Things to do in Queenstown when you're not skiing

Queenstown is an idyllic mountain town situated in the South Island of New Zealand; world-renowned for its ski fields. With four resorts all within a few hours of town, it’s a no brainer that people coming in Winter only have one objective, HOWEVER, what if you don’t want to head into arctic temps? Well, read below, we got you covered.

Go Orange Queenstown New Zealand

Jet Boat

Jump on the Go Orange Jet Boat for one hour and explore the Kawarau River. Passing underneath The Remarkables mountain range, through the high cliffs and further down the river than ever before. Packing in plenty of those famous 360-degree spins and racing over Lake Wakatipu back towards downtown. If you have kids in tow, why not jump on the 25-minute experience, the perfect intro to life on the lake.

Go Orange Jet Boat - Speed

Go Orange Jet Boat

Whitewater Rafting

Embark on a man V nature battle of willpower in one of the most scenic environments in the world. Raft where the Go Orange Jet Boats fear to go and take on the mighty Shotover River. Grade 3-5 Rapids await and, in the Wintertime you will get dropped into Skippers Canyon via a helicopter – epic right?

Queenstown Hill

Fancy a little walk in the wilderness then get yourself up Queenstown Hill. An easily accessible walk from central Queenstown. This short half-day hike will get you high above the town below and provide you with some epic 360 views, including that of Coronet Peak and The Remarkables. Be sure to pack snacks and bottled water for the trip and always take a coat, you never know on these wintery days.

Après at Canyon

You don’t have to ski to enjoy Après right? Canyon Food & Brew has the best cheeseboard in town, pair that with a classic red or NZ Ale in front of our wood-burning fire and you are in for a winner. Just a short drive from Queenstown CBD or jump on the free shuttle departing Shotover Street, enjoy the views of mountains and the iconic Shotover River running alongside the venue.


Canyon Food & Brew Co.

Coffee with our friends at Yonder

Early risers get yourself to Yonder. Not only do you get to hang with the best portrait of Bill Murray, but you also get to sample the best coffee in town, plus they have a whole heap of delicious eats on the menu or straight out of the cabinet. The outdoor patio has awesome mountain views or head inside and feel right at home with the crew.

Walk the Queenstown trail

Fancy another stroll but not uphill this time, then take the Queenstown track around the lake. Starting at the Queenstown gardens the two-hour walk hugs Lake Wakatipu passing the ever-popular Boatshed Café, Frankton Marina and ultimately ending at The Hilton. The track does continue however here is a great place to grab a bite to eat or a wine in the Pino Pit. Save your legs and jump on the Queenstown ferry back into town.

Day trip to Milford Sound

Feeling like you need to escape the bubble? Then get yourself booked on to a cruise in Milford Sound. Coined the 8th Wonder of the world, this pure New Zealand paradise will knock your socks off. Easily accessible via coach transfers from Queenstown or drive yourself down through Fiordland National Park. A once in a lifetime experience for many and one that should sit firmly at the top of your Queenstown bucket list.

Go Orange Cruise Milford Sound - Milford Haven Roof

Go Orange Milford Sound Cruise

Visit historic Arrowtown

You are only a 20-minute drive from historic Arrowtown and it is well worth a visit. Browse the main street for cute souvenirs and light bites or drop into Dorothy Browns, the perfect little cinema set up above the Blue Door. You can wander through the old Chinese settlement, rich in gold mining history or follow the river for one of the many of the short-day walks. Try your hand at gold panning, you may find a lucky nugget.