The most accessible place to see postcard-perfect views of Queenstown is by taking the gondola to Bob’s Peak.
Here you can admire the magnificent landscape, the towering mountains surrounding Lake Wakatipu, their tips scattered with snow.
Queenstown’s gondola goes up 450m and is the steepest cable car in the Southern Hemisphere. Easily accessible from Brecon St in central Queenstown, it operates every day from 9:30am to 8:30pm.
The views at the top are truly spectacular – some of the best you’ll get without a long hike up a mountain. Plus, there are a few fun activities to enjoy when you get there.
From the top of Bob’s Peak, you have a panoramic view over Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables. This is the iconic picture of Queenstown you’ll often see on tourism marketing material. It’s worth the trip up at least once to see for yourself – and to take a few photos.
One of the most popular activities in Queenstown is the luge. The trail includes over 1.6km of corners, dips and tunnels. Take a chair lift to the luge, admire the scenery, and pick your pace on the way back down. There are also two tracks – one a bit more straightforward and suitable for children, and one that’s more of a challenge.
This is a fun family activity – children over the age of two (and at least 80cm tall) can ride on the chair lift and in the luge with an adult. Be sure to buy multiple rides - you’ll definitely want to go again and again.
Experience your surroundings at your leisure with dinner, lunch or simply a drink at the Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar. Floor to ceiling windows make sure you can make the most of the experience and you can book a premium option to guarantee a table by the window.
The buffet lunch and dinner include seafood, meats, a variety of salad and vegetable options, and a large selection of desserts. The restaurant is also open year-round including Christmas day and New Year’s Eve.
For quick snacks, a cup of tea and simpler meals (including gourmet pizzas, curries and burgers), you can head to the Market Kitchen Café.
The Queenstown Biking Park can be accessed from the top of the gondola. Just buy a special ticket at the bottom and staff will help you clip your bike on. With over 30 trails heading down the hill, you can choose a track which suits your skill and ability.
Keep in mind that the trails are rocky and bumpy in places, and the more challenging routes have significant drops and jumps. You’ll need to use a full suspension mountain bike on these trails and protective equipment is encouraged.
One of the few places that can boast better views than Bob’s Peak is the summit of Ben Lomond. One of the few mountains in Queenstown that you can climb in one day, you can significantly shorten the time to the summit by beginning the hike at the top of the gondola.
You can still expect to take 5-6 hours to complete the hike from here and the trail gains another 958m in elevation. It’s a steep climb and not suitable for young children. When you reach the top, you’ll be greeted with 360-degree views of Queenstown and the Wakatipu Basin, Mount Aspiring National Park and Fiordland National Park. If you’re an inexperienced hiker, you may prefer going on a guided walk.
If the hike up to the summit seems overly ambitious, you can opt to walk to the Ben Lomond Saddle instead. The walk takes around 4 hours return and you’ll still be rewarded with wonderful views of Mount Crichton Station, Moonlight Station and Mount Aspiring National Park.
Take one step closer to the magical view by floating down over Queenstown from the top of the peak. The flight is short – only around 10 minutes – but the surroundings are truly awe-inspiring.
Pick from a gentle descent or twist and dive over the town. You’re sure to be exhilarated when you land.
Bungy jumping isn’t just for bridges. Launch yourself from the ledge at the top of Bob’s Peak and fall 45m with a spectacular backdrop. You can also choose to swing from the ledge, arcing out 47m, right past the people heading up the mountain.
Note: both the bungy and the swing are temporary closed.