Your Guide to Adventure in Queenstown

Your Guide to Adventure in Queenstown

This is the Adventure Capital of the World after all.

It’s no great secret that New Zealand is a paradise for road trippers. Winding roads which reveal new scenic surprises at every turn, dramatic landscapes which can shift from mountain to plains to sea in the space of just an hour or so and vast tracts of untouched wilderness await those with the freedom of a New Zealand motorhome rental. Amongst all this nation’s breathtaking destinations, there’s one which still somehow manages to stand out from the crowd: Queenstown, known around the globe as the Adventure Capital of the World.

Arriving in Queenstown, the adventure side of the town won’t even be the first thing to catch your attention. Its natural surroundings look like something out of a fantasy novel, with the jagged peaks of the picture-perfect Remarkables rising high on one side and the mirrored blue waters of Lake Wakatipu on another. This is one place which looks even more stunning in person than it does in even the best photographs. You could easily come to Queenstown for sightseeing alone and not be disappointed - but there’s a whole lot more in store for those keen to throw themselves headlong into adventure.

Sky’s the limit

Queenstown, the Adventure Capital of the World, is bursting at the seams with adventure opportunities.

There’s nothing that spikes the adrenaline quite like leaving the ground far below you and then hurtling back towards it as fast as you can fall. Fortunately, Queenstown has all kinds of opportunities for you to indulge this particular thrill. It’s not hard to find places in the world where you can skydive, but few offer such spectacular views on the way down as Queenstown. The perfect combination of high-octane adventure and sightseeing, skydiving over this unique town is an experience that will stick with you for years. But this isn’t the only to fall for Queenstown.

Commercial bungy jumping actually began in the Queenstown area at Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge, and you can still take the plunge here today. This is an incredibly scenic spot over a fast flowing body of water, and is particularly impressive in autumn when riotous yellow and red foliage comes out to play.

The Ledge is another prime bungy spot, nestled right in the heart of Queenstown itself, which offers not only bungy jumping but also an adrenaline packed swing experience which will have you hurtling through the air 400 metres above the town. During some months (which vary from year to year) the Ledge also has a night bungy option where you can take a dive into darkness, so don’t forget to ask if this is available.

If you really want to push your bungy experience to the next level though, the Nevis Bungy is the way to go. The highest bungy jump in New Zealand at 134 metres, hurtling from the suspended platform into the gorge below provides an exhilarating 8.5 seconds of freefall - long enough to get your bearings and take a good look around before reaching the end of your tether.

Hell or high water

Indulge your inner thrillseeker with a hair raising ride down the Shotover River.

There’s no need to head high into the sky to find adventure in Queenstown. In fact, many take to the rivers around the region to seek out their thrills. Whitewater rafting is a big deal around Queenstown, with a number of different rivers hosting teams of adventurers in inflatable rafts. Don’t worry about lack of experience - there are rafting options for everyone, from those who are perfectly at home amongst the rapids to those looking for a little bit of family friendly fun. You can even helicopter in to a remote launching site for an extra special experience or combine whitewater rafting, a helicopter ride and jet boating in one day.

Speaking of jet boating, this is the other way to get your heart racing on the water in the Queenstown area. Some of the options you’ll find here combine thrills with sightseeing and learning a bit about the surrounding land and its history, while others are simply full-on adrenaline-packed rides through narrow river canyons which will leave you breathless by the end.

Hit the ground running

The expansive vistas around Queenstown will have your heart soaring.

For many of the adventures around Queenstown, you don’t even have to leave solid ground. 4WD expeditions give you the chance to see a wilder side of the country than you’d otherwise get to in a New Zealand campervan rental. Excursions into the remarkably rugged landscape of Skippers Canyon treat adventurers to a glimpse of the gold mining heritage evident in Queenstown’s backcountry, not to mention the chance to cross the iconic Skippers Canyon Suspension Bridge, 90 metres above the Shotover River.

Those who prefer to be a little more hands-on with their adventures might prefer instead to trade a ride in a 4WD vehicle for a dirt bike or ATV journey offroad. There are all kinds of incredible tracks and trails waiting to be discovered, with varying options to suit experienced riders, those who’ve tried this kind of thing once or twice, and absolute beginners.

For the chance to take things a little slower and really soak up the splendour of the surrounding countryside, you might want to leave behind your Queenstown campervan rental for a bit and strike out on a horseback tour. The area around nearby Glenorchy is one of the most beautiful natural spaces in the entire country, and setting out on a horse trek is the perfect way to see it all at a leisurely pace.

Once you arrive in Queenstown and start exploring in your New Zealand campervan rental, there’s no doubt that you’ll uncover even more chances to throw yourself into fun, exhilarating and visually epic activities in the Adventure Capital of the World. Keep your eyes and ears open and don’t be afraid to stray off the beaten path to find your own way, and you’ll see a side of Queenstown that most visitors can only dream of.

Written By: Kristof Haines

It’s funny how motorhome memories stick with you. I can still recall a motorhome vacation my family took when I was five years old and how awesome I thought I was, tucked away in a loft bed above the cab. From revealing unique destinations to providing tips and tricks, it’s my mission to help others build great motorhome memories too.