Here is a list of fantastic activities that will keep you entertained without breaking the bank to help you make the most of your stay in the stunning Queenstown region while keeping your expenses to a minimum. Here is our ranking of the best free and cheap activities in and around Queenstown, such as riding the Luge, cycling Queenstown Trail, watching bungy off Kawarau Bridge.
Ride The Luge Queenstown
The Skyline Queenstown Luge is a must-do for friendly rivals and those eager to experience something new. It is an exhilarating and thrilling adventure for all ages. Located on a hillside, you’ll race your pals down the numerous tracks while taking in the stunning scenery in a specialized luge vehicle.
The handlebars of the cart control your brakes, allowing you to travel at any speed or pace you choose. When you reach the bottom of the track, take the chairlift back up to the top to start the journey all over again.
While the Red Track is a more challenging and exciting ride with higher gradients, sharper turns, tunnels, and cuttings, the Blue Track is a straightforward and pleasant path with a gentle gradient, easy bends, and tunnels.
What makes this a list of “cheap” things to do, then? Because Skyline Queenstown Luge is included in a popular bundle pass along with the Queenstown Gondola, which almost every visitor to Queenstown will ride, this activity is included in most visitors’ itineraries even though it may be out of their price range to do so separately.
With this all-inclusive ticket, you have access to five luge rides as well as a scenic gondola trip that provides a stunning view of the Queenstown region.
• Adult $55
• Child $45
Cycle the Queenstown Trail
The stunning Queenstown Trail is one of the key reasons why cycling has long been a popular pastime in the Queenstown area. The actual trail travels through a variety of untouched terrain and traverses numerous suspension bridges that span numerous rivers and lakes.
Another location that showcases the New Zealand environment made famous by the legendary Lord of the Rings films is the Queenstown trail, which offers a variety of amazing vistas and the option of intermediate and advanced courses.
If you don’t have a bike of your own, you may rent one from one of the many local businesses; alternatively, if you don’t want to spend the money on a rental, you can just walk the track.
The Lake Wakatipu (15 km), Arrow River Bridges (16 km), and Gibbston River (8.7) rides, each taking an average of about 2 hours to complete, are recommended for those searching for an easy adventure. The Bridge to Morven Ferry Road Via Lake Hayes Estate (26 km), Countryside Ride (11.5 km), and Lake Hays Circuit are all excellent routes for intermediate riders (8 km).
The 12-kilometer Jack’s Point Ride, which takes around 2.5 hours to complete and is regarded as a difficult ride, is available for those seeking a larger challenge.
Picnic At Lake Hayes
Lake Hayes, which is actually close to Queenstown, is a picturesque spot that makes you think of an artist’s creation come to life. Lake Hayes is a well-liked destination for locals and visitors alike wishing to get away from the busy tourist areas and relax with spectacular scenery. It can be reached by about a 15-minute drive from Queenstown.
The Lake Hayes Loop is a fantastic, short walking track appropriate for walkers and bike riders, and the lake itself is accessible for swimming in the summer months (or cooler months if you’re courageous enough). The 8-kilometer walk offers breathtaking views of the lake and its surroundings.
Additionally, there is a nearby café on the lake called Amisfield Bistro where you may relax with a large glass of wine and have a shared lunch with friends.
It won’t be difficult to see why this eatery is a local favorite once you are there. You have the option to bring a picnic and set up camp by a lake for a romantic afternoon if you’d rather save some money.
Go For A Hike in Queenstown Hill And Other Trails
Due to the abundance of short, day-long, and multi-day walking paths that are easily accessible from Queenstown, the area is known as a walking and hiking enthusiast’s paradise. This is definitely top cheap but still interesting activities in Queenstown for travelers.
Adventurers can also choose to go on a hike on their own or as part of a guided tour with a guide who has the extensive local knowledge to provide them with further assistance and geographic context. As a result, all you’ll need to experience some of Queenstown’s best features are two legs and a pair of sturdy shoes.
The quick but essential climb up Queenstown Hill, the 90-minute Arawata Bridle Track, and the 1- to 2-hour Bob’s Cove Track & Nature Walk are a few of the easier and shorter treks that offer beautiful scenery in exchange for minimal physical effort.
Try the Jack’s Point Track (4 hours) or the renowned Ben Lomond Track instead if you’re looking for a lengthier walking trail suitable for an intermediate level of fitness (3–4 hours).
The Devils Creek Route is an advanced track that can take up to 6 hours to complete, is for experienced hikers and trampers, and offers fantastic views of the Wakatipu Basin all along the way.
Watch People Bungy Off Kawarau Bridge
If you’re not courageous enough (understandable) or don’t want to pay the price to jump, you may watch from the specially built observation platform at Queenstown’s renowned bungy location while people wait in line to jump like Kawarau Bridge.
Given that Queenstown is both the “World Home of Bungy” and the “Adventure Capital of the World,” bungy jumping should undoubtedly be included in your itinerary. The bridge, which is only 20 minutes from Queenstown’s downtown, offers stunning views along with excitement, thrills, and screams.
It doesn’t matter if you’re not participating in the jump yourself; the thrill of witnessing other foolish people tremblingly jump off the 43-meter platform is exciting enough in and of itself.
When you visit the observation area at Kawarau Bridge, you can discover more about the background of The Bungy Tour, eat something, or sip something while listening to the soothing echo of frightened cries in the distance.
Visit Glenorchy & Arrowtown
A quick 45-minute journey from Queenstown will take you to the lovely Glenorchy, so load up your car and set out on a road trip. The area is so rich in the inherent natural beauty that even if you don’t plan any activities, you’ll enjoy simply sitting outside and taking it all in. It’s the ideal location for outdoor enthusiasts.
Movie enthusiasts would recognize parts of the scenery from the Lord of the Rings films since many scenes there make the most of the surrounding natural beauty.
Because Glenorchy is located on the edge of Lake Wakatipu, bring a picnic lunch and prepare for the day. When viewed in person, the Glenorchy landscapes are actually like scenes from a postcard; it is a very weird place.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to go that far, you can drive to Arrowtown, another lovely adjacent township, in only about 25 minutes. Arrowtown, which advertises itself as “Where history meets nature,” is a unique stopover with a variety of things to see and do.
When visiting the area, you absolutely must see the Arrow River, and the settlement itself is a genuine survivor of the gold rush. There is nothing prohibiting you from merging the two towns into one trip if you are genuinely unable to decide between them.
Browse Queenstown Mall
If you’ve had enough of sightseeing and exploration, head to Queenstown Mall for a day of browsing, resting, and maybe even a little bit of shopping—although it’s only truly free if you can resist temptation. You’ll have a ton of options when you visit this mall because it has a huge assortment of clothes, shoe, and accessory stores, as well as delicious cafés and eateries.
The area is filled with high-quality restaurants where one could easily spend the entire day people-watching or perusing the many stores on offer.
The mall is frequently crowded with travelers who come to browse or stock up on food and clothing in preparation for an adventure-filled day.
The majority of the mall’s shops are open till late into the night as well, so whenever you feel like browsing, they’ll be open to accommodate you.
Play Disc Golf in Queenstown Gardens
If you have your own Frisbee or a spare $7, then you’re in for a treat at the well-liked Queenstown Gardens, one of the unusual attractions that have gained popularity in Queenstown.
The lively inhabitants’ favorite sport is Disc Golf, also known as Frisbee Golf or “Frolf,” which adheres to the same social norms as regular golf but uses a frisbee as your tool of choice rather than clubs and a golf ball.
The Queenstown Gardens course, which was the first permanent one created in the nation, has expanded over time to become a tournament-sized 18-basket course.
Queenstown Gardens is a dreamy setting in which to throw, regardless of whether you have a terrific arm or simply enjoy having a throw with the potential of it landing in the ‘hole.’
Scorecards and maps are available for purchase to assist you on the course, and who knows, it might just strike a chord enough to spark a new personal interest.