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11 Tame Activities To Do In Queenstown In Summer

by Family Globetrotters

Queenstown, New Zealand Is Famous as An Adrenalin Fuelled Destination. But What If You Have A Fearsome Child? Here Are Some Fun and Tame Activities to Do in Queenstown In Summer for The Less Adventurous.

Article Updated November 2018

Queenstown is an action packed alpine resort town filled with kid friendly activities from parasailing to bungy jumping. This extreme sport capital of the world is filled with exciting adventures for children of all ages. But not all kids are fearless or are adrenalin junkies. For families with young ones who are tentative by nature and might be afraid of certain things such as heights, the dark, animals or speed, Queenstown still has much to offer. Here are some tips on some tame activities to do in Queenstown in summer which you may like to engage in for the fearsome child.


The Family Adventures tour company offer white water rafting for children as young as 3 on gentle grade rapids of 1 and 2. They have stated that water confidence is not required so this is a great way to get them on a bit of Queenstown adventure. This is experienced on the famous Shotover River where the views are simply amazing. Be warned however the drive up along the narrow path is not for the faint-hearted.

White water rafting Queenstown, New Zealand

We Absolutely Loved Our Rafting Experience. So Tame and So Beautiful.


Cromwell, a picturesque 45 minute drive from Queenstown is renowned for its PYO (pick your own) orchards. Some may require a fee to enter and you pay for the fruit by weight. Cherries is the usually the fruit of choice and kids love trying to wrangle the plumpest ones from the top of the tree branches and drop them into bright coloured buckets. It’s a lovely way to spend a day outdoors with the added bonus of heading home with the best load of cherries around. This is one of the best things to do in Queenstown with kids in the summer, when the fruit are at its prime.

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Queenstown cherry picking girl running

Hannah Running Around The Orchard in Complete Excitement. We Filled That Bucket to The Brim!


Queenstown Rafting operates a tame canoeing and rafting activity. This an excellent way to introduce the water to kids who may be afraid of the river. According to Queenstown rafting, “you literally ‘go with the flow’ and soak up the scenery along a beautiful stretch of the Kawarau River with the Remarkable Mountains as your backdrop.”

You are taken down the river by 2 guides either on a large raft or you can have a go on the canoe. Along the river are a couple of small rapids of which one of them we jokingly dubbed a grade 0.5 whilst the other one is around a grade 2. It is breathtaking down there and the kids will love it!


One of the best ways to enjoy beautiful Lake Wakatipu is to jump on board the iconic steamship, TSS Earnslaw. Be prepared to float across the lake, enjoying views of Queenstown from a different perspective whilst being serenaded by the resident pianist. The steamship also boasts a gorgeous little café and bar for a lovely morning tea or cheeky wine whilst you are also able to venture out onto the bridge and also explore the engine room. The TSS Earnslaw is synonymous with Queenstown and is a great day out is you’re after something a little on a slow and easy side.

TSS Earnslaw Lake Wakatipu Queenstown

The TSS Earnslaw. A Lovely Cruise On Lake Wakatipu.

Couple the cruise with a stop at the Walter Peak High Country Farm. The kids will enjoy an extensive gourmet BBQ lunch followed by a short tour of the farm to include a display of how farm dogs work followed by sheep shearing. The souvenir shop is pretty hard to pass by without the kids wanting something cute and fluffy! Definitely should go on the list as a top Queenstown family activity.

Lake Wakatipu Father Daughter Skipping Stones

Enjoying Lake Wakatipu From The Farm.

#05 – ICE BAR

This was a fun little activity to do, especially during the summer months and a great way to cool off. There are a few ice bars in Queenstown of which the bars get to as cold -11 degrees celsius. The venue will provide thick jackets, gloves and boots. You can certainly bring your own if you wish.

The kids can enjoy a mocktail in an ice carved “glass” whilst you freeze your bum off! We only lasted 45 minutes before frost bite kicked in! Head over to bookme.nz to find deals. We bought our adult ticket for NZ$7.00 whilst the bar charged around NZ$75.00 for a family ticket including 2 cocktails and 2 mocktails.


Queenstown is littered with amazing walking trails of varying levels of difficulty. This is the perfect way for families to spend the day in the outdoors. Be sure to pack some lunch, don appropriate trekking footwear, carry repellent to fight against those nasty sand flies and bring lots of water. Check out this link for the myriad of walking trails you can embark on.

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Queenstown Hiking Trail Family Mt Crichton

Hiking Mt Crichton.


Just as there are as many walking trails, there are equally just as many spectacular biking trails. Bikes are easy to hire for kids of all ages and again, you can select from the many bike trails to suit your level of fitness and adventure. This is an excellent way to see the natural scenic routes over a couple of lakes, a suspension bridge or even to get to a winery for lunch.

Do you have a fearsome child but thinking of heading to adrenalin filled Queenstown? Here are 11 Tame Activities To Do In Queenstown In Summer with your kids. #queenstownsummer Click To Tweet


45 minutes from Queenstown is the beautiful town of Glenorchy. For all Lord of Rings fans, this is certainly must do trip and what better way to admire the countryside than on horseback. If your children are partial to animals, head over to Dart Stables or High Country Horses for a wonderful experience.


The Skyline Queenstown Luge is an incredibly fun activity and a must do for all families. The luge is accessible via a gondola, which is quite steep but slow and not very high off the ground. The carts itself are controllable and you can go as fast or as slow as you wish, which is perfect for kids who may not be so adventurous. There are 2 different routes, one of which takes a beautiful scenic route, meandering along at a pace you can set for yourself.

Hannah did the luge in tandem with us as she wasn’t old enough to understand how to maneuver the luge. We still managed to get up a bit of speed and although tentative at the start, she soon wanted to go faster. We went up and down so many times we literally have lost count.

Oh and the view from the lifts are to die for. I am afraid of heights and even that didn’t deter me from trying to get the best photo of the view.

Queenstown Luge Daughter and Father Lift

Best Family Fun Ever!


Take the kids gold panning at the Queenstown goldfields and learn about early history in the Central Otago region. This is yet another fun and tame activity the children can enjoy whilst also exploring the Chinese Village. You can go on a tour if you wish and they also have a lovely restaurant that overlooks the Kawarau River, you can dine at.


The older kids (10+) can enjoy a day tour on the segway as they meander around this beautiful town. The segways in Queenstown are designed with a stabilisation technology so that you can maintain your balance as you move forwards and backwards. It’s a great way to get an overview of Queenstown and to help you get your bearings. This is definitely recommended for your tween and teenage kids.

All the above kid friendly tame activities and attractions would easily fulfil a whole week and keep the family busy. You are certainly not missing out on what this town has to offer just because you didn’t experience any of the extreme adventures. Queenstown is absolutely pristine and we promise you that you will gape at the view for a good 24 hours before you realise it’s not a postcard.


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10 Tame Activities To Do In Queenstown In Summer

Disclaimer: The Family Globetrotter’s website contains affiliate links which help us to maintain this blog and assists us with our travels, at no extra cost to you. Family Globetrotters have also posted articles based on sponsored products and/or services, but all opinions are our own, truthful and unbiased.


26 Places to go on a New Zealand Family Holiday - Thrifty Family Travels April 13, 2021 - 5:06 pm

[…] are so many kid friendly things to do in Queenstown. Take a trip up the gondola for some luging fun, horseback riding in Glenorchy where they filmed […]

Amanda Blizzard March 23, 2018 - 5:13 am

What a great list! It seems like there’s so much to do in Queenstown, and that it’s a wonderful place for outdoor activities- with or without kids! I’m not much into adrenaline-pumping activities, so these are all things I’ll be adding to my list!

Family Globetrotters March 28, 2018 - 9:03 am

I’m no adrenaline junky either. I have seen what people do here and it scares me! They have like bungy jumping in the canyon or off a helicopter, paragliding, sky diving, zorbing, and zip lining…. to name a few. So it caters to everyone! I wrote this post for my daughter but in all honesty, it kind of was for me too! LOL!

Nicky March 22, 2018 - 10:29 pm

LOVE an activity themed guide! Who wants to spend all their time in museums and art galleries. It’s all about adrenaline filled activities in Queensland. Thanks for sharing

C-Ludik March 22, 2018 - 8:37 pm

I’ve never been there but would love to. I’m a truly nature lover and Queenstown is beautiful: gorgeous mountains, pristine lakes, shores, rivers and forests !! Queenstown really offers a wider variety of activities that encapsulate the energy and the raw nature of NZ. 🙂

Jen March 22, 2018 - 8:23 pm

Very cool! I’ve only ever been in Queenstown in the Winter so this was nice to see

Jasmine March 22, 2018 - 2:01 pm

So many options of activities! White water rafting is one of my favorite things to do, but luging sounds like an awesome time!

Harmony, Momma To Go March 22, 2018 - 11:41 am

so funny, have never really heard of queenstown and now in this female travel blogger web wedesnday this is my second Queenstown post I am reading! I love the idea of the ice bar – cocktails AND mocktails for the kids!??!?! Yes, please!

Family Globetrotters March 28, 2018 - 9:01 am

Hahaha! Its calling you! It seriously is a must visit. We went in summer and luckily for us it was a super hot day that day so the ice bar was perfect! We only lasted about 45 minutes and hen had to leave. It was soooo cold that my fingers were literally hurting. My daughter loved it and it was her first ice bar experience.

Michelle March 22, 2018 - 10:13 am

I loved Queenstown. Unfortunately, I was only there for a few days so didn’t get to do all these awesome activities that you mentioned. But, I do hope to make it back there soon! Thanks for the share 🙂

Family Globetrotters March 28, 2018 - 9:00 am

You welcome Michelle! Yeah, Queesntown needs a lot of time cause there is so much to do. But at least you got to see how beautiful it was! And the thing with Queenstown is everyone should go both in the summer and the winter. The landscape is completely different and the activities you can indulge in are also different:)

Michelle March 28, 2018 - 2:09 pm

Ohhh good to know! I was there in the Summer, but would love to visit in the winter. I’m sure it’s stunning!!

Tracey Best March 22, 2018 - 9:39 am

What a great post, Amy! I somehow missed going to Queenstown back in 2016, but want to one day. I’d love to do the luge!

Family Globetrotters March 28, 2018 - 8:58 am

Thanks Tracey! Oh that luge is crazy fun and it is so beautiful from the top. Apparently the one in Rotorua is even better so I’m going to have to go back to New Zealand just to check that out! Honestly so much to do there. I encourage everyone to visit it at least once in their life:)

Serena March 22, 2018 - 9:04 am

Ohh i didn’t even know there’s so much to do in Queenstown! We are planning to go this December!

Family Globetrotters March 28, 2018 - 8:57 am

Hey Serena! Oh how exciting! Oh yes so much to do and really, I have only covered some of the ones that my daughter would do. There are heaps of other things if you’re more adventurous. It really is such a stunning place. I’m so envious! Make sure to bring sunscreen! That sun is a scorcher and literally burns your skin.

Jean March 22, 2018 - 8:38 am

Oh Queenstown looks super kid friendly. I love the idea of going fruit picking with kids.

Family Globetrotters March 28, 2018 - 8:56 am

Queenstown is perfect for the whole family regardless of ages of the kids, which is why its such an awesome destination. Oh and those cherries….. they were like little plums. Deep, deep red in colour, so plump and juicy! The kids loved climbing up the ladder to pluck the best ones from the tree.

Kate, Wondrous April 12, 2016 - 4:31 am

I am dying to go to Queenstown and as much as I am a thrill seeker, fruit picking sounds like so much fun!

Family Globetrotters April 12, 2016 - 10:06 pm

Queenstown is simply beautiful and if you ever get the opportunity you really should go. I do have a post for the thrill seekers and adrenalin junkies to come so stay tuned for that! Thanks for stopping by Kate!


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