Things To Do in Queenstown New Zealand in Winter

things to do in queenstown new zealand in winter

Queenstown, located on the southern island of New Zealand, is a winter wonderland that attracts visitors from all over the world. With its stunning mountains, pristine lakes, and endless winter activities, Queenstown is the ultimate destination for those looking for an adventure-filled vacation in the snow. Whether you’re a thrill seeker or a nature lover, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Queenstown during the winter months.

One of the most popular winter activities in Queenstown is skiing or snowboarding. The area is home to four world-class ski resorts, each with its own unique terrain and facilities. From beginners to pros, there’s a downhill for everyone, and the awesome views of the surrounding mountains make it a truly memorable experience. But skiing and snowboarding aren’t the only winter activities on offer in Queenstown.

Visitors can also try their hand at snowshoeing, ice skating, snowmobiling, and even bobsledding. And if you’re looking for a more relaxing experience, you can take a scenic helicopter ride over snow-capped peaks or relax in one of the region’s many hot springs. With so many options to choose from, Queenstown is the perfect destination for adventure seekers and relaxation enthusiasts alike.

Skiing and Snowboarding

Queenstown is a paradise for skiers and snowboarders. Four world-class ski resorts surround the city: Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Cardrona Alpine Resort, and Treble Cone. Each of these resorts offers unique skiing and snowboarding experiences for people of all skill levels.

Coronet Peak is a ski resort just 25 minutes from Queenstown. It offers a variety of races for beginners and advanced skiers. With over 30 runs and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, Remarkables is perfect for intermediate skiers and snowboarders.

Cardrona Alpine Resort is a great choice for families with a dedicated children’s slope and ski school for children. There are over 400 acres of terrain for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. Treble Cone is known for its challenging terrain and stunning views. It is the largest ski resort on the South Island and has something for everyone.


If you’re not a fan of skiing or snowboarding, don’t worry! There are many other winter activities in Queenstown. Snowshoeing is a popular activity for those who want to explore snow-covered landscapes without hitting the slopes. Snowshoeing is easy to learn and suitable for all ages and fitness levels.

You can rent snowshoes at several places in Queenstown, including Outdoor Sports and Small Planet Sports. Other popular snowshoeing trails include the Ben Lomond Track, which offers stunning views of Queenstown, and the Mack Lake Loop, which takes you around a beautiful frozen lake.

Ice skating

Ice skating is another fun winter activity to enjoy in Queenstown. The Queenstown Ice Arena is open all year round and offers public skating sessions as well as ice hockey games and figure skating lessons. In the winter, the ice rink is decorated with Christmas lights, giving everyone a magical feeling.

If you’re looking for a unique ice skating rink, head to the nearby town of Arrowtown. Arrowtown Curling Rink offers curling lessons and games on natural ice. It’s a fun activity for groups and families and a great way to experience a unique winter sport.

Hot springs

After a long day of skiing, snowshoeing, or ice skating, there’s nothing better than soaking in a hot spring. Queenstown has many hot springs that are open all year round. Heated Onsen pools and private hot tubs overlooking the Shotover River are a popular choice. The Onsen hot pools are perfect for a romantic evening or relaxing after a day on the slopes.

Hot Tubs Omarama, 90 minutes from Queenstown, is another popular hot spring. The hot tubs are in a peaceful setting and have amazing views of the surrounding mountains. It’s a great way to unwind and relax after long winter activities.

Winter Festivals

Queenstown is famous for its winter festivals, which are a great way to experience local culture and enjoy the winter. The Queenstown Winter Festival is held annually in June and is a ten-day celebration of winter sports, music, food, and wine. The festival includes a variety of events such as a street parade, ice skating, dog sledding, and live music performances.

Another popular winter festival is the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival. The festival takes place in August and features skiing, a winter market, a fireworks show, and a food and wine festival. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy winter with locals and visitors alike.

Helicopter tours

If you’re looking for a unique way to experience the beauty of Queenstown’s winter landscapes, consider taking a helicopter tour. Helicopter tours offer stunning views of snow-capped mountains, glaciers, and lakes, and are a great way to get an aerial perspective of the region.

Some of the most popular helicopter tours in Queenstown are the Glacier Explorer Helicopter Tour, which takes you over the glaciers of Mount Aspiring National Park, and the Remarkables Mountain Range Helicopter Tour, which offers panoramic views of the Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu.

Winter Hiking

Hiking is a popular activity in Queenstown during the summer months but can be equally rewarding in the winter. The snow-covered landscapes provide a unique perspective on the natural beauty of the region, and the trails are less crowded than in the summer months.

Other popular winter hiking trails in Queenstown include the Queenstown Hill Time Walk, which offers stunning views of the city and Lake Wakatipu, and the Bob’s Cove Track, which takes you through a forest of resident peacocks it also gives you beautiful views of Lake Wakatipu.

Food and Wine

Queenstown is known for its vibrant restaurants and wineries, and winter is a great time to sample some local delicacies. From hearty soups and steaks to locally sourced meats and seafood, there is something for everyone.

Other well-known Queenstown restaurants include Rata, owned by MasterChef New Zealand judge Josh Emett, which serves modern New Zealand cuisine, and Botswana Butchery, which serves delicious meat and seafood sourced from the country. There are also many wineries in the region, which offer tastings and tours of their vineyards.


Queenstown, New Zealand is a winter paradise that has a lot to offer visitors of all ages and tastes. Whether you’re a skier, foodie, or just looking for a unique winter experience, Queenstown has something for everyone. From skiing and snowboarding to snowshoeing, ice skating, and hot springs, there is no shortage of things to do in this beautiful winter wonderland. So why not plan a trip to Queenstown this winter and experience the magic for yourself?


Q: When is the best time to visit Queenstown for winter activities?

A: The best time to visit Queenstown for winter activities is from June to August as this is when the ski season is at its peak and most winter activities are available.

Q: What are the best ski resorts in Queenstown?

A: Queenstown is home to four world-class ski resorts: Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Cardrona, and Treble Cone. Each resort has unique terrain and amenities, so it’s worth doing your research to find the one that best suits your needs.

Q: Are there winter activities other than skiing and snowboarding in Queenstown?

A: Yes, there are plenty of other winter activities to do in Queenstown including snowshoeing, ice skating, snowmobiling, bobsledding, scenic helicopter rides, and lots of relaxing in the hot springs.

Q: Do I have to be a professional skier or snowboarder to enjoy the Queenstown scenery?

A: No, there are trails suitable for all levels of experience, from beginners to experts. Many resorts offer lessons for beginners in skiing or snowboarding, so you can learn from experienced instructors.

Q: Do you need to rent a car to get around Queenstown in winter?

A: There is no need to rent a car in Queenstown in the winter, as there are regular shuttles between the town and the ski resorts. However, if you want to explore the surrounding area further, you may need a car.

Q: Are there any indoor activities you can do in Queenstown in winter?

A: Yes, there are plenty of things to do indoors in Queenstown in winter, such as visiting the many art galleries, museums, and cultural venues, or enjoying a treatment or massage at the spa.

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