Regarded worldwide as an adventure capital, Queenstown is a popular destination for adventure seekers and families alike.
With its stunning scenery, diverse activities, and welcoming atmosphere, it’s no wonder it’s considered one of the best places to visit with kids.
Whether you’re looking for adrenaline-pumping adventures or more relaxed and fun family-friendly activities, Queenstown has something to offer everyone.
Queenstown With Kids: 25 Family Adventures
In this article, we’ve compiled a list of 25 things to do in Queenstown with kids.
From exploring the great outdoors to indoor entertainment, we’ve got you covered.
We’ll share some of the best free and cheap family activities here and some must-see Queenstown attractions worth the splurge.
Whether you’re visiting for a day trip, a few days, or a couple of weeks, our list will help you plan an unforgettable family adventure in Queenstown.
Gondola and Luge
The Skyline Gondola and Luge are some of the top family-friendly activities and must-do when you visit Queenstown.
From young kids to older adults, the Queenstown Gondola is an accessible attraction.
You’ll see some amazing views while riding the steepest cable car lift in the Southern Hemisphere!
You’ll be taken 480 meters above Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu to the top of Bob’s Peak, where you’ll see a breathtaking 220-degree panorama.
From here, you can see Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Walter, and Cecil Peak, and of course, Queenstown.
There is a bar and restaurant at the top. Kids under 5 ride the Gondola for free.
It’s a thrilling ride that anyone can enjoy!
The specially designed carts put you in charge as you race down over 1,600 meters of banked corners, tunnels, and dippers.
Once you reach the end, you can hop right back on the chairlift and do it all over again.
Under 2s or 80cm in height cannot ride the luge or chairlift. Over 2s can with an adult for a small fee.
Children under six years old or 110cm in height (but over the age of 2 years and at least 80cm in height) will need to ride in tandem with an adult and only on the Arrow (green) track.
More information here
Queenstown is home to some of the most stunning hiking trails in the world.
Here are some of the best hiking trails that you can enjoy with your kids
Queenstown Hill Time Walk
This is an easy to intermediate 2-3 hour walk up Te Tapu-nui (mountain of intense sacredness) that offers breathtaking views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range.
It is suitable for kids of all ages and is a great way to spend an afternoon.
Skiing and Snowboarding
Queenstown is a winter wonderland and offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world with five fantastic ski areas to choose from.
Here are some of the best ski resorts that you can visit with your kids:
Coronet Peak Ski Resort
Coronet Peak is a popular ski resort that offers a range of ski runs for all levels of skiers.
The ski field has ski runs suitable for kids of all ages and has a range of activities for non-skiers as well.
The Remarkables Ski Resort
The Remarkables is another popular ski resort close to Queenstown that offers a range of ski runs for all levels of skiers.
Treble Cone Ski Area
Treble Cone Ski Area is another gem of a skifield located a short drive from central Queenstown.
The Treble Cone is the biggest ski area in the South Island, with all levels of skiers catered for.
Queenstown has a range of bike trails that are suitable for kids of all ages.
Here are some of the best biking trails:
Lake Hayes Loop Track
The Lake Hayes Loop Track is a bike and walking trail that is conveniently situated just a 20-minute drive away from central Queenstown.
At around 8km, this trail offers an easy ride and takes you around the picturesque Lake Hayes.
It is highly recommended to visit the trail just before sunset to witness the breathtaking reflection of the surrounding peaks on the tranquil lake.
Old Kawarau-Falls Bridge to Kelvin Heights
The ride can be tailored to the smallest family member’s abilities, making it flexible in terms of duration.
The route takes you over a pedestrian bridge with stunning views of The Remarkables and the lake.
From there, continue on the Kelvin Heights trail, where you can stop for lunch at one of the little bays perfect for paddling.
A playground is also available around the halfway point, and you can continue to the golf course to see the sculpture trail.
Queenstown is home to some of the best fishing spots in the world.
Everything you’ll need for a day on or in the water can be hired in Queenstown.
Here are some of the best fishing spots that you can visit with your kids; just make sure you’ve organised your fishing license:
This popular fishing spot offers a range of fish, including trout and salmon. It is suitable for kids of all ages and is a great way to spend a day on the lake.
This is another popular fishing spot that offers a range of fish including trout and salmon.
It is suitable for kids of all ages and is a great way to spend a day in nature.
Rafting, Kayaking and Jetboating
Queenstown has a wide range of water activities suitable for kids of all ages.
Meandering or full-tilt, here are some of the best ways to spend a day on one of the region’s fine rivers:
Shotover Jet is a thrilling jet boat ride that takes you on a high-speed adventure through the Shotover River Canyons in Queenstown.
The ride is set against a stunning backdrop of towering cliffs and crystal-clear water, making it a truly unforgettable experience.
Family Adventures Rafting
Family Adventures are the only rafting provider that is licensed to carry under 13s on the Shotover River.
Their trips take place in the upper Shotover River where you’ll be treated to some of New Zealand’s most spectacular high country scenery.
Paddle Queenstown specializes in kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding tours, which take visitors on a scenic journey through the stunning lake Moke.
Their tours can be personalised to suit your wants and needs.
Nature and Wildlife
Queenstown is truly a nature lover’s paradise, offering an unforgettable experience for visitors from all over the world.
Here are some of the best nature activities for family fun:
Formally known as Kiwi birdlife park, the park is home to over 20 different species of native birds, including the kiwi, New Zealand’s national bird.
Visitors can take a guided tour of the park to learn about the birds and their habitats, or simply wander through the park’s many exhibits on their own.
Queenstown Gardens is a beautiful park located in the heart of Queenstown.
The park is home to a wide variety of native plants and wildlife, and is a great place to take a leisurely stroll or have a picnic with the family.
There are also several playgrounds and sports fields in the park, making it a great place for kids to burn off some energy.
Glenorchy Animal Experience
The Glenorchy Animal Experience is a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with their friendly animals.
Visitors can take a guided tour of the farm to see sheep, cows, llama, alpacas and other farm animals.
They’ve even got a pair of friendly possums, which will be a new experience for anyone.
There are several farms in and around Queenstown that offer tours for visitors.
These tours are a great way to learn about New Zealand’s agricultural industry and see some of the country’s most iconic animals up close.
Some farms even offer the opportunity to feed and interact with the animals.
Walter Peak Farm Tours
The Walter Peak Farm Tour offers visitors an opportunity to experience an active working farm in a stunning alpine setting and is a must-d0 activity when visiting Queenstown with kids.
The tour includes a scenic cruise across Lake Wakatipu, followed by a guided farm tour where visitors can interact with various farm animals, watch a sheep shearing demonstration, and learn about wool production.
The tour also includes a traditional Kiwi-style BBQ lunch featuring farm-raised meats and local produce.
Visitors can choose from a variety of tour options, including a half-day tour or a full-day tour that includes a guided cycling adventure.
The Walter Peak Farm Tour provides an excellent opportunity for families to experience a slice of New Zealand farm life while enjoying breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and lake.
Cruising Lake Wakatipu can be one of the most relaxing ways to see the sights.
A Queenstown scenic cruise is the perfect way to see a different side of the Queenstown waterfront.
TSS Earnslaw Steamship Cruise
The TSS Earnslaw is a historic steamship that has been cruising Lake Wakatipu since 1912.
It is the oldest passenger carrying steamship in the southern hemisphere.
Visitors can take a scenic lake cruise to see some of the stunning scenery surrounding Queenstown, including the Remarkables mountain range.
The ship also offers food and drink onboard.
Million Dollar Cruise
Million Dollar Cruises offer a luxurious and unforgettable experience on the waters of Lake Wakatipu.
Whether you’re interested in the local history, the nature and geology of the area, or you’re just interested in a nosy at some of New Zealand’s most expensive houses, Million Dollar Cruises offer something for everyone.
Queenstown has a few indoor playgrounds that are perfect for kids to burn off some energy on a rainy day.
Here are some popular options:
Chipmunks Playland & Cafe
Chipmunks Playland is an indoor playground that boasts multiple levels of play equipment, slides, and a separate toddler area for the little ones.
With a café on site, you’ll be able to recharge your batteries while the kids wear theirs out.
Thrill zone – Kidz Club
Kidz Club at Thrill Zone offer a wide range of fun activities for your children to enjoy while you enjoy some time away from the little ones.
A dedicated staff member will accompany your children while they enjoy unlimited use of their awesome activities!
Going to the movies can be a great way to spend a rainy day in Queenstown.
Reading Cinemas Queenstown
Reading Cinemas Queenstown has two screens showing the latest movies.
Click here to see what’s showing this week.
Bowling and Mini Golf
Bowling and mini golf can be fun indoor activities for the whole family.
Here are some options in Queenstown:
The bowling alley features multiple lanes and has the latest technology, including touch-screen scoring and interactive games.
Putt’n’glow Mini Golf
Putt n’ Glow is a new indoor mini-golf experience at Thrillzone in Queenstown.
The course features nine themed holes with colourful artwork and UV lighting, including a tropical forest, snowy mountains, and race tracks.
The fully interactive track allows players to create their own course by moving mobile obstacles and spinning challenge spinners.
Ice skating can be a unique indoor activity for kids in Queenstown.
Here is the only indoor ice skating rink in Queenstown:
Queenstown Ice Arena
Queenstown Ice Arena offers public skating sessions, ice-skating lessons, and ice bumper cars.
They are a seasonal business, so check here for opening times and hours.
Swimming can be a fun indoor activity for kids in Queenstown.
Here is the only indoor aquatic centre in Queenstown:
Alpine Aqualand aquatic centre has a lap pool, leisure pool and hydroslide to keep the kids entertained.
Check here for opening hours.
Historical and Cultural Sites
Arrowtown is a charming historic village located just 20 minutes from Queenstown.
This part of Queenstown was a gold mining town in the 1860s and still retains many of its original buildings and streetscapes.
Take a stroll down Buckingham Street and admire the quaint shops, cafes, and galleries.
Visit the Lakes District Museum to learn more about the town’s history, and take a short walk down along the Arrow River.
Moke Lake Historical Reserve
Moke Lake is a beautiful natural reserve located just a short drive from Queenstown. It was an important site for Māori people, who used it for fishing and hunting.
Today, visitors can take a walk around the lake and admire the stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
There are also several historical sites to explore, including old gold mining huts and a Māori rock shelter.
The Chinese Settlement is a historic site located just outside Arrowtown.
It was home to a community of Chinese gold miners in the late 1800s.
Today, visitors can take a self-guided tour of the settlement and learn about the lives of the Chinese miners.
There are several restored buildings to explore, including a general store, a temple, and a miner’s cottage.
Goldfields Mining Centre
The Goldfields Mining Centre is a fascinating historical site located in Cromwell, about an hour’s drive from Queenstown.
It was a gold mining town in the 1800s and has been preserved as a living museum.
Visitors can take a tour of the mine and learn about the techniques used to extract gold, and even have a chance to pan for their own fortune.
There are also several restored buildings to explore, including a blacksmith’s shop, a schoolhouse, and a miner’s cottage.
Food and Dining
This burger joint has become an icon in the city, and it’s not hard to see why.
Their burgers are massive, and they have a wide variety of options to choose from. The Fergburger experience is not complete without trying their famous “Fergburger with Cheese” or “Southern Swine” burgers.
Be prepared to wait in line, but it’s definitely worth it.
If you’re looking for something sweet, head over to Patagonia Chocolates.
They have a wide variety of chocolates, ice creams, and desserts to choose from.
Their hot chocolate is a must-try, and it’s perfect for a cold day in Queenstown. You can also take home some of their chocolates as a souvenir.
Cookie Time Cookie Bar
They have a wide variety of cookies, including their famous “Original Chocolate Chunk” cookie.
You can also try their cookie ice cream sandwiches, which are perfect for a hot day.
The Cookie Time Cookie Bar is a great spot for a quick snack or dessert.
The Remarkables Market
The Remarkables Market is a great spot to try some local food and produce.
The market is held every Saturday from October to April, and it’s a great place to spend a morning.
You can try some local cheeses, fruits, and vegetables, or grab a bite to eat from one of the food trucks.
The Remarkables Market is a great way to experience the local culture.
Queenstown is home to some fantastic shopping opportunities, including arts and crafts markets, shopping centres and galleries.
Here are some of the best places to shop in Queenstown with kids:
1. Remarkables Park Town Centre
The Remarkables Park Town Centre is a great place to shop for families.
With over 70 stores, there is something for everyone.
There are plenty of kid-friendly stores, including toy shops, bookstores, and clothing stores.
The centre also has a cinema, so you can catch a movie with the kids after a day of shopping.
2. Queenstown Market
The Queenstown Market is a must-visit for families who love arts and crafts.
The market runs every Saturday and features over 40 local artists and craftspeople.
They also run on selected Fridays, so check here for an up-to-date list of Friday dates.
You can find a range of unique and handmade items, including jewellery, pottery, paintings, and sculptures.
3. Queenstown Central Shopping Centre
The Queenstown Central Shopping Centre is a great place to shop for families.
There are plenty of shops selling clothing, toys, souvenirs and more.
The mall also has a food court, so you can grab a bite to eat with the kids after a day of shopping.
4. Artbay Gallery
The Artbay Gallery is a great place to stop in for families who love art.
The gallery features a range of contemporary New Zealand art, including paintings, sculptures, and prints.
There are plenty of kid-friendly pieces, including animal sculptures and colourful paintings.
5. Remarkable Sweet Shop
The Remarkable Sweet Shop is a must-visit for families with a sweet tooth.
The shop sells a range of sweets, including traditional New Zealand sweets, chocolates, and fudge.
The kids will love trying out the different flavours and picking out their favourites.
Day Tours from Queenstown
While Queenstown is a destination in itself, there are plenty of family-friendly day trips for those looking to explore further afield.
Here are a few of the options for day trips into the surrounding areas.
Milford Sound day trip
Take a scenic bus ride to Milford Sound, where you can enjoy a cruise through the stunning fjord and see waterfalls, wildlife, and the iconic Mitre Peak.
Tours depart Queenstown daily.
Aoraki/Mount Cook Day trip
Altitude Tours offers a full-day tour from Queenstown to Aoraki/Mount Cook.
This tour takes 12 hours and offers stunning views of the Southern Alps.
You will travel in a comfortable Mercedes van with panoramic windows and a knowledgeable guide to provide commentary throughout the journey.
The tour includes stops in Cromwell and Omarama before entering Aoraki Mount Cook National Park.
Visitors will have 3-3.5 hours of free time to explore Mount Cook Village and its surrounding attractions.
Queenstown is a fantastic destination for families with kids of all ages.
With so many exciting activities and attractions, there is never a dull moment in this beautiful city.
From adrenaline-pumping adventures to relaxing walks and nature experiences, Queenstown has something for everyone.
We hope our list of things to do in Queenstown with kids has given you some inspiration for your next family holiday.
Whether you are visiting for a weekend or a longer stay, there is plenty to keep you and your kids entertained.
Remember to plan your itinerary in advance and book your activities early to avoid disappointment.
Many popular attractions and tours can sell out quickly, especially during peak season.
Finally, don’t forget to take some time to simply enjoy the stunning scenery and natural beauty that Queenstown has to offer.
With its snow-capped mountains, crystal-clear lakes, and lush forests, this city truly is a paradise on earth.
SH Tips for Booking A Family Holiday to Queenstown
Book early: Queenstown is a popular destination for New Zealanders and overseas tourists alike, and it’s always busy – especially during New Zealand school holidays. Get in early to get the best prices.
Accommodation: If central Queenstown is beyond your budget, staying further afield can be a big money saver. Cromwell to Queenstown is a beautiful drive that takes less than an hour.
Cook Your Own Meals: Queenstown has both Pak’n Save and Countdown supermarkets and a range of smaller stores, so prepping your own meals is the best way to save money.
Related guide: Things to Do in Dunedin With Kids: A Family-Friendly Guide