Nestled alongside the pristine waters of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by majestic, snowcapped mountains ready for winter activities, Queenstown is the perfect winter holiday destination.
Whether you have an appetite for adventure, mountains and fresh air or are more at home enjoying a delicious meal, fine wine and a roaring fire, get away from the everyday and escape to Queenstown.
The cosmopolitan town has a welcoming, vibrant energy that resonates across the resort to make Queenstown a unique holiday destination.
Big enough to off er a wide range of accommodation, activities, ski fields, events, eateries and bars—yet small enough to make you feel like you belong.
Every year from early June onwards, the region transforms into a winter wonderland, attracting snow sports enthusiasts from around the world with its incredible lake and alpine scenery, crisp blue-sky days, easy access to some of New Zealand’s finest ski and snowboard terrain and vibrant après ski scene.
At the start of winter over Queens Birthday weekend (1-4 June 2018) the LUMA Southern Light Project will return for its third year in the Queenstown Gardens, showcasing a curated collection of stunning light sculptures and installations with a focus on transformation of space, public interaction, art, culture and education.
The region’s four ski fields, all within a handy 25 to 90-minute drive of Queenstown, are scheduled to open from mid-June and off er a range of terrain for all levels, whether you’re keen to conquer the basics, enjoy groomed runs, tackle off -piste, throw down some freestyle tricks or experience the thrill of night skiing.
With the first snowfalls, you can feel the buzz in town as skiers and snowboarders gear up for a season of fun.
Visit Queenstown at the start of the ski season and experience the electric atmosphere of the town’s annual Queenstown Winter Festival (23rd – 24th June 2018).
Winter Festival has grown into the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest winter celebration and is a true showcase of Queenstown’s unique culture and community, with street parades, fireworks, entertainment, live music, comedy, loads of family fun, and plenty of mountain mayhem, and loved by locals and visitors alike.
However LUMA and the Queenstown Winter Festival are just the start when it comes to Queenstown’s winter event calendar – there’s loads to do both on and off mountain throughout the season.
The NZ Mountain film festival (6-8 July 2017) is held in Queenstown and is a collection of the world’s best adventure films and speakers with amazing atmosphere and inspiring films.
If the film fest whets your appetite for adventure racing, Queenstown’s famous Peak to Peak is on mid-August.
This is the South Island’s biggest winter multisport event and attracts competitors from around New Zealand.
If the thrill of mountain climbing is what you are after The Remarkables Ice & Mixed Festival (17—20 August 2017) brings together winter alpine climbers from around New Zealand and overseas to advance and promote modern mixed and ice climbing.
The fifth biennial Audi quattro Winter Games NZ return to the region this 25 August – 10 September where Winter Olympic, Paralympic and X Games Winter stars head to New Zealand’s Southern Alps for the first major championships of the season.
The Games are one of the world’s top five winter sports competitions, with a relaxed atmosphere, friendly people, sporting action and festival fun – and it’s all free to watch!
Gay Ski Week QT (2-9 September 2017) adds its own glitz and glamour when hundreds of revellers come from around the world to Queenstown for the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest gay alpine celebration.
Queenstown is famous for its year-round high-octane thrills so if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush or want to push your boundaries, there’s activities like bungy jumping, jet boating, skydiving, zip trekking, paragliding, dirt biking, supercar or four-wheel-driving-all guaranteed to get your blood pumping!
If a relaxed, leisurely experience is what you’re after, Queenstown has some great ways to rejuvenate and recharge your batteries.
Wrap up warmly and explore the region’s spectacular scenery by foot or by bike on one of its many trails.
The Queenstown Trail provides 110km of walking and cycling trails which link popular scenic spots.
Scenic walks from downtown Queenstown range from a leisurely stroll around the beautiful lakeside gardens to hiking up Queenstown Hill for magnificent 360 degree vistas.
Queenstown is also an internationally renowned golf hub.
With six golf courses, three of international standing, within a 25-minute drive of the town centre, they offer everything from family friendly 9-hole courses to immaculately-groomed fairways with snow-capped mountain backdrops so stunning that it’s hard to keep your eye on the ball.
Central Otago produces some of the best Pinot Noir in the world thanks to the region’s combination of shale soil and sharply defined seasons.
And with around 200 vineyards within 1½ hours’ drive of Queenstown, wine tours are a great way to explore the area and get an insight into its epicurean culture and world-renowned wines.
When it comes to eating out, Queenstown’s innovative and awardwinning cafés and restaurants offer cuisine to suit every palate.
Along with nearby Arrowtown, Queenstown is home to more than 150 eateries ranging from fine dining to fun dining.
Stylish bars, sophisticated clubs, Kiwi pubs and late night hot spots also make Queenstown’s après ski atmosphere second to none.
For the ultimate in relaxation, especially after a day on the slopes, enjoy some ‘me time’ at one of Queenstown’s luxury day spas.
A full range of treatments are on offer and it’s the perfect way to revitalize mind, body and soul.
Or, there are many ways to stretch and recover those tested legs, from languid yoga to Pilates, or even a multi-day retreat designed to help you reconnect with yourself.
Queenstown off ers a wide range of accommodation from budget to five-star, with international chains of hotels and motels alongside backpacker properties, B&Bs, and luxury lodges.
Whether you choose to stay within walking distance of town or venture further out, you’ll find friendly hosts and spectacular views.
A short 20-minute drive from Queenstown is the beautiful old gold mining village of Arrowtown and this is a trip worth its weight in gold. In 1862 the cry of “gold” brought thousands of miners to the Arrow River.
Through careful preservation, the legacy of the early settlers has been retained over time and created a fascinating, picturesque town where the past and present seamlessly blend.
Arrowtown is now a treasure in its own right with quaint tree-lined streets, old miners’ cottages, a restored Chinese Village and the Lakes District Museum which is the focal point for the rich history of the town and surrounding areas.
To experience a true slice of paradise head west to Glenorchy, a spectacular 45-minute drive from Queenstown at the top of Lake Wakatipu.
Bordered by the South West New Zealand World Heritage Area, this tiny hamlet is the gateway to some of New Zealand’s most epic scenery.
Glenorchy off ers several café options with a hearty southern meal and accommodation options to suit everyone.
There’s also a visitor centre, garage and general store as well as its famous possum fur products and New Zealand-made designer garments and gifts.
It’s a great place to get back to nature and enjoy tandem hang gliding, wilderness jet boating, horse riding, fishing, kayaking, and is starting point for many multi-day hikes.
Coronet Peak is New Zealand’s original ski resort, and Queenstown’s closest at 25 minutes’ drive from downtown. World-class facilities, superb conditions and spectacular rollercoaster terrain make Coronet Peak an exciting destination for snow lovers of any ability. Experience magnificent views, a stunning base building, fantastic on-mountain facilities, awesome food and beverage outlets including the Ice Bar up the mountain, stateof-the-art snowmaking. Night skiing on the weekends and Wednesdays in July is a must do in Queenstown, while for early risers First Tracks, from 8am-9am, is also very popular. Shuttle options available from the Duke Street Snow Centre.
The Remarkables is a true alpine experience just a 45-minute drive from central Queenstown and is perfect for the whole family, from beginners and novices to advanced skiers and boarders. Featuring one of only six Burton-designed Stashs, this is also the Queenstown destination for park enthusiasts. The new base building is a world-class facility with improved restaurant, ticketing, rentals and retail areas. With its high alpine location, sunny aspect and relaxed atmosphere, it’s become a firm local favourite with locals and visitors. The Remarkables features a six-seat, high-speed Curvey Basin chairlift, alongside increased snow making capacity, a large and wide learners’ area, fresh trails, ample car parking with the first 10km of the 12km access road now sealed. Shuttle options are available. It also features the first-in-New-Zealand enclosed double conveyor lift in the learners’ area, keeping users protected from weather while still being able to see friends or family having fun. Shuttle options available from the Duke Street Snow Centre.
Both mountains are the only New Zealand members of The Mountain Collective, a grouping of 15 of the best ski resorts in the world, where discounts are provided to season passes of each mountain.
Cardrona Alpine Resort has a laid-back and friendly vibe, deep snow cover, wide open slopes, serious half pipes, steep chutes and an extensive terrain park for freestylers, great family facilities, and onmountain accommodation. Cardrona is an hour’s drive from Queenstown and shuttle options are available. There are over $15million worth of developments for the 2017 winter season including the new McDougall’s Express Chondola a combination of gondola cabins & chairs, the first of its kind in NZ.
Treble Cone is the South Island’s biggest ski area and a favourite for advanced skiers and snowboarders with the longest vertical rise in the Southern Lakes, two large basins, great off -piste terrain and stunning views. Novices are also well catered for with a dedicated free learning area. The ski area is an hour and a half’s drive or a short 15-minute flight from Queenstown, and there is also an express Queenstown bus service running from the Queenstown I-site.