Considered by many to be the "Home of Adrenaline" in the southern hemisphere, Queenstown is absolutely bursting at the seams with activities, each one more mental than the next. Without doubt the biggest draw for the South Island, there is something here for everyone. However, in true Been & Seen Travel style, we hve put together the 5 best and put them in a lovely little package for you! Check em out below.
The Shotover River is home to two of the five things you must do in Queenstown. This powerful river flows down from the mountains making wild rapids before the most exciting section where it goes relatively flat and calm ... It is here where the fun starts! - The river levels off into the valley and the glacial blue water swirls and flows through thin gorges and ravines. This is home to the 'Shotover Jet' an amazing experience and absolute must do if you are in New Zealand.
This is bucket list material and we won't ruin it other than to say the jet boat FLIES across the river flirting with the rock walls that make up the riverscape. You will be holding on as your expertly trained skipper (captain/boat driver) spins the boat around hairpin corners and along rocky rapid sections. An epic experience you will never forget.
AJ Hacket Bungy
You have to bungy jump in New Zealand, it is a must! It was invented here and is part of the national identity. The only real question is which one to do? The Sky Tower in Auckland? Or the Harbour Bridge? Maybe the Taupo Bungy? Or one of the three on offer in Queenstown? Let's start at the top and look at your options.
The Nevis Bungy is New Zealand's highest and is not for the faint hearted. A high wire platform strung 134 meters up across the Nevis River valley. With a stomach churning 8.5 second free fall you will have bragging rights after doing this jump and this is the end goal for your extreme adventure activities.
The Kawarau Bridge Bungy, or the 'World Home of Bungy Jumping', was opened in November 1988. Bungy pioneers AJ Hackett and Henry van Asch jumped into the World spotlight by launching the World's first commercially operated Bungy Jumping Site, off the historic Kawarau Bridge. If you want to be tied up & thrown off with a friend, then this is the Bungy is for you, it offers Queenstown’s only Tandem Bungy Jump. Just remember that sharing the thrill doesn’t mean halving the fear!
The Ledge Bungy is the most photogenic bungy you will find. Silhouetted across the aptly named Remarkable's mountain range, and with Queenstown and the lake in view, you can enjoy the vista before leaping of the side of the mountain. This bungy is at the top of the Queenstown gondola and its a great spot to visit. The jump itself is the least scary of the three but still gets the blood pumping. We recommend the Nevis but there are options. A we mentioned there are other Bungy sites but across the country just Ask us for more info if you want to get a Bungy into your trip.
Thought that was enough adrenaline for one week? Queenstown is only just getting started! With one of the best backdrops for a skydive you would be a fool to miss out on free-falling from 15,000ft above the Remarkables and Southern Alps mountain ranges. NZONE Skydive are one of the most professional and smooth operating Skydive outfits you will find. Taking off up, up, up into the mountains the plane soars past snowcapped mountain ridges and into the clear cold skies. The views are magnificent, on a clear day you feel like you can see the whole country.
White Water Rafting
Let's just start by saying you take a helicopter up the Shotover River to the rafting launch point. If you book the triple challenge - a raft/heli/jet boat combo - you then White Water Raft down the river before climbing into the Shotover Jet. This rafting trip is great! The river is icy cold but wetsuits and full gear keep you warm. Working as a team with other rafters and an expert guide you negotiate the rivers wild rapids and might even go through an old mining tunnel!
For the keen rafters out there Queenstown Rafting also offer 3 day and 5 day Rafting adventures in the Lanesborough Valley. These are once in lifetime experiences to really get into the Kiwi wilderness - camping and rafting through some of the most untouched landscapes on the planet.
Milford Sound - Piopiotahi
This isn't really Queenstown. Milford Sound is a fiord on the south west coast near the small town of Te Anau. We recommend that you explore Milford Sound properly by kayak and stay down in Te Anau to explore the Gloworm Caves. However, if you don't have time to go, or haven't planned it into your trip, then lucky for everyone there are one day tours from Queenstown, with options to take a senic flight on the way home!
AwesomeNZ offer a great day tour ,from ether Queenstown or Te Anau, including your transport, lunch and the boat tour - all with an experienced guide to show you the sights. You make your way down to the marina where you board one of the boats and cruise along the fiord. You will see uniquely-shaped Mitre Peak and glacier-scarred rock walls that rise 1,200m vertically from the sea. Keep an eye out for marine life there are dolphins, seals and penguins too! The fiord is scattered with waterfalls that tumble through lush valleys and crash into the water far below, making the scenery in Milford Sound spectacular, rain or shine.