What to do in Queenstown over the school holidays

16 April 2019

School holidays are an exciting time in Queenstown. With kids off school, it gives families an excuse to get out and have some fun. No matter if you’re a local or a visitor to Queenstown, one thing is for sure, there is plenty going on in Queenstown over the school holidays. Here are just some of the best things to do in Queenstown over the school holidays (and many of them are FREE for kids!)

  1. 1. Spirit of Queenstown Scenic Cruise 

Going for a cruise on Lake Wakatipu is the perfect way to spend a couple of hours while in Queenstown. From out on the water you are able to take in some extraordinary views and relax at the same time.

Kids on the scenic cruise can explore the boat going outside or upstairs in the fresh air. They can also join the skipper in the wheelhouse and even give him a hand steering the boat!

And the best part? During school holidays kids travel for FREE on our Spirit of Queenstown Scenic Cruise!

  1. 2. Mt Nichols Farm Experience 

For an exciting half-day activity, consider adding on our Mt Nicholas Farm Experience to your Spirit of Queenstown Scenic Cruise.

On the western shores of Lake Wakatipu sits Mt Nicholas High Country Farm – a real working high country sheep station. Here you will tour the farm and meet all of the animals including some extremely friendly sheep who love being fed by the visitors.

Your Mt Nicholas tour guide will teach you about the animals and how the farm works all while showing you around. You will also get to go for a ride in a 4WD bus around the farm grounds stopping at some really special viewpoints along the way before having a picnic lunch.

Adding the Mt Nicholas Farm Experience onto your Spirit of Queenstown Scenic cruise is also FREE for kids during the school holidays! Click here for more information!


  1. 3. Visit Milford Sound

Milford Sound is one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand, and luckily, it isn’t too far from Queenstown. You can easily visit Milford Sound on a day trip from Queenstown.

On our Milford Sound cruise, the whole family will be able to enjoy some incredible views – but there is so much more to it than that! While on the cruise, you will have the opportunity to spot some of the famous Milford Sound wildlife. Some of the animals you can see are dolphins, penguins, seals and birds.

Many of our Milford Sound Cruises also stop at the Milford Sound Underwater Observatory which kids love! Here, they get to go under the water’s surface and watch all of the marine life in their natural habitat. Spotting different fish through the glass is always an activity kids of all ages enjoy.

During the school holidays, kids can join select Milford Sound Scenic and Nature Cruises for FREE! Check out or website for more information or to book!

  1. 4. Queenstown Paraflights

It’s hard to miss the big yellow smiley face parachute of Queenstown Paraflights as it soars high above Lake Wakatipu. Queenstown Paraflights offer tandem and triple parasailing flights, you can send the kids up for a flight while parents can relax on the boat and take photos. Don’t worry about getting wet, take off and land from the back of the boat and take in the incredible views over Lake Wakatipu as you fly high and stay dry.

Queenstown Paraflights are operating everyday over the holidays and have some great deals for the whole family.

  1. 5. Kiwi Birdlife Park

If you didn’t get enough of wildlife in Milford Sound, then paying a visit to the Kiwi Birdlife Park in Queenstown is a great idea. Here, the whole family can see a variety of birds and wildlife including watching kiwi bird feedings!

The Kiwi Birdlife Park is open every day throughout the school holidays and they offer special family package rates.

  1. 6. Jet Boating

Riding on a high-speed jet boat is one of those iconic things to do in Queenstown. Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand, so you might as well join in on the fun and have a thrilling ride for yourself while you’re here.

The great thing about jet boating is that although it is an adventure activity, it is suitable for all ages! Any children from the age of two are able to ride. It is an exciting family activity that offers an adrenaline-filled experience while showcasing some of the most beautiful places around Queenstown.

KJet has some great family pack deals . Click here for more information or to book your family on a jet boating ride!

  1. 7. Arrowtown Autumn Festival

These school holidays (April) come at a very special time of year – the beginning of autumn! And that means it is time for the annual Arrowtown Autumn Festival! The Arrowtown Autumn Festival will be celebrating its 35th year this year and has a ton of exciting events and shows planned.

From 23- 28 of April, the Arrowtown Autumn Festival is running activities and events for families and people of all ages. For kids, in particular, there is an animal balloon tying workshop, a kid’s circus street entertainment, and even a dog show! The annual street parade will be held on Saturday, 27 April at 2.00pm which promises to be a fun time.  

  1. 8. Game Over Queenstown

If you’re looking for an indoor activity with lots of variety make sure you check out Game Over Queenstown. Game Over has a wide range of activities that are fun for all age groups. Test out your driving skills on their Grand Prix indoor karting track or have a go at some lazer tag. They also have a selection of video arcade games that will keep the kids entertained for hours.

Over the Easter weekend they have a great specials and combo deals for families.

The school holidays in Queenstown are an exciting time for both kids and parents alike. At Southern Discoveries, we love the school holidays so much we that we are offering plenty of FREE activities for kids. Contact us for details and to book!

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