The ultimate playground

Framed by mountains, and set on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is brimming with opportunities for play and adventure for all the family.

Whether you’re keen to hit the trails and clear the cobwebs, or sit back and soak up the scenery; whether you’re a budding adrenaline junkie or mummy’s little monkey – Queenstown satisfies all definitions of fun, making it the ideal spot for your family escape.

For those with thrill thresholds that are ‘up there’, bungy jumping or skydiving are bound to get the blood pumping. Of course, the area also delivers an abundance of options for those who’d like to stay a little more grounded, and take things at a gentler pace.

As you plan your holiday, it’s not a silly idea to get everyone in the family to make a wish-list. The kids might have different priorities, and the task of collating all their ideas might seem daunting. However, one thing is certain: you will find plenty of attractions that promise to appeal to everyone.

If you have big kids as well as littlies, there are activities catering to all ages, interests and abilities. Take a steamship or boat cruise on the lake, or check out the Underwater Observatory for a new perspective on local aquatic life – the kids will love feeding the ducks and seeing the massive trout and slinky eels.

For something a little more active, take a ride up the gondola and then whiz down the luge. With scenic and advanced tracks, riders set their own pace. Naturally, siblings will enjoy racing each other down the hillside. If conventional golf is a ‘fairway’ off appealing to the party, there’s always a round of the mini variety; or, for something a little different, the family might like to try their hands at frisbee golf – a popular free attraction.

For activities that combine awe-inspiring scenery with a touch (or more) of adventure, there are plenty of options for sitting back and enjoying the ride – over land or on the water: you just need to decide whether you prefer bicycle seat or saddle, jet boat or kayak.

For adventures on two wheels, Queenstown boasts some of the most scenic trails in the world – many within five minutes’ walk of downtown. With tracks suited to all ages and abilities, cycling is an energy-burning, yet rejuvenating way to spend quality time together.

Dart River Adventures offers scenic rides on the water as well as on horseback. The Wilderness Jet takes you on an unforgettable journey through the Dart River into the heart of the majestic and unspoiled beauty of Mt Aspiring National Park. For a day-long action-packed adventure, combine the Wilderness Jet with the Dart River Funyaks experience. After an exciting high-speed jet boat ride, enjoy a hearty picnic lunch, before heading back down the river on inflatable Funyaks kayaks.

Whether you’re skimming across the water with the engine of the jet whirring beneath you or trekking through the wide open country aboard your steed, the natural beauty of the area is simply breathtaking.

For the ultimate river ride, complete with 360 degree spins, the Shotover Jet will take you skimming across shallow waters, in and around crags and boulders, and whipping past rocky outcrops. Under ten minutes’ drive from Queenstown, this adrenaline-packed adventure promises to create lasting memories for the whole family.

There are few places that boast such a bounty of attractions and activities presented on such a spectacular natural stage. Whatever the ages, interests and priorities of your kids, Queenstown is brimming with opportunities for play and adventure for everyone.