Queenstown and Fiordland, New Zealand

Take an epic family adventure to Fiordland by way of Queenstown, New Zealand, and explore the incredible landscape and towns from land, sea and air. Named a World Heritage Site, Fiordland National Park includes Milford, Dusky and Doubtful Sounds. Each region showcases granite peaks, waterfalls, ancient rainforests and natural wonders carved by glaciers more than 100,000 years ago.

Fiordland being a bit off the beaten path for travelers, flying into Queenstown Airport allows visitors easy access to the city, and transfer on the island — not to mention it’s one of the most scenic runway views in the world.

City street view of Queenstown New Zealand

© Gaid Phitthayakormsilp | Dreamstime

Take a bus from Queenstown Airport into the city center for $5.50–12 for children and adults, respectively. The one-way transfer takes about 25 minutes, while the shuttle costs $10 per person and takes about 20–30 minutes into the city, depending on traffic. Taxis and car rentals are more time-effective, but a bit more costly. A taxi can cost $30 while the car rental may just be a better investment all around for families looking to explore.

Explore downtown Queenstown for a couple nights and enjoy the metropolis’s sweeping views of the Southern Alps, impeccable wine regions, adventure sports and historic mining towns. Hit the slopes of Coronet Peak and the Remarkables or venture around downtown, shopping, dining and exploring.

If you love the city and can’t get enough, take a day trip to Milford Sound for $240, per person. Along the west coast of the South Island, Milford Sound boasts unparalleled natural beauty in every direction.

tourists looking at mountains in Milford Sound, NZ

© Helena Bilková | Dreamstime

For those looking to diversify their trip, book a few nights in Fiordland and take in the wild, otherworldly landscape. Finding a room in villages Te Anau or Manapouri can be limited as they’re quite small, so be sure to book in advance. Enjoy famed Kiwi hospitality and comfort at the Te Anau Lodge or Murrells Grand View House.

Trek the Milford Track on a walking tour from Sandfly Point to the Milford Sound Warf. Stop in local village cafes to refuel with expert guides and take in the incredible lay of the land. Be sure to check out Fiordland National Park and hike through rainforests and alpine trails. Go fly-fishing in any one of the many lakes and streams, or book a river cruise and surround yourself with the idyllic mountainscape.