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The best things to do in Queenstown during summer

Hot weather and long summer days make are perfect for exploring the outdoors. Adventurous holiday or a relaxing break - Queenstown has something for everyone!

Here are our favourite sunny season things to do in New Zealand's adventure capital.

Take a boat onto Lake Wakatipu for the day

Beach hop

Okay, Queenstown doesn't have the traditional sandy beaches of our seaside towns but the combination of crystal clear water and crisp mountain air is really something. We recommend you visit the secluded Bob's Bay or Wilson's Bay — located a little out of town.

Spend time on the water

There are many ways to get out on the water in Queenstown. Whether you hire a kayak, a paddle boat or take the more thrilling option of a jet boat ride there are a multitude of options when it comes to exploring Queenstown's Lake.

Our favourite way to enjoy the water? A cruise on, historic steamer, the TSS Earnslaw.

Climb a mountain

Located in the middle of the Southern Alps, Queenstown is a paradise for walkers and hikers with many day walks leaving from the centre of town.

One of the most popular tracks is the Ben Lomond Walk. Not for the faint-hearted, this is a four hour hike with incredible views of the lake and mountains, including the spectacular Mt Aspiring.

Another walk with magnificent views is the Jack's Point track - an undulating hike over grassland and alpine scrub.

Hike Ben Lomond Track in Queenstown

Soak in some history

In the 1800’s the hills around Queenstown were bursting with gold miners after the discovery of gold in the Arrow River. Many remnants of this era are still intact, including Macetown, a settlement completely abandoned when the mining industry faded in the 1930’s. Wandering the buildings left behind is a definite must do, especially when the weather is nice.

Catch a Fish

One of the most sought after destinations for fishing in New Zealand, Queenstown has an abundance of brown trout, rainbow trout and salmon in its lake and rivers. We recommend heading out with a guide to show you the best spots in the area.

Ride the Gondola

If you’re more of the sit-back-and-relax-while-you're-on-holiday type, then riding the gondola is for you. Take in the soaring views of the your mountainous surrounds as you ride in your own cable car to a platform 400 metres above the town.

Take a ride up the Queenstown Skyline Gondola

Discover Arrowtown

An enchanting historic village, Arrowtown is made up of heritage buildings nestled beside the Arrow River. Take a walk down memory lane as you stroll through the restored town centre, or make use of one of the spectacular riverside walking paths.

Stroll the Botanic Gardens

Located in the heart of Queenstown, the Botanical Gardens are the perfect place for a mid-afternoon stroll or a picnic. Containing a variety of exotic and native trees and flowers, there is also a large duck pond and a variety of trails to be explored. 

Go Stargazing

Summer is an ideal time to see the stars because the nights are usually clear and calm. With little light pollution, Queenstown offers some of the best stargazing in New Zealand. We recommend the Skyline Stargazing at the top of the Gondola.

The Milky Way over New Zealand