Things To Do With Kids In Queenstown
- Children's Activities
There are lots of things to do with kids in Queenstown to suit all budgets and ages. Not to mention awesome playgrounds set in stunning locations often with great cafes, restaurants and walking tracks nearby.
When looking for things to do with kids in Queenstown it’s important the whole family has an enjoyable time. We’ve put together our favorite kids activities with consideration for mum and dad having fun too. Each destination highlights a great playground, child friendly cafe or restaurant and nearby easy walking trails suitable for prams & strollers.
Marine Parade Playground is situated in the heart of Queenstown. The playground was upgraded in 2019 and is a winner for children of all ages. Set on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and next to a small stream. Partly set in the open and among trees which provide good shade in the heat of summer. There is plenty of seating or alternatively kick back on the beach. It’s a great spot to watch the iconic steamboat TSS Earnslaw heading off to Walter Peak. Throw pebbles in the water and watch the world go by.
Right next to the playground is The Bathhouse cafe, bar & restaurant. The iconic Bathhouse was built to commemorate the coronation of King George V in 1911. In the 1920’s The Bathhouse was used as a community changing room. There was a springboard and two diving platforms. By the end of the 1970’s the building was in need of major repair. In 1996 the building was converted into a teahouse. Today it is open for casual lunches and fine dining in the evening.
The beautiful Queenstown Gardens are a short stroll away. There is a lovely pond and the children will enjoy feeding the ducks. For older children there is a frisbee golf course. In spring and summer the rose garden and rhododendrons are worth a visit.
You are spoilt for choice with things to do with kids in Queenstown along the Frankton Arm. On the Kelvin Heights side of the Frankton Arm there is Bayview Reserve Playground and Kelvin Grove Playground. Both Bayview Reserve and Kelvin Grove are set near the shores of Lake Wakatipu.
Along the Frankton Track and about a 7 minute drive from central Queenstown is The Boatshed Cafe & Bistro which was built in 1869. The building was originally used as a store and then became the New Zealand Railways Shipping Office. It was located in central Queenstown and moved to Frankton in 1936. In 2011 the Wakatipu Community Maritime Preservation Society restored the building and it won the Heritage and Environment award in the 2012 TrustPower Queenstown Lakes District Community Awards. Today you can enjoy coffee, breakfast, lunch & drinks in the historic building. Children love the famous sticky buns.
Stacks Pub is at the beginning of the Kelvin Peninsula Trail and part of Hilton Queenstown complex. It is about a 13 minute drive from central Queenstown. Serving traditional pub food and pizzas, the pub is open from 12 pm to 10 pm. The modest deck for outdoor dining is probably more suited for older children.
You can also reach Queenstown Bay (Marine Parade playground), Bayview Reserve (playground), Frankton Marina (The Boatshed) & Hilton (Stacks Pub) via Queenstown Ferries.
The Frankton Track and Kelvin Peninsula Trail is an easy grade walk. It is 16.4 k and will take approximately 2-3 hours to walk. For younger children you can pick short sections to walk. Kelvin Peninsula is north facing and thus a good option when seeking out winter sun. On the flipside Frankton Track has the benefit of shade in the heat of summer. The trail is dual-use for walkers and riders.
With just a 15 minute drive from central Queenstown you will find Hanley Park Playground. Five minutes down the road is Jacks Point Playground. The views from both playgrounds are breathtaking. They cater for a range of ages from toddlers to tweens and are great picnic spots. If you feel like a treat then Jacks Point Clubhouse restaurant is well worth a visit.
The clubhouse is within 500 m of Jacks Point Playground. The barista coffee is great and the children will love the hot chocolates. There is usually a selection of pastry treats too. They also have a delicious lunch menu and a good selection of local wines. Set on the shores of Lake Tewa, the children will enjoy playing on the beach or in the golf bunker sandpit. You will need to keep a close eye on the little ones.
There are some great walking trails nearby. The Lake Tewa Loop Track is an easy walk for young children but at the time of writing it is temporarily closed. We will update this post when it opens again. The other trails are more suited to older children.
Rose Douglas Park is in picturesque Arrowtown. The playground has plenty of room for children to run around. The climb-on fire engine is popular & real fire engines can be spotted at the adjacent fire station. A stone's throw away is the outdoor swimming pool which is a big hit with local children in the summer.
We highly recommend a visit to The Fork & Tap. A top pick for children and adults. While you enjoy a craft beer or a delicious local wine the children will have a blast climbing the amazing playhouse set in the spacious garden bar. The food is reasonably priced and delicious. There is a kids menu too. For a quick snack try the shoestring fries tossed in lemon pepper.
A hop, skip and a jump away is the lovely Arrowtown Millennium Trail. The trail, which follows the Arrow river, is an easy 3.25 k walk for children and takes less than an hour. There are a few ups and downs but nothing too major. Look out for the rope swing. If you have time for a picnic the children can paddle in the river under adult supervision.
Scroll through the images above to see the places mentioned in this blog.
If you are looking for more things to do with kids in Queenstown please hit up the Tots On Tour team. Between us we have a wealth of local knowledge.