New Zealand's biggest winter party is just around the corner. This year the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival is on from Friday 24 June – Sunday 3 July. In the idyllic alpine setting of Queenstown, this popular annual event celebrates the start of winter over 10 fun-filled days.
The festival opens with a spectacular fireworks display and vibrant street party for the whole family. Then over the festival days that follow, the town will buzz day and night with activities and entertainment for all ages. Festival goers can enjoy live international and local acts, markets, comedy shows, a Mardi Gras parade, McDonalds Teddy Bears Picnic, Budget Rent-A-Car Mountain Bikes on Snow, Speight's Dog Derby, a Masquerade Ball, an Invitational Slopestyle event and much, much more.
With all that excitement you’re sure to work up a thirst and an appetite. There are plenty of quality bars and restaurants in and around Queenstown to choose from. Prime Waterfront Restaurant and Bar overlooks Queenstown Bay and specialises in innovative steak, game and seafood dishes. Perched above the town in the Heartland Hotel Queenstown is The Hillside Brassarie which is only a few minutes walk from the town centre. Póg Mahones, Queenstown's original Irish Pub, sits right on the lake side and serves a wide range of hearty pub food. These are just a few suggestions; see our comprehensive list of Queenstown restaurants and bars for more options.
All year round Queenstown offers entertainment and adventure to cater for everyone. Whether you’re a seasoned skier or snowboarder, thrill seeker, sight-seer or just want to relax and unwind, there’s something to suit everyone.
Enjoy your snow sports on the several ski areas that are in close proximity Thrill seekers can choose from a host of adventure activities such as jet boat rides, bungy jumping, hand gliding and paragliding, just to name a few. And if you want to experience the scenic alpine environment at a slower pace you could play a round of golf, go wine tasting at a vineyard, take a boat ride on the lake, be pampered at a spa or visit the picturesque mining village of Arrowtown. For more ideas and inspiration, visit the Queenstown New Zealand website.
For morning information about the festival, including the latest programme details, visit the Queenstown Winter Festival website.
Editorial by Christine Brightwell