Embark the vintage TSS Earnslaw steamship on Lake Wakatipu to be taken across to Walter Peak High Country Farm. You’ll be welcomed by a host right on arrival, who will take you on a walking tour of the farm’s main holding pens. Your little ones can help to feed the animals, watch a shearing demo and see the Scottish High Cattle from up close. The entire tour is three hours long, and finishes off with morning tea or lunch. There are plenty of opportunities to stroll by the lakeside, and you can even hire an bicycle or a trail bike to explore those rugged terrains in your own terms.
Even if you’ve never hit the snow, this will always be a fantastic choice. All of the ski fields in and around Queenstown have beginner slopes for kids and novice skiers. The entire family will be eased into the snow by guided instructors — you’ll be shredding some serious powder in no time! To get the most of the local terrains, make sure to purchase unlimited season passes, as these will give you access to multiple resorts in the area.
Queenstown is filled with water activities to try, so there’s no excuse not to plunge into those massive networks of canyons and rivers. Kayak on Lake Wakatipu for an hour or two, or hop on a raft on the Kawarau River. For the older kids, shoot over to the Shotover Jet Boat. Needless to say, your options are plentiful — especially in the warmer months, when those pristine waters won’t be as chilly.
There is such thing as indoor fun in Queenstown. If the weather is a bit iffy, or you’d like to try something new, ThrillZone is going to be right up everyone’s alley. Drift carting, virtual reality games, laser tag and ton of other interactive, action-packed activities will keep you entertained for hours on end. When it’s time to take a breather, the Chillzone will be the place to play a bit Mario Kart, grab a bite to eat and unwind.
ThrillZone, 53 Shotover St, Queenstown 9300, New Zealand, +64 3-441 1159
Located just a few minutes from Queenstown Airport, Game Over is the local go-to for indoor karting and laser tag. Both kids and adults alike can get in on the action. The epic laser tag challenge will take you into a Jurassic Arena filled with lights and sounds, and an array of other obstacle courses. Go-karting races are 10 laps in duration for the younger ones, and 14 laps for the grownups. There’s also an interactive arcade for the keen gamers who aren’t quite up to running around.
Head over to the Queenstown Gardens during the autumn and winter months to discover the town’s seasonal indoor ice skating rink. The Queenstown Ice Arena is great for first timers and experienced skaters. Kids aged four years and over can get personalised instruction too. If you’re up for the challenge, ice hockey is the area’s expertise – even if you’re not keen on hitting those pucks, you can always catch a professional game during your visit.
Something more mellow, but quite interesting nonetheless; The Golf Refinery adds an innovative twist to golfing — you get to hone your skills through a fully-fledged simulated game. All courses have been made to look and feel like their real-world counterparts, and tournaments can be as friendly or as competitive as you wish. For the more dedicated players, the ‘academy’ mode will challenge you to progress and work on your skills faster each time.