How to spend an hour in Queenstown

Sometimes the time we have on holiday seems woefully short, but you’ll be amazed at what you can do in just one hour. Here are quick things to do in Queenstown — four very different ways to spend sixty minutes in this beautiful New Zealand town.

Things to Do in Queenstown: 1-Hour Trips

Ride the Skyline

Quick Things to Do in Queenstown: Queenstown luge
Queenstown luge by timsdad / CC BY-SA 3.0

To ride the Skyline Queenstown Luge, first you need to climb to the top of Bob’s Peak and there’s no better way than to take the Southern Hemisphere’s steepest cable car. With panoramic views over the city and its mountainous hinterland, you’ll look out over Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu. You’ll have time to admire the view from the summit terrace before jumping on a luge cart for the speedy descent. Choose from the leisurely blue track or the more adventurous red track to cover the 800 metres of bends, tunnels and dips back to the bottom.

Eat a Fergburger

Quick Things to Do in Queenstown: Fergburger's hole in the wall
Fergburger’s hole in the wall by Andre Chalmers / CC BY-SA 3.0

There are many places that claim to serve the best burger in the world, but the owners of Fergburger have a right to say it with confidence. Its comprehensive menu offers every kind of burger imaginable, whether you opt for Little Lamby, showcasing the meat most associated with New Zealand, or try something from further afield. How about Cock Cajun, spicy chicken right from the Deep South, Holier than Thou, a tofu burger in a satay, coconut and coriander sauce or Bun Laden, falafel patties with lemon yoghurt and chipotle sauce? Whatever you choose, bear in mind you’ll have to devote some of your hour queuing – but it’ll be worth it when you sink your teeth into your food.

Take to the water

Quick Things to Do in Queenstown: Jet boating the Shotover River canyon
Jet boating the Shotover River canyon by Alex Proimos / CC BY 2.0

Queenstown is rightly known as the adventure capital of New Zealand, so what could be better than to get your adrenaline rush than with a jet boat ride? The Shotover Jet “Big Red” Jet Boat’s two engines pack a 700 horsepower punch, with the ride reaching speeds of up to 85kph in as little as ten centimetres of water. This is a thrill ride like no other, whizzing past rocky outcrops, skirting boulders and zipping through the skinniest of canyons. This will be one Queenstown activity you won’t forget in a hurry.

Leave town for some of South Island’s most dramatic scenery

Quick Things to Do in Queenstown: Light aircraft preparing to take off, Milford Sound
Light aircraft preparing to take off, Milford Sound

It’s hard to appreciate the majesty of Fiordland if you keep your feet firmly on the ground, but spend an hour in a light aircraft and it’s a whole other story. Head for Milford Sound as you hug the Tasman Sea, skimming the snow-capped peaks and glaciers of the Southern Alps as you head for one of New Zealand’s most photographed sights. As you reach Milford Sound, the splendour of the fjord and its guardian, Mitre Peak, are laid out beneath you in what’s got to be one of the most memorable views on the planet.

About JuliaHammond


Julia Hammond is a Geography teacher turned travel writer with a passion for places. Winning Mail Travel's Deep South competition was the catalyst to write for a diverse range of publications including Bradt's Bus Pass Britain Rides Again. She’s written Kindle guides to Cape Town, Peru and London for Unanchor and advice on Savannah for Wanderlust. When not travelling, she can be found at home in Essex planning her next trip, her two golden retrievers curled up at her feet.

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