Otago Queenstown

8 Epic Queenstown Adventure Activities for Adrenaline Junkies!

February 20, 2021

Our guide will help you find the most exciting Queenstown adventure activities. This collection of exciting activities are for the very bravest of travellers – because, after all, you’re in the adventure capital of the world!

Queenstown is known for many things – its stunning mountains and lakes, fantastic restaurants, and most of all, its thriving tourism scene. As the adventure capital of New Zealand, there is no shortage of exciting options available to visitors.

Each and every one of the following thrilling activities are guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping.

So, if you’d like to get your heartbeat up and pumping whilst in town, we recommend checking out these epic Queenstown adventure activities. 

COVID-19 has come with its fair share of challenges for New Zealand businesses. Though we do our best to share accurate information, this can change quickly as some businesses make the decision to operate under reduced hours or hibernate. We suggest you double-check they are open before finalising your plans.

This is the Ultimate Guide to Queenstown Adventure Activities

To help you plan the perfect adventure in Queenstown, we’ve organised these activities with two factors in mind.

Firstly, we’ve kept most activities that are in the same place together (eg. all Nevis adventure activities are in the same section.

In addition, we’ve ordered activities from high-adrenaline to low (as much as possible, whilst considering location), to make finding a suitable activity easy for everyone.

Which will you pick first?

Related: The ultimate guide to the best activities in Queenstown.

The Nevis Playground

The Nevis Playground is home to New Zealand’s largest and most terrifying AJ Hackett activities – this is a must-visit spot for adrenaline junkies.

Mountains line the sides of a sparkling blue river, whilst activity pods seemingly float in the middle of the canyon.

Only a shuttle ride away from Queenstown, the adventures found at Nevis are unforgettable.

1. Nevis Bungy

When standing on the edge of this bungy, jump before taking that leap of faith, looking down is enough to make even the most fearless people break down in tears.

The Nevis bungy is the highest bungy jump you can do in New Zealand (and indeed, in the Southern Hemisphere) and it is a serious challenge.

Once you are harnesses up, you’ll take a short horizontal gondola ride over to the middle of the canyon.

If you do in fact manage to get over the edge, you’ll experience an 8.5 second free fall hurtling 134 meters towards the ground.

For those that are successful in completing the jump, the sense of satisfaction knowing that you just completed New Zealand’s most challenging bungy jump will be one to remember.

Key Information:

Age: Jumpers must be 13 years or old. Children 14 and under require an adult to accompany them and sign consent at check-in.

Weight: The minimum weight is 45kgs up to 127kgs as the maximum.

Clothing: In winter, layer up and take a jacket. You are required to wear flat, enclosed and secure footwear.

Time: Allow about 4 hours for this activity (including shuttle transport.)

Fear factor: 5/5

Related: Read our guide to Queenstown’s bungy jumps.

Book: Discounted Nevis bungy jumps.

Book: Nevis Swing and bungy combo.

Book: Nevis bungy and catapult combo.

Book: Nevis thrillogy combo.

2. Nevis Swing

The Nevis Swing is world famous with its jaw-dropping 300m arc swing.

After a walk across a bridge, you’ll be suited up as you prepare to take on this swing – alone or tandem, with a friend, the choice is yours.

Hovering over the canyon as you wait to swing is a terrifying feeling, but we guarantee, it’s worth the pain.

Choose to have a countdown or surprise drop – the choice is yours. After an initial period of freefall, you’ll catch the cable and transition into a massive swing.

With a range of ways to ride this swing, including backwards, upside down and of course, forwards, you are guaranteed to have a terrifyingly awesome time.

Key Information:

Age: This experience is for people 10 and over – younger children are unable to ride the Nevis Swing. Children 14 and under require an adult to accompany them and sign consent at check-in.

Weight: The minimum weight is 35kgs up to 220kgs as the maximum.

Clothing: In winter, layer up and take a jacket. You are required to wear flat, enclosed and secure footwear.

Time: Allow around 4 hours for this experience.

Fear factor: 4.5/5

Book: Discounted tickets for the Nevis Swing.

Book: Nevis Swing and bungy combo – discounted.

Book: Nevis thrillogy combo.

3. Nevis Catapult

The Nevis Catapult is next to the Nevis Swing and is equally scary, albeit totally different!

Hurtling 150m across the valley at 100kph in just 1.5 seconds is a totally unique experience.

First, riders are fitted with a heavy harness before being lifted off the floor into a diagonal position ready for launch.

After a countdown, riders will fly through the air screaming on the world’s largest catapult.

As the newest activity at the Nevis Playground, it is also the most unique.

Did you know? This ride doesn’t have the same level of free-fall as the other activities at Nevis. If you’re not a fan of that feeling of falling, you may find this one easier.

Key Information:

Age: Riders must be 13 years and older. Children 14 and under require an adult to accompany them and sign consent at check-in.

Weight: The minimum weight is 45kgs up to 127kgs as the maximum.

Clothing: In winter, layer up and take a jacket. You are required to wear flat, enclosed and secure footwear.

Time: Allow about 4 hours for this activity.

Fear factor: 4/5

Book: The Nevis Catapult.

Book: Nevis bungy and catapult combo.

Book: Nevis thrillogy combo.

4. NZONE Skydive

There is literally nothing like the feeling of your first ever skydive.

It really is a must for all adrenaline junkies and where better to jump than over the Remarkables?

Professional through and through, NZONE is one of the leading South Island skydiving providers.

With jumps from 9,000ft up to 15,000ft, you can take your pick. We recommend going with the biggest jump your budget will allow though, as we guarantee, no matter how afraid you might be going into the jump, the freefall is the best part!

Key Information:

Age: Children 12 years and under may jump from a maximum height of 9,000ft. Passengers under 18 years of age require written consent from their guardian and must pass an assessment on the day from their tandem master.

Weight: The minimum weight is 30kg/66lbs and minimum height is 1.2m/47.2inches. All passengers must fit securely into the harness.

All people 95kgs or more are subject to tandem master assessment at the drop zone.

Clothing: Wear secure footwear and enough clothing to be warm when you’re up in thinner air. In winter, multiple layers are better than one bulky jacket.

Time: Allow approximately 3 hours for this activity.

Fear factor: 4.5/5

Book: Discounted skydiving through NZONE. Promo code NZTTPLAY.

What a stunning place to jump!

5. Shotover Canyon Swing

The Shotover Canyon Swing is the ultimate combination of adrenaline-inducing fear and total fun! The crew there can’t help but crack jokes but don’t worry – through all the humour, they’re incredibly safety conscious.

Not only do they have dozens of jump styles (you can even slide right off the edge, of jump off in a big black rubbish bin – you read that right!) but the area itself is stunning too.

A trip out to the Canyon Swing is guaranteed to leave you smiling (and shaking in your boots.)

Key Information:

Age: Swingers must be 10 years of age or older.

Weight: For solo swingers the weight limit is 160kgs and for tandem it’s a combined weight of 180kgs.

Clothing: Wear appropriate clothing for the weather and firmly fitted footwear.

Time: A trip normally takes 2 hours including transport but to be safe, we suggest you allow 2.5 hours.

Fear factor: 4.5/5 – more or less depending on how you choose to jump!

Book: Discounted jumps on the Canyon Swing. Promo code NZTTPLAY will save you 10%.

Did you know? Out at the Shotover Canyon Swing, you’ll also find the Shotover Canyon Fox! This uniquely terrifying zip line (or flying fox, as we sometimes call them in New Zealand) is temporarily closed due to Covid, but be sure to keep your eyes open for its reopening!

The Canyon Fox in action.

The Ledge

The Ledge is located at the top of the skyline gondola, overlooking Queenstown. With freestyle options at the bungy, self release at the swing and amazing views, your time at the ledge is sure to be a blast!

6. Ledge Bungy

While the jump on this bungy is not as high as the Nevis, looking down from the edge is just as terrifying owing to the height of the jump platform.

The Ledge Bungy is unique to other Queenstown bungy jumps in that it is a freestyle bungy, allowing you to jump off any way you want. A selection board gives some suggestions on how to jump, including the Matrix and the Karate Kid. Of course, you’re also able to jump in the traditional bungy position too.

No matter what way you chose to jump, this 47m bungy is unforgettable and a whole lot of fun.

Though you probably won’t appreciate the views are you’re able to fling yourself off the platform, you will as you’re being brought back up!

Key Information:

Age: To jump off the ledge you have to be at least 10 years old. Children 14 and under require an adult to accompany them and sign consent at check-in.

Weight: The minimum weight is 35kgs up to 127kgs as the maximum.

Clothing: In winter, layer up and take a jacket. You are required to wear flat, enclosed and secure footwear.

Time: Allow around 1.5 hours for this and take gondola ride times into consideration too.

Fear factor: 4.5/5

Did you know? You can ride the gondola to the top but it’s also possible to hike up. It’s one of the best hikes in Queenstown, in fact.

The second-highest bungy jump in Queenstown.

7. Ledge Swing

Located close to the Ledge Bungy, the Ledge Swing is the perfect high-adrenaline activity for those that aren’t quite ready to bungy jump.

For some, a swing will feel easier as you’ll be tucked safely in your harness. On this swing, you will need to release yourself though (and it feels ridiculously high, above Queenstown) so you’ll still need plenty of courage.

You will be harnessed up before being lowered down a wire. Hanging there, you’ll count down before releasing yourself.

After a short drop, you’ll hook into the swing – trust us when we say it’s an awesome ride!

Key Information:

Age: You must be at least 10 years old to do the Ledge Swing. Children 14 and under require an adult to accompany them and sign consent at check in.

Weight: The minimum weight is 30kgs up to 107kgs as the maximum.

Clothing: In winter, layer up and take a jacket. You are required to wear flat, enclosed and secure footwear.

Time: Allow around 1.5 hours for this and take gondola ride times into consideration too.

Fear factor: 4/5

8. Kawarau Bridge Bungy

The Kawarau Bridge Bungy is the original bungy jump, the first commercial jump site in the world! Add to that, the incredible scenery all around and you’ve got a memorable place to bungy in Queenstown.

Unlike the other Queenstown bungy jumps, you are able to do this one tandem with a friend.

Once you are harnessed up, you will be given the option of water touch or a full dunking in the river below.

Whatever you decide, prepare to scream your way down – all 43m of it!

No visit to Queenstown would be complete without a jump from this iconic bridge.

Did you know? The Kawarau Bungy Centre also has a zipline for the slightly less brave amongst us. We recommend you check it out whilst you’re visiting.

Key Information:

Age: You must be at least 10 years old to jump off Kawarau Bridge. Children 14 and under require an adult to accompany them and sign consent at check in.

Weight: The minimum weight is 35kgs up to 235kgs as the maximum. For tandem jumpers, each jumper must weigh between 35kgs and 117kgs and the combined weight must not exceed 325kgs. The weight difference between tandem jumpers must not be more than 30kgs. Tandem jumping requires the river’s water levels to be normal or low.

Clothing: In winter, layer up and take a jacket. You are required to wear flat, enclosed and secure footwear.

Time: Allow around 1.5 hours for this if driving yourself, or 3.5 hours if taking the bungy bus from town.

Fear factor: 4.5/5

Book: Discounted Kawarau Bridge bungy jumps.

Queenstown really is the place to be in New Zealand if you’re looking to push your limits.

No matter what you choose to do, you are guaranteed an amazing time in the adventure capital of New Zealand!

Contributed by Lily Dawson (with additions by Sarah Chant)

Additional photo credit: NZONE

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1 Comment

  • Reply Lakita Sousa March 31, 2021 at 12:59 pm

    Noo girll

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