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Where to Find the Best Paragliding in Queenstown

Last updated on February 15, 2023

Paragliding in Queenstown

Paragliding in Queenstown is one of the greatest ways to see the nation from above, and it is widely considered to be one of the city’s most dramatic adventure sports.

Paragliding gave me the sensation of flying without having to jump out of an aeroplane, and after doing it for the first time in Switzerland, I was hooked. Although I have no aversion to heights and am all for parachutes, I like to avoid free falls. In my case, paragliding is the best possible solution.

I wanted to conclude our three-month campervan vacation throughout New Zealand on a happy note, so I planned a surprise party. After researching the numerous exciting things to do in Queenstown, I decided to go on the city’s highest commercial takeoff paragliding ride.

Check out the best paragliding launch sites in Queenstown and learning schools.

Why paragliding in Queenstown?

The real question should be, why not?

There is no better way to take in the breathtaking scenery of the snowy mountains and rough valleys around Queenstown than from the air.

Commercial paragliding in New Zealand is limited to a few locations—Auckland, Nelson, and Christchurch—all of which only provide lessons and not recreational flights.

This is the perfect spot to take off from a mountaintop and take in the breathtaking panorama below you. That’s why I made sure to include paragliding in Queenstown on my “must things to do” list!

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Paragliding, Hang-Gliding or Skydiving?

There are three ways in which one may hang hundreds of metres in the air: hang-gliding, paragliding, and skydiving. Then then, you may be a little bit insane.

For many visitors to New Zealand, skydiving is at the top of their must-do list, and Queenstown is the most popular site to take the plunge.

However, paragliding is a great alternative if you’re looking for a less scary way to test your fear for heights before leaping out of an aircraft, or if you’ve previously tried skydiving and want to try something new.

In addition to paragliding, Queenstown is home to a thriving hang-gliding community. By the way, you should check out this guide on getting a New Zealand visa for British citizens.

Although I haven’t tried it personally, a friend has stated that hang-gliding is the most thrilling since you can reach faster speeds than paragliding and experience the sensation of flying while laying flat (instead of sitting in a chair-like harness when paragliding).

Paragliding Options in Queenstown

You may choose from many different launch sites while paragliding in Queenstown.

Gforce Paragliding, atop the Queenstown Gondola, is the closest to town. Only one firm is authorised to fly above Queenstown, however because of height restrictions, its flights can only be around 8-10 minutes long. The starting price here is $199, but the cost of a gondola ride is an additional $44.

Coronet Peak Tandems, the Queenstown paragliding business we used, has many launch locations that are far higher than the gondola. Longer flight duration is possible because of greater takeoff altitude and more freedom for manoeuvring in the updrafts.

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Coronet Peak Tandems offers a shuttle service to and from the Queenstown CBD to the launch site, and their cheaper launch option costs $205, while the higher launch costs $235.

In case you are planning for paragliding in Queenstown, then you should know New Zealand visa requirements as well when you are coming from abroad.

What You Need to Know Before Paragliding in Queenstown

  • Put on garments that are suitable for the weather. We went near the end of winter and it was COLD; we bundled up and wore thick socks and gloves. If you need gloves, boots, or a jacket, Coronet Peak Tandems has you covered.
  • Collect the pictures! Is there any way to verify your paragliding experience without photos? It is well worth it to pay a little more for the images and film since the pilots are competent GoPro photographers and are instructed to capture the most memorable moments of your ride.
  • Or, bring a camera. If you have a reliable method of securing your camera, such as a GoPro chest strap, you may be allowed to bring it along. If you want to be sure the firm is still accepting bookings, call them first.
  • You’ll need to be in quite good shape. To become airborne, you may need to sprint a little.
  • To put it simply, you’ll go wherever the wind blows you. Don’t be that person who complains that they weren’t up in the air long enough or that the view wasn’t what they expected. Embrace the uncertainty and take advantage of the ride while you can since you’re at the mercy of the wind and thermals.

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