Queenstown Nature & adventure

Our most recommended Queenstown Nature & adventure

Queenstown: Milford Sound Coach & Cruise Full-Day Trip

1. Queenstown: Milford Sound Coach & Cruise Full-Day Trip

Enjoy a fun and leisurely day trip to admire the glacial features, wild flora and fauna, and picturesque backdrops of the world-famous fiord at Milford Sound. Start with pickup for the bus journey to Te Anau. Your driver will share their local knowledge as you stop along the way to see spectacular scenery. Marvel at views of waterfalls, wildlife, and the rainforest. Soak up the sights from any of the three indoor and outdoor viewing decks during your cruise and join your jovial crew at the bow as you nose under Stirling Falls for a free shower in some of the world's freshest water.  Benefit from complimentary tea service is available for the entire cruise and espresso coffee, snacks cakes. Additional drinks can be purchased from "Off The Rocks" onboard bar.

From Queenstown: Milford Sound Full-Day Trip by Plane & Boat

2. From Queenstown: Milford Sound Full-Day Trip by Plane & Boat

Combine a flight and a cruise on Milford Sound on this excursion from Queenstown. Take in the area's outstanding natural beauty as you savor the sights from both air and water. Enjoy a pickup and transfer to the air hanger in Queenstown. Listen to informative commentary in English and marvel at the stunning views of lakes, mountains, and waterfalls on the 40-minute flight. Upon landing, transfer to the Milford Sound Boat Terminal. Board in Milford Sound and experience 2 hours onboard an intimate vessel with English commentary by your skipper, and complimentary tea and coffee. Cruise to the mouth of the Tasman Sea, while enjoying views of waterfalls and marine life like fur seals, dolphins, and penguins. Next, board your scenic flight back to Queenstown. Take a different flight path from your outbound flight as you admire the spectacular views of Fiordland National Park. After the 40-minute journey back to Queenstown, enjoy complimentary transfer back to your accommodation.

Milford Sound: Coach and Cruise Day Trip From Queenstown

3. Milford Sound: Coach and Cruise Day Trip From Queenstown

Travel to Milford Sound for an extended nature cruise on a day trip from Queenstown. Experience one of the most beautiful drives in the world in the comfort of a state-of-the-art coach. After meeting at a central location in Queenstown, you'll board the luxury coach and journey along the shores of Lake Wakatipu into rolling countryside through to Te Anau. Take a short break, then continue along the spectacular alpine route of the Milford Road. Enjoy photo stops and short walks along the way. Relax on an extended nature cruise of Milford Sound to the Tasman Sea and admire the fiord’s wildlife, waterfalls and mountains along the way. A specialist nature guide will provide live informative commentary. You can also bring your own lunch or purchase snacks and drinks (cash only) on-board. Following the cruise, board the coach for your return journey to Queenstown that allows for bathroom breaks. Be dropped off back in Queenstown at around 7:45 PM.

Queenstown: Spirit of Queenstown Lake Wakatipu Scenic Cruise

4. Queenstown: Spirit of Queenstown Lake Wakatipu Scenic Cruise

Cruise farther and see more on this 1.5-hour Queenstown scenic cruise. Sit back, relax and enjoy spectacular views of the Remarkables, Bob’s Cove, Cecil Peak and Mt. Earnslaw from the comfort of the Spirit of Queenstown – an environmentally friendly and luxurious cruise boat. Take in panoramic views from the open top deck. Enjoy refreshments, snacks and lunch served in the café on board. Cruise across spectacular Lake Wakatipu as you enjoy entertaining commentary provided by the local skipper.

Queenstown: Shotover River and Kawarau River Jet Boat Ride

5. Queenstown: Shotover River and Kawarau River Jet Boat Ride

Get an adrenaline rush on a 1-hour jet boat ride, operated by the world’s first commercial jet boat company. Take in stunning views of the Remarkable Mountains and journey up 2 of South Island’s most iconic rivers.  Depart from the heart of Queenstown, and climb aboard the big yellow jet boat at the Main Town Pier. Hold on tight as you accelerate across the water and feel the exhilaration of a high-powered twin-engine boat that powers across Lake Wakatipu. Experience the twists and spins as you enter the Kawarau River and race past rocks and under bridges at speeds of up to 95 kilometers per hour.  Grip the heated handrails and experience 360° spins while you speed up the shallow channels of the Shotover River. After 45 kilometers of pure adrenaline, return to the pier and see photos and videos from your trip.

Queenstown: Milford Sound Flight and Cruise

6. Queenstown: Milford Sound Flight and Cruise

Take flight a small luxury plane leaving Queenstown. Admire the awe-inspiring scenery from your very own window seat as you soar over Fiordland National Park, listening to the pilot's commentary. Landing at Milford Sound airport you will be escorted to the Cruise Terminal either by shuttle or 15 minute nature walk to meet your boat. Enjoy 2 hours of spectacular scenery and wildlife on the Gem of the Sound, learn all about the history of the area from the skipper as he skillfully pulls the boat underneath waterfalls and right up to the base of famous Mitre Peak. Your pilots will meet you off the cruise at the Terminal and take you back to the awaiting plane for your return to Queenstown. Your complimentary shuttle will drop you back to your hotel with plenty of time to enjoy the legendary dining scene.

Queenstown: Kawarau River Rafting and Jet Boat Ride

7. Queenstown: Kawarau River Rafting and Jet Boat Ride

Raft the Kawarau River, perhaps better known as the River Anduin in Lord of the Rings, for a great half-day activity in Queenstown This is a perfect introduction to whitewater rafting for first-timers. There will be plenty of rapids action plus time to sit back and enjoy the spectacular scenery. Catch the free shuttle from the centre of town out to the raft base where you will be fitted out with all your gear. From there, head back into the heart of Queenstown to catch your jet boat transfer. Take on the beginning 22 km of the Kawarau river at 95 km/h with thrilling 360-degree spins as you arrive at the rafting station. Your rafting adventure covers 8-kilometers of the river. Take on grade 2-3 rapids and perhaps the occasional grade 2-4 rapid, when there are higher water levels. These are usually easier to navigate and there is less risk of falling out. Enjoy flat stretches of river between the rapids where you have the opportunity to race your friends on the other rafts or jump out and swim. Keep an eye on the other rafts, as there is a good chance of a water fight. Conclude your adventure by rafting the longest commercially rafted rapid in New Zealand, the Dog Leg. This is a 400-meter long and grade 3/4 rapid. Add some extra excitement by joining in on the optional cliff jumping section, or sit back and watch your friends take a leap.

From Queenstown: Shotover River Whitewater Rafting Adventure

8. From Queenstown: Shotover River Whitewater Rafting Adventure

Start the tour with a fun drive to the rafting take-off point via Skippers Canyon. The 4x4 drive is an experience in itself; the narrow dirt road hugs the canyon's sheer cliffs and offers spectacular views over the river you'll soon be soaring down. At the rafting base, get fitted in all your gear and listen to a full safety briefing.  Begin your whitewater rafting adventure from Deep Creek. Cruise over peaceful waters before heading towards the exhilarating rapids of the lower canyon. Feel the adrenaline pumping as you paddle through the rapids and into the darkness of the historic, 550-foot Oxenbridge Tunnel before shooting over Cascade Rapid to complete your adventure.

Milford Sound: Premium Small Group Tour from Queenstown

9. Milford Sound: Premium Small Group Tour from Queenstown

Discover New Zealand's renowned Milford Sound on this tour from Queenstown. Take in the sighs in style aboard a Mercedes minivan equipped with Wi-Fi, bottled water, and large viewing windows. Expereince the stunning scenery of Milford Fjord on scenic cruise.  Be picked up from the comfort of your accommodation in Queenstown or central meeting points along the route. Enjoy plenty of stops along the way to Milford. Board a boat for a 2-hour cruise along the fjord, where you can feast your eyes on the spectacular sights and go under waterfalls. Allow your local guide to provide you with informative commentary while you absorb the lush surroundings views. Along the way, you'll see everything from cascading waterfalls, mirrored lakes, and awe-inspiring mountains to fur seals and dolphins.  Stop at a beech forest where you can take a leisurely stroll. Travel back to your hotel in Queenstown at the conclusion of your tour. 

Queenstown: 3.5-Hour Quad Biking Experience

10. Queenstown: 3.5-Hour Quad Biking Experience

Experience a unique quad bike tour on a fully automatic 400cc quad bikes with 4WD, ensuring an experience that is adventurous yet safe. Full training on the quad bike ensures that all levels are catered for. All weatherproof and waterproof clothing is provided along with all safety gear. The tour operator has exclusive use of Queenstown Hill ensuring that you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views that are exclusively yours. Don’t forget your camera as the viewpoints provide stunning photo opportunities. Access a wealth of off-road trails covering different types of terrain allowing a tour that is tailored to the ability of the group. The tour is 3.5 hours in duration and all riders must be over 16 with a good command of the English language. A credit card bond is taken similar to a car hire procedure.

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Frequently asked questions about Queenstown

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What are the best day trips and excursions from Queenstown?

The best day trips and excursions from Queenstown are:

Te Anau

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Other Sightseeing Options in Queenstown

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What people are saying about Queenstown

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 1,050 reviews

Great mornings drive. Awesome views, history of the area, felt safe the entire time. Just heads up- it is a 4WD tour- it will be bumpy, don’t whine when it is because you didn’t understand the trip you booked- it ruins it for the rest of us. It’s not a leisurely drive- there are pot holes, ups and downs. But for those like me who enjoy the outdoors and 4WD adventures- I loved it.

Shane, our guide was excellent I have met during my lifetime so far. Even if it was rainy day, he was looking for alternative view points such as clay cliff. It was great we have visited and had a glass of beer at the Codina Hotel that was oldest hotel in NZ built in 1863. I strongly recommended him if anyone will have a chance to visit Queenstown.

A wonderful experience and although it was raining the scenery was breathtaking with all the many waterfalls that were formed.

Loved this tour! Great full day tour packed with scenic stops and sights.

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