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The 10 best family friendly activities in Queenstown
Ask any Queenstown local, there is endless fun for you and your family to be had. Whether you want to get out and explore nature on one of the beautiful walking tracks, or you want to pack your days with adventure, you’ll never run out of things to do.
Here is our top 10 things we recommend for families visiting Queenstown.
1. TSS Earnslaw BBQ Lunch & Farm Tour
We absolutely love to do this one with our kids and know you will too. The TSS Earnslaw is one of the most iconic ways to see the surrounding Queenstown landscape and is a favourite with kids and adults alike. The century old steamship radiates character and history and is a really fun way to travel across Lake Wakatipu.
We recommend adding on the high-country farm tour and the BBQ buffet lunch (or dinner) is a must! The farm tour includes a live sheep-sheering demonstration and a chance to pat highland cows, goats and sheep. We can't speak highly enough of the lunch/dinner option- hello dessert bar that dreams are made of!
Prices start from:
Adults $70 Children $30
Book directly with Driftaway Queenstown to receive a discount.
2. Skyline Gondola & Luge
Not only is this trip so much fun, the views of Queenstown are absolutely stunning. Head up to the Queenstown skyline in one of their super cool gondolas that is sure to put a smile on anyone's face. Simply take in the incredible views once you get to the top or get your adrenaline pumping and add on a couple of runs of the Luge. This thrill ride for all ages has the option of taking it easy or unleashing your inner race-car driver! You’ll have a grin from ear to ear once you get to the bottom of the track!
Prices start from:
Adults $44 Children $26. Family passes available.
This one can be tied into a trip to the Gondola as the start point is at the top of the Skyline Gondola Summit. There are a range of fun tours for all conscience levels and anyone over the age of 6. Zip through the forest canopy high above Queenstown where you might just feel like you're flying! This is definitely an unforgettable experience that is often called Queenstowns Must Do!
Prices start from:
4. Go Playground exploring
Queenstown has some amazing playgrounds for kids of all ages. The best part, it won’t cost you anything (Except of course the mandatory Patagonia ice cream to eat while playing).
Some of our favourites are:
- Queenstown Central Lakeside Playground. Situated right in town and beside the lake, this one is always a big hit with families. There is plenty for kids of all ages and of course being situated right beside the lake means its enjoyable for adults too. Grab an ice cream from Patagonia, just along the promenade on your way.
- Hanleys Farm Playground & Pump Track. A favourite of the Queenstown locals, the Hanleys Farm playground is the newest addition in the area. With huge slides, a flying fox, swings and a pump track, your kids will burn plenty of energy visiting here. There is also an outdoor gym so you can sneak a quick workout in while the kids play.
- Arrowtown Playground. You can’t visit Queenstown and not visit Arrowtown. Arrowtown is an absolute must visit but they also have a fun kids playground and there is also lots of fun to have down by the arrowtown river, skimming stones, puddle jumping or just exploring.
5. Kiwi Birdlife Park
Kiwi Birdpark is 5 acres of conservation oasis in central Queenstown. Explore this sanctuary to see Kiwi, Tuatara, cheeky kea and much more. A great way to see NZs native birdlife and teach the kids about the importance of conservation efforts to save these species.
Prices start from:
Adults- $39 Children- $19.50. Family passes available.
6. Lakeside Swim
Lake Wakitipu has the most beautiful crystal clear water, perfect for that classic Kiwi Summer experience! We are lucky enough to have Queenstowns best swimming beach right on our doorstep, the absolute best way to cool off after a day of exploring.
7. Stay at Driftaway Queenstown
We’d be doing ourselves a big disservice by not mentioning bringing the kids for a holiday (or staycation!) to Driftaway. With our indoor games room, custom outdoor playground and jumping pillow, they will be kept super busy and you might even get some relaxing in yourself! Cook a BBQ dinner and enjoy it at the playground or head out for dinner and end your evening with a soak in our hot pools- bliss!
8. Explore a walking or biking trail
We are lucky enough to have some absolutely amazing walking/hiking/biking trails in the region. Check out our blog on our top 10 favourite trails here. Our favourites for families are:
- Moke Lake. 15 minutes short drive from Queenstown, this 2 hour easy loop track takes you right around the edge of Moke Lake. Take a picnic with you to enjoy along with your stunning panoramic views!
- Arrowtown River Trail. This leisurely 4.2km loop track takes you through beautiful woods and even past a waterfall. Make sure to visit the arrowtown playground after!
- Queenstown Gardens Trail. Another walking trail you can time in with a playground. Located next to the Lakeside playground, this 3.1km loop is very easy for all ages and wanders through beautiful gardens next to the lake.
9. Jet Boat Ride
Easily one of Queenstowns most recognisable attractions- wind your way through the Shotover Canyon or do some epic 360* spins! There's sure to be lots of laughing and smiles for miles after this one! Some of our favourites are:
- Shotover Jet. The ultimate jet boat experience, and the most well known. This is suitable for anyone over aged 5 who is a minimum of 1m in height.
Adults $129 Children $67. Family passes available.
- K-Jet. A wild 60 minute ride over 3 different waterways: Lake Wakatipu, Kawarau River and Shotover River. Suitable for children aged 2 and over
Adults $99 Children $59. Family passes available.
10. Rainy Day indoor activities
If we could give you perfect weather for your holiday we definitely would! Lucky there are so many fun indoor activities very close to us here at Driftaway Queenstown. These ones are a hit with our kids:
- Clip and Climb indoor rock climbing
- Site trampolining
- Game over go-karting and lazer tag
- Aqualand swimming pool and hydroslide
- Chipmunks indoor playground