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1 to 2 hours Time to Spend

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To fully grasp the beauty of Queenstown's landscape, head 9,000, 12,000 or 15,000 feet up and jump out of a plane. Though it'll take some guts to follow through with a skydiving excursion, as you freefall, you'll see jaw-dropping views of Queenstown, The Remarkables' snow-capped peaks, Lake Wakatipu and the South Island's rolling green hills.

Since skydiving is one of Queenstown's most popular outdoor activities and local operators offer a limited number of jumps each day, recent travelers recommended reserving your excursion at least a few days in advance. Also consider planning your skydiving trip toward the beginning of your stay in Queenstown. High winds or poor visibility can result in skydiving cancellations, so you'll want plenty of time to reschedule your jump should you come across weather issues.

Two skydiving operators are available in Queenstown: NZONE Skydive and Skydive Paradise. Both companies offer jumps from 12,000 and 15,000 feet. A 9,000-foot jump is also available through NZONE Skydive. Skydiving prices start at NZ$299 (around $201) for a 9,000-foot jump. Photography and videography services can be added to any jump for an additional fee. Skydive Paradise schedules three jumps a day between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., while NZONE Skydive offers jumps daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. (weather permitting). Complimentary shuttle services to jump sites are provided from central Queenstown's Shotover Street. Allow three to four hours for all skydiving excursions.

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#1 Skyline Queenstown

For some of the best mountain vistas, climb aboard a Skyline Queenstown gondola. After ascending nearly 1,500 feet, you'll end up at an observation deck atop Bob's Peak, where views of central Queenstown, The Remarkables and Coronet Peak await you. You'll also find a restaurant, a bar and various mountain bike trails at the top.

However, for the most thrills, check out the attraction's luge tracks, which are accessible via a chairlift that picks up by the gondola. Previous travelers said that you'll not only enjoy fantastic views, but also a hair-raising, yet kid-friendly experience.

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