FAQ - Planning Your Festival

WINTER STARTS HERE and we’re proud of it!  Thursday 22 - Sunday 25 June 2017

It's a four day extravaganza of Queenstown's unique culture and community with street parties, fireworks, international and local acts, comedy, family fun, and plenty of Mountain Mayhem.

Town will be a-buzz with people celebrating the arrival of winter in true Queenstown style.  Please check back in early 2017 for our full programme rundown!

Icons don't just happen overnight; the Queenstown Winter Festival celebrated its fortieth anniversary in 2014!

Way back in 1975 a bunch of locals decided that the start of winter was a great excuse to have a party. They organised races on the mountain and in town, lollies for the kids, beers for the grown-ups, a concert or two and a town-wide ball, all of which made the Festival a great success. News spread quickly and the next year people came from further afield to join the festivities.

Since then the Festival has evolved into New Zealand's - and perhaps the southern Hemisphere's - biggest celebration of winter.

To read about the people and the stories behind the first 40 years of the Queenstown Winter Festival, click here. 

#WinterStartsHere #QTWinterFest

Check out all of our photos and videos from 2016!
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PLANNING YOUR FESTIVAL

If you've never been to the Queenstown Winter Festival there are a few things you need to know. There's the obvious stuff like what to bring, how to dress, how to plan your weekend, where to go, what events might suit you best and so on. But, the first thing you need to know is that you've never ever been to anything like this!  Nowhere and no-one celebrates winter like Queenstown does.

Winter Festival has something for everyone. There are events for families, snow bunnies, or those just looking for some winter fun.

When does the Queenstown Winter Festival  take place?

The 2017 Winter Festival starts on Thursday 22 until Sunday 25 June.

What's on?

The programme of events is currently being finalised and will be up on the website early next year, so keep an eye on the website, join our mailing list and facebook page.  From there you need to study your favourites and book your tickets. 

Get Involved

There are plenty events to enter if you wish to take part.  Plenty of fantastic prizes up for grabs, so get your mates together and join in the fun!

What to Wear?

Generally the weather is settled and a crisp +7-8 degree Celsius to 0 degree Celsius.  However, in the mountains the weather can change dramatically in a few moments so it is best to be prepared for all situations. Average daily max temperature is 7.7 degree Celsius.

Winter is a fantastic time to visit Queenstown, with crisp clean air and often clear blue skies with sunshine. So dress warm, pack your beanie and toss in your dancing shoes and something a little flash just in case you feel like glamming it up. Get prepared to brave the elements and embrace the buzz of winter, just one of the many reasons people come here!

How do we get to Queenstown?

Getting here is easy no matter where you're coming from. Come by foot, bike, bus, pony, scooter, car or plane - we don't care - just get here!

Queenstown International Airport is located 10 kms from the town centre. Airport Shuttles run regularly and there are a number of taxi companies to choose from.  If limo’s are your thing we can sort you out with that too.

 A road trip to Queenstown is  a wonderful scenic option - drive yourself or book a coach tour.

Approximate Travel times by road to Queenstown.

  • Christchurch 6 hours
  • Dunedin 3.5 hours
  • Invercargill 2.5 hours

Do keep in mind that at this time of year winter driving conditions can apply, check with the AA for  current road conditions and make sure you have some chains in your boot and a warm blankie in the car, just in case.

Tips for driving in the winter

  •  Plan your trip, check the weather forecast and road conditions before you leave, and think about where you are going and what route you should take.
  •   The weather in this area during winter can be treacherous, with fog, ice and snow ready to booby trap these roads, so you will need to take extra care and drive to the conditions. You will have to drive slower than they normally would; it only takes a spilt second to lose control in wet and icy conditions.  
  •   You should carry snow chains that they know how to use and fit and should also be aware of when they need to put them on.

Are you just a little bit independent and want to grab a rental car rather than rely on your mum to pick you up and drop you off? We recommend you get your wheels sorted from our friends at Jucy. They have got all sorts and sizes of cars, 4WD's and super duper deals for the Festival and winter in general. They even have ski racks on top and chains in the boot - like your style Jucy! To check out the cars and the super duper deals click here to go to the Jucy home page.

Festival-goers have to eat, so make sure you check out First Table for a comprehensive list of Queenstown restaurants, and some fantastic early bird dining deals!

Also for more information on this beautiful town of ours with things to do, places to go and activities to get stuck into visit Destination Queenstown.

Where to stay?

We have a wide range of Queenstown Accommodation partners that support Festival - please check out the options and book your stay!

If you need a home away from home, a break from the action and somewhere that'll fit the whole family, go to Stay Here for a list of Queenstown holiday homes.

Liquor Ban

BYO does not apply to Festival events and central locations come under a clearly marked total liquor ban which covers all unlicensed areas of downtown Queenstown.  Only beverages purchased from the official Winter Festival beverage  tents on Beach Street and Earnslaw Park can be consumed in public areas on these nights.  Please respect our local police – they are here to help.

Little People

Free Festival events are all family orientated so please remember the little ones.  Make room for children to see the stage and do your best not to bump into them when you are leaping about.

Road Closures

Information on Road Closures will be advised in the Mountain Scene newspaper and on The Hits 90.4 or you can read them here

Traveling from Auckland? 

Fly later, play longer in Queenstown with Air New Zealand’s new evening flights - flying between Queenstown and Auckland.

For the first time, Air New Zealand customers will be able to make the most of an entire winter weekend away in Queenstown - flying in on a Friday evening and spending the whole weekend before flying out on a Sunday evening. Air New Zealand’s the last evening flight departs Queenstown at 7:30pm and the last arrival will land at 9:35pm.

The full schedule from 3 July 2016 is as follows:

flights2

To Book: CLICK HERE