Are you planning a trip to New Zealand with kids? If Queenstown is on your New Zealand itinerary, don’t miss out on these top things to do in Queenstown with kids!
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Guest post by Delilah Hart of Our Travel Mix
Queenstown is a top family holiday destination in New Zealand and a great place to take the kids.
Dubbed the “adventure capital of the world,” you’ll find a diverse array of exciting Queenstown attractions.
There’s the Luge, kayaking, ziplining, nature treks, and indoor skydiving, as well as a great food scene!
But don’t leave the kids at home! Queenstown, New Zealand is definitely a place to keep children occupied with all kinds of family fun.
Whether you’re a family who loves a good thrill or just want to explore this historic gold mining town, you’ll find plenty of unforgettable things to do in Queenstown with kids!
Guest post by Delilah Hart of Our Travel Mix
Top Activities to Do when Visiting Queenstown with Kids
Play Frisbee Golf at the Queenstown Gardens
The Queenstown Gardens are stunning, set on a peninsula at the edge of Lake Wakatipu.
The surrounding mountains backdrop the scene, and the lakeside gardens are covered in lush greenery.
You’ll find a variety of family activities available to you here! You can go on a family walk through the rose garden.
Kids can feed the fish with fish food purchased for a small donation within the grounds.
And there’s also the Queenstown Ice Arena. Here, you’ll find with lots of fun activities like ice bumper cars and ice skating!
But one of my favorite family-friendly activities at the Queenstown Gardens is frisbee golf!
This is where you use a frisbee to aim for targets, which look similar to a netball hoop with a basket made from chains.
The chains allow for a way for the frisbee to land inside the basket. Adults will enjoy frisbee golf too. It really is more difficult than it looks!
Take the Skyline Gondola up Bob’s Peak
For unbelievable views of the town and the Southern Alps beyond, take the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak.
The Queenstown Skyline Gondola is a fun way to enjoy the gorgeous alpine scenery without having to hike far for it!
It’s also a great option for families with younger children, as well as those who need a more accessible-friendly route.
The whole family can fit in a gondola (or up to 10 people) that takes you 480 meters above Queenstown. It’s known to be the steepest cable car lift in the Southern Hemisphere!
Skyline offers a family pass that’s perfect for a family of 4 or 5. A gondola ride only will cost $141 NZD for a family of 4, or $170 NZD for a family of 5.
Passes are also available that combine a luge ride (or up to 5) down the mountain.
There’s also the option to take a walk up to Bob’s Peak. This will take around an hour and is quite steep, so this may only be suitable for older children.
It’s one of the best hikes in Queenstown.
At the summit, there are both a restaurant and cafe to dine at if you’ve built up an appetite. Find a seat with great views down the mountain!
Eat Fergburger at the Queenstown Waterfront
When you’re in Queenstown with kids, you can’t go wrong with delicious fast food. I suggest Fergburger on Shotover Street.
This chain taken New Zealand by storm! It’s possibly one of the most well-known eateries in the country, and definitely amongst the best restaurants in Queenstown.
It is definitely the best burger I’ve ever had!
To put things into perspective, Fergburger is so popular that the lines to order burgers run down to the street!
Sometimes the wait is 30 minutes to an hour during the busier times of the day.
To beat the queue, just call in your order ahead of time. Just swing by the window to pick it up!
My pick is the Ferg Deluxe, but they also have a great breakfast burger, chicken burgers, and vegan options.
Bear in mind the size of these burgers. Two kids could easily share one burger!
And everyone will want to save room for their outstanding Thickshakes that come in 4 flavors.
Ride Queenstown’s Famous Luge
Once you’ve ridden the Skyline Gondola up Bob’s Peak, the best way to get to the bottom of the mountain is by the Luge!
A luge is a sled with handlebars. They’re simple and easy for kids (6 and up) to use. Young kids can ride tandem with an adult for a small fee.
Just push the handlebars forward to accelerate, then pull the handlebars back to brake. So much fun!
The Luge is an excellent way to get your feet wet with family adventures. It’s a stunning ride downhill with great views of the Southern Alps in your own sled.
But it’s still safe and simply enough for children to participate in. They’ll never forget it!
There are 2 tracks available at the Queenstown track.
The Blue Track is the more basic track. This track is mandatory for first-time luge riders. For those over 135 centimetres, there’s the more advanced Red Track.
The family passes for a Gondola ride up the mountain, and luge rides down the mountain start at $194 NZD.
Go on a Jet Boat Ride across the Water
If you’re looking for thrilling family activities in the great outdoors, consider a jet boat ride!
Jetboating is an iconic tourist activity in Queenstown. Speeding around the waves in a jet-powered boat is a super exciting way to spend your holiday.
The kids will enjoy the fast-paced, fun-filled activity.
There are 2 main areas in Queenstown where you can jet boat: the Shotover and Kawarau Rivers.
The Shotover seems to be the most popular, but both rivers offer amazing views and scenery.
And if you’re interested in a day trip, there’s Wanaka, the neighboring town. Just one hour away from Queenstown, is another place known for its great adventure activities.
Jetboating is another one of the most popular activities in Wanaka for children, as well.
Sample Fudge in Queenstown with Kids
Ok, I’ll admit it. I have a huge sweet tooth! And I can’t pass up this next stop in Queenstown!
The Remarkables Sweet Shop in the town centre is an iconic shop that all the locals know about.
It’s the best place in Queenstown to buy confectionery. There’s everything you could ever imagine, from hard-boiled sweets and gummy lollies to chocolates and fudge!
The fudge is definitely the icing on the cake at this sweet shop. Head on in to give a few flavors a try before you choose a slice to take home with you.
This will be a huge hit with the kids!
The fudge also makes great gifts for friends and family back home. I recommend the creme brule and lemon meringue flavors!
Remarkables Sweet Shop also have a second store located in Arrowtown, just 20 minutes away from Queenstown. It’s one of the quaintest little towns I’ve visited and makes for a perfect half-day trip.
Arrowtown is definitely a place that should be added to your bucket list when visiting New Zealand.
Happy Hour at Cookie Time in Queenstown
Forget happy hour for alcoholic drinks, Cookie Time has an even better idea!
From 6 PM to 7 PM every day, Cookie Time Cookie Bar located in Central Queenstown has a happy hour. For just $4 NZD, you get 2 hot cookies, which is half price.
These warm cookies are so tasty that I will get them almost every day I’m in Queenstown. There is no limit to how many you can buy, so it’s a real test to see how much you can restrain yourself.
My ultimate favourite flavours are their original chocolate chip and salted caramel.
This would be a lovely after dinner treat for kids. Then take them and enjoy them on the pier!
Take a Full-Day Cruise to Milford Sound
A family holiday to New Zealand just isn’t complete without paying a visit to either Milford or Doubtful Sounds. Milford Sound still remains one of my favorite places to visit in the country.
The family can enjoy a full-day excursion to Milford Sound with a knowledgeable guide.
You’ll take a boat ride from Lake Te Anau to the sound and then enjoy guided nature walks in the park nearby.
Milford Sound features snow-capped mountains, rainforests, glaciers and waterfalls. The fiord is located in the heart of Fiordland National Park.
Mitre Peak is the star of the show. The mountain is commonly photographed and popular with avid climbers. Children will enjoy playing “I spy” for dolphins, fur seals, and penguins.
This natural attraction is situated a few hours from Queenstown.
Most tourists choose to take a day tour out to Milford Sound for the convenience, as the drive is quite long and the roads windy.
They usually include a scenic cruise on the sound, as well as lunch provided.
Dip in Onsen Hot Pools
Onsen Hot Pools have overtaken Instagram in New Zealand! This award-winning spa is the perfect way to experience Queenstown from a different point of view.
The facilities feature natural hot springs pumped into different indoor and outdoor pools that you can book.
Each type of room boasts stunning views of the Shotover River Canyon in Queenstown and comes with different spa treatments.
They’re perfect for a romantic date as well as a fun family activity.
A few of the pools are equipped to hold up to 4 people. And children 5 years and up are allowed in the onsens during the daytime.
There’s an entry fee per person. Also make sure that the onsen your booking allows children under 12, as not all of them do!
Hang out at Queenstown Beach with the Kids
When you’re visiting Queenstown, take them to the sandy beach just off the waterfront. This is a great spot to bring the kids, with plenty of things to do to keep them occupied for hours.
You can relax on the beach with your kids as they take a dip in the calm ocean and make sandcastles!
The bank is a perfect spot for kids to kick a ball around and play tag, and there are a couple of great playgrounds nearby.
For the older children, kayaks and paddleboards are available for rent. The great thing about renting a double kayak is that you can also enjoy the activity with them.
Take a Picnic to Lake Wakatipu
There’s something about a picnic that makes visiting Lake Wakatipu fun for all ages.
But first, take the family to the Four-Square Alpine to stock up on groceries!
When we go out on a picnic, we’ll usually grab bread rolls and filling, including ham, salami, smoked salmon, and pesto or a dip for flavor.
For snacks, we’ll grab some nice cheeses and crackers, as well as grapes and a bar of chocolate.
For the mums and dads, you may want to enjoy a bottle of wine from a winery you visited in Queenstown. Your hotel may have provided some wine glasses in your hotel room.
Then just walk down to Lake Wakatipu, just a few minutes from central Queenstown. Late afternoon is a great time for a picnic so you can watch the sunset.
Take the Kawarau Zipride
For more thrilling family fun, check out the Kawarau Zipride. It’s the perfect activity for fearless kids who love a bit of adventure.
This attraction is set above the winding Kawarau River near Queenstown.
The Zipride can be done in tandem so you can ride with your children too! You’ll ride through at speeds of up to 60 kilometres an hour!
Children should be at least eight years old to ride the Zipride.
Alongside the zipline, you can watch people bungy jumping from the bridge over the Kawarau River!
Looking for more things to do in New Zealand with kids? Get tips for visiting Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, and Rotorua, plus the Best New Zealand Souvenirs, Tips for New Zealand with Kids and our 16 Day New Zealand Itinerary!
Delilah Hart is a Kiwi with a passion for travel. When she isn’t taking photos of landscapes, she is writing in her travel blog that aims to help people travel the world better.