Queenstown is the adventure capital of the world, home to an endless amount of things to do, see and eat. No trip to Queenstown will leave you wondering what to do. The challenge will be choosing between the abundant options.
This 3 day Queenstown itinerary covers all the best things to do in Queenstown and will give you options that suit YOU.
Queenstown Itinerary Day 1 – Explore the town
There is so much to do and see in Queenstown itself.
Take a walk around town, check out the views over the Lake Wakatipu, browse the boutique shops and enjoy a meal at one of the trendy restaurants.
Take a walk around Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand’s third-largest and longest lake at 84 km long. For the ultimate sunset picture over Lake Wakatipu head to One Mile Car Park.
There’s a lively Queenstown Market on every Saturday, where locals come to display and sell their own quality handmade Art and Craft. You will find it down by the lake.
Ferg Burger is another must-do in Queenstown, it is like checking out the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Ferg Burger has become the compulsory attraction in Queenstown. Many claim they have the best burgers in the world.
Queenstown Itinerary Day 2- Adventure time
It wouldn’t be a trip to Queenstown without an adventure. Here are some of the options you will have to choose from:
Queenstown Gondola and Luge
If you want the best views over Queenstown, take the Gondola to the top of Bob’s peak for panoramic views of the region. At the top, you can enjoy an 800-metre luge ride, great fun for everyone. You will also find scenic dining options.
Queenstown Helicopter tours
The scenery in Queenstown is incredible, even more so from a helicopter.
You can take an adventurous boat ride through the Shotover River Canyons, at 85km/hour, with spins & spraying water. Warning, this one may be best to do in the summertime.
Queenstown Bungee Jump and Swing
Looking to get your adrenaline pumping? No activity in Queenstown will do it quite like bungee jumping and swinging amongst the mountain tops.
Another one for the thrill-seekers. Combine a flight over Queenstown with the once in a lifetime experience of skydiving.
Skiing or snowboarding
Between June to October is ski season in Queenstown. Coronet Peak and The Remarkables are less than 30 minutes from central Queenstown.
Helicopter and Snowmobiling
This is another winter adventure. A helicopter tours combined with a snowmobiling adventure. The ULTIMATE Queenstown adventure if you ask me.
Queenstown Itinerary Day 3
Are you ready to relax at the Onsen Hot Pools in Queenstown?
Perhaps your ready for another adventure?
Or maybe you want to explore more of New Zealand’s nature at Milford Sound.
Milford Sound is located in the Fiordland National Park in the southwest of New Zealand, making it a great day trip from Queenstown.
There are a variety of ways to experience Milford Sound’s beauty. You can choose a day tour that includes a scenic cruise around the water, a scenic flight or hiking along the Milford Track. Along the way, you can stop in Knobs Flat, Mirror Lake, Monkey River and The Chasm.
There are several ways to get in Milford Sound, including self – drive, air travel, bus and coach.
Since it takes more than 3 hours to get in Milford Sound (one way), make sure you pack lunch and snacks.
If you have the time to spare you may even wish to spend the night in this incredible part of the world.
Map of Queenstown
Other things to do in Queenstown
- Jet Boating
- Jet Skiing
- White water rafting
- Bike Riding
- Scenic Cruises
- Winery tours
- Day trips from Queenstown – keep reading for more information
You can search for Queenstown tours below.
Queenstown Day Trips
Some of the best day trips from Queenstown include:
- Milford Sound
- Lake Tekapo
- Mt Aspiring National Park
- Central Otago Wineries
- Kawarau Gorge
- The Catlins
- Skippers Canyon
Places to eat in Queenstown
Dining options in Queenstown are literally endless. Some stand out options include:
Ferg Burg – Serving the best burgers in the world
Miss Lucys – Serving the best woodfire pizza in Queenstown matched with amazing views.
Stratosfare Restaurant and bar – Offering the best dining views in Queenstown. (Located at the top of Bob’s Peak, accessible by the Gondola).
Where to stay in Queenstown
Ideally, you should search for accommodation in the centre of town, especially if you don’t plan to hire a car.
You can search for accommodation in Queenstown here.
Airbnb is another great option in New Zealand.
Queenstown is home to several accommodation options for backpackers including YHA and Jucy Snooze. You can search for backpacker options using the search box above.
Flights to Queenstown
Flying into Queenstown is an amazing experience. You can expect incredible views as you land, a friendly greeting and a quick turn around. Meaning you will be out of the airport and in Queenstown before you know it.
Queenstown has direct international flights from Australia. If you are flying from far away, it is likely that you will arrive via Auckland.
Best time to visit Queenstown
The best time to visit Queenstown depends on what you want to do.
December to February is Summer time and hiking season. It is also the busiest time to visit, so if you want to escape the crowds while enjoying the hiking, you may wish to visit in Autumn or Spring instead. During the Summer Months Queenstown hosts Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration (January) and Challenge Wanaka Triathlon Festival (February).
As autumn hits, March to May, trees begin to display golden colours and the weather becomes more unpredictable. Generally, you can still expect warm days and cooler nights. During Autumn Queenstown hosts the Arrowtown Autumn Festival, Skycity Queenstown Gibbston Wine and Food Festival (March) and Macpac Motatapu (March).
June to August brings winter, which is the perfect time to visit if you want to ski and snowboard. The ski hill open from July – October. August is said to be the best month for skiing and snowboarding. During the winter months is also when the Queenstown winter festival is held.
Spring hits between September and November, which is when you can expect peace and quiet in town. The lupins begin to show towards the end of Spring and are an incredible sight.
Queenstown Ski Resorts
The closest ski hills from Queenstown are Coronet Peak and The Remarkables, less than 30 minutes from town. Others in the region include Cardrona Alpine Resort and Treble Cone. Treble Cone is the best ski hill for those staying in Wanaka.
Planning a trip to New Zealand
If you are in the process of planning your trip to New Zealand, this article will tell you EVERYTHING you need to know about visas, flights, accommodation, budgeting, travel insurance and more.
Arrange travel insurance for Queenstown
You will no doubt be participating in adventure activities in Queenstown, so ensure that you arrange travel insurance before your trip. I recommend World Nomads. If you aren’t sure whether you should get insurance or not, read this.