Trying to narrow down your favourite Queenstown experiences is like trying to pick your favourite Queen song for karaoke — challenging. But we took up the challenge and picked out five unmissable off–mountain experiences you need to book into your Queenstown trip. There’s something for everyone here.
Get two experiences in one with a river safari down the Dart River. Dart River Safaris offer a totally unique wilderness jet boat ride, combined with a chilled downstream float on their super–easy ‘funyaks’ (inflatable kayaks). This is one of Queenstown’s most highly regarded experiences, which is saying something. You’ll get a lifetime’s worth of memories from your day exploring Mt. Aspiring National Park and the Dart River.
Located in the Nevis Canyon, AJ Hackett’s Nevis Swing is not like the ones you used to jump off in the local playground. This is a 300–metre rush monster. Go solo or grab a mate and do a tandem swing — forwards, backwards, upside down — you decide. Whichever way you take it on, you’re guaranteed to grin like an idiot and scream with joy. You’re also in the right spot to do the mammoth, 8.5–seconds–freefall Nevis bungy if you get a taste for adrenaline after your swing. Should you choose to do so, our one piece of advice is don’t look down!
Luge at Skyline Gondola
The Queenstown Luge is legendary! Located in the Skyline complex high above Queenstown, you make your way to the top in a gondola. Stop to admire the view and snap a few pictures, then get kitted out and ready to go on the racetrack. Tickets include five luge rides, by the end of which you’ll be feeling like Lewis Hamilton. Just remember that this hill really is steep, and achieving maximum speed might not be your best bet. Afterwards, the Stratosfare restaurant & bar is the perfect place for a post-luge lunch and debrief. Top value in the centre of town.
Onsen Hot Pools
Bring it down a notch or two with some natural relaxation at the Onsen Hot Pools. A quick drive from central Queenstown, the Onsen Hot Pools are also on the way home from Coronet Peak ski field, so book yourself in to experience the best in post–ski relaxation. Soothe those tired legs in a hot pool filled with fresh mountain water that’s temperature–adjusted to suit the day, while you admire the cliffside views across the Shotover Canyon. Each room has a retractable roof, so you can be as cosy or outdoorsy as you like. Perfection.
If you’re looking to skydive in Queenstown, look no further. NZONE are the experts, NZ’s original tandem skydive operators with 300,000 jumps under the belt. You choose your jump height from a range of 9,000 to 15,000 feet, and then wonder why you’ve just agreed to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. Don’t worry though, the answer will become crystal clear when you jump — this is the ultimate adrenaline rush, to which everything else is second best!