8 Best Things to Do in Queenstown in Winter 2023

best things to do in queenstown in winter

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Best Things to Do in Queenstown in Winter! The best things to do in Queenstown in winter include skiing, snowboarding, and visiting hot springs. Queenstown offers a range of exciting winter activities for visitors to enjoy.

From hitting the slopes of world-class ski resorts like Coronet Peak and The Remarkables to exploring the stunning natural landscapes on snowshoeing or ice climbing adventures, there are plenty of experiences to suit every interest and skill level. For those seeking relaxation, a soak in the soothing hot springs surrounded by snow-capped mountains is the perfect way to unwind.

Queenstown’s vibrant alpine village atmosphere, coupled with its stunning scenery, makes it a must-visit destination in the winter months. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or a nature lover, Queenstown has something for everyone during the chilly season.

Best Things to Do in Queenstown in Winter

1- Exploring The Snow-covered Mountains

When winter comes, Queenstown transforms into a magical wonderland, with its snow-covered mountains beckoning adventure seekers from all over the world. Whether you are a skiing enthusiast or simply looking to embrace the winter wonderland, Queenstown has plenty of options to keep you entertained. From heart-pumping activities to peaceful snowshoeing trails, here are some of the best ways to explore the snow-covered mountains of Queenstown.

Snowboarding And Skiing

For adrenaline junkies, hitting the slopes and experiencing the thrill of snowboarding or skiing is an absolute must. Queenstown boasts world-class ski resorts, where beginners and experts alike can carve their way through powder-covered slopes. From Coronet Peak to The Remarkables, these mountains offer diverse terrain catering to all skill levels. Strap on your boots, grab your skis or snowboard, and get ready for an exhilarating adventure down the slopes.

Snowshoeing And Cross-country Skiing

For those seeking a more serene winter experience, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing provide the perfect opportunity to soak in the breathtaking snowy landscapes. Queenstown offers an array of well-marked trails for snowshoeing enthusiasts, allowing you to explore the winter wonderland at your own pace. If cross-country skiing is more your style, you’ll find groomed tracks that wind through picturesque valleys and forests, providing a peaceful and invigorating way to explore the mountains.

Heli-skiing For Adventure Seekers

If you’re an adventure seeker seeking the ultimate adrenaline rush, heli-skiing in Queenstown is an experience that cannot be missed. Strap yourself into a helicopter and get ready for the ride of a lifetime as it takes you to untouched backcountry terrain. Once you’re dropped off, you’ll have the whole mountainside to yourself, with endless opportunities for fresh tracks and unforgettable powder turns. Heli-skiing in Queenstown offers an unparalleled adventure that will leave you breathless and craving more.

Snowmobiling For Thrill Seekers

If you’re looking to take your winter adventure to the next level, hop on a snowmobile and unleash your inner speed demon. Queenstown’s snowmobiling tours will have you zooming through snow-covered trails, conquering rugged terrain and seeking thrills at every turn. With expert guides leading the way, you’ll discover hidden winter landscapes that are otherwise inaccessible. So rev up that engine, hold on tight, and prepare for an adrenaline-fueled adventure like no other.

Queenstown in winter is a pure playground for snow enthusiasts and adventure lovers alike. Whether you’re a skiing fanatic or seeking a more relaxed winter experience, exploring the snow-covered mountains will immerse you in a winter wonderland like no other. So gear up, embrace the cold, and get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime.

2- Enjoying The Winter Wonderland On The Trails

Queenstown is not only a popular destination for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts but also for those who want to explore the beautiful winter wonderland on the trails. With stunning snow-capped mountains and breathtaking landscapes, Queenstown offers a wide range of activities for outdoor enthusiasts. From the famous Queenstown Winter Festival to ice skating at the Queenstown Ice Arena, and exciting snow tubing and sledding adventures, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Queenstown Winter Festival

If you’re visiting Queenstown during winter, you can’t miss the Queenstown Winter Festival. This annual event brings the town to life with a week-long celebration of all things winter. From thrilling snow sports competitions to live music performances and delicious food stalls, the festival offers a truly immersive experience. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or simply want to soak up the festive atmosphere, the Queenstown Winter Festival is a must-visit attraction in winter.

Ice Skating At The Queenstown Ice Arena

For those looking to glide gracefully on ice, head to the Queenstown Ice Arena. This popular indoor ice rink offers a fun-filled activity for individuals of all ages and skill levels. Whether you’re a seasoned ice skater or a beginner, the Queenstown Ice Arena provides a welcoming environment to showcase your skills or learn something new. The arena also hosts special events like ice hockey matches and ice dance performances, adding an extra layer of excitement to your winter adventure.

Snow Tubing And Sledding

If you’re seeking an adrenaline rush, snow tubing and sledding are perfect winter activities for you. Queenstown boasts several dedicated snow parks where you can have a blast sliding down the slopes on inflatable tubes or sleds. With different slopes catering to different levels of thrill-seekers, you’ll find yourself giggling with joy as you zoom down the snowy hills. Some snow parks even offer night-time tubing experiences, adding a touch of magic to your winter evenings.

In conclusion, Queenstown offers a plethora of exciting activities for those who want to embrace the winter wonderland on the trails. From the vibrant Queenstown Winter Festival to the delightful ice skating experience at the Queenstown Ice Arena, and the heart-pounding snow tubing and sledding adventures, there’s something for everyone to enjoy during the winter season. So bundle up, grab your gear, and get ready to create unforgettable memories in the winter wonderland of Queenstown.

3- Experiencing The Breathtaking Scenery From Above

If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience in Queenstown during winter, then experiencing the breathtaking scenery from above is an absolute must. With its stunning alpine landscapes and snow-capped mountains, Queenstown offers numerous thrilling activities that allow you to soak in the majestic beauty from a whole new perspective. From scenic helicopter flights to skydiving with a view and hot air balloon rides, there’s no shortage of options to explore the captivating scenery from above.

Scenic Helicopter Flights

One of the most popular ways to experience Queenstown’s breathtaking scenery from above is by taking a scenic helicopter flight. Hop aboard a helicopter and prepare to be amazed as you soar high above the picturesque landscapes. From the lush green valleys to the snow-covered peaks, every moment of the flight will leave you in awe. Enjoy unparalleled panoramic views of Queenstown and its surrounding areas, including Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables mountain range. Whether you choose a short flight or a longer adventure, the exhilaration and beauty of a scenic helicopter flight will stay with you forever.

Skydiving With A View

If you’re a thrill-seeker looking for the ultimate adrenaline rush while enjoying Queenstown’s scenery, then skydiving with a view is the way to go. Imagine freefalling from an aircraft and experiencing an exhilarating rush of adrenaline as you plunge towards the earth. As you descend, soak in the breathtaking views of the snow-capped mountains, shimmering lakes, and the stunning landscape that stretches as far as the eye can see. It’s a truly unforgettable experience that combines the thrill of skydiving with the awe-inspiring beauty of Queenstown’s surroundings.

Hot Air Balloon Rides

If you prefer a more serene and peaceful experience, hot air balloon rides offer a magical way to take in the breathtaking scenery from above. Drift gently through the crisp winter air and witness the stunning alpine landscapes unfold beneath you. Marvel at the snow-capped mountains, the frozen lakes, and the patchwork of green valleys. The stillness and tranquility of a hot air balloon ride allow you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of Queenstown’s winter wonderland. It’s an experience that will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.

4- Indulging In Après-ski Activities

After an exhilarating day on the slopes, Queenstown offers a variety of après-ski activities to keep your winter adventures going strong. From relaxing in hot pools and spas to enjoying après-ski drinks and live music, to shopping for souvenirs and local artwork, there’s something for everyone to indulge in and unwind from the day’s activities.

Relaxing In Hot Pools And Spas

One of the best ways to melt away your ski-induced fatigue is by soaking in the warm waters of Queenstown’s hot pools and spas. With the stunning backdrop of snow-capped mountains, these tranquil oases provide the perfect setting to relax and rejuvenate. Whether you prefer a luxurious spa experience with therapeutic treatments or a natural hot pool nestled amidst nature, Queenstown has a range of options to choose from. Some popular hot pools include Onsen Hot Pools, Polynesian Spa, and Skyline Queenstown Hot Pools, each offering their own unique offerings and amenities.

Enjoying Après-ski Drinks And Live Music

After a day on the slopes, there’s nothing quite like unwinding with some après-ski drinks and live music. Queenstown boasts a vibrant nightlife scene with numerous bars, pubs, and restaurants that offer a lively atmosphere, great drinks, and live performances. Whether you’re in the mood for a cozy pub with live acoustic music or a bustling bar with a DJ and dance floor, Queenstown has it all. Some popular spots for après-ski drinks and live music include The Cow, The World Bar, and The Bunker.

Shopping For Souvenirs And Local Artwork

Queenstown is not only renowned for its outdoor activities but also for its vibrant arts and crafts scene. After hitting the slopes, take some time to explore the local shops and boutiques, where you’ll find a treasure trove of souvenirs and unique local artwork. From handmade jewelry to traditional Maori crafts, Queenstown offers a wide range of artistic creations that make for perfect keepsakes or gifts for loved ones back home. Some popular shopping destinations for souvenirs and local artwork include Creative Queenstown Arts & Crafts Market, Remarkable Sweet Shop, and Arrowtown Village.

Overall, Queenstown’s après-ski activities offer the perfect blend of relaxation, entertainment, and cultural exploration. Whether you choose to unwind in hot pools and spas, enjoy drinks and live music, or explore local shops for unique souvenirs and artwork, you’re sure to make lasting memories during your winter getaway in Queenstown.

5- Adventuring On The Famous Queenstown Trails

Queenstown, New Zealand is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and thrilling outdoor activities. When it comes to adventuring in this winter wonderland, exploring the famous Queenstown Trails is an absolute must. Whether you prefer biking, hiking, or horseback riding, there is an exhilarating trail waiting for you. Strap on your helmet, lace up your hiking boots or hop on a horse and get ready to embark on some unforgettable adventures on the Queenstown Trails.

Biking Along The Queenstown Trail

Biking enthusiasts will love the diverse range of landscapes that the Queenstown Trail has to offer. This extensive network of trails spans over 120 kilometers, winding through picturesque valleys, charming villages, and alongside sparkling lakes. From leisurely rides to more challenging routes, there is something for riders of all skill levels.

One of the popular biking routes is the Arrow River Bridges Trail, which takes you on a scenic journey along the Arrow River. Marvel at the stunning mountain views and historic bridges as you pedal through the breathtaking countryside. Another must-try trail is the Gibbston River Trail, where you can ride through world-renowned vineyards and sample delicious local wines along the way.

Hiking The Ben Lomond Track

If hiking is more your style, then the Ben Lomond Track is a must-visit during your winter adventure in Queenstown. This iconic trail offers breathtaking panoramic views of Lake Wakatipu, the Remarkables mountain range, and the surrounding alpine landscapes. Lace up your hiking boots and ascend through native beech forests before reaching the summit of Ben Lomond, where you’ll be rewarded with an unforgettable vista.

The Ben Lomond Track is a challenging hike, but the stunning scenery and sense of accomplishment make it well worth the effort. Remember to pack warm clothing, sturdy footwear, and plenty of water and snacks for this full-day adventure. Don’t forget your camera either, as you’ll want to capture the awe-inspiring beauty of Queenstown from above.

Horseback Riding With A View

For a unique and unforgettable way to explore the Queenstown Trails, saddle up and go horseback riding. Experience the beauty of the landscape while enjoying a gentle ride through rolling hills, serene farmlands, and alongside glistening rivers. With a horse as your trusty companion, you’ll have a front-row seat to the stunning vistas that Queenstown has to offer.

Choose from a variety of guided tours that cater to all skill levels, whether you’re a seasoned equestrian or a first-time rider. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature as you forge unforgettable memories on horseback, surrounded by the unparalleled beauty of Queenstown’s winter landscape.

6- Exploring The Remarkable Lord Of The Rings Film Locations

Queenstown, the picturesque town nestled in the heart of New Zealand’s South Island, is a dream destination for both adventure seekers and Lord of the Rings enthusiasts. Winter in Queenstown offers a unique and enchanting experience, especially for fans of the beloved film franchise. If you’re a fan of Middle-earth and want to immerse yourself in the magic of the Lord of the Rings, here are some must-do activities that will take you on a thrilling journey through the remarkable film locations.

Visiting Glenorchy And Paradise

Glenorchy, known as the gateway to Paradise, is an idyllic small town enveloped by breathtaking scenery. This quaint destination served as the backdrop for many iconic scenes from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. To begin your adventure, take a scenic drive along the shores of Lake Wakatipu, offering views that are straight out of a postcard.

Upon reaching Glenorchy, you’ll instantly recognize familiar landscapes that featured prominently in the films. From Mavora Lakes to the Dart River, every corner of this region has an ethereal quality that transports you to a land of hobbits, elves, and wizards. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the enchanting beauty of Glenorchy and Paradise.

Taking A Guided Tour To Isengard And Lothlórien

To delve deeper into the Lord of the Rings film locations, consider embarking on a guided tour to Isengard and Lothlórien. These tours provide an immersive experience where you can retrace the footsteps of your favorite characters and witness the magic of Middle-earth firsthand.

Your journey will take you to remote and mesmerizing locations, such as the filming site for Isengard, where Saruman’s tower once stood. As you explore, your guide will share fascinating behind-the-scenes anecdotes and insights, bringing the film’s epic storytelling to life. Prepare to be captivated by the mystique and grandeur of these iconic settings that defined the Lord of the Rings saga.

Experiencing The Magic Of Middle-earth

No Lord of the Rings adventure in Queenstown is complete without experiencing the ultimate thrill of entering Middle-earth itself. From Helms Deep to Rohan, these guided experiences allow you to step into the shoes of your favorite characters and witness the iconic landscapes that defined their journeys.

Imagine standing beneath the imposing cliffs of Dimrill Dale or exploring the ethereal forests of Lothlórien. These moments will ignite your imagination and invoke a sense of wonder that only the Lord of the Rings can inspire. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or simply captivated by the beauty of nature, these tours offer an unforgettable experience that is both magical and real.

To conclude, exploring the Lord of the Rings film locations in Queenstown during winter is an experience that seamlessly merges fantasy with reality. The awe-inspiring landscapes, rich history, and passion of the guides will transport you to a world you once only dreamed of. So, grab your cloak and embark on a journey of enchantment and discovery – the magic of Middle-earth awaits.

7- Trying Out The Exhilarating Adventure Sports


When it comes to adventure sports, Queenstown in winter is a playground for thrill-seekers. From bungy jumping to jet boating and paragliding, there is no shortage of exhilarating activities to get your heart racing. So, if you’re up for an adrenaline-pumping experience, make sure to try out these incredible adventure sports in Queenstown.

Bungy Jumping At The Nevis Bungy

Bungy jumping is not for the faint-hearted, but for those who crave the ultimate thrill, the Nevis Bungy is an experience you won’t forget. This iconic bungy jump is located 134 meters above the Nevis River, making it one of the highest jumps in New Zealand. As you leap from the platform, your heart will race and the wind will rush through your hair, giving you an unparalleled sense of freedom. Boldly take the plunge and conquer your fears at the Nevis Bungy.

Jet Boating On The Shotover River

For an adventure that combines speed, breathtaking landscapes, and a splash of adrenaline, jet boating on the Shotover River is a must-do activity in Queenstown. Hop on board a powerful jet boat and hold on tight as you race along the crystal-clear waters, navigating through narrow canyons and performing thrilling 360-degree spins. The rush of wind in your face and the adrenaline coursing through your veins create a sensory experience unlike any other. Brace yourself for an unforgettable jet boating adventure on the Shotover River.

Paragliding Above Lake Wakatipu

Soar like a bird above the majestic Lake Wakatipu with a thrilling paragliding experience in Queenstown. Strap yourself into a harness, run towards the cliff edge, and feel the exhilaration as you lift off into the sky. As you glide through the air, taking in panoramic views of the snow-capped mountains and sparkling lake below, you’ll feel a sense of awe and wonder. The freedom of flight and the serenity of the surroundings make paragliding above Lake Wakatipu an unforgettable adventure.

8- Indulging In Delicious Winter Cuisine

When it comes to experiencing a winter wonderland like no other, Queenstown is a destination that never disappoints. Beyond the breathtaking landscapes and adrenaline-pumping activities, this charming New Zealand town is also a haven for food enthusiasts. From world-class gourmet restaurants to local wineries and traditional New Zealand fare, Queenstown offers a diverse culinary scene that will satisfy even the most discerning palates.

Enjoying Queenstown’s Gourmet Restaurants

Queenstown is renowned for its fine dining scene, with a plethora of gourmet restaurants that offer a fusion of international flavors and local ingredients. From elegant waterfront establishments to cozy bistros nestled in the heart of the town, there is no shortage of options to satisfy your culinary cravings. Indulge in gastronomic delights crafted by award-winning chefs, who expertly blend contemporary techniques with traditional flavors.

Sample innovative dishes like slow-cooked lamb loin served with a rich truffle sauce, or savor the delicate flavors of locally sourced seafood paired with seasonal vegetables. Whether you prefer fine dining or relaxed, intimate settings, Queenstown’s gourmet restaurants are sure to leave you with a memorable dining experience.

Savoring Local Wines At Wineries

No trip to Queenstown would be complete without exploring its world-renowned wineries. With its cool climate and rich, fertile soils, this region produces some of the finest wines in New Zealand. Take the opportunity to visit boutique wineries nestled among picturesque vineyards, where you can sample a range of exquisite reds, whites, and sparkling wines.

As you embark on a wine-tasting adventure, let the experts guide you through the nuances of each varietal, explaining the unique characteristics that make them distinct. From iconic Pinot Noir to crisp Sauvignon Blanc, Queenstown’s wineries offer a delightful sensory experience that will transport you into the heart of New Zealand’s wine culture.

Trying Traditional New Zealand Fare

When in Queenstown, don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in the flavors of traditional New Zealand cuisine. From hearty meat dishes to Maori-inspired delicacies, the local fare showcases the rich culinary heritage of the region.

Head to a traditional Kiwi pub and sample classics like fish and chips, or dive into a steaming bowl of seafood chowder brimming with fresh, local ingredients. For the adventurous foodies, don’t miss the opportunity to try Hāngī, a traditional Maori cooking method that involves slow-cooking food in an underground oven lined with hot stones.

With its emphasis on quality, freshness, and unique flavors, Queenstown’s food scene is a reflection of the region’s natural abundance and cultural diversity.

Frequently Asked Questions For Best Things To Do In Queenstown In Winter

What Are The Top Winter Activities In Queenstown?

Experience thrilling skiing and snowboarding, go on scenic winter hikes, take a thrilling jet boat ride, enjoy hot pools and spas, indulge in delicious food and wine, and go on a one-of-a-kind heli-snow landing adventure – these are some of the top winter activities in Queenstown.

Is Queenstown Safe To Visit During Winter?

Yes, Queenstown is safe to visit during winter. The town is well-prepared for winter weather conditions, with snow-clearing services ensuring safe roads and footpaths. Ski resorts have well-maintained slopes, and all activities follow safety guidelines to provide visitors with a safe and enjoyable winter experience.

What Is The Best Time To Visit Queenstown In Winter?

The best time to visit Queenstown in winter is between June and August. During these months, the town is covered in snow, and the ski season is in full swing. You can enjoy a variety of winter activities and experience the stunning beauty of Queenstown’s winter landscapes.


Queenstown in winter offers an array of activities for everyone to enjoy. From skiing and snowboarding on the majestic slopes to exploring the breathtaking landscapes on a scenic hike, there is something for every adventure seeker. Indulge in delicious local cuisine, relax in cozy accommodation, and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of this winter wonderland.

Don’t miss out on experiencing Queenstown’s unique charm during the winter season. Start planning your unforgettable winter getaway today!

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