Are you wondering what the best things to do in Queenstown alone are? In this guide to Queenstown solo travel, I’ll cover everything you need to know!
Being a Kiwi, I’m lucky enough to have visited Queenstown multiple times plus I’ve travelled around the world solo so stick with me as I share some key tips for planning a successful solo trip.
Queenstown, located on New Zealand’s South Island, is an incredible destination. It’s known as the “adventure capital of the world” and it’s a great place to explore when travelling solo. With its stunning scenery and endless things to do, it’s easy to get lost in the beauty of this place.
From adrenaline-filled activities like bungee jumping and jet boating to more leisurely pursuits like wine tasting, taking in stunning panoramic views of the region and getting a taste of the local cuisine, Queenstown offers something for everyone.
Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, there are plenty of things to do in Queenstown alone that will make your trip memorable.
Queenstown solo travel
So I already briefly touched on the fact that Queenstown is an excellent choice for your solo trip, but now let’s dive into the details. This charming city is located in the southern region of New Zealand and is known for its stunning natural scenery, adventure activities, and vibrant nightlife.
One of the best things about travelling solo to Queenstown (or anywhere really!) is that you have full control over your itinerary. You can choose exactly what you want to do without having to compromise with anyone else.
If you’re someone who loves being surrounded by nature, then Queenstown won’t disappoint. The town itself is nestled between Lake Wakatipu and towering mountains, providing endless opportunities for scenic walks, hikes, and photo ops.
Then of course it also offers a wide range of adrenaline-pumping activities such as bungee jumping, jet boating, and white water rafting.
But it’s not all about extreme sports in Queenstown. The city boasts a thriving food and wine scene. You can visit local wineries and taste some of the best wines in the country or indulge in delicious cuisine at one of the many restaurants scattered throughout the town.
In addition to its natural beauty and adventure activities, Queenstown is also home to a vibrant nightlife. With numerous bars, clubs, and live music venues, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to dance the night away.
Is Queenstown safe for solo travellers?
Yes, Queenstown is generally a very safe place both in and out of town. However, as with any destination, it is important to take the usual precautions to ensure your safety such as being aware of your surroundings and avoiding travelling alone at night.
The local community is friendly and welcoming so you should feel confident exploring during the day but it is good to be mindful of your belongings when out in public spaces.
New Zealand, in general, is a pretty safe country so you should be quite comfortable here as a solo traveller but it does pay to keep in touch with friends and family so they know where you are.
As usual, if you keep your wits about you and are sensible then you should be totally fine travelling alone in Queenstown. It is a very touristy part of New Zealand so you probably won’t make it very far before you bump into fellow travellers anyway!
Queenstown Travel Planning Resources
15 Best things to do in Queenstown alone
Queenstown has so much to offer for solo travellers! Here is a guide with 15 things you can enjoy while visiting as a solo traveller.
1. Bungy Jumping
If you’re feeling brave, why not take on one of Queenstown’s world-renowned Bungy jumps? Solo travellers can experience the thrill of jumping off the historic Kawarau Bridge with AJ Hackett Bungy.
It’s the world’s first commercial Bungy site and offers 43 metres of free-falling fun with an option to touch the water.
You can also choose to do the Ledge Bungy which is slightly higher than the Kawarau Bridge Bungy at 47m or challenge yourself with the Nevis Bungy which is 134m with an 8.5-second freefall.
2. Scenic Gondola Ride
Take a ride on the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak for stunning views over Queenstown and its surrounding mountains, a must-do Queenstown activity!
Located just a short 5-minute drive from downtown, it’s the perfect activity for solo travellers who want a bird’s eye view of the town.
Known as the steepest cable car ride in the Southern Hemisphere, prepare to be carried 480 metres in the air. Try spotting The Remarkables, Coronet Peak, Cecil and Walter Peak on your journey up.
When you reach the top don’t miss soaking up the views from the viewing platform or restaurant. If you’re not peckish then you can always just enjoy a drink from the bar.
3. Ride the luge
What goes up must come down! Now that you’re at the top of the Skyline Gondola why not take the Queenstown Luge back down?
This gravity-fuelled activity is great for solo travellers keen to explore Queenstown’s hinterland from an exciting new perspective. With over 1,600 metres of twists and turns to explore at your own pace, the Queenstown Luge shouldn’t be missed.
4. Explore nearby vineyards with a wine tour
The Central Otago region is well known for its delicious wine so of course exploring nearby vineyards has to make the list for one of the best things to do alone in Queenstown. There are plenty of great wine tours to choose from too.
Even though you might be travelling solo that doesn’t mean you have to explore the vineyards alone, simply book a small group tour. You’ll have the bonus of meeting people AND not having to worry about how to get back to your accommodation after a few glasses of wine – it’s a win-win!
Appellation Wine Tours runs an amazing experience for wine lovers, taking you to 4 boutique vineyards with lunch included. Taste your way through the region’s best wines and enjoy stunning scenery along the way.
✅ Check tour price and reviews here
5. Jet Boating
Experience the thrill of jet boating with an epic ride on the Shotover River. Enjoy stunning views as you zip through narrow canyons and over rapids, all at high speeds with 360-degree spins.
You’ll be amazed at how these jet boats skim across the surface in the shallowest of water. Definitely not an adventure you’ll forget anytime soon!
✅ Check tour price and reviews here
6. Soak in Onsen Hot Pools
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of Queenstown with a relaxing soak in Onsen Hot Pools.
Overlooking the gorgeous Shotover River, the Onsen Hot Pools is one of the best things to do in Queenstown alone as it offers a bit of peace and quiet while enjoying the tranquil scenery.
Onsen also offers a day spa with a luxurious range of face and body treatments.
7. Go white water rafting in the Shotover River
For the ultimate adrenaline rush, go white water rafting down the Shotover River. You’ll experience some of New Zealand’s most exciting rapids as well as admire beautiful views over the region.
Challenge Rafting offers a half-day tour that will take you through the Oxenbridge Tunnel before dropping into the Cascade Rapid. You’ll be joined by an experienced guide and have all the necessary gear such as a helmet, life jacket, wet suit, booties and spray jacket.
✅ Check tour price and reviews here
8. Take a scenic drive on The Remarkables Mountain Range
Enjoy breathtaking views over the mountains with a scenic drive on The Remarkables. It’s one of New Zealand’s most iconic mountain ranges and certainly isn’t to be missed.
The drive takes 45 minutes to an hour with incredible views. Take the time to stop at the various lookouts along the way, and don’t forget your camera!
9. Walk up Queenstown Hill
Queenstown Hill is one of Queenstown’s most accessible and popular walks. Located in the heart of Queenstown, it’s very easy to get to.
The 4.2-kilometre walk will take you about 3 hours return and you’ll be rewarded with incredible 360-degree views over the town. This beautiful (but demanding) walk is safe to do year-round, however, in winter there may be snow which means you’ll need some shoes with good grip.
10. Ski or Snowboard at the Remarkables
It snows in Queenstown in the winter months which means it is the perfect destination for skiers and snowboarders. It has some of the best ski slopes in the world, so why not head out on your own and make the most of them?
The Remarkables is the closest ski resort, boasting a wide range of terrain for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. There are even beginner classes available so you can try out the slopes without having to worry about being left behind!
11. Cycle the Queenstown Trail
Explore the region on two wheels with a cycle along the Queenstown Trail. Stretching over 130km, it’s an incredible way to explore this stunning part of New Zealand and get some exercise while you’re at it.
But don’t worry, you don’t have to spend 4 days biking the entire trail if that’s not your thing! It’s possible to ride a short section or even walk if you’d prefer. You can use the Queenstown Trails website to find the best trail for you by inputting how much time you’ve got, how you’ll be travelling and how far you want to go.
12. Cruise around Lake Wakatipu
Take a catamaran cruise around the stunning Lake Wakatipu and enjoy the scenery from a whole new perspective. Large viewing windows and warm indoor seating means this is a perfect thing to do in Queenstown all year round.
Journey across New Zealand’s longest lake while taking in the beautiful views of Mount Nicholas, Mount Earnslaw, the Remarkables mountain range, Cecil Peak and Bob’s Cove.
Beverages and snacks are available to purchase onboard too.
✅ Check tour price and reviews here
13. Take part in a pub crawl
A fantastic activity if you’re travelling solo, is a pub crawl as it’s one of the best ways to meet some fellow travellers! Queenstown also has great nightlife, so it’s an ideal place for a pub crawl.
Often some drinks (or shots) will be included and you get the bonus of knowing where all the best bars are!
14. Stroll through the Queenstown Gardens
Take a leisurely stroll through the beautiful Queenstown Gardens. Starting at Queenstown Bay Beach, walk the Te Araroa Trail into the gardens. Located so close to central Queenstown makes these gorgeous gardens so accessible!
Walk around the garden peninsula before continuing along the lake shore track. Here you’ll find lots of benches to stop and marvel at the views.
This tranquil spot is great for a quiet afternoon, bring some snacks and find yourself a spot to watch the sunset over stunning Lake Wakatipu.
15. Go on a day trip to Milford Sound
If there’s one day trip from Queenstown you choose to do while travelling alone in Queenstown, make it Milford Sound. It is a must-see for anyone visiting Queenstown, possibly even New Zealand!
Located three and a half hours away by car, this stunning part of New Zealand offers breathtaking views of the Southern Alps and Fiordland National Park. It’s an incredible natural wonder that you won’t want to miss.
The journey there alone is worth it, with Milford Road offering spectacular views along the way. Once you arrive at Milford Sound, take a cruise on the sound itself for an unforgettable experience surrounded by nature.
There are tour companies that operate day trips from Queenstown so you don’t have to worry about driving here yourself.
✅ Check tour price and reviews here
Best hostels in Queenstown solo travellers
Travelling solo can be a truly incredible experience – the freedom it brings, the people you meet and the memories that last a lifetime. Something that makes solo travel that bit easier is linking up with other solo travellers. The best way to do that? Stay in hostels!
Hostels often have very sociable environments which means they are perfect for meeting like-minded people and making new friends. They provide an awesome way to meet people from different cultures, experience something new, and have a unique adventure.
Plus, many of them have things like free meals or social events which makes it even easier to connect with people.
On top of this, they’re often much cheaper than traditional hotels, so they’re great value for money and help stretch your solo travel budget further.
Some of the top-rated hostels in Queenstown for solo travellers include:
- Haka Lodge Queenstown
Curtains on the dorm beds provide extra privacy
- Nomads Queenstown
More of a party hostel so great if that’s your kind of vibe
- The Black Sheep Backpackers
Has a spa pool!
- Southern Laughter Backpackers
Free hot soup every night
- Tahuna Pod Hostel
Great large balcony with amazing views over the city
TIPS FOR CHOOSING A GOOD HOSTEL WHEN TRAVELLING SOLO
- Look for a hostel with a lively atmosphere. These hostels always tend to be more social and therefore make it easier to meet people
- ALWAYS check the reviews, and make sure the most recent reviews are good ones. If in doubt, keep looking
- Go for a hostel that offers free breakfast! A must in my books, even if it’s basic it gives you a chance to fuel up for the day while saving you $$
- Pick something in a central location, no need to spend more money than you need to on transport
Best restaurants in Queenstown
Nest Bar and Kitchen, Blue Kanu, Margo’s, The Sherwood, and Rātā are some of the top-rated restaurants in Queenstown. All are great options for solo travellers who want to enjoy delicious local cuisine!
Fergburger isn’t to be missed either. Although not a restaurant, you haven’t been to Queenstown unless you’ve had a burger from here. Usually, there is a bit of a line so plan to go here before you get super hungry cause it’s likely you’ll be waiting awhile – don’t worry it’s worth it though!
In Queenstown there’s certainly no shortage of food options so you’ll be able to find something delicious no matter what you’re craving.
Best bars in Queenstown
Trying out the local nightlife is always a great way for solo travellers to get a feel for the city and Queenstown is known for having a great nightlife scene.
Bars like The World Bar, Little Blackwood, The Bunker, Ferg’s Bar and Bardeaux are all highly recommended spots in Queenstown.
Each has a unique vibe so you can find the perfect spot to sit back and relax with a beer or cocktail. There are lots of other pubs to explore as well meaning there’s something that caters to everyone!
Best time of year to visit Queenstown
Queenstown is an outdoor paradise, with plenty of things to do in any season. The best time of year to visit Queenstown depends largely on what activities you want to do while there.
If you’re a keen skier or snowboarder, then winter would be an ideal choice as Queenstown offers some of the best skiing spots in the country. Even if you’re not big on hitting the slopes, Queenstown is still a pretty gorgeous place to visit in the winter to see the snow on the mountains.
Summer is great if you’re keen to take advantage of Queenstown’s lakeside and alpine adventures. You can take part in thrilling activities such as jet boating, ziplining, or bungee jumping or just relax and take it easy with beautiful hikes and strolls through Queenstown’s vibrant downtown.
No matter which season, Queenstown will have something to offer solo travellers looking for adventure.
FAQ: Best things to do in Queenstown alone
How to get around Queenstown?
Queenstown has a fantastic public transport system, with buses running from the town centre to most of the popular tourist attractions.
If you’re wanting more flexibility, you could consider renting a car. Although this can be pricey when travelling solo so you could always try making friends at one of the hostels and see if they are keen to split the cost with you.
This will give you greater freedom to explore at your own pace with no need to stick to bus timetables but bear in mind that parking can be very tricky in Queenstown as it is so limited.
The town centre is also very walkable with plenty of things to explore nearby so getting around on foot is also a great option.
How many days in Queenstown is enough?
If you’re looking to pack in a few things and explore the town centre then three to four days is enough time.
This would give you time to visit some of the popular tourist spots, sample delicious foods at the local restaurants or cafes, enjoy a few drinks at one of the many bars, and even squeeze in some skiing or snowboarding (if you’re visiting in the winter).
However, if you’d like to take things at a slower pace and enjoy some of the more serene activities such as wine tasting or relaxing walks through nature then you could easily spend up to seven days in Queenstown.
What is Queenstown known for?
Queenstown is known for its stunning natural beauty and thrilling outdoor activities. Whether it’s skiing, snowboarding, jet boating, ziplining or bungee jumping there are plenty of things to do in Queenstown.
The town centre also offers great things to do such as try the delicious local cuisine, visit trendy bars and cafes, explore boutique shopping and go sightseeing.
Overall it is an unforgettable destination and there are plenty of things to do alone in Queenstown!
Is Queenstown worth visiting?
Absolutely! Queenstown offers something for everyone – from adrenaline-packed activities to relaxing walks in nature and everything in between.
If you’re looking for adventure then Queenstown is the perfect place to visit, with plenty of things to do both in the town centre and outdoors. The town also has a really cool vibe to it and with lots of tourists and expats, there are always a lot of people around.
Conclusion: Queenstown Solo Travel
Queenstown is a fantastic destination for solo travellers. With its stunning scenery, thrilling activities and an array of things to do, it’s easy to see why so many people visit each year.
Experience new things and meet people from different cultures all at the same time. With its stunning alpine backdrop, beautiful lakeside locations and endless activities you won’t want to leave!
Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, this stunning town has something for everyone. So what are you waiting for? Book your solo trip to Queenstown today.
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