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About Queenstown

Born as an 1860’s gold mining camp, 151 years later Queenstown has a compact and sophisticated downtown area tucked into a picturesque bay on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Dwarfed by the surrounding mountains, there are amazing views from everywhere. There’s also a permanent buzz in the downtown area where you’ll find a lively café/bar scene and excellent shopping. Check out everything to do in Queenstown here.

Queenstown in Winter

Blue skies, white slopes and spectacular views are hallmarks of the Queenstown winter.

Officially 1 June to 31 August - rug up, keep cosy.  Winter temperatures seldom reach more than 7°C or 8°C (44°F - 46°F) and can fall well below 0°C (32°F), and the ski season often lasts until early October.

An electric vibe sweeps over the town before each big snowfall in anticipation of fresh tracks and a winter wonderland. Skiers, snowboarders and alpine lovers are drawn to the region's six international standard ski areas, open from June, a spirited après ski culture and plenty of off-slope action.  

The breathtakingly beautiful snow areas cater to every level of skier or snowboarder.  Learners find dedicated areas and great instruction while the more advanced can hike to steep slopes and chutes and the passionate can find private powder runs with the help of a guide and helicopter...

Why choose Queenstown?

  • It’s easy – flights run direct from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch as well as 15 direct flights into Queenstown from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne
  • It’s fun!  Six amazing ski fields all in close proximity to each other, combined with over 150 different activities to choose from.  You really can ski in the morning and enjoy a round of golf in the afternoon.
  • There’s plenty for the non-skiers.  Queenstown offers a winter wonderland experience for those who prefer to steer clear of the snow, with many activities, sightseeing and day trip options, combined with a range of international day spas, growing acclaim for food and wine and over 130 café’s restaurants and bars.
  • Pure choice – with Coronet Peak a 25 minute drive from Queenstown’s CBD, and the other mountain resorts in close proximity, there are endless accommodation options and fantastic restaurants for all tastes and budget

Alpine Playground

Escape to an exciting winter holiday in Queenstown, a snow lover’s paradise with several ski areas on the doorstep of our cosmopolitan resort town. Getting high in the mountains and experiencing the snow first hand is even more exhilarating. Together the ski fields offer a vast range of terrain suitable for all levels of skier or rider complemented by some of the best snow sports programmes in the world.

Relax or be exhilarated

Queenstown has it all. Thrill seekers can take their pick of adventure activities, most still in full swing during winter, while those seeking relaxation can chill out on the golf course, in a vineyard, at a luxury spa or in the many shops, galleries, bars and restaurants.

Activities in Queenstown are seemingly endless, and most run year-round, providing plenty of entertainment on and off the slopes. Non skiers can enjoy snowshoeing, snowmobiling, tubing, or ice-climbing to same just a sample of the winter options.

Arrowtown is a delightful day trip, and from Glenorchy experience the tranquility of Mount Aspiring and Fiordland National Parks. 

 Click here for a great range of activities.

 Enjoy and see you at Winter Festival 2017!


  • Article

Real Journeys announced as Queenstown Winter Festival Title Partner

Queenstown, New Zealand (19 October 2017)
Leading tourism company Real Journeys has today been announced as the Queenstown Winter Festival’s new title partner.

  • Article

Festival through the eyes of Rach Stewart

Rach Stewart is a self-taught landscape, travel and adventure photographer based in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand, who experienced her first ever Queenstown Winter Festival. See her thoughts here:

  • Article

New look Festival delivers on expectations, planning for 2018 Festival begins

After a successful 2017 event, organisers of the 43rd Queenstown Winter Festival have confirmed that the shortened format for 2017 was the right decision for the Festival’s long-term future.

  • Article

Countdown to Festival opening

The bright lights, fireworks and star attractions of the 43rd Queenstown Winter Festival will shine even brighter on Queenstown and its annual winter celebrations coming straight after winter solstice and the shortest day of the year.

New sponsor for Queenstown Winter Festival a local hero

Media release 20 April 2017: Real Journeys fires up for Queenstown Winter Festival‘s 2017 Friday Night Party & Fireworks

One hundred days to go!

13 March 2017
One hundred days to go before the start of the 43rd Queenstown Winter Festival, planning is well underway as the team behind the scenes is creating an action-packed programme for the new four-day format.