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12 Things to Do in Queenstown on a Rainy Day

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Rainy day activities in Queenstown.

In a country as rich in forests and farmland as New Zealand, it’s no secret that you can expect some rain from time to time. Queenstown is no exception, but in the most touristy town in the South Island, you can be sure that there are things to do in Queenstown on a rainy day!

The thrills of the “Adrenaline Capital of New Zealand” are ideal on the rivers with white water rafting and sledging – you’re going to get wet anyway! Otherwise, Queenstown has a great variety of indoor activities, from go-karting to a sensory maze.

When you’re really trying to save the cents, just keep out of the rain in one of the many bars or make some friends in your hostel over some good old card games! So don’t just sit around on a rainy day in Queenstown: do something awesome!

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1. Check out the underwater observatory

Get out of the rain and watch all the wildlife that thrive in the rain! Feed the diving ducks and watch the trout swimming in Lake Wakatipu’s waters. The Underwater Observatory can be found on the KJet jetty.

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2. go out for a coffee or a pint

Whatever your poison, Queenstown is likely to have something to suit. Huddle indoors with a warm cup of coffee in the array of cafes in Queenstown. Alternatively, there are plenty of bars should you want something with a bit more of a kick. Either way, you’re sheltered from the rain!

Take a look at 5 Bars for a Quiet Pint in Queenstown for somewhere to have a rainy day in Queenstown drink and Cheap Eats in Queenstown.
U3144362 on Wikipedia

3. Go Go-karting at Game Over

Game Over is an indoor entertainment complex in The Remarkables Park that was built for rainy days! Race your new travel buddies on the track or head into the dinosaur-infested laser-tag room!

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4. Do some White water rafting

If you’re not already getting wet from the raging grade 3-5 rapids on the Shotover River, then you’ll definitely be getting wet with all the water jumps and craziness on the Kawarau River. Let’s be honest, you’re going to get wet when white water rafting anyway, so you might as well embrace that h2o! Book your rafting experience with Queenstown Rafting.

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5. Go White water sledging

In the same spirit as point 4, you’re going to get wet anyway when doing white water sledging. Your guide will teach you how to handle your river sledge so you can ride the rapids, whirlpools and surf standing waves of the Kawarau River! Book your river sledging adventure with River Boarding New Zealand.

Amila Tennakoon on Flickr

6. take a trip to Milford Sound

There are two scenarios that could be happening in Milford Sound while it is raining in Queenstown: it could be raining in Milford Sound, which means more waterfalls or the weather could be completely clear in Milford Sound. It’s a win-win situation here. Drive yourself to Milford Sound or take the stress of driving out of the equation with one of the many bus tours heading to Milford Sound from Queenstown every single day!

For more information, check out our Guide to Milford Sound and the Milford Road.
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7. GO skiing or Snowboarding

If you’re lucky enough to be in Queenstown during the winter season, and it’s raining, chances are that is translating into fresh snow on the mountains. Grab a ski pass and some gear from town and head up to the nearby ski fields and make use of that fresh pow!

For more information on the NZ ski season, take a look at Ski Season in New Zealand and The 24 Ski Fields in New Zealand.
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8. Practice some tricks at SITE Trampoline

An awesome alternative indoor activity to try out is at the SITE Trampoline. Practice those snowboarding tricks on their huge layout of trampolines or just have some simple bouncy fun! It’s a great venue for freestyle training whatever the weather with airbags, super tramp, trampoline park, foam pits, air track, mini ramp and more!

SITE Trampoline

9. Hang out in your hostel

It might not seem it, but there’s plenty to do in your hostel on a rainy day. Start planning the next leg of your trip, organise a pot luck dinner, play some card games with your fellow hostel dwellers… We have a whole list of things you could be doing in 12 Things to Do in a Hostel on a Rainy Day.

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10. Have a virtual reality experience

Step out of reality and into a virtual world at Thrillzone. With a 12D motion theatre, 360-degree virtual reality missions, and drifting go-karts, this place is like a games arcade on steroids! Get your Thrillzone multi-activity pass here.

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11. Delve into a sensory maze

Another indoor attraction perfect for rainy days in Queenstown, the Odyssey Sensory Maze is a labyrinth of rooms of whacky illusions, lights, sound effects, obstacles and strange sensations. Go give it a touch! Book your entry into the Odyssey Sensory Maze here.

Jeff Keyzer on Wikipedia

12. Watch New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year!

We’re all guilty of binge-watching on YouTube. Why not make this a productive binge-watching session with New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year?! Get inspiration for your New Zealand travels by watching these two backpackers tackling 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand?! Don’t forget to subscribe!

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