Travel with Children
While Queenstown is brimming with activities, some of them have age restrictions that may exclude the youngest in your group. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t have any trouble keeping the littlies busy.
All-age attractions include the Kiwi Birdlife Park and lake cruises on the TSS Earnslaw. The small ones in your group will love watching the duck dives from the Underwater Observatory. There's a good beachside playground near the entrance to the Queenstown Gardens on Marine Pde. Also in the gardens, Queenstown Ice Arena is great for a rainy day, and a round of Frisbee golf will easily fill in a couple of hours. The Skyline Gondola offers a slow-moving activity with a dizzying view. Small children can also ride the luge with an adult, but need to be at least 110cm in height to go it alone on the scenic or intermediate track. Children over 10 years of age (and taller than 135cm) can hurtle down the advanced track alone.
For a high that will make sugar rushes seem passé, a surprising number of activities cater to little daredevils. Children need only weigh more than 20kg to take a tandem ride with Queenstown Paraflights, while those over 12 years and 60kg can skim along alone. Family Adventures runs gentle rafting trips suitable for three-year-olds. The shark-shaped Hydro Attack will thrill kids – there's a minimum age of six and your child must be able to travel without you as there's only room for one passenger. Under-fives can ride on the Shotover Jet for free, provided they're over 1m in height, and six-year-olds can tackle the zip-lines with Ziptrek Ecotours. If your 10-year-old is fearless enough (and weighs more than 35kg), he or she can bungy or swing at any of the AJ Hackett Bungy jumps, except the Nevis Bungy (minimum age 13, minimum weight 45kg). Children as young as eight can tackle the Kawarau Zipride, though eight- and nine-year-olds must ride tandem with an adult. Canyoning Queenstown has a dedicated 'Via Ferrata Family' climbing route, suitable for children aged 10 and over.
Outside Sports hires out bikes suitable for children aged seven and above, with child seats and tag-alongs also available. Vertigo Bikes also hires out kids' mountain bikes. ChargeAbout has e-bikes suitable for 10-year-olds, with toddler trailers for hire if you have a younger crew.
For more ideas and information, including details of local babysitters, visit the i-SITE or www.kidzgo.co.nz.