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Queenstown is the ultimate all-year destination and winter promises many incredible activities and attractions that the other seasons cannot offer. Visiting Queenstown in winter? Here are just a few things to do that might tempt you…
Snow snow snow!
Of course, Queenstown is probably best known for skiing and snowboarding in winter. Snow bunnies from all over the globe come to explore the slopes at our local fields, in particular, Coronet Peak and The Remarkables. The season normally runs from mid-June to early September. Busses up to the ski fields depart regularly from the town centre or you can drive yourself (just remember to take chains with you!).
Queenstown is beautiful but it can get cold in winter - with temperatures often falling beneath freezing overnight. Some hotels and accommodation providers have their own spa pools, but we recommend warming up with a visit to the Onsen Hot Pools at Arthurs Point. With indoor and outdoor options, this is an excellent way to soothe your aching muscles after a day’s skiing or exploring!
Historic Boat Cruise
Did you know Lake Wakatipu is actually tidal? It is the third largest lake in New Zealand and its unusual “lightning bolt” shape causes the water to rise and fall every 25 minutes or so. Cruising across the lake is a year round activity and a great relaxed way to see the local surrounds. The TSS Earnslaw is a New Zealand icon – a vintage steamboat over 100 years old. Enjoy a 1.5 hour cruise or include a visit to Walter Peak Farm (BBQ lunch optional).
Queenstown Winter Festival
The 10 day festival runs every year in June and kicks off with an opening party with fireworks. The event includes an ice rink, parade, comedy gala, competitions, markets, and lots more – with something for all ages.
Get your heart pumping
Skydiving and bungy jumping are year round activities… Queenstown is the adrenalin capital of the world, after all.
Well, we couldn’t write this article without including a scenic flight in Queenstown! This is a superb way to experience Queenstown’s alpine scenery and snow-covered mountains, and there are plenty of options to choose from. Milford Sound is by far the most popular destination – include a cruise across the world famous fiord for the full experience. Flights are weather dependent, so we recommend booking your flight for the first day you are in Queenstown in case you have to readjust to another time.