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TripAdvisor’s Top 10 things to do in Queenstown

New Zealand is known for its beautiful scenery—much of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit was filmed there due to its stunning landscape.

For travellers looking to experience some wild things on their gap year, Queenstown in the South Island is the place to head to. However, if it’s peace and tranquility you’re looking for, Queenstown also comes up trumps. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or serenity seeker, TripAdvisor has put together its list of top things to do in Queenstown, according to its travellers*:

1. Break One Clay Target Shooting

A clay target shooting range that offers personal one-on-one instruction in the sport. It is located in a rural setting in private farm land near Arrowtown, just 15km from Queenstown. As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “This was one of the best activities I did during my time in New Zealand.”

2. Shotover Canyon Swing

Claiming to be the world’s highest cliff jump, Shotover Canyon Swing is a purpose built, cliff-mounted platform on the edge of a cliff, 109m above the Shotover River. Adrenaline junkies are strapped to a harness and then throw themselves off the platform for the ultimate high, freefalling for 60m down into the canyon— definitely not for the fainthearted! As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “I love the canyon swing crew! They spend time with you and make your adrenaline experience that little bit more exciting!”

3. Skydive Paradise

Skydive paradise offers a skydiving experience amongst the breathtaking alpine scenery of Glenorchy, a village known as ‘the gateway to paradise.’ As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “My first jump and it was the most spectacular place ever! Snowcapped mountains and crystal clear lakes.”

4. The Nevis Swing

This claims to be the biggest swing in the world at 160m high with 120 metres of rope (longer than a rugby field). Located in the Nevis Canyon in Queenstown, thrill seekers jump from the platform and reach speeds of up to 150kph. As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “This was definitely one of the best experiences in my life! It's scary before the fall, but after that it's just thrilling, exciting and fun!”

5. Queenstown Hill

Queenstown Hill is a peak in the Queenstown region that travellers can climb. It offers spectacular views of the Queentown scenery. As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “The views are the best in the world.”

6. Kingston Flyer

A vintage steam train, the Kingston Flyer travels through the mountain scenery of the Queenstown Lakes District. The service covers a 14km stretch of track between Kingston and Fairlight. As one TripAdvsor traveller commented, “We had a wonderful afternoon sipping champagne, eating great food and seeing some fantastic scenery. We would recommend this trip to everyone!”

7. Skyline Queenstown

Gondala and Luge - Located a five minute walk from central Queenstown, Skyline Queenstown offers views of the region from a gondola on the way up Bob’s Peak. Once at the top, visitors can watch Kiwi Haka Maori culture performances and try the Luge, a downhill track ride. As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “A great view of Queenstown from the Gondola and observation deck. A chance to act like a kid again on the Luge.”

8. Queenstown Garden

Free to enter, the Queenstown Garden is a botanical garden which contains a variety of exotic and native trees and plants as well as a large pond. There are a number of activities on offer including tennis, lawn bowls, skating, disc golf and ice skating. As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “We walked around these beautiful gardens on our last day in Queenstown. Wish we had discovered this place sooner.”

9. Dart Stables

This attraction offers visitors to the area the opportunity of exploring Glenorchy and Paradise on horseback. With over 50 horses of various breeds, knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides and a wealth of experience, Dart Stables is able to provide horse riding and treks for all levels of rider. As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “I had the best time. I haven’t been on a horse since I was eight. I went on the river wild tour, it was fantastic.”

10. Moke Lake

This conservation area offers a 2-3 hour walk through grassland, surrounded by mountains and goes right round Lake Moke. As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “Love this place. Lots of nice walks or just relax and have a picnic.”

For more information, go to TripAdvisor's Queenstown page.  

*List is selected according to the TripAdvisor Popularity Index