The whole reason I wanted to visit Queenstown, New Zealand was because of the HUGE range of adrenaline activities they offer, it is literally an adrenaline junkie’s dream come true. I tacked a short stop in Queenstown onto the end of my Australia trip and it literally cost me £1000, half of what 2 and half weeks in Australia cost me (but a certain Queenstown swing that I became obsessed with may have been to blame for that)! It was worth every penny! Here are my top 4 MUST DO Queenstown activities!
Queenstown New Zealand Activities
Shotover Canyon Swing
(Photo Credit…& header image: Taken by Shotover Canyon Swing, purchased by me)
So which Queenstown swing did I opt for? There are 2 canyon swing companies in Queenstown. The Nevis swing which I believe is higher BUT the Shotover Swing offers a ridiculously long list of ways you can throw yourself off the edge of the canyon. It’s brilliant, you flick through a catalogue the same way you’d look for new clothes to buy!
I literally blew my whole budget on this one activity and I still stand by the fact that I think it’s THE best adrenaline activity IN. THE. WORLD! (I’ve bungee jumped, sky dived, swum with sharks…my adrenaline list is fairly long). I jumped 3 times, bought the photos, videos and a hoodie (that I live in)!
I chose ‘The Slide’, ‘The Cutaway’ and then I went in Tandem with my buddy! I really wanted to go upside down but I just couldn’t pluck up the courage after the staff had to give the warning that your retina could burst or something as equally disgusting.
It’s 109m high, has a 60m freefall drop, a swing of 200m and you reach speeds of 150KPH. The speed of the freefall gives you hamster cheeks that flap in the breeze and the staff are hilarious!
They now have the ‘Fox’ experience which is like a zipline on steroids. I think it would knock all other ziplines out of the park, I’m just going to have to go back!
Jumps start at $229NZ
Would you brave this Queenstown swing?!?!
For more information visit: http://canyonswing.co.nz
I’ve been on jet boats before but again, Queenstown just seem to up their game that much higher! I believe that this is thanks to the perfect mix of type of boat they use and the location! The section of the Shotover River that they operate on is BRIGHT blue and cuts through a huge canyon. The boats hold 14 people (plus 1 driver), can reach speeds of 85KPH, spin 360 degrees and skim over just 10cms of water!
As you whizz by the canyon walls, the speed feels crazy fast! The drivers will zig zag through the canyon in a way that you can’t help but feel as if you are going to smash straight in to the rock face! This is what gives it a whole extra spoonful of adrenaline compared to the companies that operate in open water! Jet boat rides last around 25 minutes.
Adult tickets start at $149NZ
For more information visit: www.shotoverjet.com
Skyline Luge Queenstown
The Skyline Luge Queenstown is a slightly more budget friendly adrenaline rush! The best way to describe it is an 800m gravity go kart track down the side of the mountain! It can be reached by taking a gondola to the top of the mountain and then a chair lift to the start of the track!
Their tag line is ‘Once Is Never Enough’…literally because riders have to complete one run on the easier track before being allowed onto the advanced track which is steeper and has more complicated elements to it.
Unlike alpine toboggans where you can be sneaky and not slow down (read as ‘you must always follow what the signs say and not listen to Kylie as she will not be held responsible for the outcome of your dare devil stunts’), I would highly suggest following the signs at Skyline Luge…as I nearly flipped myself out of my cart…shhh.
It’s a lot of fun and has great views over Lake Wakatipu!
Adult tickets start from $49 and include the gondola pass and 2 luge rides.
Skyline Luge was invented in New Zealand but now has tracks in 4 countries. There’s the Skyline Luge Queenstown and another in Rotorua in New Zealand, one in Sentosa in Singapore, Tongyeong (with a second opening in Busan) in South Korea and Calgary and Mont Tremblant in Canada. (You may enjoy this post that I was part of a while back: The ultimate list of the best adventure towns in the world!)
For more information visit: www.skylineluge.com/en/queenstown/
G Force Paragliding
(Photo Credit: Taken by G Force, purchased by me)
Paragliding was a completely spontaneous decision during my visit to Queenstown and it gave me some of my favourite photos that were taken while doing something crazy! The G Force Paragliding office is located at the top of the Gondola so it was something we came across when we had the intention of just going on the Skyline Luge. The conditions were perfect so it was something we decided to do last minute!
Just like skydiving, paragliding needs certain conditions to be able to operate, such as next to no wind. So if you only have a short amount of time in Queenstown and it’s something you may want to do, jump at the opportunity as soon as the conditions are on your side!
It doesn’t feel natural to run at the edge of a mountain but I guess the same can be said for jumping out of a plane that’s perfectly fine or throwing yourself off a bridge strapped to a piece of elastic…it’s all part of the adrenaline fun!
Flights can be tailored to your thrill seeker level. My buddy opted for a more general ‘floating’ flight while I was more than happy for my guide to show me some paragliding tricks, such as corkscrewing and rocking side to side.
The landing spot is pretty much in the primary school’s playing field. All the students were outside and not one of them batted an eyelid that these flying crazy people were landing right next to them!
Regular time flight prices start from $219NZ and include a free gondola ride back up to the top to retrieve belongings etc!
For more information visit: www.nzgforce.com
There is literally so much to do in Queenstown, it’s like a giant adventure playground, if you can think of it, Queenstown probably offers it! I was hoping to do river surfing but it got cancelled twice due to travelling in shoulder season and not meeting the minimum numbers. However activities like the Canyon Swing were fully booked during my whole stay so it’s definitely worth pre-booking an activity if you really don’t want to miss it.
What Queenstown activities would you be up for?!