Located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by spectacular mountain ranges, Queenstown has the perfect combination of snow, clear mountain air, river rapids and lofty peaks and bridges to create the perfect playground for anyone who loves an adrenaline rush!
But Queenstown is not just for young thrillseekers who want to jump off bridges during the day and party all night – this is a great place for families too.
Where to Stay in Queenstown
When you are looking for accommodation in Queenstown, TOP 10 has two great options to choose from: Queenstown Top 10 and Shotover Top 10. The Queenstown park is located just a five minute walk from the town centre, while Shotover TOP 10 can be found on the other side of the Shotover River, about 6km from Queenstown on the road to Arrowtown.
So just depending on where you want to spend most of your holiday, take your pick of these two different locations and the range of accommodation options from campsites to fully equipped motel rooms to suit your budget and your style.
Taking a ride on the Shotover Jet is a great way to start your Queenstown holiday – if you have kids who love rollercoaster rides and don’t mind getting wet, that is!
A slightly more sedate ride is the Skyline gondola to the top of Ben Lomond. At the top you can enjoy the views from the restaurant while you have a meal, or take a more adventurous turn with a jump off the AJ Hackett Ledge Bungy. And if your kids are keen on finding a different way down the mountain, you can each hop in your own three wheeler cart and head down the mountain on the luge – choose the Scenic track or the Advanced track, depending on your comfort level.
The AJ Hackett team has also been expanding their offering, with the new Kawarau Bungy Trampoline being a great, affordable option for adults and children. It’s one of Queenstown’s newest attractions and is open to anyone over the age of two and between 10kg and 90kgs. The Kawarau Bungy Trampoline is on SH6 in the Gibbston Valley, just a 20 minute drive from Queenstown.
Other family fun activities you can explore during your stay include the Onsen Hot Pools high on the cliffs overlooking the Shotover River Canyon – a different hot pool experience, with private cedar hot pools equipped with retractable roof and walls so you can soak up the stars or the alpine views.
Fun in the Snow
If you’re visiting on a winter break, of course there are the usual fun activities up at Coronet Peak and the Remarkables, but for something different, you can go on a guided snowshoeing trip.
On a full or half day trip, you can experience some of Queenstown’s most beautiful wide open spaces, far from the hectic ski fields. Walk across unbroken snow, without sinking up to your waist, wearing the modern version of snowshoes – and no they don’t look like old tennis rackets anymore!
The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy is one of the things New Zealand is most famous for in recent years, and much of the footage was filmed in this part of the world. Take the family out on a unique Lord of the Rings 4WD tour with Paradise Safaris – taking you through Glenorchy into beautiful Paradise Valley.
You’ll see movie locations including Isengard, Lothlorien Forest, Ithlien Camp, Amon Hen and the Misty Mountains. You’ll also see locations from X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Water Horse, Willow and more.
Free Time, Golf, Wine, Food and Movies
Any family holiday needs a good mix of “paid” adventures, alongside some cheaper days out, and the Queenstown area is the perfect place to simply head out with water bottles and a picnic lunch to go walking, mountain biking, swimming, and enjoying the great outdoors.
Mum and dad might also want to indulge in a few rounds of golf, some wine tasting at the many local vineyards and of course, some great shopping, interspersed with excellent coffee.
Cafés and restaurants abound in Queenstown itself, and nearby Arrowtown makes for a great day trip, experiencing some of this historic gold rush era town – again, the shops, cafes, museum and the fabulous Arrowtown movie theatre, Dorothy Browns.
One thing we can guarantee is that a week or two of holiday time in Queenstown will have you coming back for more.
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