New Zealand is famous for its wide variety of adrenaline-pumping activities, and Queenstown has earned the title of “Adventure Capital of the World”. However, there are also many options for those seeking a less thrilling sensation. Here are our top eight New Zealand activities for non-thrill seekers:
1. Rent a car
Although there are excellent public transport and plenty of tour options in Queenstown, there is no better way to explore the area than by renting a car. Having your own rental car gives you the freedom to get anywhere you want and to stop and enjoy the place for as long as you desire.
No visit to Queenstown would be complete without enjoying a cruise on the exquisite Lake Wakatipu. There are many different cruise options available which could include a visit to a high-country farm, a delicious lunch out in the fresh air or just some relaxing, quiet cruising. The spectacular scenery of the Fiordland National Park makes a cruise on the Milford Sound an unforgettable experience and a highly-recommended Queenstown non-thrill seeker activity.
3. Skyline Gondola
While this option does have a touch of adrenalin, the spectacular views of the city and the lake are definitely not to be missed as you enjoy a peaceful ride on the Skyline Gondola. At the top, enjoy a bite to eat in the Stratosfare Restaurant or stay for what has been described as the “best buffet dinner ever” and enjoy the spectacular sunset.
4. Walking Tours
Queenstown has some great walking tours. From guided alleyways tours to wilderness walks, Queenstown offers walking options for people of all conditions, capacities and interests.
5. Glow Worm Caves
A tour through the Te Anau Glowworm caves is a unique Queenstown spectacle not to be missed. The caves are illuminated by thousands of glowworms which create a magical spectacle to delight both young and old.
6. Hobbiton Movie Set Tours
Take a journey down to “Middle Earth” and find out more about the making of the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogies. This fascinating tour will transport you to another world. There are daily Hobbiton tours, evening banquet tours, and even private tours to enjoy.
If you have built up a bit of an appetite with all those tours, Queenstown has a fantastic selection of eating options, from fine dining to ethnic specialties. Enjoy a delicious breakfast with spectacular lake views at the Elements Restaurant situated in the Novotel. Their all-you-can-eat breakfasts will set you up for the day. For lunch, the famous Fergburger is a must. Located on Shotover Street, this restaurant has become an urban legend for their serious burgers at great prices. The elegant Grille Queenstown is a great dinner option, or for something more exotic, check out Rambla in Arrowtown for excellent Spanish food or Madame Woo for delicious Malaysian fare.
The nightlife in Queenstown is fantastic - with many bars having live music and large dance floors. The very popular Cowboys, on Searle Lane, is an American-style themed bar complete with a bucking bronco and saddle bar stools. The Minus 5-degrees Ice Bar on Beach Street features bar fixtures that are carved out of ice - plus, all drinkers at the Bar are provided with parkas. On Beach Street, you can also find a pint of real Guinness and a unique atmosphere at Morrison’s Irish Pub or visit the Little Blackwood to enjoy some spectacular views while sipping a cocktail right on the edge of Lake Wakatipu.
Harper Reid is a freelance writer from Auckland, New Zealand who is passionate about travel and adventure. When not writing, she spends her weekends hiking with friends or going on impromptu road trips. Find more of her work here.