Dates set for 2013 Queenstown Winter Festival

New Zealand’s 10 coolest days are set to return to Queenstown, with the dates locked and loaded for the 2013 American Express Queenstown Winter Festival.

The multi award-winning event will take centre stage in the world-renowned lake and alpine resort from 21 to 30 June 2013, officially announcing that the winter season is underway.

The iconic 10-day Winter Festival first started in Queenstown back in 1975 and has now earned international recognition as the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest winter celebration. 

Tens of thousands of locals and visitors take to the streets each year to celebrate the start of the winter season, enjoying fun and frivolity on and off the ski slopes with mountain mayhem, street parades, music, fireworks, comedy, food and wine events, crazy races and quirky entertainment.

Destination Queenstown CEO Graham Budd said that the annual Winter Festival was a fantastic time for people to visit and enjoy the festivities as part of their winter holiday.

 “Festival has proven itself to be a great catalyst for locals and visitors to come together to celebrate the start of the season, experience the buzz around town and enjoy everything the region has to offer.

 “Queenstown is an inspiring winter holiday destination - as well as fantastic festival events, there are six ski fields close by, a vibrant après ski scene, and huge range of off-mountain activities for all ages and budgets.”

Festival Manager Lisa Buckingham is looking forward to creating a winter playground which kicks off the season “Queenstown-style”.

“Plans for the festival are well underway and there’ll be plenty of action and excitement for everyone.  Town will be buzzing so lock the dates in your diary now to experience it for yourself.”

Queenstown’s stunning alpine scenery, crisp blue-sky days, and easy access to some of New Zealand's finest skiing attracts snow sports enthusiasts from around the world in winter.

The region’s six ski fields begin opening from early June, and close in early October.  All are within a 25 to 90 minute drive of Queenstown and offer a range of terrain suitable for all levels of skiers and snowboarders.

There’s also plenty of action and relaxation off the slopes – a bucket list of opportunities from adrenaline thrills such as bungy jumping, jet boating, skydiving and four-wheel-drive adventures to a more relaxed pace with scenic walking and biking trails, award-winning Central Otago wineries, luxury spas, boutique shopping and galleries.

The American Express Queenstown Winter Festival is owned by Destination Queenstown and run by the Winter Festival office.  For more Winter Festival information visit www.winterfestival.co.nz or to find out more about Queenstown visit www.queenstownNZ.co.nz.