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Exploring Queenstown’s surrounds: the ultimate family day trip itinerary

Planning the ultimate family day trip in and around Queenstown is easy when you’re in the middle of what feels like the world’s largest, most scenic playground. North, south, east and west – there’s so much to explore and do in and around Queenstown that the hardest thing about this is deciding what to do. So, we’ve selected the best of the best and present you with the ultimate family day trip filled with the most unforgettable memories.

1.Wake up and smell the coffee

Rise and shine because there’s plenty of tantalising options to fuel up for the day. Queenstown is packed with a variety of eateries, cafes and restaurants with lots of family friendly spots available with vegan and gluten free menus. On any given morning, you can head down towards Queenstown’s waterfront and watch locals and visitors alike take in the stunning mountain views and the crystal-clear waters of Lake Wakatipu.

Kids of all ages will enjoy the fantastic adventure playground nestled along the lakefront on 28 Marine Parade. It’s situated right along the Queenstown Trail so you can walk, bike or run to your hearts content and get active at start of your day.

A delicious, extra decadent treat after some fitness is always good motivation for the kids (and adults) right? Plus, you’re on holiday so another reason to indulge!

2.Go-karting, a sculpture park and an alfresco lunch at Highlands

After your morning jaunt lakeside, head out for an afternoon at Highlands Tourism and Motorsport Park in nearby Cromwell. Less than an hour’s drive from Queenstown, you can explore wider Central Otago and take in some breath-taking scenery along the way (like Roaring Meg and the Kawarau suspension bridge). Conveniently located off of State Highway 6, you can rock up and roll trackside for a day everyone will enjoy.

Go-karting at Highlands is a must-do for some guaranteed family fun – the track is world-class and in the most beautiful setting. There’s also a wacky and whimsical outdoor sculpture park you can explore for free with plenty of great photo opportunities to boot!

When it’s time to refuel for lunch, you can enjoy some alfresco dining at Highlands Café which offers a range of fresh local cuisine, NZ favourites and barista made beverages in a relaxed, family friendly atmosphere.

Like to save the best for last? Then head over to the Highlands Museum for some unexpected fun. Home to the some of the rarest cars in NZ motorsport history and some mean machines you’ve only ever seen on TV, Highlands Museum also boasts an authentic American sheriff’s patrol car, a larger than life Transformer’s Bumblebee action figure and some very popular arcade driving games the kids will love.

Go Karting at Highlands Motorsport Park
Go-Karting is a great family friendly activity

3.Strike it rich at Goldfields

Just 5 kms down the road from Highlands along State Highway 6, Goldfields is a historical landmark where gold has been mined for over 100 years. Kids can try their hand at gold panning and even take home any grains or nuggets of gold they find.

It’s a journey back in time to the 1800’s where you can get a glimpse into the life of the first settlers in Central Otago who came to strike it rich.

4.Sunset at Bob’s Peak

A visit to Queenstown wouldn’t be complete without a sunset at Bob’s Peak. One of the most Instagrammable hotspots in Queenstown, you can walk the Tiki Trail up (a 1-hour uphill climb through pine forest) to Bob’s Peak or take a scenic gondola ride up to the top.

Give yourself a moment to take it all in – the mountains, the lake, and the spectacular skies because when you get to Bob’s Peak there’s still plenty to explore and do.

Home to the Skyline Queenstown, there’s the luge, stargazing, mountain biking, walking tracks, shops, café and restaurant all available to top the end of a pretty good day.

Queenstown New Zealand, Highlands Motorsport Park
Stunning scenery at Bob’s Peak

April 30, 2019

Posted In: News