Queenstown - with its well-deserved reputation as New Zealand’s activity adventure capital you’ll never run out of activities and things to do in Queenstown, but you may run out of time! With breathtaking scenery, activities and festivals, cafes and restaurants, skiing and snowboarding, shopping and wineries, this lakeside alpine resort rates as one of the world’s top vacation destinations for all ages and seasons.
Family: there are hundreds of activities to choose from in Queenstown and a large amount of these are suitable for children of any age. Queenstown’s adventure activities can often also be enjoyed by children and families but generally there will be a minimum age, weight or height requirement to participate in the activity.
Arrowtown - born of the goldrush in 1862, Arrowtown is a step back in time with its main street reminiscent of a Wild West movie. Only minutes away is the Arrow River, witness to a thousand tales of goldseekers who came from as far away as Australia and China to plunder its depths and make their fortunes. Many of the old dwellings still remain, including the fascinating Chinese Settlement on the banks of the Arrow River. Activities include a visit to the lively and hands-on Lakes District Museum or try your hand at goldpanning. Arrowtown is also now home to some of the best family bike trails in the Wakatipu. You can hire a bike locally and take the family on gorgeous, easy bike tracks through stunning scenery, alongside rivers, over bridges and right out to Gibbston Valley and the Kawarau Gorge. Arrowtown is only 19km from Queenstown, and can be easily visited on your way to or from Wanaka, or while you are holidaying in Queenstown. Otherwise it is a perfect base in its own right with lots of great accommodation options from holiday park to motels or apartment style family accommodation.
Glenorchy - Glenorchy sits at the northern tip of Lake Wakatipu, surrounded by mountains, glacier-fed rivers and beech forest. It's the gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park and the starting point for multi-day treks, including the famous Routeburn Walk. With only 200 locals and Mount Aspiring National Park on its doorstep, this really is a slice of paradise! The stunning 45km drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy offers breathtaking views of Lake Wakatipu, hanging valleys and sheer mountains. Make sure you stop at Bennetts Bluff Lookout (on the left, 25km from Queenstown) for an amazing view of the head of the lake and excellent photo opportunity.