1. Not one, but four, world-class ski areas
Queenstown has four ski fields within a 20-90 minute drive of the town centre - that's a lot of terrain to explore! Choose between Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Cardrona Alpine Resort or Treble Cone - or even better, visit them all on your own personal ski and board tour.
All four mountains offer excellent terrain for all levels, from beginner to expert. If lapping the park is your jam, Cardrona Alpine Resort and The Remarkables have you covered. Skiers and boarders alike will love Coronet Peak's wide slopes and roller coaster terrain. If you want to ski long runs and are keen on a little bit of off-piste skiing, check out Treble Cone.
2. New Zealand’s best backcountry terrain
For those keen to test the limits of their ski or boarding prowess and explore beyond, there are options a-plenty for backcountry touring and heli-skiing in Queenstown. For experienced ski tourers, each of the area’s ski resorts have touring routes which take you from the topmost lifts into the backcountry to find epic, untouched powder runs. Things can change quickly on-mountain though so make sure you check conditions and follow ski patrol guidance and safety rules carefully.
Whether you’re after a private charter or a multi-day trip, several local companies offer heli-skiing or guided touring in Queenstown. A thrilling way to access remote terrain and a bucket list experience for keen skiers and explorers.
3. Coronet Peak's night ski
Just twenty minutes from downtown, Coronet Peak is literally “lit” for up to three nights a week in winter. Ski under the stars (with the help of well-placed floodlights) and take in the incredible view of the town twinkling below. The atmosphere at the base building is always buzzing, with live music and DJs, and the bar and restaurant serving up dinner and drinks beside outdoor fires – you don’t even have to ski if that's not your jam.
Night Ski runs every Wednesday and Friday, as well as some Saturdays, this winter from 23 June-27 August. The Coronet Peak ski bus operates until closing time, too. So wrap up warm and get out there!
Après-ski Public Kitchen and Bar
4. Vibrant après scene
The après scene in Queenstown is second-to-none with over 150 bars and restaurants to choose from - many offering happy hour specials, as well as delicious cocktails and wines to enjoy while you warm up. While avid skiers and boarders talk of ‘earning your turns’, the hospo folk of Queenstown believe everyone deserves après regardless of whether you hiked cliffs, caught a few runs on the bunny slope, or even just built a really great snowman.
And it’s not all about the drinks either. Central Queenstown's is the perfect place to settle in for dinner and share tall tales with your snow buddies.
Family fun at Cardrona
5. Fun for the whole family
The alpine town with its snow-capped mountain peaks and range of activities on and off the mountain, is the place to be for an enchanting and exciting winter family holiday. The kids can enjoy ski lessons while parents shoot away and explore the ski field or relax with a hot drink at the café.
There’s plenty of family fun to be had off mountain in winter too, whether it be heading to Walter Peak Farm on the historic TSS Earnslaw for a BBQ lunch or try the Skyline Gondola and Luge for thrills that will leave the whole family grinning ear-to-ear. Queenstown’s winter landscape and activities are sure to delight all ages.
6. Award winning restaurants and bars
Fireside chats with hot chocolate, coffee dates with a view of snow-capped hills, or five-star meals and wine in luxurious accommodation - is this the language of winter love for you? If your ideal winter holiday is more...indoor focussed, Queenstown has you covered.
Head to Amisfield for top notch wine and delicious multi-course menu in a vineyard setting. For cosy winter atmosphere, Eichardt's Bar has a roaring log and the menu is just as delectable as the wine list. The Bunker is an intimate restaurant with only a few tables where diners can sit fireside while taking in the quaint, rustic-chic décor and award-winning wine and food. Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa offers the full experience: a three-course meal, along with a night at the lodge complete with outdoor hot tub - perfect for stargazing.
7. Winter atmosphere
There’s nothing like a snowy alpine view and crisp mountain air to get you excited about winter. Simply strolling through Queenstown with your winter coat on, or kicking back fireside in a cosy nook at one of the many cafes and pubs will be sure to satisfy your winter yearnings.
Even if skiing and boarding is not your bag, you can still get amongst the snow. Try tobogganing, yooning, make snow angels, have a snowball fight, or just enjoy the atmosphere in winter on a walk through downtown Queenstown to the Queenstown Gardens.
8. Home of thrills
Queenstown is well known as a thrill seeker’s paradise and winter is as good a time as any to get a dose of adrenaline.
Skydive over snow covered landscapes, bungy jump over the pristine, icy waters of the Kawarau River, experience the thrill of a river crossing on a 4WD tour, or spin out in a jet boat. Take a gondola from town for an afternoon of luge rides, or don some gloves and zip through the trees.
9. Spa and hot tub luxuries
No winter holiday is complete without a hot tub and Queenstown has some of the best hot tub spots in the country. Overlooking the Shotover River with views of the Remarkable mountain range, Onsen Hot Pools is a day spa centred around its hot tub experience. Their beautiful, private, Japanese-style cedar hot tubs are the perfect place to soak up the vistas and rest tired legs after an adventurous day. Drinks and snacks can be ordered along with your soak and the experience is entirely luxurious.
Don't feel like leaving the hotel room? Indulge Mobile Spa comes straight to your hotel room, perfect for those days when you just feel like staying in. Or, take a water taxi from town to the Hilton Queenstown and experience a full spa menu at eforea spa with gorgeous views of Lake Whakatipu and Frankton Beach.
10. Unforgettable snow experiences
To get a truly breathtaking look at the Southern Alps, take a helicopter ride over the mountains and land on a mountain peak. Play in the snow, soak up the sights and make sure you snap some epic Insta-worthy photos before heading back to base.