The Best Rainy-Day Activities in Queenstown

If you're planning a trip to Queenstown, then you have a world of adventure awaiting you. The small lakeside town is surrounded by an endless array of mountains and adventure activities, which all stack up to give Queenstown its reputation as the Adventure Captial of the World!

Most travellers to Queenstown plan sunshine activities, but rest assured that a shower of rain won't dampen your spirits. All we recommend, is that you're sure to pack a jacket for your journey. 

The weather forecast in Queenstown can be unpredictable, so use the forecast as a guide but don't rely on it. In the height of summer it can be 30 degrees outside, but locals will keep a warm jacket nearby... just in case it takes an unexpected change.

So, if you get caught in a rain shower in Queenstown, here are a few activity ideas to make sure your trip still builds a lifetime of memories.

The top 10 best rainy-day activities in Queenstown are:

  1. Ride the iconic Skyline Gondola
  2. Go Bungy Jumping
  3. Take an Off Road Adventure
  4. Relax in a hot spa
  5. Try indoor skydiving
  6. Experience a boutique movie theatre
  7. Get some powder on the ski fields
  8. Scare yourself at the Fear Factory
  9. Laser Tag at Thrill Zone
  10. Escape Quest

Why is the weather so unpredictable in Queenstown?

As far as mountain towns go, Queenstown gets more than its fair share of clear blue skies. In fact, more than 3 out of 4 days see sunshine on the town! But it can change quickly and predicting those rainy days can be difficult.

The reason the weather in Queenstown is difficult to predict is quite simple, cities located beside the ocean are regarded as being in a maritime climate, meaning the warmth of the ocean slows down changes in air temperature, making maritime weather patterns slower moving and more predictable. And seeing as New Zealand is an island nation, this theory applies to much of New Zealand's regions.

But Queenstown is located in the centre of the South Island, surrounded by the great Southern Alps. This environment is called a temperate climate. Without the presence of the ocean, air temperatures fluctuate a lot faster, and weather patterns are much more difficult to predict.

For that reason, the locals here in Queenstown know that the only way to predict the weather is by popping your head out the window to see what it's doing. So, if you do get caught out with a rainy day in Queenstown, we have a few adventurous ideas for you.


1. Ride the iconic Skyline Gondola and Luge

Stay high and dry as you glide your way up 450-vertical-metres through the misty radiata forest on Bobs Peak, with a scenic Gondola ride at Skyline Queenstown.

Free up some space on your camera, because even on a rainy day you'll be treated to panoramic views of Queenstown and the surrounding Wakatipu Basin!

View from Skyline Queenstown of a purple sunset over snow covered Queenstown.
Image: A stunning view from Skyline Queenstown

Here's a little fact that not many people know; a little bit of rain doesn't stop you from riding the world-famous Skyline Luge

A little bit of water on the track adds a unique layer of adventure to the Luge, and you'll quickly find yourself back on the chairlift, heading up for another ride. Pack your jacket and even bring a change of clothes, a Luge ride in the rain is a rainy day activity you'll never forget.

Image: Mountain bikers take a break for some Luge fun in the rain

Open: Hours vary, see our open hours for the most up-to-date operating hours
Location:
 Brecon Street, Queenstown
Tickets: You can purchase tickets from the Gondola bottom terminal or tap here to buy online now. 

2. Go Bungy Jumping

Bungy Jumping is a must-do Queenstown activity, and it's super fun with a little bit of rain. To tick off two activities at the same time, take the scenic Gondola ride to Bob's Peak with Skyline Queenstown, which is also home to the Ledge Bungy. 

The Ledge Bungy will test every one of your nerves. Strap in, stand on the platform and take a lung-full of the surrounding misty forest air, before leaping out for 45-metres of bungy fun.

Lady bungy jumping off the Ledge Bungy at Skyline Queenstown.
Image credit: bungy.co.nz

But if you've packed a spare set of clothes and aren't afraid of getting a little bit wet on a rainy day, then why not get soaked? Take a short car journey out to the Kawarau Bridge Bungy, where the jump masters can give you a little dip in the mighty Kawarau River.

Image: Get dunked at the Kawarau Bridge Bungy (credit: BBH Hostel)

The Ledge Bungy: Located at Skyline Queenstown, Brecon Street
Kawarau Bungy: State Highway 6, Gibbston Valley, Queenstown

3. Take an Off Road Adventure

If heights are not your cup of tea, then stay on the ground with a rainy-day quad bike tour! Take control as you get off the beaten track, exploring 11,000 acres of Queenstown's most iconic mountains, valleys and streams on four wheels.

Off Road Adventures provide all safety gear and training, and there's a tour to suit all abilities. Tours can be tailored to suit groups of friends and families, beginners and experienced riders alike.

Booking Location: 61A Shotover Street, Queenstown
Duration: 3-hours

Image: Crossing a stream with Off Road Adventures (credit: Klook.com)

4. Relax in a hot spa

Riding the Luge, bungy jumping and quad biking use muscles you never knew existed, in ways they've never been used before. So, you may find yourself in need for some relaxation at the end of an adrenaline-fuelled day out.

From getting a full body massage to enjoying a private jacuzzi, Queenstown offers many options that will get you relaxed and feeling like you just woke up from a perfect night’s sleep. At Onsen Hot Pools, you can soak and relax in a private cedar-lined hot tub, while taking in the views from the beautiful Shotover River canyon.

Onsen Hot Pools Location: 162 Arthurs Point Road, Arthurs Point, Queenstown

The Onsen Hotpools in Queenstown.
Image credit: onsen.co.nz

For a uniquely different experience, head to Salt Float Spa and float in a tank that contains 450-kilograms of Epsom-salts, which creates a sensation of weightlessness on the body, removing the effects of gravity.

When the initial music stops and you turn off the lights inside your pod, you will experience complete sensory deprivation allowing you to reach deep relaxation, which 'resets' the body.

Salt Float Location: 53 Gorge Road, Queenstown

Image Credit: My Guide Queenstown

5. Try indoor skydiving

If skydiving is in your bucket-list but the weather is keeping the planes grounded, don’t get disappointed: Queenstown iFly will get you flying high!

The first indoor skydiving experience in New Zealand is safe and fun for everyone 5 years and older. Each flight simulates a 12,000-foot skydive and pre-flight training is included.

And don’t worry about missing out on the great views from flying outdoors, because you can experience a virtual reality flight over some of the world's most incredible destinations, like Hawaii, Dubai, Southern California and the Swiss Alps.

Location: 27 Brecon Street, Queenstown

Lady experiences indoor skydiving at iFly Queenstown.
Image credit: iflynz.co.nz

6. Experience a boutique movie theatre

Watch a new movie while eating as much popcorn as you can is always a great rainy-day activity. On Mall Street in downtown Queenstown you'll find Reading Cinemas.

But if you want to trade popcorn and Coke for wine and a cheeseboard, Dorothy Browns boutique theatre in Arrowtown is an intimate movie theatre, complete with couches, armchairs and beanbags. Movies even have a traditional intermission so you can take a food, drink or toilet break without missing a moment of the film.

Located just a 15-minute drive from Queenstown's CBD, Dorothy Browns even caters to larger groups travelling together, offering the option to hire a room all to your own for a private screening.

Reading Cinemas Location: The Mall, Queenstown 1061
Dorothy Browns Location: 18 Buckingham Street, Arrowtown

Watch movies in the couches at Dorothy Browns in Arrowtown.
Image credit: dorothybrowns.com

7. Get some powder on the ski fields

During winter months, when it’s raining in town, it will likely be snowing up in the mountains!

So, if you would love to see it snow or you're keen on skiing and snowboarding, rainy days are your best chance at scoring some powder at either Coronet Peak or The Remarkables Ski Area.

Remember to carry appropriate winter clothes and gear for yourself and chains for your car, as the roads can become very hazardous during heavy snowfall. If you're skiing or snowboarding on these snow-days, it's also a great idea to take low-light lenses for your goggles to break through the glare.

Image: Coronet Peak Ski Area (credit: coronetpeak.co.nz)

8. Scare yourself at Fear Factory

Not for the faint-hearted, Fear Factory in downtown Queenstown is a rainy-day activity that will leave you shaking in your boots!

Take a walk through the haunted hotel and discover fears you never knew existed. Feel zombies breathing down your neck, ghosts buzzing around you, and watch dolls come to life before your eyes. 

But the best part, if it all gets a little bit too much to handle you can call "CHICKEN" and the lights will come on, giving you an easy walk to safety.

Over 20,000 people have called chicken so far, will you be next?

Location: 59 Beach Street, Otago, Queenstown

Image Credit: fearfactory.co.nz

9. Laser Tag at Thrill Zone

Test your strategic combat skills at Queenstown's only 360-degree battleground, with a rainy-day game of Laser Tag and Heroblast.

Designed to simulate real battle conditions, Thrill Zone uses the same state-of-the-art combat laser guns that are used in military training exercises. The rules are easy to follow, and the entire family can play.

So, if you're looking for an adrenaline rush that pushes the limits of body and mind, stay dry and settle those rainy-day scores with a tactical game of Laser Tag with your friends and family.

Location: 53 Shotover Street, Queenstown

Image Credit: thrillzone.co.nz

10. Escape Quest

Join your friends and family for a race against the clock, to escape the room at Escape Quest. There's no key, to get out, the only way is to solve the riddles before the clock runs out.

Located in central Queenstown, Escape Quest is another great all-weather activity for the entire family.

Location: Mountaineer Building, Level 1/32 Rees Street, Queenstown
Age Restrictions: Children must be at least 7 years of age
Time: Allow 1.5 hours to complete the experience

Image Credit: Escape Quest Queenstown

Now that you know the best way to spend a rainy day in Queenstown...

Read on to plan your perfect trip to Queenstown:

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