Discovering Queenstown

There’s an adventure playground of epic proportions down south, and our family recently discovered it. By Kate Barber

Queenstown is world-renowned for its adventure sports, yet our family hadn’t visited before. 

While the girls are a bit young (and my threshold for thrills too low) for some of the extreme offerings like bungy jumping, quad biking, or paragliding, the area provides exciting experiences for all ages, and we had a blast!

The gondola + chairlift + luge was a highlight. Ascending Bob’s Peak with the TSS Earnslaw gliding across Lake Wakatipu below and paragliders hovering alongside is a dream, while riding the luge is a real thrill and well worth getting the unlimited pass. 

We checked out the Time Tripper experience under the wharf – the girls were enthralled watching the enormous eels, trout and salmon. We also treated ourselves to ice-creams from Patagonia – because who can resist choosing your own ice-cream + coating + dipping? And we tucked into an enormous and delicious Ferg Burger and didn’t need to eat for the rest of the day. 

Puzzling World in Wanaka, with its head-spinning illusion rooms and maze, was another highlight – although our youngest had to “cheat” her way out of the maze (with me) and get hot chips.

Then it was onto Highlands Motorsport Park in Cromwell, which is not just for petrol heads or dads. The girls and I loved it! The go-carting was a blast. Riding tandem with my seven-year-old, it wasn’t until we clipped a corner that I realised she was steering as well, which she loved! The Highland’s ‘Loo with a View’ also appealed… 

With winter upon us, Queenstown is a magical place to hit the slopes, with ski fields to cater to every family group. We missed the snow this time but very much look forward to visiting again.