Top 5 free things to do in Queenstown, NZ

Queenstown is one of the most beautiful places on earth (I may be biased)! Any direction you look, it feels like you’ve stepped inside a frame from Lord of the Rings, it is a wonder you don’t run in to any hobbits or orcs when you turn a corner!

The only downside of being such a popular tourist town is it is a very expensive place. Tourists who are travelling on a budget often get stumped on what to do. Adrenaline junkies will be in heaven if you can fork out the money.

Sam and I met in Queenstown and were lucky enough to live there for a few years. I’ve compiled an awesome list of the top 5 free things to do in Queenstown from our local knowledge.

1. Queenstown Hill

If you have a spare few hours climbing Queenstown Hill is a must-do. The walk is roughly 3 hours return. We usually like to hang out at the summit for a while and take in the breathtaking 360 degree view so the total trip would take around 4 hours.

Basket of Dreams

The Basket of Dreams is a sculpture located near the summit, it is a nice spot to take a break (and a great photo opportunity). Many people choose to turn around here but I think it is well worth the extra 15 minutes to the real summit!

Taking a break half way
View from the summit


2. Frisbee Golf in the Gardens


There is an 18 basket tournament course for Frisbee golf located in Queenstown Gardens. It is free to play. If you don’t own a Frisbee you can hire one from the  ice skating rink or one of the many sports shops in town for around $5. You will get a free score card and pencil so you can to keep score (let the competitiveness begin!!). We actually ended up buying our own Frisbee’s because we played so often.

Even if you don’t like to play Frisbee Golf I recommend taking a walk though the gardens. If you follow the golf course it will take you around the whole place, from the beautiful flowers, though a pine forest and by the lake.


You don’t even need to play the course properly, just have some fun throwing the Frisbee’s around, just don’t let it fly into the lake like Sam did!!

3. Drive to Glenorchy

The Drive to Glenorchy is absolutely beautiful. You will be asking the driver to stop every 20 seconds for a different photo opportunity. unspecified (1).jpg



4. Skyline walk

Instead of taking the Gondola up to Skyline which will set you back around $30NZD each  you can walk up the hill and save your money for fun activities at the top like the luge or Zip line! Or just enjoy the views at the top, it is spectacular in person, even on a cloudy day.


5. Lake Wakatipu

This one’s simple – just chill out by Lake Wakatipu.

Swim, relax, listen to music. In summer there is often live music down by the water front, it is the most amazing relaxed vibe. You will never want to leave!

IMG_7459.JPGIMG_7619Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Winter is also beautiful. Although you won’t want to swim in the lake! Grab a hot chocolate or coffee from one of the many cafes and sit by the waterfront and take in the view that never gets old.


Thanks for reading!

Laura xx



Add yours →

  1. Some great ideas Laura.


  2. Some great ideas Laura. Thanks for sharing.


  3. super pics..Laura!


  4. Have been to Queesntown a few times but we’re taking an Ozzie (Australian) cousin & her hubby in a couple of weeks so appreciate your suggestions… may be too cold to do much but we’re planning on visiting Glenorchy at least.


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