Skippers Canyon

Enjoy thrilling adventures through a land rich in gold-mining history and breathtaking views.

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Skippers Canyon: Our most recommended tours and activities

Glacier Explorer Helicopter Flight from Queenstown

1. Glacier Explorer Helicopter Flight from Queenstown

Head west over the Queenstown basin and Paradise Valley into Mt. Aspiring National Park during this exhilirating glacier explorer helicopter flight from Queenstown. Enjoy an exhilarating flight past spectacular mountains and blue-green icefalls before landing on one of the many glaciers within the Forbes Mountains. Spend time taking photos before heading back toward Queenstown past hidden alpine lakes and the rich gold mining history of Skippers Canyon. Fly through landscapes that contain many stories of the natural and human history of New Zealand and the Southern Lakes. See how glaciers and the movement of the earth's crust formed the area's unique mountains and valleys.  Benefit from the service of the most experienced team of helicopter pilots in Queenstown. Learn from your highly experienced, well-known local pilots as they share their extensive knowledge of the area with you while showing you the best of New Zealand's amazing scenery.

Skippers Canyon Thrilling Jet Boat Ride & Scenic Transfers

2. Skippers Canyon Thrilling Jet Boat Ride & Scenic Transfers

Enjoy a spectacular guided tour of Skippers Canyon followed by a thrilling jet boat ride through the narrowest canyons on the Shotover River! Take on the only jet boat ride where you experience the historic gold mining relics that still remain in the river and Lord of the Rings locations.  Meet your friendly driver in central Queenstown and head up into historic Skippers Canyon. Enjoy live on-board commentary from your knowledgeable driver and marvel at the stunning scenery. Journey through a land rich in gold mining history and breathtaking views via the infamous Skippers Canyon Road, hand-carved out of the vertical rock face over 120 years ago.  Upon arrival to the Shotover River, you will be provided with a life jacket and warm gloves. Feel your adrenaline surge as you power deep into Skippers Canyon through the narrowest canyons on the Shotover River. Highly skilled jet boat drivers maneuver the boat just inches from the sheer canyon walls. Your excitement levels will be sky high with speeds in excess of 80kph and a series of full 360° spins. After your ride, your driver will take you back to the jet boat base to view footage from your ride before the trip back to Queenstown through the breathtaking canyon!

Queenstown: Scenic Alpine Heli-Flight

3. Queenstown: Scenic Alpine Heli-Flight

This 35-minute helicopter flight from Queenstown is a winning combination. Enjoy spectacular alpine scenery, including Skippers Canyon and the Queenstown Basin, and and make a dramatic landing on one of the region’s stunning alpine peaks, whatever the season. Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters is Queenstown’s leading scenic helicopter flight company, built on a reputation of providing a high standard of professionalism and service. Following a transfer from your hotel and safety briefing, climb aboard your helicopter and head for the skies! The landscapes you will fly over contain many stories of the natural and human history of New Zealand and the Southern Lakes. During your flight you will discover how glaciers and the movement of the earth’s crust formed New Zealand’s unique mountains and valleys over thousands of years. Plenty of evidence also remains of the rich gold mining history left by Europeans and Chinese gold miners in the late 1800s. Land on the roof of Queenstown and jump off to take photos of the wilderness. Your alpine landing will provide excellent photo opportunities. Please note, all trips are subject to favorable weather conditions and availability.

Queenstown Half-Day 4WD Lord Of the Rings Discovery Tour

4. Queenstown Half-Day 4WD Lord Of the Rings Discovery Tour

Embark on an adventure safari packed with breathtaking scenery, thrilling 4WD action, and LOTR filming locations. Visit the filming locations of Minas Tirith, Misty Mountains, the Pillars of the Kings (Argonath), Gladden Fields, the Ford of Bruinen, and more.  After pick-up from your hotel, journey around the Wakatipu Basin to see The Remarkables, which were used as various mountains throughout the three movies. Travel part way up Queenstown Hill for a bird's-eye view onto Deer Park Heights, which was used for the refugees of Rohan and the Battle of the Wargs scenes. From the viewpoint, head to Kawarau Gorge where the filming took place for the Argonath - 'Pillars of the Kings'. After Kawarau Gorge, travel to Arrowtown where the loss of The One Ring scene at Gladden Fields was shot. Near Arrowtown, you will experience a true off-road adventure. Following a historic gold mining road up the Arrow River, cross the river many times to get to the Ford of Bruinen. Here you can indulge in a refreshing afternoon tea and try your hand at a spot of gold panning. From Arrowtown, travel to the entrance of Skippers Canyon for spectacular panoramic views of the Wakatipu Basin and into the Canyon.

Queenstown & Skippers Canyon: Middle Earth Helicopter Tour

5. Queenstown & Skippers Canyon: Middle Earth Helicopter Tour

Enjoy a scenic 45-minute helicopter flight combining the best of Queenstown and Middle-Earth. Take flight with Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters, New Zealand aerial film specialists, who have provided the aerial filming for the 'Lord of the Rings' and 'The Hobbit' trilogies. Uncover special Middle Earth Locations with your pilot. Follow the path of the Fellowship as you explore the spectacular scenic highlights of Whakatipu Basin and the surrounding area. Discover many recognizable locations from the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies including the rugged Remarkables, Lake Alta, and the crumbly schist slopes used to film Dimrill Dale in which the Fellowship fled towards Lothlórien. Fly over the historic gold mining valley of Skippers Canyon, landing high above the Shotover River which can be recognized as the Ford of Bruinen. Catch a glimpse of the mountain tarn which is featured alongside the Rohirrim Refugees and share the view Legolas had of the approaching Wargs.

Other Sightseeing Options in Skippers Canyon

Want to discover all there is to do in Skippers Canyon? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Skippers Canyon

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 160 reviews

Breathtaking views and such a fun way to explore the Queenstown area, Our Tour guide Jenny was fantastic! Such a fantastic trip, one that we will never forget

Bus transfer had amazing scenery, fun local knowledge commentary, fantastic jet boat ride. Whole trip was great value. Would definitely recommend.

Was an amazing drive to the jet boat, the guide was extremely knowledgeable and the views breathtaking

An amazing experience and scenery. Thankyou to our Pilot Matt who did a great job.

Incredible experience. Unbelievable views and breathtaking scenery.