10 Things to Do in Queenstown with Kids
10 Things to Do in Queenstown with Kids

20 Things to Do in Queenstown with Kids đź‘Ş [2022]

© Destination Queenstown

The Best Family Activities in Queenstown (for Babies, Toddlers, Kids, Teens and Beyond)

Nature is the ultimate playground here in the Adventure Capital of New Zealand! While Queenstown might have a reputation for extreme activities, there’s also plenty to do here if you’re travelling with little ones. From family-friendly jet boat rides to educational wildlife centres, there’s plenty to keep the kids (and mum and dad) entertained and stimulated. Even if the weather decides to play up, there are some excellent indoor entertainment centres to spend some quality time together. Check out some of our top activity picks in this list of things to do in Queenstown with kids.

While you’re here, you might also be interested in The Guide to Queenstown for Families and the 10 Best Family Accommodations in Queenstown.

1. Get the Adrenaline Pumping on a Jet Boat Ride – The Best Thing to Do in Queenstown with Kids

Let’s start with your obligatory adrenaline-fuelled activity in the “Adventure Capital”! Your family-friendly option is jet boating: a high-speed thrill ride in a boat designed with a jet-propulsion system, rather than your standard motor propellers. This means that jet boats can manoeuvre on top of the water with precision, seamlessly skimming across the water with near-misses with canyon walls and can accomplish awesome 360° spins. Queenstown has a lot of options when it comes to jet boats, so compare them using the 5 Best Jet Boat Tours in Queenstown.

Location: See specific locations for each jet boat company in the link above.

NZPocketGuide.com© NZPocketGuide.com

2. Fly Through the Trees on a Zipline Tour – The Best Adventure Activity for Families

Something for kids over six years old, Ziptrek Ecotours offers a range of exciting ziplines throughout a forest overlooking Queenstown. From the Moa Tour, ideal for families and first-time zippers, to the full Kea Tour with six exciting ziplines, there’s a tour for everyone. See if you’re brave enough to zipline upside down as you fly through the trees all while enjoying incredible views of Queenstown. Learn more about Ziptrek Ecotours, read reviews and book tours on Viator, Tripadvisor, Klook and KKday. Plus, see how the tour compares with the 10 Best Places to Zipline in New Zealand.

Location: Office – 45 Camp Street. Tours start from the top of the Skyline Gondola, which departs from the end of Brecon Street.

Ziptrek Ecotours© Ziptrek Ecotours

3. Learn About New Zealand’s Wildlife at the Kiwi Birdlife Park

Introduce the kids (and yourselves) to the unique birdlife of New Zealand at the Kiwi Birdlife Park. Located at the bottom of the Skyline Gondola, the Kiwi Birdlife Park allows families to observe more than 20 different bird species, including adorable kiwi birds in a nocturnal enclosure. You may also get the opportunity to see critters like the green gecko and the “living dinosaur”, the tuatara. Catch one of the daily wildlife shows and keeper presentations to learn more about conservation and threats facing New Zealand’s wildlife. More information about the Kiwi Birdlife Park can be found on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Location: Upper Brecon Street.

Kiwi Birdlife Park Queenstown© Kiwi Birdlife Park Queenstown

4. Watch the Sheep Being Worked on the Walter Peak Farm Tour – The Best Queenstown Petting Zoo

Get an insight into the life of a Kiwi farmer at the Walter Peak High Country Farm Tour. After cruising across Lake Wakatipu aboard a historic steamship, the TSS Earnslaw, you’ll arrive at a farming station for a walking tour of the farm. Watch sheepdogs working the sheep, see sheep shearing demonstrations and learn how wool is spun. You and your family will then be treated to afternoon tea with time to relax in the gorgeous gardens while taking in the views of The Remarkables mountain ranges. Find out more about Walter Peak on Viator, Tripadvisor, Klook and KKday.

Location: 88 Beach Street.

Walter Peak High Country Farm Tour© Walter Peak High Country Farm Tour

5. Stay Out of the Rain with VR, Laser Tag and Drift-Kart Fun at Thrill Zone (or Use the Kids’ Club) – The Best Rainy Day Activities for Kids in Queenstown

Delve into another reality, shoot at each other, and enjoy a captivating 12D movie experience at Thrill Zone. This indoor theme park offers a huge range of attractions to enjoy at your leisure. Watch a movie at the 12D cinema, give drift-karting a go, blast each other in laser tag or Heroblast, lose yourself in a Virtual Reality experience and more! Thrill Zone even offers Kidz Club Queenstown for four to 13-year-olds, should you want to tick one of the more extreme Queenstown activities off your bucket list. Find out more about Thrill Zone on Viator, Tripadvisor or Klook. Plus, see more rainy day activities in 20 Things to Do in Queenstown on a Rainy Day.

Location: 53 Shotover Street.

Thrillzone Queenstown© Thrillzone Queenstown

6. Or Stay Out the Rain with Go-Karting, Laser Tag and Arcading at Game Over – The Best Indoor Activity for Families

Another fantastic indoor entertainment centre awaits at Game Over at The Remarkables Park. Get behind the wheel of their fully-electric go-karts which can reach speeds of 45km/h (28mph) and cross over two levels of track! Try one of the four different solo or team-based missions in the laser tag quest. Or simply have fun with the arcade games, including a “Lazer Web” and “Sports Challenge” simulator.

Location: 14 Red Oaks Drive, Frankton, approximately 8.5km (5 miles) from Queenstown town centre.

NZPocketGuide.com© NZPocketGuide.com

7. Race Each Other to the Bottom of The Luge – The Best Thing to Do in Queenstown for All Ages

Something hilariously fun for all ages, The Luge at Skyline Queenstown is a must for families! Challenge each other to Queenstown’s two downhill Luge tracks in go-karts that are easy to use by simply running on gravity. There are plenty of twists, turns, tunnels and dips to keep the track exciting. Plus, if you’re little ones are too small to kart themselves, they can easily sit on mum or dad’s lap. Learn more about The Luge, as well as read reviews and book tickets on Viator, Tripadvisor and KKday

Location: The top of the Skyline Gondola, which departs from the end of Brecon Street.

10 Things to Do in Queenstown with Kids© Julian Apse - Tourism New Zealand

8. Swap Bungy Jumping for an Exciting Zipride – The Best “Bungy” for Kids

If mum and dad want to do something crazy, like bungy jumping or a giant swing, then give the little ones something fun to do too, like a zipride! At the Kawarau Bridge bungy, try the alternative adrenaline experience, the Kawarau Zipride. Fly solo or with up to six other people on a giant zipline, either flying forward, backward, upside down or flying flat like Superman! Find out more about the Kawarau Bridge Zipline on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Location: 1693 State Highway 6, Gibbston, approximately 23km (14 miles) from Queenstown town centre.

Kawarau Bridge Zipline© Kawarau Bridge Zipline

9. Explore Queenstown Gardens – The Best Free Thing to Do in Queenstown with Kids

For a fun and free way to spend some family downtime in Queenstown, take a walk around Queenstown Gardens. Easily accessible from Queenstown town centre, the Queenstown Gardens is a beautifully landscaped garden with walking tracks, memorials and magnificent views across Lake Wakatipu. The gardens also have an 18-hole disc golf course, where discs or “frisbees” are available to hire from most of the outdoor shops in town. Find more activities like this in 20 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Queenstown and 10 Non-Touristy Things to Do in Queenstown.

Location: Park Street.

10 Things to Do in Queenstown with Kids© Pxhere

10. Pan for Gold in Arrowtown – The Best Family Day Trip from Queenstown

For a fun family day out, head to the historic town of Arrowtown. Just a 20-minute drive from Queenstown, Arrowtown is a historic gold-mining town with beautifully-preserved buildings from the Otago Gold Rush. A great thing to do with the kids is to hire a gold pan from the Lakes District Museum and try your luck in the Arrow River. Whether you’re successful or not, you might want to also treat the kids to some mouthwatering fudge from The Remarkables Sweet Shop or an ice cream from Patagonia. Get more inspiration for your visit with our 10 Amazing Things to Do in Arrowtown.

Location: Arrowtown-Lake Hayes Road, approximately 19km (12 miles) from Queenstown town centre.

10 Things to Do in Queenstown with Kids© Unsplash

11. Walk or Cycle the Frankton Arm Walkway – The Best Family Walk in Queenstown

From the Queenstown Gardens, find a pleasant walkway along the lakefront called the Frankton Arm Walkway. The wide flat path is suitable for strollers and even bikes if you want to hire bikes from town. There are jetties and swimming spots to make the most of along the way. The whole walk takes approximately 1h30mins each way, but we suggest just turning back when you’re ready. See more family-friendly walks listed in the 15 Best Walks in Queenstown.

Location: Start from the eastern end of Park Street.

20 Things to Do in Queenstown with Kids© Destination Queenstown

12. Learn to Ski or Play in the Snow During the Queenstown Ski Season – The Best Thing to Do in Queenstown with Kids in Winter

Get a piece of the famous Queenstown ski season action by treating the kids to a ski holiday to The Remarkables or Coronet Peak. Ski lessons are available for children aged 4 to 17 at The Remarkables, while Coronet Peak’s ski lessons are for ages 5-17. There’s also an early learning centre at Coronet Peak for ages 2-5, with either ski lessons or playing in the snow – ideal if you want to have peace of mind about the kids while you get a few runs in yourself. Learn more about the ski season using The Ultimate Guide to the Queenstown Ski Season.

Location: The Remarkables – Remarkables Ski Field Access Road, approximately 23.5km (14.5 miles) from Queenstown town centre. Coronet Peak – Coronet Peak Road, approximately 16km (10 miles) from Queenstown town centre. Bus transport is available to the ski fields, which you can find out more about in the link above.

20 Things to Do in Queenstown with Kids© Destination Queenstown

13. Take a Day Trip to Glenorchy and Visit the Farm Petting Zoo at Glenorchy Animal Experience – The Best Thing to Do in Queenstown with Toddlers

Another popular day trip from Queenstown is along the stunning shores of Lake Wakatipu to Glenorchy. There, you have several family-friendly experiences to enjoy. Lap up the scenery as you take an easy stroll on the Glenorchy Lagoon Walkway, feed farm animals at Glenorchy Animal Experience, and enjoy the family-friendly cafes. Discover more experiences and details about the ones we have just mentioned in the 15 Best Things to Do in Glenorchy.

Location: Queenstown Glenorchy Road, approximately 46km (28.5 miles) from Queenstown town centre.

20 Things to Do in Queenstown with Kids© Unsplash

14. Cruise on Lake Wakatipu – The Best Thing to Do in Queenstown with Babies

One of the more affordable paid activities for families in Queenstown that’s suitable for babies, toddlers and up is the Spirit of Queenstown cruise with Southern Discoveries. Enjoy smooth sailing on this catamaran cruise lasting approximately 1h30mins. Discover secluded bays, historic landmarks and breathtaking mountain scenery on this cruise with indoor and outdoor seating. Learn more about Southern Discoveries on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook.

Location: St Omer’s Wharf, 110 Beach Street.

20 Things to Do in Queenstown with Kids© Southern Discoveries

15. Do Some Family-Friendly White Water Rafting – The Best Thing to Do in Queenstown with Teens

Ideal for ages 13 years and up, the Kawarau jet-to-raft experience has families experiencing the exciting Kawarau River by jet boat then by raft. Join Challenge Rafting on the grade 2-3 rapids, perfect for first-time rafters with the opportunity for a splash around, cliff jumping and, of course, riding awesome rapids. The trip lasts approximately 3-4 hours.

Location: 37 Camp Street.

20 Things to Do in Queenstown with Kids© NZPocketGuide.com

16. Relax at Queenstown Beach – What to Do in Queenstown with Kids for Free

Yes, there is actually a beach in Queenstown! Head to the waterfront when you’re in town and it will be pretty hard to miss Main Town Beach. While it’s a pleasant place to relax or go for a swim, families can amp up the experience by hiring an aqua bike, single or double kayak or stand-up paddleboard.

Location: Marine Parade.

20 Things to Do in Queenstown with Kids© needpix.com

17. Try Fudge and Browse Delicious Sweet Treats at The Remarkable Sweet Shop

See the kids’ faces light up as they enter this old-timey sweet shop with an amazing array of colourful candies. Plus, with so many delicious fudge flavours to try like cookies and cream, apple pie, white rum and chocolate, it would be rude not to accept the free tasting. There are plenty of ice cream parlours and cool restaurants to treat the family to, which we list in The Foodie Guide to Queenstown, but The Remarkable Sweet Shop is especially awesome for the kids. See more tasty experiences in the 10 Things to Do in Queenstown for Foodies.

Location: 39 Beach Street.

20 Things to Do in Queenstown with Kids© NZPocketGuide.com

18. Immerse in Sensational Scenery on a Helicopter Flight

One of the more extreme activities that, literally, any age group can enjoy, helicopter flights are abundant in Queenstown. Take to the skies and be amazed by the UNESCO World Heritage Areas renowned for their natural beauty and even land on the snow in the remote mountains. What’s more, toddlers and babies (usually under two years old) tend to be able to travel for free. Choose the perfect flight for your tribe in the 5 Best Queenstown Helicopter Tours. Plus, check out similar indulgent experiences in the 10 Best Luxury Activities in Queenstown.

Location: See the link above for specific company locations.

20 Things to Do in Queenstown with Kids© Over The Top Helicopters - Tourism New Zealand

19. Get Chilly at an Ice Bar

Far from the usual bars in Queenstown, the Below Zero Ice Bar is a bar almost entirely made of ice and is family-friendly! From the ice sculptures adorning the walls to the cups that you drink your cocktail or mocktail from, everything is frozen. You’ll be geared up for the experience with a thick coat and gloves, so don’t worry about packing an extra jacket for the kids. There’s also Minus 5° Ice Bar should you want another option.

Location: Below Zero – Searle Lane. Minus 5° – 88 Beach Street.

20 Things to Do in Queenstown with Kids© NZPocketGuide.com

20. Delve into a Sensory Maze – What to Do in Queenstown with Kids at Night

Finally, an indoor attraction perfect for rainy days or evenings in Queenstown, the Odyssey Sensory Maze is a labyrinth of rooms of whacky illusions, lights, sound effects, obstacles and strange sensations. Go give it a touch! Book your entry into the Odyssey Sensory Maze on ViatorTripadvisor or Klook. And find more evening activities in the 10 Things to Do in Queenstown at Night.

Location: 57 Shotover Street.

20 Things to Do in Queenstown with Kids© Odyssey Sensory Maze

More About Queenstown for Kids, Toddlers and Babies

That’s it for our list of the best things to do in Queenstown with kids, toddlers, babies and teens but by no means the end of Queenstown’s activity offering. If there are any activity lists that we’ve missed in the above guide, you’ll find them here:

Finally, discover even more family trip tips in The Travel Guide to New Zealand for Families, as well as more inspiration for your road trip in the South Island Family Itinerary: Two Weeks and South Island Family Itinerary: One Week.

Author

Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in New Zealand over 10 years ago and with a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to travel New Zealand. She knows Aotearoa inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience New Zealand’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides and is the co-host of NZ Pocket Guide’s live New Zealand travel Q&As on YouTube.

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