5 ways to explore Queenstown – By boat, foot, car, bike or from the air!

25 October 2018

Queenstown is one of those places that is guaranteed to steal your heart almost immediately upon arrival. In fact, you will probably already be sold on Queenstown as you fly into the airport surrounded by amazing mountain views. But the truth is, there are many different ways to explore this magical town and some will give you a whole new perspective while being a fun experience at the same time.

Besides walking around Queenstown, you can also explore by boat, on a scenic heli flight, by driving around on some of the beautiful scenic drives, or by going cycling!

By boat 

One of the best ways to check out beautiful Queenstown and the surrounding area is from out on the water. You can take Spirit of Queenstown Scenic Cruise to gain a whole new perspective of the town.

From out on the water you can see Queenstown’s quaint waterfront, the nearby suburbs, and the towering mountains enclosing the town. Besides just checking out Queenstown, by boat, you can also see some of the surrounding areas such as Mt Nicholas High Country Farm and Bob’s Cove among other places that are not so easily reached by car.

If you are after a bit of an adrenaline rush then jump on KJet for an exciting jet boat experience with awesome scenic views. KJet is high speed excitement across three waterways;  Lake Wakatipu and the Kawarau and Shotover Rivers with stunning scenery along the way.

Taking in the views from the Shotover River on KJet.

By foot

Walking around Queenstown is the most obvious way to take in your surroundings. The vibrant streets filled with bars, restaurants, buskers and lively patio bars make it a fun place to explore on foot.

However, don’t just wander around central Queenstown, go on one of the many nearby hikes to have a view of the town from above. Some of the most popular hikes are to the top of Queenstown Hill or the Ben Lomond Summit. After a hard day of hiking to the top of a mountain, you will feel accomplished and the views will be that much better!

The view over Queenstown from the top of Queenstown Hill.

Scenic heli flight

The flight into Queenstown is great, but a scenic heli ride over Queenstown is a must do and is bound to leave you breathless. Weaving through the valleys, soaring above mountains, and stopping for some epic pictures are all part of the experience.

There is no better way to see more of Queenstown and the surrounding area than by getting on a helicopter and looking down from way up in the sky. Not to mention, if you have never been on a  helicopter before then this is a once in a lifetime, unforgettable experience – specifically with the scenic views of Queenstown!

Coming in to land in Frankton after a scenic heli flight over Queenstown.


Cycling is a great way to see Queenstown and with 120km of trail to explore around the Wakatipu basin there is something to suit everyone.  With plenty of bike hire options this is the perfect way to spend a couple of hours or even the whole day.

For that extra special experience  jump on Spirit of Queenstown, and enjoy a scenic cruise on Lake Wakatipu as it takes you to the starting point for Station 2 Station Cycle Trail. Starting at Mt Nicholas Station and ending at Walter Peak Station, this side of Lake Wakatipu is virtually unexplored giving you not only the incredible scenery but opportunities to see unique sights that many people unfortunately miss! If you are into photography than exploring this area by bike will be an ideal trip for you!

Views towards Glenorchy on Station 2 Station Cycle Trail.


And last but certainly not least, is checking out Queenstown with your car. A car will allow you to venture to some spots around Queenstown that are simply just too far to get to on foot.

The many scenic drives around Queenstown will have you pulling over every few minutes to take photos. Some of the best places to drive to are the top of Queenstown Hill, the top of the Remarkables, Moke Lake, and the scenic drive to Glenorchy. If you have time, Arrowtown is definitely worth checking out as well as the Shotover River!

The popular Bennets Bluff lookout on the road to Glenorchy.

The truth is though, it doesn’t matter what mode of transport you use to get the most out of your time in Queenstown, you will sure to be left in awe at its beauty!




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