Queenstown Honeymoon Guide

Nestled on the banks of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown offers honeymoon couples exciting year-round activities and a 24/7 party atmosphere in a magnifficent location surrounded by the Southern Alps.

With a reputation as the adventure capital of the world, Queenstown offers newlywed honeymoon couples numerous adventure activities, including hiking, mountain-biking, rock-climbing, canyoning, skydiving, river surfing, whitewater rafting, jet-boating and bungy jumping in summer; heli-skiing, skiing and snow-boarding in winter; and scenic flights or lake cruises all year round.

Queenstown is also home to more than 160 licensed bars and cafés – it’s easy to choose from sophisticated wine bars, live jazz, top DJ’s and friendly beer gardens.

What to do and see in Queenstown

Hike the Rees-Dart Track, a 70km hike trough alpine saddles, across native bush and wild rivers. Or take a multi-day tramp along the Routebourne Track – one of New Zealand’s finest walks.

Jump from a cliff-top mounted platform 109m above the spectacular Shotover River, then freefall 60m before ropes (attached to a body harness) smoothly swing you into a giant arc of 200m at speeds of up 150kph.

Bungy jump from the Kawarau Bridge, the world's first and most famous bungy, 43m above the Kawarau River. This is the only bungy in Queenstown where you can choose to bob above the water, touch it or get fully immersed.

Run rapids, surf standing waves, ride whirlpools and body board the 7.9km-long 'dogleg' section of the Kawarau River, NZ's longest Grade 4 white water rapid, perfect for the ultimate adventure.

Relax with a scenic tour into the rugged mountains, lush beech forests and golden hill country around Queenstown and be reminded of Middle-Earth scenes from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

For breathtaking views across Coronet Peak, the Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu take the Skyline Gondola to Bob’s Peak.

Queenstown offers more thrills per square kilometer than anywhere else in New Zealand.

Skiing – The scenic Southern Alps offers several ski fields including Treble Cone, the largest ski area in the South Island; Coronet Peak, the South Island’s most popular ski area; the Remarkables, with 220ha of terrain spread across 700ha of reserve in three sunny bowls and Cardrona Alpine Resort, one of the largest ski resorts in the South Island.

Read more about Queenstown ski opportunities…

Bungy jumping – There are three bungy-jumping sites in Queenstown, including the original site of the first commercial AJ Hackett bungy venture at Kawarau Bridge spanning the Kawarau River. The sites are all operated by A. J. Hackett Bungy (www.bungy.co.nz), who offer discounts for combined jumps and swings.

The bungy jump at Kawarau Suspension Bridge (43m high) is great for water touches in the Kawarau River. Allow 1 to 3 hours and expect to pay NZ$180 for the full package, which includes jump, T-shirt, video, photos and transport from Queenstown, around 23km away.

The Ledge (47m high) is located in Queenstown at the top of Bob’s Peak and offers a choice between the Wild Side and the Mild Side. Allow 1 hour and expect to pay NZ$180 for the jump, which includes a T-shirt and the gondola ride. There’s also the Ledge Swing that allows you to swing out on an arc of 400 metres over Queenstown. You can also jump at night on both attractions.

At 134m high over the Kawarau River, the Nevis Highwire Bungy is the tallest bungy site in New Zealand. The full package costs NZ$260. Nearby stands the Nevis Swing – a 160m free-fall through the air above Doolan’s Creek Gorge; priced at NZ$180.

Canyoning – Explore river canyons using a variety of means including rappelling, walking, climbing, jumping, swimming and using ziplines. Canyoning NZ (www.canyoning.co.nz) offers a half-day Queenstown trip for NZ$185 and a full-day Routeburn canyoning trip for NZ$240 per person; allow 3 hours.

Jet boating – Sit back, buckle in and feel the thrill of rapid acceleration in a New Zealand invention. Blast through narrow river gorges, almost brushing against sheer rock faces, or skim across the surface of water channels that weave through the shingle banks of braided rivers for a huge adrenaline rush.

Shotover Jet (www.shotoverjet.com) is probably the best-known local operator. Expect to pay NZ$119 for 30 minutes. Kawarau Jet (www.kjet.co.nz) is another established operator that operates every hour from the main pier in the centre of Queenstown.

White-Water Rafting – The Shotover and Kawarau rivers offer great white-water rafting. First-timers are better starting on the Kawarau as the Shotover trips are much more challenging and are usually accompanied by safety kayaks. Expect to pay from NZ$175 for half- and full- day rafting trips from several experienced operators.

Paragliding/Hang Gliding – Head to Bob’s Peak or Coronet Peak and choose from several established and fully qualified paragliding operators that offer an introductory tandem flight from NZ$195 to NZ$275.

River Boarding/Surfing – Don a helmet and cling to a specially designed boogie board for heart-pumping thrills down churning river rapids. Serious Fun River Surfing (www.riversurfing.co.nz) offers a 7km stretch of the Kawarau River for NZ$175. No experience is necessary. Trips are conducted from October to May from 8am to 8pm.

Mountain biking – Choose from a range of self-guided rides or head off on a guided tour. The region around Queenstown offers a wide range of gentle or epic trail rides, extreme downhill tracks and even heli-biking from near the summit of Ben Crauchan.

Several operators provide bikes, helmets and maps for hourly, half and full day hire, or longer. Bikes can be hired from NZ$69 for a half-day and from NZ$99 for a full day.

Sky Diving – Check out the awesome scenery then plunge to earth at speeds of up to 200kmph. Expect to pay NZ$269 to NZ$429 through NZONE (www.nzone.biz).

Walking – Choose from several well-known walks from one to eight hours’ length in and around Queenstown including the Queenstown Hill Track, which starts and finishes on Belfast Terrace. You’ll be rewarded by great views and photo opportunities once you make it to the top.

There are also excellent walks around Lake Wakatipu, including the very pleasant Bobs Cove Track and Nature Trail, which starts 14km from Queenstown on the road to Glenorchy.

Alternatively, head to the little township of Glenorchy, located 47km from Queenstown at the far end of Lake Wakatipu. Here you can find the start of the Routeburn, the Greenstone Valley and the Grand Traverse Tracks.

You can either walk in and out on the same day or alternatively you can sign up for Routeburn Encounter Guided Day Walk (www.ultimatehikes.co.nz).

The track is officially open from November to April, with transport from Queenstown provided. The 6.5km long track rises 230m and is suitable for reasonably active people. Warm, waterproof clothing and good boots are essential. Expect to pay NZ$1,350 to NZ$1,495.

Fishing – Several trout-fishing operators offer trips from 2 hours to a full day, with prices ranging from NZ$85 per hour to NZ$800 or more for a full-day excursion. Or for a truly out-of-the-way fishing trip try a guided heli-fly-fishing experience with Over The Top Fly Fishing (www.flynz.co.nz).

Golf – Tee-off at the Millbrook Resort in Arrowtown (www.millbrook.co.nz), a par-72, Bob Charles-designed course. Expect to pay NZ$70 to NZ$165 for a buggy, equipment, instruction and a free shuttle from Queenstown.

Or try the 18-hole Queenstown Golf Club at Kelvin Heights (www.queenstowngolf.co.nz), a full-service course with NZ$75 to NZ$90 greens fees and NZ$65 for club rental.

Horse Trekking – Head off for a full- or half-day trek through spectacular scenery. Expect to pay NZ$55 to NZ$125 for a riding tour.

Hot-Air Ballooning – Another way to enjoy Queenstown’s magnificent scenery is aboard a balloon. Sunrise Balloons (www.ballooningnz.com) offers a memorable experience floating silently over the Wakatipu Basin at dawn for NZ$395 and includes a champagne breakfast on landing.

Luge – The Skyline Luge (www.skyline.co.nz) offers nearly 1km of downhill fun at a cost of NZ$33 for the gondola-and single-luge ride. Multi-ride deals are also available. It operates daily from 10am to 9pm in summer (5pm in winter); tickets are available at the Skyline Gondola terminals.

Spas – Pamper those stressed out muscles at one of Queenstown’s spa centres, which offer a variety of aromatherapy, sports massage, shiatsu, reflexology as well as several beauty therapy services.

Try the classy Millbrook Resort Day Spa for a full range of wet and dry massage therapies, facials, beauty treatments, manicures and pedicures; Aspects Day Spa (www.aspectsdayspa.co.nz) for a range of massage therapies, body wraps, Jacuzzis and manicures; or head over to Le Spa at Sofitel, Sofitel Hotel (www.lespaqueenstown.co.nz) – probably the best equipped and most glamorous of the Queenstown day spas.

Tip: You can save money by combining several activities through one operator.

Shotover High Five combines the Shotover Jet with a helicopter ride, luge and gondola ride. Queenstown Combos (www.combos.co.nz) offers about 14 different packages from NZ$257 and can make reservations for you.

Extreme Combos (www.nzraft.com) offers a range of rafting-based combos that include bungy, helicopter rides, sky diving and jet boats.

Best time to visit Queenstown

The best time to visit Queenstown is anytime. Queenstown’s winter ski season runs from June to early October, while summer brings clear blue skies and long days to enjoy the region’s many adventure activities.

Winter, from June through August, sees an average temperature between -2°C (28°F) and 8°C (46°F), with generally frosty mornings, clear blue skies and cold temperatures.

Summer, from early December to late February, sees long, sunny days with dawn breaking around 5am and dusk setting around 10pm. Daytime temperatures range between 20°C (35°F) and 30°C (86°F).

More about Queenstown Weather

Getting to Queenstown

Queenstown is located in Central Otago in the south-west of New Zealand's South Island. It surrounds an inlet called Queenstown Bay on Lake Wakatipu.

The most convenient route to Queenstown is by air to Queenstown Airport (ZQN), located around 8km (5mi) from the Queenstown CBD.

From most international destinations, this first requires flying into Auckland Airport (AKL), followed by a connecting flight to Queenstown Airport (ZQN).

There are also daily bus services to and from Wanaka, Christchurch, Dunedin, Invercargill and Greymouth.

More about how to get to Queenstown

More about Queenstown…

Latest update: Queenstown Honeymoon Guide: 11 May, 2022