Queenstown’s welcoming, vibrant energy makes it a unique holiday destination. Big enough to offer a wide range of accommodation, activities, ski fields, events, eateries and bars - yet small enough to make you feel like you belong.
Every year, from early June, the region transforms into a winter wonderland, attracting snow sports enthusiasts with incredible lake and alpine scenery, crisp blue-sky days, easy access to New Zealand's finest ski and snowboard terrain, and vibrant après ski scene.
The region’s four ski fields, all within a handy 25 to 90-minute drive of Queenstown, offer a range of terrain for all levels. With the first snowfalls, feel the buzz in town as skiers and snowboarders gear up for a season of fun.
Things to do
Queenstown’s winter calendar is packed with activities on and off the mountain.
2023 Queenstown winter events
- Luma Southern Light Project, 1 - 5 June. Held in the Queenstown Gardens, the event showcases a curated collection of stunning light installations and sculptures. Taking place over King's Birthday weekend, it's an event not to be missed.
- Matariki Arrowtown Lights, 14 July. Kā Muriwai presents a free cultural event including performances by local kapa haka school groups, light displays, and an astrophysicist sharing the wonders of the Otago night skies.
- NZ Mountain Film & Book Festival, 29 - 30 June. The world's best adventure films and authors come to the home of adventure.
- The Remarkables Ice & Mixed Festival, 10 - 13 August. Top winter alpine climbers gather for their annual climbing meet at NZ’s most accessible multi-pitch winter climbing area.
- Winter Pride, 25 August - 3 September. Glitz and glamour at the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest pride festival.
- Winter Games NZ, 25 August - 16 September. The annual event is a complete showcase of snow sports from freestyle skiing, slalom to Paralympic skiing and tons of on-mountain fun for spectators and competitors alike.
- Snow Machine, 5 - 10 September. Skiing, music, accommodation and adventure.
- Peak to Peak, 9 September. The South Island’s biggest winter multisport event attracts competitors from around New Zealand.
Feel the buzz
Queenstown is famous for its year-round high-octane thrills so if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush or want to push your boundaries, activities like bungy jumping, jet boating, skydiving, ziplining, paragliding, dirt biking, supercar or four-wheel-driving are all guaranteed to get your blood pumping.
Recharge your batteries
If a relaxed, leisurely experience is what you’re after, Queenstown has some great ways to rejuvenate and recharge your batteries.
Wrap up warmly and explore the region’s spectacular scenery by foot or by bike on one of its many trails. The Queenstown Trail provides 110km of walking and cycling trails which link popular scenic spots. Scenic walks from downtown Queenstown range from a leisurely stroll around the beautiful lakeside gardens to hiking up Queenstown Hill for magnificent 360-degree vistas.
For the ultimate in relaxation enjoy some me time at one of Queenstown’s luxury day spas. A full range of treatments are on offer to revitalize mind, body and soul. Or stretch your legs after a day on the slopes, with yoga, pilates, or even a multi-day retreat designed to help you reconnect with yourself.
Queenstown is also an internationally renowned golf hub. Seven golf courses within a 45-minute drive of the town centre, offer everything from family-friendly nine-hole courses to immaculately groomed fairways with snow-capped mountain backdrops so stunning, it’s hard to keep your eye on the ball.
Après ski cocktails at Sundeck
Taste local flavours
When it comes to eating out, Queenstown’s innovative and award-winning cafés and restaurants offer cuisine to suit every palate. Along with nearby Arrowtown, Queenstown is home to more than 150 eateries ranging from fine dining to fun dining. Stylish bars, sophisticated clubs, Kiwi pubs and late night hot spots also make Queenstown’s après-ski atmosphere second to none.
Queenstown ski area low down
Whether you’re keen to conquer the basics, enjoy groomed runs, tackle off-piste, throw down some freestyle tricks, or experience the thrill of night skiing, Queenstown has the ski resort for you.
Queenstown’s closest ski area is a 20-minute drive from downtown. World-class facilities, superb conditions and spectacular rollercoaster terrain make Coronet Peak an exciting destination for snow lovers of any ability.
Experience magnificent views, a stunning base building, fantastic on-mountain facilities, state-of-the-art snowmaking as well as night skiing on Wednesdays and Fridays. Shuttle options available.
The Remarkables is a true alpine experience just a 45-minute drive from central Queenstown. Perfect for the whole family, from beginners and novices to advanced skiers and boarders, the base building offers ticketing, rentals, restaurant and retail areas. With its high alpine location, sunny aspect and relaxed atmosphere, it’s become a firm local favourite.
The Remarkables features a six-seat, high-speed detachable Curvey Basin chairlift, alongside increased snow-making capacity, a large and wide learners’ area, fresh trails, and ample car parking. Shuttle options are available.
Cardrona Alpine Resort has a laid-back and friendly vibe, deep snow cover, wide open slopes, serious half pipes, steep chutes and an extensive terrain park for freestylers, great family facilities, and on-mountain accommodation. Cardrona is an hour’s drive from Queenstown and shuttle options are available.
Treble Cone is the South Island’s biggest ski area and a favourite for advanced skiers and snowboarders with the longest vertical rise in the Southern Lakes, two large basins, great off-piste terrain and stunning views. Novices are also well catered for with a dedicated learning area. The ski area is an hour and a half’s drive or a short 15-minute flight from Queenstown.