There are two Queenstown-based flying fox/zipline tour operators and each one offers quite a different experience.
Ziptrek operate from the Skyline Queenstown complex and is the more family-friendly of the two zipline experiences. Although this activity involves facing your fears of heights, it is not really an extreme sports activity and is more of an educational immersive nature experience that is suitable for everyone from children to the elderly.
The two Ziptrek tours include the four-line Moa tour and the six-line Kea tour.
The Moa tour is geared more toward beginners (as well as children and seniors). It is a 1.5–2 hour experience that involves four ziplines, the longest is 240m with a maximum speed of up to 50 km/h and eight treetop platforms, the highest which is 25m (around the height of an eight-storey building).
The Kea tour is a more advanced tour. The experience takes 2.5–3 hours and involves six ziplines, the longest is 300m and 12 treetop platforms, the highest which is 25m (around the height of an eight-storey building). The final zipline on the Kea tour descends the equivalent of 30 storeys at up to 70 km/h.
Most people take the Skyline gondola to the Ziptrek (you can’t drive up, but there are a couple of hiking trails). This means that you need to budget the cost of the gondola when budgeting for your day, although it does make sense combining it with the Skyline luge for a great day out.
Shotover Canyon Fox
While Ziptrek is a family-friendly nature experience, the Shotover Canyon Fox is pure adrenaline.
The Shotover Canyon Fox starts off with a five-metre freefall onto a slack cable suspended 182m above the canyon floor (equivalent to a 47-storey building). You then zip across the canyon on a 445m-long cable.