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Family-Friendly Things to Do in Queenstown

Family-Friendly Things to Do in Queenstown

If you're planning to sprinkle some extra magic on your family’s New Zealand road trip itinerary, look no further than Queenstown. Nestled on New Zealand's South Island, Queenstown is a wonderland where memories are made, and adventure is a daily routine. In this blog, we're unlocking the treasure chest of family-friendly activities in Queenstown – from the serene to the sensational. Let’s dive in, shall we? 


What’s Queenstown known for?

Queenstown, often hailed as the jewel of New Zealand's South Island, is more than just a pretty face. It's a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and families alike, known for its jaw-dropping landscapes, adventure sports, and an atmosphere that's as welcoming as a warm Kiwi pie. Renowned for its stunning lakes, majestic mountains, and lush forests, Queenstown is a playground for all ages.

But wait, there’s more! If the adventurous Queenstown activities don’t pique your interest, you can just as easily savour the local flavours at a lakeside restaurant or explore the vibrant art scene. And for the little ones? Queenstown is sprinkled with parks and family-friendly Queenstown attractions, ensuring smiles all around. So rest assured, there are plenty of family-friendly activities in Queenstown to add to your New Zealand itinerary. 


What’s the best way to explore Queenstown?

Imagine waking up to a different breathtaking view each morning – that's the magic of exploring the Queenstown must do’s in an Apollo campervan. Offering the ultimate mix of comfort and adventure, campervan hire is your golden ticket to discovering Queenstown’s nooks and crannies at your own pace. No check-in queues or rigid schedules. Whether you're chasing the sunrise at Lake Wakatipu or finding hidden gems in the Fiordland, a campervan gives you the flexibility to craft your perfect family New Zealand road trip. Plus, with all the creature comforts of home packed into a nifty, road-ready package, your family can enjoy the thrills of adventure without sacrificing those bedtime stories and snug nights. 

These are just a few of the reasons to take a New Zealand road trip in a campervan. Ready to plot your Queenstown, New Zealand, road trip adventure? Stay tuned as we dive deeper into the heart-thumping, smile-inducing family activities that await in this slice of Kiwi paradise. Still need a little help with planning beyond Queenstown, be sure to check out our top resources for planning your New Zealand road trip adventure: 

Image: Tourism New Zealand


Family-friendly things to do in Queenstown

Queenstown isn't just a pretty face; it's a veritable playground for families seeking adventure and bonding time. In the next few paragraphs, we'll dive into a smorgasbord of family-friendly activities in Queenstown. Whether you're an adrenaline-junkie family or a nature-loving clan, Queenstown has something for every family!


1. Reach new heights with Skyline Queenstown

Elevate your family holiday to new heights at Skyline Queenstown. As you board the gondola, feel the excitement build among the family as you ascend gracefully above Queenstown. The panorama from the top? Absolutely breathtaking! Lake Wakatipu shimmers below, framed by the majestic Southern Alps. 

But there's more than just views. Skyline Queenstown is a hub of family fun, and it's no wonder that it is so often ranked in the top 10 things to do in Queenstown. Thrill-seekers in the family will love the luge tracks – think of a gravity-fueled ride, twisting and turning down the mountain. It's a safe but exhilarating experience for all ages. And if the gondola and luge whets your appetite, the Stratosfare Restaurant at the top offers delicious meals with a view. It’s a great spot to relax and refuel before your next adventure. Best of all, getting here is a breeze in your campervan. Park it at the base, and in no time, you'll be swapping the driver's seat for a gondola cabin.  


2. Get out in nature at Bob’s Cove

Bob's Cove is a true hidden gem, a tranquil spot that feels worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the other Queenstown attractions. Upon reaching the cove, you're greeted with the serene beauty of Lake Wakatipu's crystal-clear waters. A leisurely stroll along the nature walk reveals the diverse flora and fauna of the region, including plenty of active birdlife. The track is well-maintained and suitable for all ages, making it a great option for families with young children or strollers.

The cove is ideal for a family picnic, with pebbled beaches and grassy areas for children to play. The water is inviting and perfect for a refreshing dip on a warm summer day. Although be warned, the water is icy cold year round! But with your campervan parked at the trailhead, warming up after your dip and picnic is hassle-free!


3. Spot wildlife at Kiwi Birdlife Park

No trip to explore the family-friendly activities in Queenstown is complete without saying hello to some of New Zealand's most famous residents at Kiwi Birdlife Park. The park's nocturnal house offers a rare opportunity to observe kiwis in a replicated natural habitat, an experience that's both magical and educational. But Kiwis aren't the only stars here. The park is home to over 20 species of native wildlife, including the cheeky kea and the prehistoric tuatara. 

Daily conservation shows provide insights into the lives of these animals and the efforts being made to protect them. Kiwi Birdlife Park is just a short drive from the heart of Queenstown. So it’s as simple as finding a spot to park your campervan, and you're ready for a day of feathery fun. This is a perfect way to add a bit educational zest to your Queenstown travel itinerary. 


4. Take a ride on the TSS Earnslaw

Step back in time and experience the elegance of the TSS Earnslaw, a vintage steamship that has been gracing Lake Wakatipu since 1912. Known affectionately as the "Lady of the Lake," this historic vessel offers a unique perspective of Queenstown's stunning landscape. As you cruise across the lake, bask in the panoramic views of the towering mountains and pristine waters.

In addition to the scenic cruise, this boat docks at Walter Peak High Country Farm and is the perfect chance to immerse yourself in high-country farming. Here, your family can engage in an authentic farm experience, from sheep shearing demonstrations to wool spinning. It’s a delightful way to get a taste of New Zealand’s rural life. Parking your campervan in Queenstown is straightforward, with several parking areas available near the Steamer Wharf. From there, it's just a short walk to where the TSS Earnslaw sets sail. This is truly an iconic addition to any Queenstown travel itinerary.


5. Relax in the Queenstown Gardens

Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, the Queenstown Gardens offer a tranquil escape from the bustling town centre. This lush, beautifully manicured park is perfect for families seeking a peaceful retreat. Take a leisurely stroll among the vibrant flower beds, towering trees, and serene ponds.

The gardens are not just about relaxation; they're a hub of activity too. Here, you can challenge your family to a game of frisbee or disc golf on the dedicated course, a fun way to engage all ages. For a more laid-back experience, find a spot for a picnic and soak up the stunning lake and mountain views. Easily accessible from the town centre, the Queenstown Gardens are a short drive in your motorhome. Convenient parking is available nearby, making it easy to enjoy this oasis of calm. 


6. Skydive at Nzone Skydive

If you are travelling with thrill-seekers in the family, NZONE Skydive offers an adrenaline-pumping adventure that's hard to beat. Imagine freefalling from up to 15,000 feet, with Queenstown's breathtaking landscape unfolding below you. It’s an exhilarating experience that combines the thrill of the jump with unparalleled views of the Southern Alps, Lake Wakatipu, and the Remarkables mountain range. 

Suitable for older family members, tandem skydiving at Nzone Skydive is a safe and unforgettable way to experience the beauty of the region. Experienced instructors will guide you through every step, ensuring a memorable and exhilarating dive. Located just a short drive from Queenstown, Nzone Skydive is easily accessible by campervan. There's ample parking on-site, so you can arrive and prepare for your adventure without any hassle. This is one for the top of your Queenstown must-do list!


7. Explore Arrowtown

Just a short drive from Queenstown, nestled in the magnificent landscapes of Otago, lies the enchanting historic gold-mining town of Arrowtown. This picturesque settlement offers a peek back in time with its well-preserved buildings and rich gold-mining history. Strolling down the quaint streets, you'll feel like you've wandered onto a gold-rush movie set.

In Arrowtown, families can explore the Chinese Settlement, a reminder of the town's multicultural gold-mining past. Kids will love trying their hand at gold panning – who knows, you might strike it lucky! And, of course, don’t forget to visit the famous Remarkable Sweet Shop, where you can indulge in a delicious array of sweets and treats, a definite highlight for the young and young at heart. Parking in Arrowtown is camper-friendly, with several areas to safely leave your campervan while you explore. Arrowtown is a must-add to any family New Zealand road trip itinerary for a taste of history and charm.


8. Take in the views at Onsen Hot Pools

After a day of adventure, what could be better than soaking in the Onsen Hot Pools? Perched on a cliffside and offering magnificent views of the Shotover River canyon, these private pools provide a serene and utterly relaxing experience. This is one of those classic Queenstown activities and a perfect way for the family to unwind and take in the natural beauty of Queenstown.

As you soak in the warm waters, you'll be treated to panoramic views that change with the seasons – from snow-capped mountains in winter to the lush greenery of summer. Accessible by campervan, the Onsen Hot Pools are located a short drive from Queenstown, with convenient parking available onsite.  This is a perfect addition to any Queenstown activities list, especially after a day full of exploration.


9. Get the adrenaline pumping on the Shotover Jet Boat

Prepare for an exhilarating ride with the Shotover Jet, the ultimate jet boat experience. As you zoom through the narrow Shotover River canyons, the rush of the wind and the thrill of the ride are unmatched. It’s an adrenaline-packed adventure that the whole family will talk about for years to come.

Expert drivers maneuver the boat with precision, ensuring a safe yet heart-pounding experience. Located just a short drive from Queenstown, the Shotover Jet base is easily accessible by campervan. Ample parking means you can go from the driver's seat to the jet boat without any fuss, making this a quintessential Queenstown thrill and a top Queenstown must-do.


10. Have fun at Queenstown Ice Arena

For a cool change of pace, the Queenstown Ice Arena is easily one of the most classic family-friendly activities in Queenstown. Whether you're a first-timer or a seasoned skater, the ice arena is a great place to glide across the ice, laugh, and create memories. With music and a vibrant atmosphere, it’s a hit with kids and adults alike. Plus, with a host of other activities like ice hockey, ice bumper cars and more, you will have plenty to keep everyone entertained.

Conveniently located in the heart of Queenstown, the ice arena is a short drive in your motorhome. There’s parking nearby, making it easy to access this winter wonderland. A visit to the ice arena in your Queenstown travel itinerary is sure to be a day filled with laughter and fun!

Image: Tourism New Zealand


Family Friendly Holiday Parks in Queenstown

After a day full of exhilarating activities to do in Queenstown, what could be more inviting than to curl up in your cosy camper in an idyllic Queenstown holiday park to rest and recharge? Queenstown's family-friendly holiday parks offer just that – comfort, convenience, and beautiful surroundings. In this section, we're highlighting some top holiday park options where you and your family can unwind, relax, and prepare for another day of exploring the best things to do in Queenstown in your campervan.


Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park

Overlooking the stunning Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park is a picturesque spot to park your motorhome and soak up the scenery. Located within walking distance of the town center, it's an ideal base for exploring all the incredible Queenstown attractions and activities on offer. 

Whether you’re looking for powered sites for your campervan, cozy cabins, or self-contained units, Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park has it all. The park's amenities include communal kitchens, laundry facilities, and spacious areas for kids to play. It’s a great addition to any New Zealand road trip.


Queenstown TOP 10 Holiday Park

Queenstown TOP 10 Holiday Park is another excellent choice for families travelling by campervan. Nestled in a serene location, it’s just a short seven-minute drive from the heart of Queenstown, offering easy access to the region's adventure activities. This holiday park prides itself on creating a family-friendly environment, complete with all the facilities you need for a comfortable stay, including a communal kitchen, hot tubs, laundry, and BBQ areas – perfect for cooking up a family feast. There’s also a playground, giant chess, and jumping pillow for the kids, ensuring plenty of entertainment for the little ones. 


Queenstown Holiday Park Creeksyde

For a more casual setting, Queenstown Holiday Park Creeksyde is a fantastic choice. Located within an easy five-minute stroll from Queenstown's central area, this holiday park offers a range of facilities, including BBQs, kitchen facilities, as well as a spa bath and sauna – perfect for unwinding after a day of adrenaline-fuelled Queenstown activities. The park's unique charm and friendly atmosphere make it a favourite among families. 


Ready to Explore Queenstown?

And there you have it – a treasure map to the best family-friendly activities Queenstown has to offer. From soaring over lakes in gondolas to exploring historic gold-mining towns and relaxing in nature's very own hot pools, Queenstown is more than just a stop on your travel itinerary; it's a cornucopia of family-friendly things to do in New Zealand, just waiting to be discovered.

So, are you ready to make unforgettable family memories in Queenstown on your very own New Zealand road trip? Book your motorhome online with Apollo today. After choosing the perfect camper for your New Zealand road trip, all that’s left is to pick up the keys and step into a world of adventure, laughter, and shared family moments. Queenstown is calling – it's time to answer!

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