Looking for the best tours in Queenstown, New Zealand? This is your ultimate guide with all the details!
Queenstown is New Zealand’s Adventure Capital – a breathtaking destination boasting unparalleled beauty and adrenaline-pumping activities.
From heart-stopping jet boat rides to tasting incredible wine, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
I spent a few days in Queenstown during my South Island Road Trip and there were so many things to do!
For this reason, I’m excited to share all the tours from Queenstown in this guide. Let’s get started!
BEST QUEENSTOWN TOUR
With so many activities in Queenstown, it’s no wonder why over a million visitors come to Queenstown each year!
This picturesque destination is known for its adventure activities and laid-back vibes, making it one of New Zealand’s top travel destinations.
In this ultimate guide, I’ll take you on an unforgettable journey through 15 unique Queenstown tours that will make your trip one to remember!
QUICK PICKS: 3 BEST TOURS IN QUEENSTOWN
Best Overall Tour in Queenstown
15 BEST QUEENSTOWN TOURS
Ready to experience the best of New Zealand’s Adventure Capital?
I’ve handpicked these 15 Unforgettable Queenstown Tours to suit every traveler’s needs and ones that showcase the diverse beauty of the region.
Let’s dive in and explore the best Queenstown day tours!
🕛 Duration: 2 hours | ⭐ Rating: 5/5 | Small Group Tour
First up on this list of best tours in Queenstown is the Segway tour around the famous tourist spots in town.
As the saying goes, “Time flies when you’re having fun,” which couldn’t be more true on this excursion.
Hop aboard your Segway and prepare to cover a lot of ground in only 2 hours! As you drive along the shores of Lake Wakatipu, you’ll take in some awesome views and be able to stop for photos.
But it’s not just about the views – the ride itself is an absolute blast! Glide on your eco-friendly Segway and listen to stories about Queenstown’s history from your guide.
Whether you’re a thrill-seeker looking for a unique way to explore Queenstown or simply want a fun and informative activity to add to your itinerary, this Segway tour is a must!
We had a great time on this Segway tour! Highly recommend the 2hr tour! We covered so much of the area! Well worth it!Pascale G, Viator
- Use of Segway
- Professional guide
- Small group and lots of fun
🕛 Duration: 4.5 hours | ⭐ Rating: 5/5 | Small Group Tour
On the hunt for the ultimate New Zealand adventure? Then this Milford Sound scenic flight is exactly what you’re after.
This guided tour from Queenstown takes you on a journey above the Southern Alps, and you’ll be treated to panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, fiords, hidden valleys, and cascading waterfalls.
You’ll start the tour by leaving Queenstown and boarding the plane for Milford Sound. You’ll land right in Milford Sound, and from here, you’ll head to the ferry terminal.
That’s right, after the scenic flight, you’ll go on a boat cruise, which is the second highlight of this tour from Queenstown!
With a focus on adventure, this guided tour is the perfect opportunity to let your wild side run free and enjoy one of the most stunning natural landscapes on earth.
Laura was the best pilot ever. She was very reassuring and explained the scenery so well. Super punctual and everything went very smooth. This is one of those experiences you’ll treasure forever. Thank you guys!Monica A, Viator
- Pilot full of stories
- An air-conditioned aircraft
- Return trip with a different itinerary for unique views
🕛 Duration: 25 minutes | ⭐ Rating: 5/5 | Group Tour
Another incredible Queenstown tour that will leave you stunned is the Shotover River jet boat ride, and it’s by far the most exhilarating!
Hop on a complimentary shuttle bus in downtown Queenstown and get ready to experience a rush of adrenaline like no other.
As you make your way to the Shotover River, you’ll travel through New Zealand’s rich gold country, immersing yourself in the rugged beauty of the land.
Once there, your driver will take you on a high-speed jet boat ride down the rapids of the Shotover River.
Hold tight as you fishtail into 360-degree spins, ride over white-water rapids, and weave through narrow canyons.
You’ll be surrounded by sheer cliffs and rocky outcrops, and that’s simply one of the best views you can have.
But it’s not just about the thrill of the ride! With multiple tours throughout the day, you can easily fit this adventure into your schedule.
Plus, photos are taken on the boat, and you can purchase them after the ride for awesome memories!
Tickets for this tour sell out fast, so click the button below to book now and secure your seat!
We love it , so much fun. The service is all good, keep doing good job to Shotover crews. We will recommend to friends and families.Michellin H, Viator
- Jet boat ride
- A ton of laughter
🕛 Duration: 5.5 hours | ⭐ Rating: 5/5 | Small Group Tour
Fan of fine wine and landscapes? This is one of the absolute best day tours from Queenstown not to be missed on your trip to the South Island.
This day trip isn’t just any old tour – it’s the cherry on top, the best wine tour that Queenstown has to offer!
Your guide will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the heart of Central Otago, which is famous for its cool-climate wines where you’ll get to taste the finest ones on offer.
Think chardonnay, pinot gris, pinot noir, and riesling, all served up in boutique wineries for an intimate experience.
On top of an excellent wine-tasting session, what sets this tour apart is the gourmet lunch platter that you’ll be treated to along the way.
With numbers limited to 12 people, you’ll be in good company with other wine lovers without feeling overwhelmed by dozens of other travelers.
What are you waiting for? This wine-tasting tour from Queenstown is the best one if you appreciate the finest bottles!
What an amazing day and John our guide thank you we could not have asked for a better guide. Your knowledge of the region and wines was fantastic.Ray C, Viator
- Air-conditioned vehicle
- Hotel pick-up and drop-off
- Delicious lunch and a local guide
- Wine tastings at 4 vineyards/cellar doors
🕛 Duration: 13 hours | ⭐ Rating: 5/5 | Small Group Tour
Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure with this premium tour to Milford Sound with a picnic lunch and a scenic cruise.
This is the ultimate way to experience Milford Sound, a truly iconic destination that offers breathtaking views of New Zealand’s natural beauty.
Start the tour in the early morning and make your way to Milford Sound with an experienced guide that will point out scenic viewpoints along the way.
Once in Milford Sound, you’ll visit different landmarks, including Mirror Lakes Walk, Lake Gunn, Darran Mountains, Pops View Lookout, and many more.
This is a comprehensive tour you’re sure to remember, so don’t forget to bring your camera.
You’ll also have ample free time to explore the waterfalls of Lake Marian, which is great for some private moments.
And, if that’s not enough, the tour even includes a picnic lunch, which is needed after a few hours of exploring this stunning site!
Last but not least, a comfortable vehicle ensures that you travel safely and comfortably, so all you need to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey!
It’s worth noting that, being the best tour in Queenstown, it sells out quickly, so I recommend booking as soon as possible.
Although it was a long day the tour was very enjoyable. Peter was a great guide. The scenery was beautiful and the boat ride was as well.Stormy L, Viator
- Cruise Entry
- Bottled water
- Lunch and snacks
- Small group and fully guided tour
🕛 Duration: 3.5 hours | ⭐ Rating: 5/5 | Group Tour
Hold on to your hats and jump aboard the TSS Earnslaw boat for the trip of a lifetime!
This guided tour in Queenstown will leave you with memories and a belly full of delicious Kiwi cuisine.
Your trip begins with a return cruise on Lake Wakatipu, where you’ll take the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw.
As you sit back and soak in the scenery, you’ll love hearing the fascinating stories from the captain!
After a gorgeous ride on the lake, you’ll get to Walter Peak High Country Farm, you’ll be greeted with a gourmet BBQ lunch, where you’ll indulge in mouth-watering dishes.
Before heading back to Queenstown, you’ll have some time to enjoy sheep herding and shearing demos, which are typical of this area.
All in all, it’s one of the most unique and scenic tours in Queenstown.
Absolutely stunning views as you sail across the lake on the TSS Earnslaw, to an amazing you BBQ lunch that awaits you. I enjoyed this trip very much, and would absolutely do it all over again.Bruce L, Viator
- Farm Show
- Gourmet BBQ Lunch
- Live English commentary on board
- All tax and handling fees included
🕛 Duration: 1.5 hours | ⭐ Rating: 4.5/5 | Group Tour
When in Queenstown, you should take your time to fully appreciate the beauty of the area, and Lake Wakatipu is the perfect place for that.
The Scenic Catamaran Cruis offers stunning views of the Southern Alps and the Remarkables as you sail across the longest lake in New Zealand.
Marvel at the natural landmarks, like Mt. Earnslaw, Cecil Peak, and Bob’s Cove, while listening to stories from the local skipper.
The catamaran offers both indoor and outdoor seating, so you can enjoy the views no matter the weather and season.
Don’t forget to visit the open wheelhouse to chat with the skipper and refresh yourself with a hot or cold drink at the onboard cafe.
What else to say, it’s simply the best tour in Queenstown to relax and enjoy incredible landscapes!
Amazing experience would highly recommend to experience this amazing trip . The staff were professional and supportive.Mariam Q, Viator
- Live commentary on board
- Sightseeing cruise over Lake Wakatipu
- Restroom on board
🕛 Duration: 4 hours | ⭐ Rating: 5/5 | Small Group Tour
As a Lord of The Ring’s fan, one place in New Zealand you don’t want to miss is the Hobbiton Movie Set – However, in the South Island, this is a must-do tour!
Embark on a journey through Middle Earth with this half-day tour from Queenstown that will take you to various filming locations in the stunning Southern Alps.
You’ll have exclusive access to private Arcadia Station and will also visit Mt. Aspiring National Park. Relive your favorite movie scenes while marveling at the natural beauty surrounding you.
To fully immerse yourself in the experience, you’ll even have the chance to wear a LOTR costume – Let’s face it, is there any cooler experience?
You can pick morning or afternoon tours, which is great if you have limited time and want to pick another one of the tours in Queenstown on this list.
This half-day tour is unique and tickets are often limited, so book now!
Great tour and our guide Joe just made it more special. He was very informative and entertaining. Kept us engaged the entire tour. I highly recommend!Andrew I, Viator
- Hotel pick-up and drop-off
- Coffee and tea
- A light morning or afternoon tea
- Professional, friendly local guides
- Live commentary
- Optional Lord of the Rings costumes
- Exclusive access to the Arcadia Station Filming locations
🕛 Duration: 12 hours | ⭐ Rating: 5/5 | Small Group Tour
Take a step back from the hustle and bustle of Queenstown and embrace the beauty of the Southern Alps with this tour to Mount Cook.
Spend a day in Mount Cook Village, located at the foot of Aoraki Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak.
This tour allows you to create your own itinerary, whether you prefer to hike around the stunning Alps, go jet boating, or learn about the mountains at the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Center.
As you make your way up the mountains, be prepared to be awed by the stunning sights, including the super-blue Lake Pukaki.
You’ll even get to visit an alpine salmon farm where you can feed the fish and try some delicious salmon snacks.
You can book several tours with different activities, which are:
- Mt Cook Adventure – Tour Only
- Mt Cook Tour & Heli-hiking
- Mount Cook & Grand Circle
- Tour & Ultimate Alpine Exp.
Of course, all of them are stunning and include transfers from Queenstown.
Such a great trop overall! You should try it! Everything is worth a penny you spend! I got the best experiencesYanisa T, Viator
- Bottled water
- Small group and fully guided tour
- Transport to Hooker Valley Track
🕛 Duration: 8 hours | ⭐ Rating: 5/5 | Private Tour
If you’re up for an adventure, then the Dart River Canoe tour, which also includes a jet boat ride, is perfect for you.
This 8-hour excursion takes you on a thrilling journey through the untouched beauty of Mount Aspiring National Park, a UNESCO-listed site.
Start your journey by traveling from Queenstown to Glenorchy by minivan, where you’ll hop on a jet boat for a spectacular ride upriver.
After that, it’s time to climb aboard an inflatable canoe, locally known as a ‘funyak,’ and paddle down the Dart River.
Discover hidden streams and rock pools along the way and soak up the incredible scenery far from Queenstown.
Apart from that, a picnic lunch is included, so you can refuel while enjoying the great outdoors.
The best part? You don’t need any previous experience as it’s an easy ride, and the instructors will show you how to get around.
We cannot recommend the Funyak experience highly enough. It was exciting, fun and exhilarating. The staff were all absolutely incredible. Must-do!Mark S, Viator
- Jet boat ride
- Canoe tour
- Professional guide
- Use of equipment
- Round-trip transport from Queenstown
- Lunch, soft drinks, tea, and coffee
🕛 Duration: 6.5 hours | ⭐ Rating: 5/5 | Small Group Tour
Life is too short to drink bad wine, and this has to be one of the best Queenstown day tours where you’ll indulge only in fine wine and gourmet food.
This full-day tour takes you through some of New Zealand’s most renowned wineries, including Australasia’s largest wine cave.
You’ll also get to enjoy a delicious gourmet lunch and sample locally-made cheeses.
Learn about the Otago Gold Rush as you explore the Cromwell Heritage Precinct, and take in the stunning scenery of the South Island wine region.
With stops in Bannockburn, Gibbston, and Cromwell, you’ll be able to sample a variety of high-quality varietals, including pinot noir, chardonnay, pinot gris, and riesling.
Finish your day in historic Arrowtown, exploring the Chinese Settlement or taking a leisurely stroll down the main street.
Don’t settle for mediocre wine and food – book the Gourmet Food and Wine Tour for an unforgettable experience.
The five course lunch cooked in wine barrels paired with five NZ wines was unbelievably excellent. Our driver, Paul, was a great guide and fun to be with.Matt S, Viator
- Lunch and snacks
- Wine tastings at 4 vineyards
- Knowledgeable wine guide full of stories
🕛 Duration: 3.5 hours | ⭐ Rating: 4.5/5 | Group Tour
Next on this list of best tours in Queenstown is a cruise ride on the TSS Earnslaw with a visit to the Walter Peak Farm.
Step aboard the TSS Earnslaw and cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak High Country Farm.
After a refreshing, stunning ride, you’ll stroll through the lakeside gardens and indulge in a traditional afternoon tea before taking a walking tour of the farm.
You’ll have the opportunity to see sheepdogs in action and witness sheep shearing demonstrations, truly immersing yourself in New Zealand’s rural way of life.
Is there even a more authentic trip to take from Queenstown?!
This half-day tour offers a unique blend of history, nature, and culture, making it a must-do on your list of Queenstown adventures.
Also, this tour is the best for families traveling to New Zealand’s South Island, and I couldn’t recommend it enough!
Spectacular views on the cruise over. Phil our guide and Kim his working dog were brilliant. Such a beautiful peaceful place.Susan L, Viator
- Afternoon tea
- Cruise on the steamship TSS Earnslaw
- Farm tour at Walter Peak Homestead
- Live commentary on board
🕛 Duration: 3.5 hours | ⭐ Rating: 4.5/5 | Private Tour
Take a leap of faith and experience the ultimate thrill with the NZONE Skydive!
This exhilarating adventure takes you on a tandem skydive with an experienced guide, jumping from heights of 9,000, 12,000, or 15,000 feet.
After a safety briefing, board a small plane and get ready for the rush of free-falling at terminal velocity, reaching speeds of up to 124 mph (200 kph).
Once in the air, and as you parachute down, soak up the breathtaking views of Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range.
Upon completion of your skydive, you’ll receive an achievement certificate to commemorate your experience – What a cool way to remember your time in the air!
With transport provided from Queenstown to the drop zone and back, all you need to do is sit back and enjoy the ride.
Sure, this is one of the most adventurous adventures you can book, and definitely not for everyone, but it’s definitely one you’ll remember forever!
Awesome experience! This was my first time to go and I couldn’t have picked a better company to go through, do it!Ochman, Viator
- Tandem skydive
- All safety equipment
- Safety briefing with jumpmaster
- Achievement certificate upon completion of skydive
🕛 Duration: 4 hours | ⭐ Rating: 5/5 | Group Tour
Picking one of these Queenstown day tours is not easy, with so many options, but this is one of the best ones to consider.
Located at the northern tip of Lake Wakatipu, Glenorchy, and Paradise are two rural settlements that are home to incredible views of the alpine landscape.
Instead of navigating the unfamiliar and sometimes dangerous country roads on your own, let an experienced driver take you on a half-day drive through this picturesque region.
Spend some time exploring both settlements, charming shops, and cafes, and stop on the way for endless alpine photo opportunities.
Learn about the region’s Māori history and discover secret highlights from your knowledgeable guide.
Stop at several Lord of the Rings filming locations on the road to Paradise, immersing yourself in the fantastical world of Middle-earth.
With a morning departure, you’ll be able to fit more into your schedule and maximize your time in Queenstown!
It was an excellent tour. We loved Paradide, it is so peaceful. Deborah our driver and tour agent was so nice. I recommend this tour.Sakher A, Viator
- Hotel pick-up and drop-off
- Kiwi-style morning tea
- Maori storytelling and history
- Professional guide with interesting stories
- Complimentary central Queenstown transfers
🕛 Duration: 6 hours | ⭐ Rating: 5/5 | Small Group Tour
Expand your horizons on this unique tour, covering Arrowtown and Wanaka, two untouched, raw places far from Milford Sound and the crowded places around Queenstown.
Leave in the morning and make your way to Wanaka, stopping on the way for photos and visiting several famous spots.
Explore the charming main street of Arrowtown, built during the town’s 19th-century gold rush, and learn about New Zealand’s gold mining community.
Stop by the historic Cadrona Hotel for an included drink and immerse yourself in the region’s rich cultural heritage.
Enjoy an hour of free time to see Wanaka, where you can walk the gorgeous lake path and photograph That Wanaka Tree.
What is particularly nice about this tour is that it only allows 11 people, giving you more freedom during the day and personalized attention from your guide, which is always a bonus.
Note that lunch is not included, however, you’ll be able to buy some snacks and food in either Arrowtown or Wanaka.
Book now and get ready to experience the beauty and culture of New Zealand’s South Island!
Wayne is a fantastic guide full of great knowledge, lots of jokes and a top bloke. We had a great day out and would 100% recommend them for a fantastic day out.Penny M, Viator
- Local guide
- Air-conditioned vehicle
- Central Queenstown pick up
- Endless photo opportunities!
- Beer or non-alcoholic ginger beer at the Cardrona Hotel
QUEENSTOWN TOURS – FAQ
Now that we’ve covered all the best tours in Queenstown, let’s answer some common questions from first-time visitors that may help you too.
IS IT WORTH TAKING A TOUR IN QUEENSTOWN?
Absolutely, day tours from Queenstown provide the perfect opportunity to experience all that the region has to offer.
From scenic cruises on Lake Wakatipu to Lord of the Rings tours and day trips to Glenorchy, you’ll find a trip to tick all your boxes.
You can even take a Milford Sound coach and see the surroundings or explore the area by plane and boat.
Joining tours in Queenstown has many benefits; you’ll hear stories and fun facts from your guide and discover hidden gems you wouldn’t find by yourself.
HOW LONG TO STAY IN QUEENSTOWN?
I recommend spending at least 3 days in Queenstown which will allow you to visit the vibrant town while also having enough time to explore the surrounding countryside and locations.
You’ll have plenty of activities to choose from during your stay in Queenstown, and 3 days are enough to scratch the surface and enjoy your time.
From exploring the stunning landscapes, taking part in thrilling activities like sky diving, cruising over the Alps on a scenic flight, and indulging in delicious food!
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT NEW ZEALAND?
The best time to visit New Zealand is from December to April when the days are long and often sunny.
The peak summer months between December and February are ideal for sightseeing, outdoor activities, hiking, and swimming at the beach.
The winter is also a nice alternative for going skiing or mountaineering, but bear in mind that it’s not as convenient to drive around as you may experience some road closures.
Winter in New Zealand is from June to August, however, the cold temperatures, especially in the south island, can still be felt in October.
WHERE TO STAY IN QUEENSTOWN?
Queenstown has dozens of hotels to choose from so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay during your visit.
Below you’ll find properties suitable for luxury travelers, budget backpackers, and everyone in between.
LUXURY: LE CARLIN BOUTIQUE HOTEL
MID-RANGE: GARDEN COURT SUITES & APARTMENTS
BUDGET: PINEWOOD LODGE & APARTMENTS
FOR MORE OPTIONS IN QUEENSTOWN, SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
WHAT TO PACK FOR NEW ZEALAND
When visiting New Zealand, here is a list of items I highly recommend bringing with you:
Must-Have Travel Essentials
Keep your cash and other valuables safe with this anti-theft hidden money wallet!
The GRAYL GeoPress is the best reusable bottle that allows you to purify water from anywhere!
More New Zealand Travel Guides
Click the button below to view all articles related to New Zealand!
SUMMARY – TOURS FROM QUEENSTOWN
I hope you enjoyed reading this article, and if you have any questions, please drop me a comment below this post, and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
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TRAVEL RESOURCES FOR YOUR NEXT TRIP
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or it’s your first trip overseas, here are some useful travel resources to help you kick-start your next adventure!
THANKS FOR READING
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