All-Weather and Indoor Activities in Queenstown – Perfect for a Rainy Day!
In a country as rich in lush forests and farmland as New Zealand, it’s no secret that you can expect some rain from time to time. Queenstown is no exception. But in the most touristy town on the South Island, you can at least be sure that there are still plenty of awesome things to do in Queenstown on a rainy day.
Luckily, some of the thrills of the “Adrenaline Capital of New Zealand” are ideal on a rainy day anyway, especially on the rivers with white water rafting and sledging. Otherwise, Queenstown has a great variety of indoor activities, from go-karting to a sensory maze. So don’t just sit around on a rainy day in Queenstown: do something exceptional.
For more talk about the weather, check out our Queenstown Weather & Climate Guide. Plus, have some activities ready for when the weather clears up from the 20 Best Things to Do in Queenstown.
1. Race on the Go-Karting Tracks at Game Over
Game Over is an indoor entertainment complex in The Remarkables Park that was built for rainy days. Race your travel buddies or family on the track or head into the dinosaur-infested laser-tag room! There are also some fun arcade games to try out. And if you want to see more experiences like this, check out the 10 Non-Touristy Things to Do in Queenstown.
Location: 14 Red Oaks Drive, Frankton, approximately 8.5km (5 miles) from Queenstown town centre.
2. Watch the Weather While You Unwind at the Onsen Hot Pools
For a bit of pampering on your rainy day in Queenstown, indulge in one of the soothing hot pool experiences at the Onsen Hot Pools Retreat & Day Spa. Relax in a private timber hot tub with views over the Shotover River valley. Find out more about Onsen Hot Pools Retreat on Klook, Viator and Tripadvisor. And, for more relaxing things to do, check out our 10 Luxury Activities in Queenstown.
Location: 162 Arthurs Point Road, Arthurs Point, approximately 13km (8 miles) from Queenstown town centre.
3. Have an Extended Brunch, Lunch or Dinner
Wait out the rain by sampling Queenstown’s iconic food scene. Huddle indoors with a warm cup of coffee in the array of cafes in Queenstown, such as Bespoke Kitchen or Vudu Cafe & Larder. Alternatively, there are plenty of bars should you want something with a bit more of a kick, from 1876 to Upstairs @ The Bunker. You could even make a rainy day the day that you sample some of Queenstown’s finest cuisine at venues listed in the 10 Best Fine Dining Restaurants in Queenstown. Either way, you’re sheltered from the rain! Take a look at The Foodie Guide to Queenstown, as well as 5 Awesome Bars in Queenstown for more recommendations.
Location: Bespoke Kitchen – 9 Isle Street. Vudu Cafe & Larder – 16 Rees Street. 1876 – 45 Ballarat Street. Upstairs @ The Bunker – Cow Lane & The Mall.
4. Ride the Skyline Gondola to an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet
Get out of the rain and watch the weather pass over Lake Wakatipu from the top of the Queenstown gondola. You will have a prime view of the mesmerising New Zealand weather in action, plus there’s an all-you-can-eat buffet at Skyline Queenstown. Diners at the Stratosphere Restaurant are treated to an all-you-can-eat four-course buffet lunch or a six-course buffet dinner of local specialities, like prime meat and seafood, as well as a range of crowd-pleasers. The tiered seating arrangement in the dining room ensures everyone gets a good view! Check out the Skyline Gondola’s buffet experience on Kkday, Viator and Tripadvisor.
Location: Brecon Street.
5. Hop on a Wine Tour
If you are after a more refined foodie experience, there are some amazing wine tours that will take you from one cellar to another to sample the best wines that the region has to offer. There are many ways to experience the wineries of the Otago wine region, the best for rainy days being a small-group tour with Queenstown Wine Trail (more info on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook). The tour also includes traditional New Zealand-style lunch and cheese tastings. Learn more about the wineries of the area in the 10 Wonderful Wineries in Queenstown.
Location: Wine tours offer Queenstown accommodation pick-ups.
6. Join a Craft Brewery Tour
You can see a theme developing here, can’t you? As well as wine, Queenstown is also home to a small brewing community. Visit some of the local craft breweries and microbreweries with beer tastings included with Queenstown Beer Tours. The guided tour takes you through the stunning Gibbston Valley and includes a lunch stop with gourmet food and a specially-matched beer. Tour-goers also get a behind-the-scenes look at some breweries to learn how they make the good stuff. Find out more on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook. We promise this is the last of the 10 Things to Do in Queenstown for Foodies that we’ll feature on this rainy day list.
Location: Queenstown accommodation pick-ups available or from the Station Building on the corner of Camp and Shotover Streets.
7. Tackle the Rapids in White Water Rafting
If you’re not already getting wet from the raging grade 3-5 rapids on the Shotover River, then you’ll definitely be getting wet with all the water jumps and craziness on the family-friendly Kawarau River. Let’s be honest, you’re going to get wet when white water rafting anyway, so you might as well embrace that H²O! Book your rafting experience with Challenge Rafting on Viator, Tripadvisor, Klook or KKday. And if you’re looking for more adventure, be sure to check out the 10 Epic Adventure Activities in Queenstown.
Location: Tours depart from 37 Camp Street.
8. Go White Water Sledging
In the same spirit as the point above, you’re going to get wet anyway when doing white water sledging. Your guide will teach you how to handle your river sledge so you can ride the rapids, whirlpools and surf standing waves of the Kawarau River! Book your river sledging adventure with Serious Fun Riverboarding on Klook, Viator or Tripadvisor.
Location: Tours depart from 37 Shotover Street.
9. Take a Trip to Milford Sound
There are two scenarios that could be happening in Milford Sound while it is raining in Queenstown: it could be raining in Milford Sound, which means more waterfalls, or the weather could be completely clear in Milford Sound. It’s a win-win situation. Drive yourself to Milford Sound or take the stress of driving out of the equation with one of the many bus tours heading to Milford Sound from Queenstown every single day! Plan an independent trip using our Guide to Milford Sound and the Milford Road or choose one of the 10 Best Milford Sound Tours from Queenstown.
Location: State Highway 94, approximately 287km (178 miles) from Queenstown.
10. Go Skiing or Snowboarding
If you’re lucky enough to be in Queenstown during the winter season and it’s raining, chances are that is translating into fresh snow on the mountains. Grab a ski pass and some gear from town and head up to the nearby ski fields and make use of that fresh pow! For more information on the Queenstown ski season, take a look at The Ultimate Guide to the Queenstown Ski Season, as well as The 24 Ski Fields in New Zealand.
Location: See the locations of the Queenstown ski fields in the links above.
11. Test Your Nerve at Fear Factory
Get a different sort of adrenaline rush in Queenstown at Fear Factory. This all-weather-therefore-perfect-for-a-rainy-day haunted house activity challenges you to make it through the hallways of horror all the way to the end. Many have chickened out. Will you? Learn more about Fear Factory on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Location: 54 Shotover Street.
12. Get Muddy on a Quad Bike Tour
Explore the awesome landscapes of Queenstown in all weathers on a self-drive quad biking tour. Follow your guide over exciting off-roading terrain, from mud to mountains to vast farming stations with all of the wet-weather gear included. Choose to ride with either Nomad Quad Safaris (more info on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook) or Off Road Adventures (on Viator and Tripadvisor). Check out more quad biking options around the country with our list of 10 Places to Quad Bike in New Zealand for Adventure Junkies.
Location: Nomad Safaris – 37 Shotover Street. Off Road Adventures – 61A Shotover Street.
13. Practice Some Tricks at SITE Trampoline
An awesome alternative indoor activity to try out is at the SITE Trampoline. Practice those snowboarding tricks on their huge layout of trampolines or just have some simple bouncy fun. It’s a great venue for freestyle training whatever the weather with airbags, super tramp, trampoline park, foam pits, air track, mini ramp and more!
Location: 1/15 Red Oaks Drive, Frankton, approximately 9.5km (6 miles) from Queenstown town centre.
14. Have a Virtual Reality Experience, Do Some Go-Karting or Play Mini Golf at Thrillzone
Step out of reality and into a virtual world at Thrillzone. With a 12D motion theatre, 360-degree virtual reality missions, indoor mini golf and drifting go-karts, this place is like a games arcade on steroids! All in all, it’s an easy go-to for things to do on a rainy day in Queenstown. Get your Thrillzone multi-activity pass on Viator, Tripadvisor or Klook. Plus, see more experiences like this in the 10 Things to Do in Queenstown with Kids.
Location: 53 Shotover Street.
15. Delve into a Sensory Maze
Another indoor attraction perfect for rainy days 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 Viator, Tripadvisor or Klook.
Location: 57 Shotover Street.
16. Experience Hydro Attack!
Instead of the rain pricking your face on a jet boat ride, try one of Queenstown’s more unique boat rides, Hydro Attack. This semisubmersible craft can dive 5ft into Lake Wakatipu before shooting 18ft into the air! Needless to say, the craft is fully covered so that rain won’t be a bother. Book your tickets for Hydro Attack on Klook.
Location: Beach Street.
17. Cruise Around Lake Wakatipu
Cosy up with a hot drink under the cover of one of Queenstown’s cruise boats while taking in the moody scenery of a rainy day. There are a couple of cruises to experience on Lake Wakatipu, from a historic steamship cruise to onboard a modern catamaran.
The TSS Earnslaw is a popular option, offering multiple sailings throughout the day. Watch the stokers feed the coal fire, visit the onboard museum and lap up the surrounding lake scenery. Find out more about the TSS Earnslaw on Viator, Tripadvisor, Klook and KKday.
Alternatively, get around the lake further and faster with Southern Discoveries on their fast catamaran. Get gorgeous views of the lake and beyond while listening to informative commentary and relaxing with a treat from the onboard cafe. More information on the Southern Discoveries’ cruise can be found on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook.
Location: TSS Earnslaw – 88 Beach Street. Southern Discoveries – St Omer Wharf 110 Beach Street.
18. 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, from the ice sculptures adorning the walls to the cups that you drink your cocktail or mocktail from. You’ll be geared up for the experience with a thick coat and gloves. Book your ice bar experience on Klook. There’s also Minus 5° Ice Bar should you want another option.
Location: Below Zero – Searle Lane. Minus 5° – 88 Beach Street.
19. Try Ice Skating
Speaking of ice, another frozen experience waiting in Queenstown is the Queenstown Ice Arena. You won’t care what the weather is doing when you are skating around this indoor facility. Public ice skating sessions happen most days from the morning until the early evening unless an event is on. Speaking of events, you can catch the adult league night on most Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday nights for free! There’s a bar and cafe on-site to complete the experience.
Location: 29 Park Street, Queenstown.
20. Binge-Watch 365 Days, 365 Activities in New Zealand
We’re all guilty of binge-watching on YouTube, especially on rainy days. Why not make this a productive binge-watching session with New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year?! Get inspiration for your New Zealand travels by watching these two backpackers tackling 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand?! Don’t forget to subscribe!
More Things to Do in Queenstown
That’s it for the things to do in Queenstown on a rainy day. Now, get more activity inspiration from the following guides: