While 4 days in Queenstown might not be enough to explore everything the city and the region have to offer, it’s quite a good trip to enjoy the nature and the adrenaline activities the place is so famous for.
Popularly known as the adventure city of New Zealand, Queenstown is enveloped by the Southern Alps and blue Lake of Wakatipu. Known for its breathtaking natural beauty, striking tourist spots, and proximity to a lot of adventures, Queenstown has become the most sought after locations of New Zealand. For an adrenaline hunter, it’s a town that will leave you exuberant with splendid activities such as sky diving, river surfacing, bungy jumping, canyon swinging, rafting, jet boating, and other thrilling activities. Especially in summer, which is one of the best seasons to visit New Zealand.
A 4-day trip to Queenstown is a package full of mesmerizing locations and fun activities. The trip must include a lot of things, but our most recommended activities include cycling at Lake Wakatipu, Cruise trip at Milford Sound, a bite of Fergburger, sky diving at Glenorchy, Gondola & Luge ride at Skyline, jumping off the bridge at Nevis, peaceful walks in Arrowtown and finally, sipping wine at Otega vineyards.
Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t worry, here, I have included the best way to indulge yourself in all the experiences mentioned above and more!
4-Day Itinerary for Queenstown
- Day 1: Exploring Central Queenstown city
- Day 2: Booked for adventures!
- Day 3: Jump above Glenorchy, relax at Arrowtown
- Day 4: Marvel at Milford Sound
- Tips for your Queenstown visit
Day 1 – Exploring Central Queenstown city
Queenstown is the adventure capital of the world, no doubt about it. But before we embark upon an adventurous journey, let’s spend some time in the central city. We will dedicate day 1 to explore the best the city center has to offer.
A bustling and happening town of New Zealand, Queenstown has a widespread of cafes, bars, restaurants, fashion label stores, and souvenir stores for travelers. While you are exploring them, feel free to connect with the travel agents.
To satisfy taste buds, you can’t afford to miss the Fergburger, known for the most delectable burgers of the world in your Queenstown itinerary. The menu includes burgers with beef, pork, lamb, veggies, and cheese. The milkshakes offered at Fergberger were also dying for! Well not literally, because we still haven’t seen even 5% of what Queenstown has to offer.
The location of Fergburger is at Shotover street. This street is known for many other cafes & restaurants. If you are a pizza fan, you may want to visit Cow Restaurant for a scrumptious Pizza. We ordered garlic bread as well and it was certainly delectable.
In addition to these eateries, Shotover street has a lot of travel agents and adventure activity providers. Feel free to pick up a few brochures of all that Queenstown has to offer.
Apart from this, the crystal clear waters and glance of Alps are also well within reach form the Shotover street. Travelers enjoy the sunset point at Lake Wakatipu. Having dinner at a lakeside restaurant is a treat to remember. Lake Wakatipu is 80 kilometers long located in the Otago region of New Zealand. It is a sublime lake that attracts thousands of tourists who enjoy walking, cycling, and picnic around the year.
This stretch of Lake Wakatipu has more of a town side vibe to it. But don’t worry, we have suggested a more countryside part of this lake as well in this itinerary. This countryside part of the lake is where Glenorchy is situated.
Day 2 – Booked for Adventures!
Nevis Bungy Jumpig Site
Start the morning by visiting the Nevis Bungy Jumping site! You need not reach on your own, but rather catch a shuttle from the Shotover street. There are many travel agents, but you can consider booking from the AJ Hackett Bungy office. The bus to the Nevis site will also start from this office. Try to get the slot booked the day before so you can take the earlier slots and wrap up your jump soon.
There are 3 major activities that you can indulge in at Nevis: Bungy Jump, Swing and Catapult. We opted for Bungy & Swing. The catapult didn’t really look that different.
Once you are back from the Bungy jump, you would definitely be thrilled and maybe even shaken to your core. So, the next adventure will be of a lighter tone. If you were able to book an early slot for bungy jump, you can be back to the town before the clock strikes 12.
After a relaxed lunch, consider going for the Skyline. When you entered the city, you would have wondered about it. Well, it’s nothing but a gondola ride with a unique adventure waiting for you at the top.
One of the highest-rated attractions of Queenstown is the Skyline, a hub of fun, thrill, and excitement. On the gondola ride, you can explore the beauty of the town from the heights. The breathtaking top views of Lake Wakatipu, the busy town, and Botanical Gardens will drive you ecstatic.
The Skyline Gondola takes you 450 meters above the town from where you can have an unforgettable glance of the landscapes. Once you reach high, you can trail back down with the Luge rides.
Another attraction of the Skyline is the Luge ride: a must on our Queenstown itinerary. It is a scenic race track where you sit on a cart that you can operate and it passes through the track. You can spend the whole day at the Skyline with your family and boost up your adrenaline.
Hiking lovers can miss the Gondola and go for a hiking trip up to Bob’s Peak. You can enjoy lunch at the Stratosfare Restaurant and bar with your family or book a romantic dinner with your loving partner.
Also Read: Amazing Facts about New Zealand
Day 3 – Jump Above Glenorchy, Relax at Arrowtown
Located 45 minutes from Queenstown, there is a paradise on earth, Glenorchy. Most utilized location in New Zealand for Lord of the Rings movie, Glenorchy is an ideal place for walking & hiking in the mountain ranges and awe-inspiring forests. Surrounded by the Lake Wakatipu and Dart River, travelers enjoy breathtaking landscapes and adventure activities.
The best way to enjoy the Glenorchy views is skydiving above it! The Glenorchy skydive site is comparatively less popular but one of the top sites for skydiving in New Zealand if you are looking at jumping above stunning views. The weather is comparatively better in the morning, so pick an early slot. Also, completing Skydiving before the afternoon will let you spend your evening in peace at Arrowtown vineyards.
A day out in Glenorchy is unforgettable if you start your day with breakfast at lakeside cafes. At Glenorchy’s doorstep, travelers enjoy walking and hiking adoring the scenic beauty of mountain peaks. You can explore the beautiful hiking and walk-tracks that are the Routeburn track, the Rees and Dart Track, or the Greenstone track ranging from short strolls or a full day hike.
After spending the first half of the day at Glenorchy, the 2nd half is best spent in a relaxing way by touring some vineyards and tasting some wine. Head to Arrowtown for these laid back experience.
Located in the Otago region, built on the Arrow River, Arrowtown is an old small town 20 minutes from Queenstown. It attracts travelers for its walkways, heritage buildings, wineries, and the famous Suspension Bridge. The beautiful Buckingham Street is decorated with mini cottages, greenery, bars, and restaurants. You can visit famous art galleries and museums presenting the history of Arrowtown and New Zealand.
The famous Lake District Museum attracts travelers who love to explore the golden history of the mid-1880s. Small and beautiful cottages, gold mining sights, renowned cafes, and restaurants, Arrowtown has a lot more to offer as well.
Day 4 – Marvel at Milford Sound
This will definitely spice up your Queenstown itinerary.
The Milford Sound lies within the Fiordland National Park enveloped with splendid attractions and natural beauty. In the tour, you can explore a blend of high mountain peaks, deep forests, awe-inspiring cliffs, and much more.
You can & should include a cruise trip to Milford Sound. Book a popular Milford flight and cruise tour that includes a 4-hour trip; A 50-minute flight from Queenstown to Milford and back to Queenstown along with a 2-hour cruise journey. You can also consider the Coach-Cruise-Coach option instead of the Flight-Cruise-Flight option. But the bus journey is too long and will take your entire day. However, on the other end, the Coach-Cruise-Coach is at-least 50% cheaper than the Flight-Cruise-Flight experience.
When we were in Queenstown, there was a cyclone that brought rains, washing away the Milford Sound roads. We had no other option but to visit Milford Sound by the Flight-Cruise-Flight option. It was expensive (525 NZD per head as compared to 275 NZD for coach option). But totally worth it!
If there is one experience that I’d highly recommend around Queenstown, it would be Milford Sound. The cruise at Milford Sound is an absolute delight. You are taken close to the Waterfalls and can spot sea lions! A stunning experience.
If you opt for the flight-cruise-flight option for Milford Sound, you can consider another activity in the evening. I can recommend bungy jump at Kawarau Gorge suspension bridge. It is considered to be the first commercial bungy jumping site in the world. The unique thing about this bungy jump is that you can opt to take a dip in the river when you jump!
Also Read: Muriwai Beach Sunset, New Zealand
This is our recommended itinerary for 4 days in Queenstown that will create memories that you’d cherish for a lifetime! The vibe of this city is very cool and we just fell in love!
Tips for your Queenstown visit
Here are some tips which can help you plan your Queenstown better:
- If you have to choose between the bungy jump options, I’d suggest Nevis. It is the highest and most thrilling!
- For accommodation, look at the resorts by the lakeside. The evenings can be very beautiful!
- Note these providers for adventure activities. All the other names are most likely agents.
– AJ Hackett for Bungy Jumping
– Real Journeys, Southern Discoveries for Milford Sound cruise
– Skydive Southern Alps for Glenorchy Skydiving
- You can book the activities in advance through bookme.co.nz. But frankly, you can book them just a day in advance after reaching the destination and examining the weather conditions.
- For Milford Sound, opt for flight-cruise-flight. It’s expensive, but you will be able to enjoy the cruise more. If you opt for a coach, it takes 3.5-4 hours one way! It will be very exhausting for you.
- If you want to stay at Milford Sound, there is only one option, Milford Sound Lodge.
- New Zealand is a camper’s paradise. Check if there are good camping spaces near Glenorchy, Arrowtown, or even Queenstown. You can just live in your RV or camp amidst beautiful scenery.
- Fergburger is very famous. I mean extremely popular! There is a long queue to get their hands on the burgers. It’s best that you be prepared to wait. Pick some brochures so you can go through them as you wait to savor those scrumptious burgers.
Author bio: Umang is the writer and editor behind Travelmax, a travel blog focusing on adventure and offbeat destinations.