Located in the heart of the Southern Alps, Queenstown is a true alpine destination offering fun on and off the mountain. Here are some of our favourite things to do in Queenstown during winter.
1. Explore four ski fields
Coronet Peak is Queenstown’s closest ski area and is an easy 20-minute drive from downtown. There are fantastic on-mountain facilities, state-of-the-art snowmaking and night skiing (more on this thrill below).
The Remarkables Ski Area is a true alpine experience a 45-minute drive from central Queenstown. Perfect for the whole family, beginners, novices, advanced skiers and boarders all flock to the sunny north-facing bowls.
Cardrona Alpine Resort is in the Cardrona Valley, just over an hours’ drive from Queenstown. Well known for its extensive terrain park facilities, and a range of different cafes and on-mountain accommodation, which make the resort feel like a small village.
Further down the road, you can reach Treble Cone Ski Area from Queenstown in just under an hour and a half. Treble Cone is the largest ski area in the South Island making it a favourite with skiers and boarders alike.
2. Night skiing
Coronet Peak is the only ski area in New Zealand with night skiing. Nights on the slopes start late June, and runs Wednesday and Friday nights until late August, with a bonus Saturday night ski over the July school holidaysAfter a day trip to Arrowtown or Glenorchy, grab an early dinner downtown, then hit the slopes at sunset, and claim another day’s worth of skiing as you carve up the slopes under the huge spotlights.
Once you’ve hung up the skis for the day, head to the waterfront to check out Queenstown’s nightlife. Choose from stylish bars, sophisticated clubs, kiwi pubs, craft beer bars and late night hot spots. Queenstown’s après-ski atmosphere is second to none, and there will be a steaming hot mulled wine waiting for you.
The dramatic scenery in the region will blow you away, especially in winter with the Whakatipu Basin surrounded by white-tipped mountain peaks.The region stretches all the way from Gibbston, nearer Central Otago and with barren, dry and golden rocky landscapes, to Glenorchy, nearer the West Coast and with lush green bush and higher rainfall. A drive from Gibbston, through Queenstown and to Glenorchy is one of the most spectacular and scenic drives you can do in the South Island.Take in the beautiful snowcapped landscapes on an unforgettable sightseeing adventure by air, by boat or on land.
5. Rest and relaxation
With all this skiing and snowboarding, a relaxing activity may be in order. Visit the Onsen Hot Pools, or get a massage at one of Queenstown’s many day spas. Still got that chilled out vibe? Queenstown has many wineries so head out to Gibbston, where there are excellent cellar door and restaurant offerings, or do a wine tasting tour in the afternoon.
6. World-class dining
When it comes to eating out, Queenstown’s innovative and award-winning cafés and restaurants literally pack a bite. Along with nearby Arrowtown and Gibbston, Queenstown is home to a huge range of different restaurants with everything from fine dining to takeaway burger joints.
7. Family fun
Popular choices for families include steamship or boat cruises on the lake, luging, mini golf, ten-pin bowling, frisbee golf, iFLY indoor skydiving, ice skating, farm tours and the Kiwi Birdlife Park to name just a few.
8. Winter events
Queenstown hosts a fantastic lineup of events in winter, from art installations to music festivals on the slopes.
Highlights include –
Coronet Peak is organising a five-day party from 17-21 August to celebrate its 75th anniversary.
Winter Pride, The Southern Hemisphere’s biggest pride festival, held late August to early September.
Winter Games, the biggest snow sports event in the Southern Hemisphere, held late August to early September.
Snow Machine, Skiing, music, accommodation and adventure. 4 days of après events at The Remarkables and Coronet Peak in September.
9. Gear Up
Queenstown’s outdoorsy spirit becomes clear when strolling through our retail shops. A mix of local and international stores offer a range of the latest sporting gear and the coolest apparel. Make sure you take time to get yourself kitted out for the season.
10. Get your adrenaline fix
If you’re wanting an adrenaline fix, Queenstown is famous for its nail-biting activities. With thrills such as bungy jumping, jet boating, skydiving, zip-lining, paragliding, dirt biking, or four-wheel-driving – all guaranteed to get your blood pumping!
Blog via: queenstownnz