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, extend your stay to visit them all.

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 expert skiing, check out Treble Cone. 

Skiers hike up mountain at sunriseThe Remarkables Ski Field

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 that take you from the topmost lifts into the backcountry to find epic, untouched powder runs. Weather 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. It's a thrilling way to access remote terrain and a bucket list experience for keen skiers and explorers.

Person skiing in expansive mountain terrainHarris Mountains Heli-Ski

3. Coronet Peak's night ski

Just twenty minutes from downtown Queenstown, 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 on Wednesdays and Fridays from 26 June to 1 September, plus select Saturdays 6, 13 and 20 July during NZ school holidays (subject to conditions). The Coronet Peak ski bus (pre-bookings required) operates until closing time, too. So wrap up warm and get out there!

Night Skiing up Coronet PeakCoronet Peak Night Ski

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 Central Otago 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 spent a day skinning, caught a few runs on the bunny slope, or even just built a really great snowman.

It’s not all about the drinks either. Central Queenstown is the perfect place to settle in for dinner and share tall tales with your snow buddies.

A couple sitting on the front of Perky's Floating Bar in Winter with lake and mountain viewsPerky's Floating Bar

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 the mountain in winter too, whether it be heading to Walter Peak Farm on the historic TSS Earnslaw for a BBQ lunch or trying 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.

Kids Lesson at Coronet PeakKids Lesson at Coronet Peak

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-focused, Queenstown has you covered.

Head to Amisfield for top-notch wine and a delicious multi-course menu in a vineyard setting. For a 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 an outdoor hot tub - perfect for stargazing. 

Two people dining out front of The Grille by Eichardt's RestaurantThe Grille by Eichardt's Restaurant

7. Winter atmosphere 

Queenstown is one of the best winter holiday spots in New Zealand and there’s nothing like a snowy alpine view and breathing in the crisp mountain air for a true winter experience. 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 are not your thing, you can still get amongst the snow. Try tobogganing, make snow angels, have a snowball fight, or just enjoy the atmosphere in winter on a walk through downtown Queenstown to the Queenstown Gardens

View of The Mall at Night with view of mountainsDowntown Queenstown Mall

8. 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.

Driftaway Holiday Park in Frankton has private bookable hot tubs with unrivalled views over the lake and mountains. 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.

Indoor Swimming Pool at Eforea Spa, HiltonIndoor Pool at Eforea Spa

Plan your Queenstown local experience

Our local profile stories are packed with more ideas to inspire you to experience Queenstown and the surrounding region like a local this winter. See Queenstown through the eyes of photographer, Krista May, learn from ski patrol couple, Charlotte and Sam, or discover mountaineer, Hamish Fleming's favourite winter adventures.

As you explore Queenstown, share your experiences with us on Instagram by tagging #QueenstownLive.