What to Do in Queenstown New Zealand in Winter?


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In Queenstown New Zealand during winter, you can go skiing, snowboarding, or explore stunning landscapes. Queenstown, New Zealand, with its picturesque scenery and adventure-filled activities, offers an unparalleled experience during winter.

Nestled amongst the awe-inspiring Southern Alps, this vibrant town becomes a winter wonderland, enticing thrill-seekers and nature lovers alike. With a reputation as the country’s adventure capital, Queenstown in winter offers an array of exhilarating activities. From world-class skiing and snowboarding at The Remarkables or Coronet Peak to taking scenic helicopter flights over snow-capped mountains and frozen lakes, there is no shortage of excitement.

For those seeking a more relaxed and scenic experience, Queenstown’s breathtaking landscapes await, offering opportunities for hiking, glacier tours, and stunning views of Lake Wakatipu. With its unique blend of adrenaline-pumping adventures and tranquil natural beauty, Queenstown in winter is a destination that promises an unforgettable experience.


1. Queenstown Winter Activities

Queenstown, nestled amidst the stunning landscapes of New Zealand’s South Island, is a winter wonderland like no other. With its breathtaking snow-capped mountains and picturesque alpine scenery, this charming town offers a plethora of thrilling activities for winter enthusiasts. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie looking for heart-pumping adventures or seeking a more relaxed winter experience, Queenstown has something for everyone. Let’s explore some of the top winter activities to indulge in during your visit.

Skiing And Snowboarding

When it comes to winter activities in Queenstown, skiing and snowboarding are the undisputed champions. With four world-class ski resorts within a short drive from the town center, it’s no wonder Queenstown is known as the “Adventure Capital of the World” when it comes to snow sports. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner eager to hit the slopes, these resorts cater to all skill levels. From the world-famous Coronet Peak and The Remarkables to the family-friendly Cardrona and Treble Cone, each mountain offers its unique charm and breathtaking views.

With meticulously groomed trails, state-of-the-art equipment rental facilities, and expert instructors, Queenstown’s ski resorts ensure an unforgettable experience for all winter sports enthusiasts. Soak in the thrill as you carve through pristine powder, breathe in the crisp alpine air, and enjoy the stunning vistas that surround you. Whether it’s the adrenaline rush of tackling black diamond runs or the joy of gliding down gentle slopes, skiing and snowboarding in Queenstown are a must-do for any winter adventurer.

Snowshoeing And Snow Hiking

If you’re looking to explore the snow-covered landscapes at a slower pace, snowshoeing and snow hiking are ideal activities to immerse yourself in Queenstown’s winter wonderland. Strap on a pair of snowshoes or grab your hiking boots, and embark on enchanting trails that wind through snow-cloaked forests and alpine meadows. From leisurely strolls to more challenging treks, Queenstown offers an array of options for all fitness levels.

With snowshoeing and snow hiking, you have the freedom to venture off the beaten path and discover hidden gems away from the hustle and bustle of ski resorts. Lose yourself in the tranquility of nature as you traverse through snow-dusted landscapes, marvel at frozen waterfalls, and listen to the sound of silence. These activities not only provide a great workout but also offer a unique opportunity to appreciate the awe-inspiring beauty of Queenstown’s winter landscape.

Ice Skating

Snow and ice go hand in hand, and what better way to embrace the icy elements than by gliding gracefully on ice skates? Queenstown boasts several ice skating rinks that provide endless fun for individuals, families, and groups alike. Lace up your skates, take to the ice, and feel like a pro as you glide and twirl with sheer joy.

Whether it’s a leisurely spin around the rink or attempting fancy moves, ice skating offers a delightful experience for all ages and skill levels. Enjoy the sense of freedom as you carve figure eights, show off your spins, or simply enjoy a playful day on the ice. Ice skating in Queenstown is a fantastic way to bond with loved ones and create lasting memories in a magical winter setting.

2. Adventure Sports In Queenstown

In Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand, thrill-seekers will find no shortage of heart-pounding activities to get their adrenaline pumping. From defying gravity with bungee jumping to soaring through the sky with skydiving and feeling the rush of the water with jet boating, there’s an adventure sport in Queenstown to suit every taste. So, if you’re ready to embark on an unforgettable journey of adventure and excitement, read on to discover the top adventure sports Queenstown has to offer.

Bungee Jumping

Bungee jumping is synonymous with Queenstown and is a must-do activity for any visitor seeking an adrenaline rush. Imagine the exhilaration of leaping off a platform, feeling the wind rush through your hair, and experiencing a few seconds of pure freefall before rebounding back up. Queenstown is home to the world’s first commercial bungee jump, the Nevis Bungy, where you can take the leap of a lifetime from a towering 134 meters above the canyon floor.


For the ultimate thrilling experience, nothing beats the sensation of skydiving over Queenstown. As you ascend to the sky in a plane, your anticipation builds, and once you reach the desired altitude, you’ll make the leap of faith. Feel the rush of wind as you freefall through the sky, then enjoy the serenity as the parachute opens and you float down, taking in the breathtaking views of the mountains, lakes, and picturesque landscapes below. Queenstown offers multiple skydiving options, catering to both beginners and experienced skydivers.

Jet Boating

Jet boating in Queenstown is an adventure sport that combines speed, thrill, and incredible scenery. Hold on tight as you zoom through narrow canyons and twist and turn on the crystal-clear waters of Lake Wakatipu and the Shotover River. Feel the excitement as your jet boat maneuvers through narrow gaps, performing adrenaline-pumping 360-degree spins, and experiencing the thrill of getting up close to towering canyon walls. Whether you choose the Shotover Jet or the Kawarau Jet, prepare for an unforgettable ride.

3. Sightseeing And Scenic Tours

Sightseeing And Scenic Tours

When it comes to sightseeing and scenic tours, Queenstown, New Zealand has a plethora of options to offer. From breathtaking natural landscapes to vibrant gardens, there is something for everyone to enjoy during the winter months. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or prefer a more relaxed atmosphere, Queenstown has got you covered. In this section, we will highlight three must-visit attractions that you should consider adding to your itinerary.

Milford Sound Day Trip

One of the most captivating experiences in Queenstown is a day trip to Milford Sound. This fjord, with its majestic mountains and pristine waters, is truly a sight to behold. The journey itself is an adventure, taking you through the stunning scenery of Fiordland National Park. You’ll be awe-struck by the towering peaks, cascading waterfalls, and lush rainforests that surround you. Don’t forget to keep your camera handy to capture the unforgettable moments along the way.

Queenstown Gardens

For a more serene experience, make sure to visit the Queenstown Gardens. Situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, this tranquil oasis is the perfect place to unwind and take in the beauty of nature. Stroll through the meticulously manicured gardens and enjoy the vibrant colors of the flowers in bloom. With the snow-capped mountains as a backdrop, the gardens offer a picturesque setting for a leisurely walk or a peaceful picnic. Take a moment to breathe in the fresh mountain air and let the serenity wash over you.

Lake Wakatipu Cruise

Embark on a leisurely cruise along the crystal-clear waters of Lake Wakatipu, and immerse yourself in the stunning vistas that surround you. From the comfort of the boat, you’ll have uninterrupted views of the snow-capped peaks and the ever-changing hues of the lake. Whether you choose a scenic sunset cruise or a thrilling jet boat ride, you’ll be treated to a unique perspective of Queenstown’s natural wonders. Keep an eye out for native birdlife and be prepared to be mesmerized by the reflections of the mountains on the tranquil waters. Ready to embark on a winter adventure in Queenstown, New Zealand? Don’t miss out on these incredible sightseeing and scenic tours. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Milford Sound, find tranquility in Queenstown Gardens, and take in the stunning landscapes of Lake Wakatipu on a leisurely cruise. With so much natural beauty to explore, you’re sure to create unforgettable memories during your winter visit to Queenstown.

4. Wine Tasting And Culinary Experiences

Queenstown, New Zealand is renowned for its breathtaking scenery, adrenaline-pumping activities, and vibrant nightlife. However, this stunning destination also offers a plethora of wine-tasting and culinary experiences that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. From exploring the picturesque vineyards in the Gibbston Valley to indulging in craft beer tasting and gourmet dining, there is something to suit every palate in Queenstown during the winter months.

Wine Tours In The Gibbston Valley

The Gibbston Valley, located just a short drive from Queenstown, is home to some of New Zealand’s finest wineries. Embark on a wine tour and immerse yourself in this stunning region, surrounded by rolling hills and grapevines. With its cool climate and unique terroir, the Gibbston Valley is renowned for producing exceptional pinot noir wines.

During your wine tour, you’ll have the opportunity to visit several wineries, where expert sommeliers will guide you through tastings of their award-winning wines. Indulge in the rich flavors of pinot noir, chardonnay, and sauvignon blanc as you learn about the winemaking process and the region’s history. With each sip, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the skill and craftsmanship behind these exquisite wines.

Craft Beer Tasting

If you prefer beer over wine, Queenstown has got you covered with its thriving craft beer scene. Take a break from wine tasting and explore the local breweries dotted around the town. Each brewery offers its own unique selection of handcrafted beers, ranging from hoppy IPAs to smooth stouts and refreshing lagers.

Grab a pint at one of Queenstown’s craft beer bars, where you can sample a wide range of brews from both local and international breweries. Engage in conversations with fellow beer enthusiasts and knowledgeable bartenders who can provide insights into the brewing process and recommend the perfect beer to suit your tastes. Whether you’re a beer connoisseur or simply enjoy trying new flavors, the craft beer scene in Queenstown is sure to impress.

Gourmet Dining

Queenstown is a haven for food lovers, boasting a diverse selection of restaurants and eateries that cater to every culinary preference. Indulge in a gourmet dining experience and treat your taste buds to an array of innovative and mouthwatering dishes. From locally sourced seafood to farm-to-table delicacies, Queenstown’s restaurants are committed to serving fresh, high-quality ingredients that showcase the region’s unique flavors.

Many of the restaurants in Queenstown offer stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains, creating a truly unforgettable dining atmosphere. Pair your meal with a glass of locally produced wine or a handcrafted cocktail to enhance your culinary adventure. With its emphasis on quality, creativity, and sustainability, Queenstown’s gourmet dining scene is a must-try experience for any food enthusiast.

Explore the world of wineLearn about the intricacies of winemaking and discover new flavors.
Taste local produceIndulge in the region’s finest wines, beers, and gourmet dishes.
Stunning sceneryEnjoy the beautiful landscapes of the Gibbston Valley and Lake Wakatipu.
Socialize and meet new peopleEngage in conversations with fellow wine and beer enthusiasts, as well as knowledgeable sommeliers and bartenders.

5. Relaxation And Wellness

When it comes to finding tranquility in the picturesque town of Queenstown, New Zealand, you’ll be spoiled for choice with the array of relaxation and wellness activities available during the winter season. Whether you’re looking to unwind in serene hot pools, rejuvenate your mind and body through yoga and meditation retreats, or engage in wellness workshops to enhance your overall well-being, Queenstown has something for everyone seeking a moment of bliss. Let’s explore the various ways you can immerse yourself in relaxation and wellness.

Hot Pools And Spa Treatments

Indulge in the ultimate relaxation by immersing yourself in Queenstown’s hot pools and treating yourself to soothing spa therapies. The region boasts a selection of luxurious spas and wellness centers that offer a range of treatments aimed at melting away your stress. Imagine sinking into warm thermal waters while surrounded by stunning mountain scenery. Whether you choose to enjoy a private hot pool experience or book a pampering session with a talented spa therapist, these tranquil environments will leave you feeling refreshed and revitalized.

Yoga And Meditation Retreats

Escape the hustle and bustle of daily life by embarking on a yoga and meditation retreat in Queenstown. These retreats provide the perfect opportunity to disconnect from the outside world and reconnect with your inner self. Immerse yourself in the serenity of nature as you practice mindfulness through yoga poses and meditation techniques. Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or a beginner, there are retreats suitable for all levels. Join like-minded individuals in these peaceful settings, where skilled instructors guide you on a journey of self-discovery and profound relaxation.

Wellness Workshops

Expand your knowledge and enhance your well-being by participating in wellness workshops available in Queenstown. These workshops cover a wide range of topics, including nutrition, mindfulness, stress management, and self-care. Engage with experienced practitioners and wellness experts who will provide valuable insights and practical techniques to improve your overall health and happiness. Take part in informative sessions, interactive activities, and hands-on workshops that empower you to make positive changes in your daily life. Learn how to nourish your body, cultivate a calm mind, and create a balanced lifestyle.

6. Queenstown Winter Festivals And Events

Queenstown Winter Festival

Winter in Queenstown, New Zealand is a truly magical experience, and one of the best ways to embrace the season is by attending the highly anticipated Queenstown Winter Festival. This iconic event, held annually in the heart of winter, celebrates everything that makes Queenstown unique. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, the Queenstown Winter Festival promises an unforgettable experience filled with fun, entertainment, and a true sense of community.

Winter Pride Festival

Another must-attend event during winter in Queenstown is the Winter Pride Festival. This vibrant celebration is dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community and allies, and it’s a time when Queenstown comes alive with inclusivity, love, and acceptance. With a diverse range of events and activities, the Winter Pride Festival offers something for everyone, whether you’re looking to party the night away or simply enjoy the supportive and welcoming atmosphere.

Winter Market And Night Markets

In addition to the festivals, Queenstown is also home to a variety of winter markets that offer a unique shopping and dining experience. One of the highlights is the Winter Market, where you can browse through stalls filled with local produce, crafts, clothing, and more. It’s the perfect place to find a special memento of your time in Queenstown or pick up some delicious local treats. The Night Markets are another must-visit attraction, where you can explore stalls selling a wide array of international cuisine. From mouth-watering street food to handmade desserts, these markets are a foodie’s paradise. Take a stroll through the vibrant atmosphere, sample a range of flavors, and immerse yourself in the local culture. During the winter months, Queenstown truly comes alive with a plethora of festivals and events. The Queenstown Winter Festival, Winter Pride Festival, Winter Market, and Night Markets are just a few examples of the exciting experiences that await you. Embrace the winter spirit, celebrate diversity, and indulge in the unique offerings of this enchanting destination.

7. Cultural And Educational Experiences

Queenstown, nestled in the stunning landscapes of New Zealand, isn’t just about adventure and outdoor activities. The winter season offers a perfect opportunity to explore the rich cultural and educational experiences the region has to offer. From immersing yourself in Maori culture to discovering the historical charm of Arrowtown and indulging in the flavors of Central Otago’s wines, you’ll find plenty of ways to engage your mind and soul in Queenstown’s winter wonderland.

Maori Cultural Tours

Uncover the hidden treasures of Maori culture by embarking on an enriching Maori Cultural Tour. Immerse yourself in the traditions, stories, and customs of the indigenous Maori people. From engaging performances of traditional dances and songs to participating in hands-on workshops, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the Maori way of life. Connect with the history and spirituality of the land as knowledgeable guides share their insights, giving you a truly authentic and captivating experience.

Arrowtown Historical Walking Tour

Step back in time and explore the quaint streets of Arrowtown on a historical walking tour. As you stroll through this charming gold rush town, listen to the fascinating tales of its past. Discover the preserved heritage buildings that paint a vivid picture of the early settlers’ lives and experiences. From the Chinese settlement and old mining cottages to the iconic stone bridges and the Arrow River, each step brings history to life. Uncover the secrets of the pioneer days and gain a deeper appreciation for the region’s heritage.

Central Otago Wine Trail

Delight your taste buds and indulge in the flavors of Central Otago’s world-renowned wines by embarking on the Central Otago Wine Trail. Journey through picturesque vineyards, nestled against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains. Visit boutique wineries and cellar doors, where passionate wine experts will guide you through tastings of award-winning Pinot Noirs and other varietals. Learn about the unique terroir that makes Central Otago a thriving wine region while savoring the exceptional flavors that have put it on the world map. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or simply appreciate good wine, this trail promises a memorable and educational experience.

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8. Natural Landscapes And Outdoor Adventures

When it comes to natural landscapes and outdoor adventures, Queenstown, New Zealand, is an absolute paradise during the winter months. With its breathtaking scenery and endless opportunities for thrilling activities, this destination is perfect for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts alike. From exploring the awe-inspiring Fiordland National Park to embarking on the famous Routeburn Track hike and capturing stunning snow-capped mountain photography, Queenstown offers an unforgettable winter experience like no other.

Fiordland National Park

Fiordland National Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. Located just a short distance from Queenstown, this World Heritage-listed park boasts dramatic fiords, majestic waterfalls, and lush rainforests. Exploring this untouched wilderness, you can witness the sheer beauty and unspoiled nature of New Zealand. Milford Sound, one of the park’s most iconic attractions, is a photographer’s dream, with its towering cliffs and pristine waters. Whether you choose to cruise through the fiords, kayak along the crystal-clear lakes, or embark on a guided hiking tour, Fiordland National Park is sure to leave you in awe.

Routeburn Track Hiking

If you’re up for a challenging yet rewarding adventure, the Routeburn Track hike is not to be missed. This 32-kilometer trail takes you through some of the most magnificent alpine scenery in the country. You’ll journey across lush forests, crystal-clear rivers, and majestic mountain peaks. Along the way, keep an eye out for diverse flora and fauna, including unique bird species like the kea, New Zealand’s native alpine parrot. The Routeburn Track offers both day hikes and multi-day excursions, catering to all levels of fitness and experience. Don’t forget to pack your camera as you’ll want to capture the awe-inspiring vistas at every turn.

Snow-capped Mountain Photography

A winter visit to Queenstown wouldn’t be complete without capturing the beauty of the snow-capped mountains that surround the region. Take a scenic helicopter flight to soar above the peaks and find yourself surrounded by a picturesque winter wonderland. From high above, you can admire the breathtaking landscapes and capture postcard-worthy photographs. Whether you’re a professional photographer or just love to snap some incredible shots, Queenstown’s snow-covered mountains provide a stunning backdrop that promises to elevate your photography skills.

Frequently Asked Questions Of What To Do In Queenstown New Zealand In Winter

Is It Worth Going To Queenstown In Winter?

Yes, it’s worth visiting Queenstown in winter for its scenic beauty, thrilling winter sports, and cozy atmosphere.

Is New Zealand Worth Visiting In Winter?

Yes, New Zealand is worth visiting in winter for its stunning scenery and exciting winter activities.

How Is Queenstown In Winter?

Queenstown in winter offers stunning snowy landscapes, exhilarating outdoor activities, and a vibrant apres-ski scene.

How Many Days Do You Need In Queenstown?

You typically need 3-4 days in Queenstown to fully experience its attractions, activities, and natural beauty.


If you’re planning a winter trip to Queenstown, New Zealand, you’re in for an adventure-packed getaway. From skiing and snowboarding on the picturesque mountains to exploring the stunning landscapes, Queenstown has it all. Don’t forget to indulge in the local cuisine and experience the vibrant nightlife.

With so much to offer, Queenstown promises an unforgettable winter experience that will leave you mesmerized. So pack your warmest clothes and get ready for an action-packed winter in Queenstown!

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