Adventure | Family | Food and Wine 09 May 2016

5 Family-Friendly Things To Do in Queenstown

Queenstown is one of New Zealand’s most magical holiday destinations, and it’s the perfect location for the whole clan. With an impressive range of activities on offer for families of all ages, your days in the country’s Adventure Capital will be jam packed with thrilling experiences from hiking to biking, boating to skiing.

If you’re hoping to hit the slopes with the family but want to dodge the masses, try early springtime. Like winter, there will be snow on the mountains for ski and snowboarding fun, but the busy crowds will be long gone. Queenstown is more than just a winter destination though. With the warmer weather the days grow longer and rivers flow higher.

Here are five great things to do with the kids in Queenstown:

Go jet boating 

Give the kids a thrilling ride they’ll never forget – and one you’ll laugh about and recount for years to come . The epic Shotover Jet is an exhilarating ride for all ages that really gets the blood pumping. The catch? Kids have to be taller than 100cm to ride in the jet boat (triple check the latest, as rules can change). If they pass the height test you’ll shoot through magnificent canyons of the Shotover River together, a favourite thrill ride since 1965.

Power through rapids while river rafting

As winter melts into spring, the rivers are on the rise in Queenstown, making it the perfect time of year to tackle the rapids with your family. Family Adventures offer fantastic river rafting activities to suit all levels and ages, including small children. The tour begins at the famous location known to Lord of the Rings fans as ‘The Ford of Bruinen’, and navigates down the Upper Shotover River through gentle grade two rapids. The adventure journeys past sheer canyon walls, gold mining relics and the jaw-dropping scenery that drew you to the region in the first place.

Zip through the skies together

Want to experience an epic eco-adventure that feels like flying? ZipTrek offers sensational zip lining tours that not only glide atop of the Queenstown canopy, but also educate the family on the natural environment and the importance of preserving it. It’s adrenaline and awareness rolled into one! The Moa Tour is a four-line guided aerial tour that’s fit for all ages. The tour starts slowly and builds in height and speed to its tallest tree house standing at an incredible eight storeys high. If there are any Tarzan fans in the family, then zip lining in Queenstown will surely be a hit.

Zipline adventure atop of the Queenstown canopy

Cruise about on a Segway

Queenstown is home to many extreme activities, yet there are still plenty of adventures on offer for those less eager to push the extreme adrenaline button. A Segway tour is one alternative, presenting as a truly unique way to explore this magical town and still leave everyone smiling. Segway on Q offers a fantastic two-hour tour that zips and zooms through the heart of Queenstown, beside the bay, up the hillside and through the beautiful gardens, which will be bursting full of colourful blooms and lush greenery in the springtime.

Family bonding and enjoying the cruise on Lake Wakatipu Ziptrek Ecotours with view from the hillside of Queenstown

Grab takeaway to enjoy by the lake

As parents we all know the golden rules to eating out with kids: fast service, entertainment and reasonably healthy. Queenstown has a number of great options and our favourites are the ones you can take away to eat by the lake or back to your apartment where the kids can run around. Pedro's House of Lamb is incredible if you love lamb – pick up a whole lamb shoulder with rosemary and garlic and scalloped potatoes to share. Alternatively, Erik's Fish & Chips is another take away favourite, located near to the lake so you can grab your meal and eat alfresco while the kids roll in the grass. 

Kids run around the lakeside of Queenstown

Oaks Club and Oaks Shores both have hotel rooms and multi-room self-catering apartments, perfect for a family vacation.