Here is your ultimate family-friendly guide to Queenstown New Zealand. Perfect for children of all ages learn what to see and do, where to stay, and what to eat.
Located on the South Island on Lake Wakatipu is the picturesque town of Queenstown. Offering scenic mountain ranges, lakeside parks, and fantastic food, Queenstown is more than just the adventurous capital. The area is full of family-friendly activities and is an excellent base for short day trips. The airport is also only a 15-minute drive from central Queenstown, so be sure to rent a car.
THE PLACES RECOMMENDED IN THIS ARTICLE ARE MOSTLY PLACES WE HAVE STAYED OR VISITED OURSELVES. NONE OF THE PLACES IN THIS GUIDE ARE PAID PLACEMENTS OR HAVE SPONSORED OUR VISIT IN ANY WAY.
What to See and Do
Queenstown is widely known as an adventurous playground for adrenaline seeking individuals. But Queenstown is also surprising family friendly, with activities to see and do for children of all ages.
Ride the Gondola: You have to park the pram at the bottom, but ride the gondola to the top for beautiful scenic views.
Queenstown’s Children’s Lakefront Park: This million dollar park located on Queenstown’s waterfront is the perfect location. Grab a coffee nearby or an ice-cream from Patagonia, sit-back, relax, and watch your little one play on what may be the most scenic playground around.
Walk around Queenstown Gardens: The gardens are a popular space to picnic, admire the beauty, and relax with family and friends while enjoying the view of Lake Wakatipu.
Earnslaw Park: Located next to the Steamer Wharf right in front of Lake Wakatipu is a popular grassy area for families. Stop and have a picnic lunch or feed the ducks.
Family Friendly Places to Stay in Queenstown
The Ramada Queenstown Central is the ultimate family friendly hotel that ticked all of our boxes without breaking the bank.
Within walking distance from the centre of town you can avoid having to drive, look for parking, and any car seat battles. Parking at the hotel is an extra cost, however reception was happy to point out several near-by streets with free parking- which was never an issue to find. Upon request a cot was provided at no additional cost and set up before arrival.
It’s important to note additional amenities such as a mini-fridge and kitchenette are useful for storing baby food, milk, and cleaning bottles. You can also save on extra costs by preparing your meals.
Short Day Trips from Queenstown for Families
The South Island provides some of New Zealand’s most spectacular views. However, most of these landmarks involve plenty of driving. Therefore Queenstown is a great base for short family-friendly day trips to keep you and your little one entertained without having to do too much driving.
Arrowtown: Just a short 25 minute drive from Queenstown, you will find a former mining town with all its charming quaint qualities still in tack. There is plenty to do for families, such as parks, ice creameries, and sweet shops. You can also learn about the history of Arrowtown at the Lake District Museum with a special exhibit on life in a gold mine, dedicated just for children.
Glenorchy: The day trip to Glenorchy is just as much about the journey than the destination. A 45-minute scenic drive is perfect while your little one takes their morning nap. There are also plenty of places to stop along the way for photos. Once you reach Glenorchy, stop to stretch your legs on the Glenorchy Lagoon Walkway.
Wanaka: Another popular day trip destination, Wanaka, is just an hour away. Ideal for families there is an activity for all ages. Have a picnic by the lake, explore hiking trails, or visit the farm animals at the Wanaka Lavender Farm. Also, take a trip to Puzzling World to see unique rooms full of illusion.
Bike Gibbston Valley: The Gibbston Valley, also known as the ‘Valley of Vines,’ is one of the most scenic wine regions. Whether you want a casual day of riding or a day full of wine tastings, biking the Gibbston Valley Wine trail is suitable for families. Almost all rental bike hire companies and tours provide trailers or child seats, so it’s not uncommon to take your little one along.
Family-Friendly Guide For Places To Eat
Choosing a place to eat with children in a town that offers some of the best restaurants in New Zealand can sometimes be difficult. It’s important to know which restaurants offer family-friendly options such as high chairs and children’s menus. Therefore here is your Queenstown guide to a few suitable eateries for children.
Fat Badgers: The home of hand-rolled and tossed pizza. These massive New York-style pizzas are a perfect option for families to share. Fat Badgers also offers high chairs and several children’s food options.
Fergburger: Undeniable the most popular eatery, there is ALWAYS a line here. So expect a bit of a wait. Also, it is best to grab your burger to go and take a short walk to Earnslaw Park and make a picnic out of it.
Paddy Gaddy: Centrally located in Mall street, Paddy Gaddy is A unique restaurant offering Southwest Asian Cuisine. This restaurant is more of a “sit down” atmosphere, but the service was wonderful and accommodating for a young family. A high chair was placed at the table upon request.