12 FREE + Cheap Must-Do’s in Queenstown

1. Photo Op on Remarkables Road

$: FREE- driving required
Not a huge fan of hiking but want to see some epic views of Queenstown? This lookout point on the edge of the Remarkables Mountain Range gives you unobstructed panoramic views of some of Queenstown’s most beautiful assets, including: Lake Wakatipu towards Kingston, Cecil Peak, the Frankton Arm, the Kawarau and Shotover Rivers, Coronet Peak, Lake Hayes, and the Crowne Range. Hop in your car and travel From Queenstown to Frankton, over the Kawarau Bridge, then turn left at the sign for the Remarkables Ski Field. Drive about 15 minutes and on the right of one of the sharp corners you will see a grassy knoll with a walking path. Park on the gravel area to the left and cross the road to a short 1 minute walk up the hill.

2. Hike Queenstown Hill or the Tiki Trail

These two trails will get your heart pumping and reward you with some classic Queenstown views at the top, but don’t forget your camera! Both are easily accessible from the Queenstown CBD.

3. Minus 5º ICE BAR

$: $20 Adult Entry Only / $30 Entry plus ICE cocktail / $15 Child Entry with Mocktail / $75 Family Pass including 2x Adults & 2x Children plus ice cocktails & mocktails.
Queenstown’s COOLEST bar and a bucket-list experience for any budget! Get dressed up like an Eskimo in cosy jackets, gloves and ugg-style boots, then be absorbed into a different kind of winter-wonderland. Explore over 18 tonnes of ice architecture while enjoying a cocktail served in a glass made of ice – this is sure to be an experience you’ll never forget! Located on the Famous Steamer Wharf, next to the TSS Earnslaw, sessions operate daily from 2pm until late.

4. Skyline Gondola

$: $33 Adult / $21 Child / $90 Family
Another great way to get classic Queenstown views without having to hike! Hop onto the gondola from the edge of town and enjoy a 450 metre ride to the top of Bob’s Peak. At the top, the Skyline complex is a buzzing tourism haven with lots of activities including paragliding, mountain bike trails, luge rides, kiwi haka performances, stargazing, and even 2x restaurants where you can eat with the best views in town!

5. Queenstown Underwater Observatory

$: $10 Adults / $5 Kids / $20 Family OR FREE when you book a KJET Ride!
Ever wonder what lives in Lake Wakatipu? Head to the Underwater Observatory for an up-close and personal view of the diving ducks, giant trout, and eels. Located on the Queenstown lakefront on the KJET Pier, at the end of The Mall Street.

6. $5 Beer + Games at Rhino’s Ski Shack

$: $5 per beer / Games FREE
Rhino’s Ski Shack is a secret basement bar, serving up good times in an alpine après ski themed setting. Pull up a seat at the bar and ask the friendly bartenders for a glass of their signature $5 Rhino Beer, and you’re bound to get a good conversation alongside that beer. Open year round, there’s always something fun happening in Rhino’s; from early-doors where you and your crew can gather around the long tables to play various board games, to late-night when it transforms into Queenstown’s only hip-hop bar, featuring DJs spinning the best beats in town.

7. Disc Golf in the Queenstown Botanical Gardens

$: FREE with a disc / Ask your hostel or hotel if they have any Frisbees for you to use OR Rent a Frisbee from Small Planet for just $5.
Even if you’ve never thrown a disc, we highly recommend giving this game a try. Grab a disc, a couple cold drinks, a couple of friends, and head for the Queenstown Gardens. The first hole is to the right of the bandstand at the gardens entrance. Not the sporty type? Just have a wander through the gardens exploring the variety of plants… and remember keep your eyes peeled for other flying discs!

8. Catch a water-taxi

$: $10 per person, each way
The Queenstown Water taxis depart between 10 am and 10pm from the Steamer Wharf/ThunderJet Jetty, next to Earnslaw Park in Queenstown. Journey across the lake to explore a number of different spots: Kelvin Heights Golf Course, the Kawarau Village, Hiking/Biking Trails, or stay on the boat and enjoy the views as one of the most affordable ways to get onto the lake!

9. Eat a Cheese & Meat Board at Little Blackwood

$: Starting from $25
Find Little Blackwood next to Minus 5º ICE BAR in the famous Steamer Wharf and grab a seat on the heated waterfront patio, if you’re lucky enough to find one empty. This cocktail bar is renowned for its Cheese & Meat boards, stocked with local cheese made in Gibbston Valley, meats cured just down the road at Zamora Meats, freshly picked fruits, olives, pesto, Babaganoush, and honeycomb like you’ve never had before. Foodies bring your camera, because this cheeseboard is instagram ready! Also known for its creative cocktail list, we suggest the Espresso Martini- a Queenstown favourite.

10. Take a scenic drive to check out the local mirrored lakes- Lake Hayes & Moke Lake

$: FREE – driving required
Lake Hayes and Moke Lake are renowned for their mirrored views on a beautiful wind-free day. Bring your camera to snap a stunning reflective photo. Lake Hayes is accessed from the main road, past Frankton heading towards Wanaka. Moke Lake is a bit more hidden; head towards Glenorchy from Queenstown, and keep an eye out for a Moke Lake sign, about 5 minutes passed the Sunshine Bay turnoff. Once you turn down the road, the Lake is accessed by a gravel track that should only be driven with a 4×4 in Winter conditions.

11. Fear Factory

$: Adult $35 / Child $20 / Family $99
Fear can be fun, especially when you team up with your friends for a fright at the Fear Factory! The legend says that the Lockhart hotel burned to the ground in the late 1800’s, leaving just one survivor and a very dark history. Walk through the dark passageways and challenge yourself to make it through this real-life horror experience. Not sure if you can make it through? Just say “Chicken” and they’ll lead you straight to the exit… but not before adding your name to their long list of other chickens. An experience not to be missed!

12. SITE Trampoline

$: $25 for 60 min session / $15 for 30 min session
Bounce away an afternoon at Queenstown’s premier Trampoline Park. Outfitted with Olympic Supertramps, a foam pit, airbag, tramp park, and bounce boards -SITE has a huge space for you to explore! Go for a freestyle jump session, practice Freerun & Parkour tricks, snowboard & Freeski tricks, or join one of their coaching nights to get some tips from their on-hand coaches. Suitable for kids and adults of all ages!

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