Close this search box.

Sign in/Register

Taking it easy: Adventure activities in Queenstown without the adrenaline rush

Credit: Destination Queenstown
Credit: Destination Queenstown
Queenstown has a reputation for offering high-adrenaline activities. But there is so much to do if you want to take it a little slower. It’s the perfect destination if you’re after some soft adventure – here are our recommendations.


With spectacular scenery surrounding you at every turn, simply taking a drive around the region is a wonderful way to get out and about without raising the heart rate. If you have a car at your disposal, take it out of town and find a new spot to discover. A drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy is highly recommended – this lakeside drive takes 45 minutes, but allow for more time to stop at a few spots for photos, such as at the Bennetts Bluff lookout. Queenstown to Arrowtown is a shorter drive at around 20 minutes. There are two main driving routes between the towns, both of which are filled with stunning sights. 


Taking to the skies might seem like an adrenaline rush, but when you gently float above the landscape in a helicopter you’ll find it’s quite the serene experience. Helicopter company Over The Top has a fleet of high-end choppers driven by expert pilots. In addition to being able to explore some of the most beautiful parts of our country by air, you can also combine your flight with a number of fun activities. You can be dropped by chopper to top fishing spots, hop between the best Otago vineyards, or lift off from a local golf course to head to a golf hole nestled in the alps at 4,500ft. 

Over The Top Helicopters. Photography: Guy Coombes


The options are endless when it comes to cycling in Queenstown. With a range of trails to suit all abilities, you are spoiled for choice for places to explore by bike. The Queenstown Trail is at your disposal, offering a comprehensive network of trails throughout the district. Whether you have an hour spare or want to spend a whole day on your bike, it’s easy to find an option that works for you. The Queenstown trail website ( has a handy tool to help you find the best trail, where you can specify how much time you have up your sleeve, how far you want to travel, and the kind of experience you are looking for, whether that’s a family- friendly trip, one that incorporates stops to enjoy wine and food, or perhaps a tour of local art and history. 


Yes, there are many ways to challenge yourself in Queenstown when it comes to hiking. But if an amble is more your speed, there’s an abundance of easy trails at your disposal. Twenty minutes from the centre of Queenstown, you’ll find Moke Lake. The Moke Lake Loop Track is a walk that can be completed in two to three hours and you’ll never be without a beautiful view during your stroll. On a clear day the body of water is beautifully glassy and mirrors the mountainous surroundings. If you plan to stay a while, you can set yourself up at the campsite, or book in with Glam Camping Queenstown to have the harder parts of camping taken care of. Otherwise, why not take a walk that starts with a wine and ends with a beer? There are various places you can stop for a beverage while hiking the Gibbston River Trail – seven wineries, a brewery and a pub, to be exact. 


If the weather isn’t at its best, head to the new Upper Village precinct. Here you’ll find the Kingpin entertainment hub, with activities such as bowling, darts, arcade games, pool, VR and karaoke. Dining options in the precinct include German restaurant The Bavarian and Tex-Mex eatery El Camino Cantina. The complex is also home to the new Ice Bar, a cocktail lounge built from hand-carved ice. For a skydiving rush from the comfort of an indoor simulator, head next door to iFly. 


Lake Wakatipu is beautiful to look at, but be sure to take advantage of it with a cruise across it, too. Taking a trip on Queenstown’s historic steamship the TSS Earnslaw is an iconic experience and a great activity to do with the family. Or to enjoy the lake while staying at the wharf, try Perky’s Floating Bar. Here you can have burgers delivered to the bar from Devil Burger, or you can bring your own food – we suggest taking some pizza from Fat Badgers on board. 


Print Recipe


Let us keep you up to date with our weekly MiNDFOOD e-newsletters which include the weekly menu plan, health and news updates or tempt your taste buds with the MiNDFOOD Daily Recipe.