Skiers and snowboarders are well catered for in Queenstown with four world-class ski fields located within a 25-90 minute drive of the town centre, each offering a huge variety of terrain including freestyle and slopestyle parks. 

Queenstown is the perfect place to progress to the next level with off-piste skiing available on each ski field, a range of double black and double black diamond runs, heli-skiing operations, and thousands of hectares of backcountry terrain to explore.

When you’re not on the ski field, you are sure to be entertained by over 150 bars and restaurants, a range of off-mountain activities, as well as numerous spas and retreats to choose from.

Whether you're new to the slopes, or a seasoned pro, this ultimate 5-day Queenstown ski and snowboard itinerary will ensure you maximise your time here.


Day One: Night Skiing

If you’ve arrived late afternoon, don’t worry, you can still get your ski fix on your very first day at Coronet Peak's Night Ski. If you’ve never tried skiing at night, be prepared for a completely different and thrilling experience as you ski through sunset and take to the floodlit slopes after the sun goes down. It’s a lot of fun and gives a completely different perspective of the mountains and ski runs.

Night Ski runs on Wednesdays and Fridays from 21 June to 1 September, plus select Saturdays 6, 13 and 20 July during NZ school holidays (subject to conditions). With live DJs, pizza and local beer and wine flowing this is an iconic Queenstown experience not to be missed.

Snowboarder doing a trick at Coronet Peak at SunsetCoronet Peak Night Ski

Night skiing at Coronet Peak tends to work up a pretty good appetite – warm up with something fresh and flavoursome in downtown Queenstown. 

For a small town, Queenstown has a huge variety of delicious Asian-inspired restaurants. Whether you want to grab a quick bite or go for a sit-down meal with a great atmosphere, there is a restaurant to suit your needs.

1) Madam Woo

On Ballarat Street, in downtown Queenstown, you'll find Madam Woo. Drawing influence from Malaysian, Chinese and other Asian cultures, Madam Woo offers authentic classics alongside tasty modern dishes, perfect for groups if you want to try a bit of everything. Don't forget to order one of their top-rated cocktails and try the Vietnamese coffee with dessert. 

2) White & Wong’s

Whether you are a vegetarian or a meat-lover, White & Wong's has something for everyone. It's not just the food here that is amazing, the decor and ambience at White & Wong's all adds to the experience to make it truly memorable.

3) Ramen Ramen by Tanoshi

Located between Searle Lane and Church Street, Ramen Ramen by Tanishi offers authentic, ultra-fast dine-in or takeaway ramen noodles. Perfect for a late-night post-Night Ski bite with a sake or two!

Although you won't want the night to end, do try to have an early one because you will need to be up early for tomorrow's adventure.


Day Two: Heli-Skiing

If you want to ride untouched snow, un-groomed runs and powder, this is the way to go. Using a helicopter to reach remote terrain makes for the ultimate backcountry skiing experience. 

There are several heli-skiing operators in Queenstown providing 3-10 run heli-skiing and heli-boarding trips to mountain ranges in Queenstown and the surrounding mountains. That's a lot of untouched pristine terrain!

Person skiing in expansive mountain terrainHeli Skiing, Harris Mountains Heli-Ski

On a good day you might even be able to squeeze in 10-plus runs, so the evening will call for a warm and cosy restaurant to savour a tasty hot meal and glass of local wine. 

1) Blue Kanu

Blue Kanu blends cultures and flavours into "Polynasia"-style tapas dishes and amazing cocktails. The little touches are everything here, from the Hawaiian-inspired decor to the friendly staff who will even sing and play the guitar for you!

2) The Bunker

Sit back with one of The Bunker's famous cocktails and Taste of The South menu. This restaurant offers intimate fine dining beside a crackling fire with an impressive local wine list. Make sure to check out their cocktail bar upstairs to keep the night going after your meal.

3) The Cow

A longtime, locally loved favourite for over 40 years is The Cow. Tucked into a corner of Cow Lane in central Queenstown, this historic premise was once used to house cows until it was transformed into the cosy, rustic restaurant it is today. Book in here for fresh pasta or delicious pizza with a side of local history.


Day Three: Rest your legs

If it’s a white-out and you can’t hit the slopes or you just feel like a cruisy day in Queenstown, you’ve got several options to relax and treat yourself.

Gaze out over the snowy peaks in your cedar-lined hot tub by day at Onsen Hot Pools. With hot tubs reaching 40°c in winter, Onsen Hot Pools are the ultimate winter relaxation spot perfect to rest and rejuvenate after all that mountain action. 

If you want something a bit different head out to historic Arrowtown and check out Dorothy Browns cinema. This is an inviting, homey experience with couches and bean bags to relax into while you watch a film, while also having access to their fully licensed bar and bookshop.

Woman relaxing in Onsen Hot Pools in Winter

Onsen Hot Pools 

In the evening grab a tasty takeout, and head along to Perky's, Queenstown's only floating bar! Enjoy locally crafted beers and Central Otago wines on their heated rooftop deck or snuggle up in the wooden booths inside the boat and take in the snowcapped mountains all around.

1) Erik's Fish & Chips 

New Zealand is famous for its fish and chips but have you ever deep-fried kiwifruit? Erik's Fish & Chips is tucked down Earl Street in Queenstown's town centre, serving up some of the freshest, lightly battered Kiwi fish and chips you'll ever try. 

2) Fergburger

When you say you are coming to Queenstown the first thing most people will tell you to do is to get a famous Fergburger. These burgers are the size of your head and are a must-eat while in Queenstown. 

3) Fat Badgers Pizza

Crowd favourite, Fat Badgers has been serving up massive 20″ New York-style pizzas since 2010. Their cheesy poutine and 'famous flying badgers' hot wings are crowd-pleasers, too.


Day Four: The Remarkables

Located an easy 45-minute drive from downtown is The Remarkables Ski Area. With three sunny north-facing bowls, a range of different jump parks, an ice bar and plenty of terrain to explore, The Remarkables Ski Area is an ideal location to spend the day. 

Once you've finished exploring all that The Remarkables has to offer, it's time to find the perfect spot for your next meal. 

Group Skiing at The Remarkables Ski Field at sunriseThe Remarkables

A trip to Arrowtown is essential while visiting the Queenstown area. Restored historic buildings from the mining era are now home to an abundance of restaurants and bars.

1) The Fork and Tap

Follow the sounds of live music to The Fork and Tap, Arrowtown's local pub. Perfect for the whole family, the outdoor beer garden has a playground for the kids to explore while the adults make their way through the local craft beer and wine list. 

2) Aosta

A small slice of Italy in Arrowtown. Aosta is inspired by the cooking techniques of a little town called Aosta in Northern Italy with an infusion of local flavour and produce. Fresh handmade pasta and red wine are the perfect follow-up to a day on the slopes. 

3) La Rumbla 

Famous for its tapas and locally inspired cocktails, La Rumbla focuses on big, fresh flavours with Latin American influences. The menu is designed to share, making it the perfect spot for a lively group dinner that the whole crew will remember. 


Day Five: Go out with a bang

It’s your last day, so go out in style with a trip over the hill towards Wānaka to Cardrona Alpine Resort or Treble Cone.

Cardrona Alpine Resort is the perfect spot for mixed groups, with plenty of terrain for all levels of skier and boarder. The kids will love the on-mountain kids club while parents take lessons or head off to enjoy the slopes. Cardrona Alpine Resort also has fantastic park facilities, perfect for those looking to test or improve their jump skills. 

Treble Cone is the largest ski field on the South Island and features the longest vertical rise. The ski area has 45% intermediate and 45% advanced terrain which is perfect if you're feeling confident after a couple of days on the snow. There's plenty to explore on this vast mountain and with the epic views over Lake Wānaka, it's no wonder this ski field holds a special place in the hearts of locals and visitors alike. 

Lessons at CardronaCardrona Alpine Resort

If it's the end of your holiday, then you need to spoil yourself with your last meal in Queenstown. The hardest part is choosing which one!

1) Amisfield

Operating since 2005, this bistro put Queenstown on the map one for lovers of fine food and wine. Amisfield encompasses all things Queenstown with everything from its stone building to its locally sourced and inspired menu. Chef Vaughan Mabee aims to celebrate the freshest seasonal produce from the local region perfectly complemented by Amisfield wines. Go for a tour of the cellar after dinner and try everything this iconic establishment has to offer.

2) Rātā

Tucked away on a quiet street in Queenstown sits Rātā, a light-filled restaurant serving inspired New Zealand cuisine. Get ready to enjoy not just a meal but a full culinary experience from the friendly and knowledgeable staff.

3) Botswana Butchery

Overlooking the lake in a historic cottage sits the very stylish Botswana Butchery. This restaurant is all about the small details right down to its themed door handles. With luxurious seating and décor alongside roaring log fires, both inside and out, this is a popular and well-loved spot known for its exquisite food.


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, or discover mountaineer, Hamish Fleming's favourite winter adventures.

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