Fun in New Zealand – Queenstown Family Activities

Queenstown may well deserve the title of the Adventure Capital of the World. But this lakeside gem of a town also has dozens of amazing activities for your whole family, from peaceful to adrenaline-pumping. Here are our top six fun Queenstown family activities.

Queenstown Underwater Observatory

Visit the Queenstown Underwater Observatory located at Main Tower Pier on Marine Parade. Kids and parents alike will be fascinated when they see the vibrant life beneath the surface of Lake Wakapitu; it’s both educational and fun. Here, you can enjoy watching and identifying the fish, ducks and eels. You might even get the chance to feed the fish. Open daily from 8.30 a.m. until dusk, this is a great option whatever the weather. It is undoubtedly one of the most fun indoor activities for families visiting Queenstown.

Lake Wakapitu

Queenstown and Lake Wakapitu
Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu from the Skyline Gondola

Lake Wakapitu offers plenty for families to enjoy, whether the weather is sunny or overcast. The lake is a great place for outdoor adventures with the whole family. The aqua bikes or paddle boats are a firm family favourite. Seating up to four people, these are an excellent way to explore Lake Wakapitu in a fun, peaceful way. You can find aqua bikes and paddle boats available for hourly hire, with safety life jackets available to fit everyone.

Kiwi Birdlife Park

Kiwi bird statue beside Lake Wakatipu; Queenstown family activities
Kiwi bird statue beside Lake Wakatipu

The Kiwi Birdlife Park situated on Upper Brecon Street is an amazing Queenstown family activity that even the youngest member is sure to enjoy. The park is home to a wide variety of birds, including New Zealand shovellers and South Island pied oystercatchers. Also found here are New Zealand falcons, and of course, the national pride and joy, the Kiwi bird. The Park is also home to two types of geckos, which are always a huge hit with children. Meanwhile the informative, engaging commentary will fascinate the whole family. Afterward, enjoy the Forest Walk, the Maori Hunting Village and a delicious drink and snack in the Kiwi Café.

Te Anau Glowworm Caves

At Te Anau, you can also enjoy a tour through epic, spell-binding glowworm caves. Te Anau is about a two hour drive southwest from Queenstown, but the caves are definitely worth the journey. They are one of the most impressive family activities on the South Island. Your whole family will be captivated by the magical wonderland created by the glowworms. The full tour includes a short cruise across Lake Te Anau, a woodland walk, and finally the fascinating network of underground caves. Seeing the amazing glowworm caves will definitely give you memories to treasure for many years to come.

Walter Peak High Country Farm

Sheep in a field; Queenstown family activities

Discover what farm life is like at Walter Peak High Country Farm. Kids love to touch the soft wool of the sheep and get to know the other four-legged farm residents. The furry Scottish Highland cattle are special favourites. You can see heaps of gorgeous animals in the holding pens, as well as watch a fascinating shearing demonstration. In addition, you will enjoy the boat ride to reach the farm aboard the vintage steamship the TSS Earnslaw.

Queenstown ice bars

Why not round the afternoon out in an ice bar? Two of the coldest and coolest Queenstown family activities are Minus Five on Steamer Wharf, and Below Zero at Searle Lake. Both are created totally from ice including the bar itself, the furniture and the glasses. Protective clothing is provided, but it’s still best to show up already wrapped lots of warm layers. Temperatures will be much lower than normal inside the bar! Children and adults alike will enjoy the unusual setting and delicious mocktails and cocktails.

As you can see, amazing Queenstown family activities await all ages when you visit this fantastic lakeside town. So if you ever get the chance to explore the amazing South Island of New Zealand, make sure you take time for a family road trip. You won’t regret it!

About Maia Fletcher


Maia Fletcher is a freelance writer and blogger by day and a bookworm by night (or vice versa!). When she’s not writing articles for local businesses such as Plumbing Plus, lounging about in nature is her favourite activity – starting with picnics on local beaches! She lives in the sun-kissed city of Gisborne, New Zealand.

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