The Queenstown Gardens is one of the best places to visit in Queenstown. Home to manicured gardens, an array of flowers, and even its own pond complete with ducks, the Queenstown Gardens are simply stunning!
Not only is visiting the Queenstown Gardens completely free, but there are actually a ton of awesome activities to do there too. From having a picnic by the lake to letting the kids play in the playground, you can’t beat this free activity in Queenstown.
To help plan your visit, I’ll show you the best things to do in the Queenstown Gardens as well as other tips and info you need to know before you go.
Queenstown Gardens FAQs
Things to do in the Queenstown Gardens
1. Walk the Queenstown Gardens Trail
Without a doubt, the number one thing to do in the Queenstown Gardens is to walk the short and beautiful trail that loops around the entire gardens. On the trail, you pass by beautifully manicured flowerbeds as wells as enjoy breathtaking views of Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown.
It’s considered one of the best easy hikes in Queenstown and accessible to almost everyone. Be sure to walk all the way to the end and check out the lakeshore. From here you can even spot the TSS Earnslaw – one of the best lake cruises in Queenstown!
The entire trail only takes around 30 minutes to walk at a slow pace but there also another trail through the huge pine trees you can walk as well. Just be careful here as it’s also the disc golf (frisbee golf) course!
2. Have a picnic
In the summer months in Queenstown grab some takeaway food from one of the delicious local restaurants or a packed lunch and head down to the Queenstown Gardens to enjoy the beautiful weather. Sit back, enjoy the views, and refuel with some delicious food.
My favorite takeaway food in Queenstown is Fergburger. With almost no restaurant seating you’ll almost certainly have to take your burger to go. Grab it and head to the Queenstown Gardens. It’s only a 5 to 10-minute walk and you’ll get to cross off two of the best things to do in Queenstown at once.
Some other great options include heading to the Four Square Supermarket to get some cheese and cold meats, or Erik’s Fish and Chips for takeaway seafood!
3. Play frisbee(disc) golf
Under the tall pine trees in the Queenstown Gardens, you’ll find a frisbee golf course that’s completely free to use. With your friends, you can test your skills and play the entire course to see who’s the true frisbee golf champion. Have more time? Play again!
For those who don’t know, frisbee golf is essentially golf but instead of hitting a ball, you throw a frisbee. It is sometimes called “disc golf.” Also, there aren’t any holes, just a metal basket to throw your frisbee at. The sport is straightforward to play, and anyone can do it.
Although the course is free to play, the frisbees are not. If you don’t have your own, you’ll need to rent them from the Queenstown Ice Arena in the gardens. They only cost $5 though so it’s a really cheap activity in Queenstown.
4. Go ice skating
The Queenstown Ice Arena is located within the Queenstown Gardens. It’s Queenstown’s only ice skating rink and for those who either love to skate or want to give it a try, this is the perfect time!
I personally love ice skating and in Canada, it was something I did every year on the frozen lakes and ponds. Ice rinks aren’t as fun as frozen lakes but that’s simply not an option as winter in Queenstown simply doesn’t get cold enough.
Entry to the Queenstown Ice Arena is only $19 NZD for adults and $15 for children and that includes skate rental and multiple entries all day. That means you can have a skate, go for a walk in the gardens, and return again for a skate. They also have family passes for $55 which makes it even cheaper!
5. Join a segway tour
Segways provide the perfect vehicle to explore Queenstown. Despite being motorized, you can still travel along Queenstown’s walking paths exploring the best spots including the Queenstown Gardens. Segways can’t be rented but there are organized tours that include a guide. These tours last for either 1 or 2 hours. Both segway tours available in Queenstown explore the Queenstown Gardens.
On a segway tour your guide will take you around Queenstown foreshore to explore places like St Omar Park, Earnslaw Park, Marine Parade, and the Queenstown Gardens. You’ll cover a lot more ground than you would on foot and with a local guide, you’ll learn all about the area too.
Segway tours start at $90 NZD per person for 1 hour and $140 for 2 hours. The tour includes training on how to use the segway but trust me; it’s really easy! You should book your segway tour in advance in the summer as it’s a very popular activity and there are only a few time slots per day.
6. Play at the playground
One of the best activities for kids in Queenstown is the Queenstown Gardens public playground. It’s a huge playground and comes with all sorts of obstacles for kids to try. There are also games that are sure to tire the kids out, and the best part is that you can sit back and relax with a coffee in hand!
The playground is located right on the edge of Lake Wakatipu at the entrance to the Queenstown Gardens. One of the best cafes in Queenstown, The Bathhouse, is located right next door and you could actually get a table and watch the kids from there. Afterward, you could go for a swim or relax at Queenstown Beach.
7. Attend an event
The Queenstown Gardens are one of the most popular places to hold events in Queenstown. During your stay, you could be lucky enough to be in Queenstown during one of them and if you are, you should definitely go!
The most famous event held in the Queenstown Gardens is the Queenstown Winter Festival. This annual event is held in the middle of June (June 17th, 2021) for 4 days. During the festival, there are lots of things going on including live music, fireworks, games, shows, and more. The festival isn’t just held in the gardens though, in fact, some of the events are at Coronet Peak Resort and around town.
Another festival held in the gardens is the LUMA Lights Festival. This sensory experience has you wandering the Queenstown Gardens looking at cool light displays all while enjoying a hot mulled wine. It’s held annually over the Queen’s birthday weekend, which in 2021 is June 4th to 7th.
In the summertime, one of the most popular events is the New Year’s Eve fireworks that happen on the lake. From the Queenstown Gardens, you get epic views of the fireworks.
There are lots of smaller events every year, so be sure to do a quick search before you go!
Thanks for reading…
The Queenstown Gardens are a beautiful place to explore in Queenstown. It’s a place I love to spend time during the summer months to enjoy the warm weather, beautiful flowers, and magnificent views. In the winter, it’s about the festivals and beautiful scenery when it snows. The best part is that there are lots of amazing things to do in the Queenstown Gardens that are sure to keep you busy.
Thanks so much for reading! I hope you’re excited to explore the Queenstown Gardens and found this guide helpful! If you did then be sure to browse around, this blog is filled with great articles on Queenstown and even the best 55 things to do in New Zealand!