As Simon Van Booy once said: “For those who are lost, there will always be cities that feel like home”. I have travelled to different places around the world, but no other place has made me feel the way Queenstown did. There are many words I could use to describe this town, such as thrilling, breathtaking, inspiring, spectacular, electrifying…but it’s so much more that I could never put it into words.

10 Epic Experiences in Queenstown and its Surroundings, New Zealand #travel #newzealand #Queenstown #guide #destinations

However, one thing is for sure: Queenstown is the adrenaline-pumping capital of New Zealand, if not of the whole world. There’s no shortage of things to do in the area surrounding the town, whether you’re a fan of extreme sports or you just want to enjoy beautiful nature.

10 Epic Experiences in Queenstown and its surroundings

1.Kawarau Bridge Bungee Jumping

10 Epic Experiences in Queenstown and its Surroundings, New Zealand #travel #newzealand #Queenstown #guide #destinations
Kawarau Bridge Bungee Jumping

Kawarau Bridge is the birthplace of the commercial bungee jumping that operates since 1988 and has 100% safety record (which is pretty important).

It was my first bungee jump, so I couldn’t compare it to any other place. However, I was impressed with AJ Hackett’s quality of service. They really did everything to prepare me for that jump and make me feel safe (as much as I possibly could in such situation).

AJ Hackett has various options (skywalks, bridge climbs, zip rides, catapults, and bungee jumps) and locations (Kawarau Bridge, Ledge, Nevis, and Auckland Bridge).

Also read: 10 Must-Eat Places in New Zealand

I chose Kawarau Bridge location because of its origin, view, and height – 43m (141ft) seemed more realistic for the first-timer. However, if it’s not high enough for you, then you can try Nevis Bungy. It is at 134m (439ft) high and you experience free fall for 8.5 seconds at 120km (75miles) per hour (I get goosebumps just from thinking about it).

All I can say is if you ever consider doing bungee jumping, then New Zealand is the best place to do it. High-quality service plus astonishing views are the recipes for the unforgettable bungee experience.

Good tip: avoid weekends and try to get there as early as possible to avoid waiting time

2. Milford Sound

10 Epic Experiences in Queenstown and its Surroundings, New Zealand #travel #newzealand #Queenstown #guide #destinations

Rudyard Kipling once called Milford Sound the eighth Wonder of the World, and I can’t argue with that. It’s truly a majestic fjord that makes you realize how powerful and inspiring our nature is.

There are two ways to get to Milford Sound from Queenstown: 4hr scenic road trip or 40mins scenic flight.

Also read: 2 Weeks in New Zealand Itinerary

I chose the flight option in order to save time (even though it’s more expensive) and to see the fjord from the sky. The trip lived up and even exceeded my expectations. I was mesmerized by the views for the whole duration of the flight. The pilot was also amazing, providing highlights on the places we encountered. I didn’t take a lot of pictures because I knew that it would have been impossible to capture that beauty.

I also pre-booked cruise in Milford Sound, but unfortunately, the weather wasn’t good, so the cruise was cancelled. However, I still managed to see the fjord from the ground and it was equally as awe-inspiring as from the sky.

Good tip: A day trip to Milford Sound is one of the most epic New Zealand´s must-dos. Keep in mind, it’s better to have two days saved for Milford Sound, in case one day the weather is bad, you can go there on another day. If you choose to go by car, then at least two days are also needed for a comfortable experience.

3. Shotover Jet

10 Epic Experiences in Queenstown and its Surroundings, New Zealand #travel #newzealand #Queenstown #guide #destinations
Shotover Jet

This is a fun activity for everyone. You ride on a jet boat over a river canyon at 85km (52 miles) per hour and experience 360-degree spins from time to time. Sounds exciting, right?

There are different companies that offer this activity. I chose Shotover Jet because it’s the original one and it’s the only company that offers rides in the absolutely stunning Shotover River Canyons.

Also read: Dreams come true – Hawaii from the air

I took the ride with my family, and we all had so much fun and we laughed so hard (even though my mom is usually not a fan of such things). It’s not scary and you have time to enjoy the epic landscapes.

Good tip: if it’s cold outside, better take a raincoat or a change of clothes, cause depending on where you sit (especially first row), you might get wet. The safest seats (in terms of water getting to you) are the middle ones.

4. Fergburger

Most probably if you know about Queenstown, you know about Fergburger.

10 Epic Experiences in Queenstown and its Surroundings, New Zealand #travel #newzealand #Queenstown #guide #destinations
Fergburger

I’m a foodie, as most of us are nowadays, duh. I must admit that it’s difficult to surprise me when it comes to burgers. However, Fergburger is THE BURGER. I’m really sensitive to the quality of the products, and the first thing I realized about Fergburger was its high-quality ingredients.

Also read: Burger Challenge – Shake Shack vs In-n-Out

Oh, that New Zealand beef…(and I don’t usually eat or like meet at all), but this was that one exception. If you want to experience Queenstown to the fullest, then Fergburger is a must.

Good tip: : it’s open 21hrs (awesome, right?). During the day the line is too big, and unless you like waiting for 30mins, I would strongly recommend going there early  in the morning or late in the evening.

5. Glenorchy

10 Epic Experiences in Queenstown and its Surroundings, New Zealand #travel #newzealand #Queenstown #guide #destinations
Glenorchy

Glenorchy is just 45mins from Queenstown and it’s your gateway to multiple hiking trails as well as the Middle-earth (LOTR fans know the deal).

Whether it’s a 30mins stroll or 8hrs hike, you won’t have any problem finding your perfect trail and following it to discover the reasons why everyone is so in love with this region.

Good tip: since there are so many options for hiking in the area, it would be helpful to prepare for the trip in advance and choose the track you like.

6. Paradise

10 Epic Experiences in Queenstown and its Surroundings, New Zealand #travel #newzealand #Queenstown #guide #destinations
Paradise

Yep, Paradise comes to life in New Zealand. This day trip from Queenstown is a must for the fans of The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Wolverine (Hollywood sure does love this location).

Also read: The Impressive Game of Thrones Filming Locations in Spain

The jaw-dropping scenery will make you wanna stop every other minute, and that’s exactly what you should do. Take your time enjoying nature and discovering locations from your favorite movies.

Good tip: half of the road from Glenorchy to Paradise is unsealed. If it’s raining, then maybe the best decision would be to only drive until the point where the road is still sealed.

   7. Arrowtown

10 Epic Experiences in Queenstown and its Surroundings, New Zealand #travel #newzealand #Queenstown #guide #destinations
Arrowtown

Arrowtown is an absolutely charming village 15 mins from Queenstown. It is a former goldmining settlement and with its perfectly restored cottages, it makes you feel as you’re back in time. Arrowtown is considered to be one of the most picturesque settlements in New Zealand. Wander around the historical buildings and explore the gold rush as if it’s the 1860s all over again.

Good tip: Arrowtown is especially captivating during fall foliage (April) when you can experience all the colors of the season.

8. Queenstown Gardens

10 Epic Experiences in Queenstown and its Surroundings, New Zealand #travel #newzealand #Queenstown #guide #destinations
Sunset views from The Queenstown Gardens

For a quiet morning/evening head to The Queenstown Gardens, the botanical garden full of exotic and native trees.

Also read: World of Waterfalls: Icelandic Natural Wonders

It offers tranquility and peace even though it’s only a few minutes away from the city center. You can take a picnic and enjoy your time with your family and/or friends while enjoying the views of Lake Wakatipu.

Good tip: It’s one of my favorite locations in town for a quiet sunset, it’s perfect for relaxation and meditation.

9. Lake Wakatipu

10 Epic Experiences in Queenstown and its Surroundings, New Zealand #travel #newzealand #Queenstown #guide #destinations
Lake Wakatipu

Lake Wakatipu is the third largest lake in New Zealand with a length of 80km (50miles). While in Queenstown, go to Fernhill to enjoy the lake in its full glory. There is a Maori legend about a huge monster named Matau who sleeps at the bottom of the lake. His heartbeat is the reason why water rises and falls every 25 minutes. I must say that it does look like the lake lives the life of its own.

Good tip: Take the cruise across Lake Wakatipu to understand how splendid this region is and how tiny and lovely Queenstown looks from the lake.

10. Rent an apartment with the view over Lake Wakatipu

One of the reasons I fell in love with Queenstown was because I got to wake up every morning to this view:

10 Epic Experiences in Queenstown and its Surroundings, New Zealand #travel #newzealand #Queenstown #guide #destinations
View over Lake Wakatipu

Apartments are quite expensive, but if you have a chance, then it’s absolutely worth spending a little bit extra for the view. You get the unlimited access to the most stunning sunrises and it completes the whole magical experience of Queenstown.

*The following post is not sponsored, all information is solemnly based on my opinion 

Have you ever been to Queenstown?
Which experience are you most excited about?

Pin it:

10 Epic Experiences in Queenstown and its Surroundings, New Zealand #travel #newzealand #Queenstown #guide #destinations

Join my e-mail list and get exclusive weekly updates and travel tips straight to your inbox.

*Your e-mail address is safe with me and you can unsubscribe at any time.