There is a reason behind the fact that Queenstown has been branded as the adventure capital of the world. You can spend all your free time outdoors, jumping off bridges, abseiling waterfalls or hiking up all those picturesque peaks around the town. I don’t think there is an outdoor activity that’s not possible to do in Queenstown, well maybe surfing, for obvious reasons, it's way too far to the sea, though I am not going to be surprised if river surfing becomes a thing very soon.
Part of my work in Queenstown was working as a booking agent, meaning I booked the activities for tourists coming through. Thanks to my job and also thanks to this blog I got to try a lot of them and certainly have my personal favourites. Some of them helped me overcome my fears whilst others made my jaw drop to the floor, because of the beauty I got to witness. One thing for sure, they were all loads of fun and I would love to do them again and if you ever make your way to Queenstown you should try them out too!
I’ve done rafting once before in Rotorua in NZ and enjoyed it so much that have decided to do it once more in Queenstown, and you know what, I liked it even more here. My advice is to do it after it was raining and the water level rises to at least grade 4.
The Shotover river, where the Queenstown rafting company operates on, becomes an endless fun full of rapids that can easily throw you off the boat. Some of them received some creative names (toilet bowl was one of them). Don’t get scared away! Safety standards are really high in New Zealand so as long as you listen to your guides you’ve got nothing to worry about.
2. Bungy Jumping
Go big or go home, in other words if you decide to take the leap, why not do it three times? I’ve done the ultimate combo and bungy jumped 3 times in one day, including the highest in Oceania Nevis Bungy! Sounds crazy? Damn right it is! At the end of the day you will be more tired than ever in your life from all that adrenaline pumping into your system. I always thought bungy jumping was not for me. I mean who in their right mind jumps off a bridge just for fun? Turns out, once I've done it, I wanted to do it over and over again. Besides I couldn’t miss out on a chance to jump, when I lived in a place where the bungy jumping was born!
3. Scenic Flight To Milford Sound
If you have already made it to New Zealand you have to visit Milford Sound. I promise you it will make your jaw drop to the floor. But once you are at it, why not do it in style? Book yourself onto a flight with Glenorchy Air and fly close to those stunning mountains and glaciers. I thought the road to Milford Sound was scenic, but it was nothing in comparison to this! Just look as those pics I took during my flight! Did you also know that Queenstown airport was named one of the most scenic airports in the world? Do you still need more convincing?
Whilst it may not be one of those adrenaline filled activities, parasailing definitely offers a unique view over Queenstown. You will get to sail over lake Wakatipu and enjoy the fantastic views over the Remarkables, Cecil and Walter’s Peak, as well as Ben Lomond and Bowen Peak. What I also liked about it, is that personal cameras were allowed on the flight. It may seem like a normal thing to you, but actually a lot of companies in Queenstown prohibit that due to safety reasons.
If bungy jumping 3 times in one day still seems like not enough for you, you can also book yourself onto the biggest swing in the world - 70 meter high, and 300 meter arch, this swing will make you scream at the top of your lungs. To be honest with you, I still debate which one was more terrifying: the swing or the bungy. To make it even more scary you can do it upside down! That’s what I went for. Just check out my face expression on the bottom left picture.
6. Skippers Canyon Jetboat Ride
Originally developed by Mr Bill Hamilton back in the '50s to allow local farmers move freely around their huge sheep stations on the shallow New Zealand rivers, jet boating quickly became one of the most sought after activities amongst tourists in Queenstown. There is a lot to choose from and I have done them all, but one stands out from the rest and that is skippers canyon jet boat ride. You wonder what’s unique about it? It’s the only jet boat company that operates in the beautiful skippers canyon. Just getting there is a spectacular ride on it's own!
Once in a while unleash the little kid in you! Whilst luging may seem like a great activity for the young ones, there are plenty of adults who join the fun! I went luging 4 times all together and if someone asked me again I would do it once more without giving it a second though! Luging is definitely one of my all time favourites and each time puts a big smile on my face!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I am Marta Kulesza - the photographer and creator of www.inafarawayland.com. I come from Poland, but I've been living, travelling and working around the globe since I turned 18. A few years ago, during one of my trips to Scotland, I bought my first DSLR and my adventure with photography began. When I am not stuck to my computer editing photos, you can find me somewhere in the mountains.
More on the blog
Have something to add?