New Zealand Travel

Top 8 Things to Do in Queenstown, New Zealand

Things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown is known to be the go-to place for adventure and thrill seekers worldwide as well as captivating nature lovers with exquisite scenery and a multitude of Insta-worthy shots.

Last July, I visited Queenstown during the middle of winter where temperatures were averaging zero degrees. As a lover of cold weather, this was perfect for me. Typically during this time of the year, it is peak season so it can be expensive to get to Queenstown depending on where you live. Don’t worry, you can still travel to this amazing place on a cheap budget.
Read this article: How to Travel to New Zealand on a Cheap Budget + Things to Do

I have put together the 8 things that you must do when you visit Queenstown.

Best things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand

1. Take the gondola up to Queenstown skyline

To get the perfect aerial view of Queenstown, head up to the skyline by taking the gondola. As you elevate, take in the remarkable view of the town surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Once you have reached the top, you are greeted with the most amazing Insta-worthy shot ever!

If you want a budget-friendly way of getting up to the skyline, grab your hiking shoes because there is a good ol’ hike that will lead you to the top. If you are too tired to hike back down, simply head down via the gondola by paying a one-way fee.

Things to do in Queenstown New Zealand

2. Stroll along Lake Wakatipu

Lake Wakatipu is a major lake in Queenstown, sporting magnificent views of the mountains and beyond. There are many cafes lining the shore so you can have a cup of coffee while gazing at the lake. You will even come across lots of ducks and seagulls who will beg for food. Note: once you feed them, they will look at you with those beady eyes that scream ‘Please more food!’. 

The best times to stroll along Lake Wakatipu are the early morning to catch the sunrise, and the late afternoon to watch the sunset. However, all day everyday is the perfect time to wander. Bring your camera, I promise you will need it.

Things to do when you visit Queenstown, New Zealand

3. Take a hike up Queenstown Hill

There are so many hikes you can do in Queenstown. One of them is the Queenstown Hill Hike. It is an approximate 3 hour return, depending on how fast you are. The views are amazing! You are literally above the clouds (with a little cheating because the clouds in Queenstown are oddly low). Be sure to take some snacks! This was a mistake I made and I was so hungry at the top of the hill that I had to wait an hour and a half to find some food! Boy, does it drain all your energy, and nothing is worse than hiking on an empty stomach!

Things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand

4. Visit the iconic Milford Sound

Take a day trip to Milford Sound to discover the magnificent waterfalls and terrains in the fjord. I recommend this amazing tour to Milford Sound by Jucy where they pick you up from your hotel/motel in the early morning. This is your chance to take amazing sunrise shots because honestly, the sky is amazing!

Things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand

Although the 4 hour drive to the fjord sounds tedious, Jucy takes you on several pit-stops along the way for you to give you an opportunity to take photos and stretch your legs. You will see all kinds of landscapes: farmland (lots of sheep!), forests, mountains, lakes, snow (if you are visiting during the winter). Once at Milford Sound, board the cruise where you can enjoy a lunch while cruising around the fjord towards the Tasman Sea. Plenty of photo opportunities here! It really is an experience of a life time to head to this wonder of the world. I mean, look at these photos!

Things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand

Things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand

Things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand

5. Eat a Fergburger

Hands down, the best burgers I have ever tried in my 23 years of life. You must must must must must (did I emphasise it enough?) try a Fergburger. They have both non-vegetarian and vegetarian options so there are no excuses in not trying a Fergburger! Of course unless you have a gluten intolerance, sorry you’re missing out! The queue may be the longest queue you have joined in your life but the service is quick and once you get a taste of the burger, you will be lining up again.

Finished your Fergburger? Head over next door for some Ferg gelato and scour the Ferg bakery for some fresh baked goodness. It is seriously Fergilicious! (excuse my lame pun…)

Things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand - Fergburger

6. Free fudge tasting at the Remarkables Sweet Shop

Fudge lovers, you are in luck. Head over to the Remarkables Sweet Shop in town or at Queenstown Airport and sample some of their delicious handmade fudge. You can purchase a delicious block for as a little as $6 and there are so many flavours to choose from – yum!

Things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand

7. Play in the snow at Cardrona Ski Field

If you are a snow sports enthusiast or simply just want to experience snow, head over to Cardrona Ski Field for a day of fun! I will admit this isn’t the most budget-friendly activity on the list. For me, it was a once in a lifetime thing. I’m not going to go to a ski field in a very long time. I am not a ski enthusiast. I tried to ski but failed miserably… Hand-foot coordination is not my thing but I do love snow but not that much to pay over $200. I’ll just head over to Europe during winter to experience the snow. Do you want to build a snowman with me for free?

Things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand

8. Taste the best cookies on earth at Cookie Bar

Another Queenstown favourite is the delicious, freshly baked cookies at Cookie Bar! There are to die for! They have so many different cookie flavours as well as coffee, smoothies and hot chocolate. Best of all, you can get amazing, sweet deals at particular times of the day, such as $1 coffee from 7am-8am, or buy 1 cookie, get 1 free! Not bad for your wallet!

Things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand

Hands up if you want to visit Queenstown!

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  • I’m planning to visit Newzealand soon. Thanks for the post!!

    • Stephanie Foo

      That is great to hear! I hope this post helps you plan your trip!

  • Wonderful travelling guide. Great work. Thank you for shre with us.

    • Stephanie Foo

      I’m glad you like it!

  • Desiree Hensley Ford

    These are great suggestions! I can’t wait to visit New Zealand one day! Desiree | A Binge Worthy Life

    • Stephanie Foo

      Thank you! You must! It is an amazing travel destination 🙂

  • Bonnibelle Chukwuneta

    Epic post! I’ll have to check out NZ during the winter. Never even considered it before this lol.

    • Stephanie Foo

      Thanks!! Yes you must! It’s a lovely place to be.

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  • Grace Bachman

    Wow, I’ve definitely got to get myself to Queensland! Your photos are epic 🙂 I had no idea there were Fjords in New Zealand, but now that I’ve seen them they’re 100% on the bucket list. If only it weren’t such a long flight from the USA …

    • Stephanie Foo

      Yes you definitely have to go to Queenstown! Thank you 🙂 Yes! The landscape in New Zealand is amazing! Reminds me of Switzerland or Canada! Oh yes, I could imagine the flight coming from the USA… but it will be worth it!

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