7 Fun Winter Activities to Enjoy in Queenstown
The crown jewel of New Zealand's Southern Alps, Queenstown is a true winter wonderland - a place where folks from far and wide converge to enjoy the best skiing, snowboarding and winter festivities the southern hemisphere has to offer. Newcomers are often be overwhelmed by the breadth and scope of activities on offer, so here's a helpful guide highlighting of some of our favorite things to do in Queenstown:
1. Go shopping. Visitors to Queenstown in the height of winter need to come prepared. This means winter jackets, ski-boots, skis, snowboards, goggles and more. Whether you're in town for the skiing or outdoor adventure in the wilderness, you will need to be kitted out with the latest sporting gear and winter outerwear. Luckily there are plenty of outlets in Queenstown that sell and rent winter gear in all price ranges.
2. Have fun with the kids. Queenstown has no shortage of venues for family friendly fun. Old standbys like mini-golf, Frisbee golf, bowling, ice-skating and farm-tours combined with family friendly adventure sports activities like the flying-fox, the downhill luge, kayaking and rafting ensure that your kids will have a vacation experience they will cherish forever.
3. Nightlife & fine dining. There’s more to Queenstown than just heading out into the wild. For a town of its size, Queenstown boasts some world class bars, nightclubs, pubs, cafes and restaurants. Whether you’re in the market for exquisite dishes painstakingly crafted by Michelin Star chefs using seasonal ingredients, or fish and chips at a cheap and cheerful family-friendly eatery, Queenstown has you covered. Looking to sample the local nightlife? Go on a pub crawl with your friends, take in a live show at a local venue or get sweaty on the dance floor at a nightclub.
4. Visit a spa. Queenstown boasts plenty of day spas where weary travelers can get a massage, facial or a hot mud treatment. Of particular interest to anyone looking to pamper themselves are the Onsen Hot Pools. Overlooking the Shotover Canyon, Onsen Hot Pools is the perfect place to luxuriate in the warmth of their mineral baths while taking in stunning panoramic views of Queenstown and its environs.
5. Attend the Queenstown Winter Festival. Taking place over four days in June, the Queenstown Winter Festival is the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest party heralding the arrival of winter. Among the many attractions include fireworks, free concerts, stand-up comedy, activities for kids, and parties for mom and dad. Popular with both locals and visitors, the festival boasts a strong turnout each year. Missed Winterfest? Not to worry, there is the annual Queenstown Film Festival in July and a winter sporting event in August. Throw a dart at a calendar, chances are you’ll hit a day with some kind of festival or celebration going on in Queenstown.
6. Adventure sports. Queenstown is famous as the adventure sports capital of the world, and the insanity doesn’t stop when the snow falls! Bungy jumping, jet boating, skydiving, zip lining, paragliding, mountaineering, snowmobile excursions and more are in full effect all winter in Queenstown. Whatever you’re looking to get your heart racing and blood pumping, Queenstown has it in spades, no matter what the season.
7. Skiing and snowboarding. Nobody should forget what put Queenstown on the map in the first place. Queenstown offers not one but several premiere ski fields in close vicinity, making it ground zero for winter sports activities in the Southern Alps. It doesn’t matter if you’re a freestyle snowboarder, backcountry or downhill skier, you’ll find a suitable ski-field in Queenstown that suits your particular style. Coronet Peak in nearby Arrowtown is also the only spot in New Zealand with night skiing, if that floats your boat. Regardless of which Queenstown ski-field you choose, you are guaranteed stunning views and world class facilities.