Queenstown New Zealand

Celebrate winter in Queenstown

If you’ve heard of New Zealand winter holiday destinations, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Queenstown. With a population of around 28,000, this South Island destination is famous for its extreme sports activities and scenic views. If your mouse is hovering over the ‘book flight’ button, then here are six activities in a Queenstown winter that might tip you over the edge.

Things to do in Queenstown in winter

1. Hit the slopes

This one is kind of obvious. It’s the main reason people travel to New Zealand during winter. For good reason too! Queenstown has two popular ski fields – Coronet Peak and The Remarkables – right next door.

The views from the top are enough to have you reaching for your ski goggles. Whether you’ve never tried skiing before or you’re ready to hit a black run, there are hills for every skill level. You can also take group lessons and make a few friends to hang out with at one of Queenstown’s many après-ski offerings.

If hitting the slopes with skis and snowboards isn’t your thing, you can always opt for the thrill of tobogganing in Queenstown, gliding through the stunning landscapes at one of these ski fields. Hot chocolate anyone?

2. Go on an easy hike

Hiking in the winter means you’ll avoid the crowds and be able to enjoy the beautiful surroundings in peace and quiet. How’s the serenity? A popular hike that is on the easy side is the Queenstown Hill. This hike is only five kilometres and takes you up to a summit with a great view of Queenstown below.

A similarly short hike is Bob’s Cove Track, or Sunshine Bay Track, both of which will take you under an hour. That means you’ll be able to hit one of the local breweries by lunchtime!

3. Visit the Onsen Hot Pools

If you’re looking for an Instagram opportunity, the Onsen Hot Pools are picture perfect. This beautiful spa is full of private hot pools where you can enjoy a soak overlooking the picturesque Shotover Canyon.

The experience also includes a selection of complimentary local refreshments to enjoy. After a big day of skiing or hiking, 45 minutes of pure relaxation is pretty darn enticing.

4. Cruise Lake Wakatipu

One of the best ways to see the snow-capped mountains of Queenstown is by boat.

On Lake Wakatipu, you’ll see Queenstown from a whole new perspective and learn some fun facts from your captain on board.And there’s no better way to cruise this gorgeous lake than on the TSS Earnslaw – an Edwardian steamship that has been lovingly maintained since 1912 and is an iconic piece of Queenstown's history. Just remember to wear your woollies when out on the water.

5. Go stargazing

You’re never too old to wish upon a star and in Queenstown, there are plenty of them! During winter, the Milky Way is visible over the town. By taking a short drive out to Moke Lake, you can see the stars shining brightly.

The stars are such a big deal in Queenstown that there are even stargazing tours that you can join. On the tour, you can look through a telescope and learn to navigate using the iconic Southern Cross. Shooting stars and survival tips? Sign us up!

Embrace Winter Magic at LUMA Queenstown

Step into a magical world of light at Queenstown’s LUMA Southern Light Project, where the town transforms into a mesmerising canvas of light and artistry. Over several nights, Queenstown becomes a magical wonderland, showcasing the creativity of local and international artists.

You can wander through the transformed landscapes, experiencing the town in a whole new light – literally. Be sure to plan your visit to LUMA ahead of time for this luminescent experience.

New Zealand, New You?

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