free tastings – they are complete child magnets.


Accommodation can play a key part in the success of any family holiday. Rest assured that whatever your budget or taste, Queenstown’s range of hotels, motels and self-catering apartments, camping grounds, resorts and luxury lodges will have you sleeping easy.

To plan your holiday visit Queenstown NZ.

Want more on Queenstown?

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