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Audi Quattro Winter Games. Image: Pete Meecham

Six reasons to hit up Queenstown during the Audi Quattro Winter Games

This year's Audi Quattro Winter Games delivered its fair share of world firsts, mayhem and good times as athletes stepped up on a world stage by day and mingled with crowds of fun by night.

There is simply no other winter snow sport festival like it in the southern hemisphere with the world’s best competing in freestyle skiing, snowboarding, alpine skiing, cross country skiing and curling. All this served up on alpine mountain tops with quintessential laid back Kiwi hospitality and valley and lake views to make your soul sing. There are so many reasons to hit up Queenstown during the Audi Quattro Winter Games. 

Bobby Brown in action. Image: Iain McGregor

Bobby Brown in action. Image: Iain McGregor

1) World's Best Athletes

Every two years the best in the world in their chosen snow sport disciplines descend upon the Southern Lakes resorts of Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Cardrona and Treble Cone to compete in FIS World Cup and Freeride World Qualifier sanctioned events. On any given day you might find yourself sharing the same resort air or chairlift as Ted Ligety, Lindsay Vonn, Bobby Brown, James Woods, Jamie Anderson and friends.

Not to mention local legend ‘Wells Brothers’ – Jossi, Byron, Beau James and Jackson. Eldest brother, Jossi, is an X Games medalist and Winter Olympian and his brothers are not far behind.

The best part? If you’re an Aussie you don't have to fly across the globe to experience these folk in action either, check the start lists for the Audi Quattro Winter Games and take a three hour flight to experience true elite world competition. Now that's boasting rights, right there.

The North Face Frontier. Image Neil Kerr

The North Face Frontier. Image Neil Kerr

2) Atmosphere X 10

Skiing in New Zealand is already awe inspiring with big valley and lake views and blue hued skies that turn to pink come dusk. Now add a globally recognised elite competition and expect bigger smiles from locals who line the slopes to cheer their favourites on. This kind of vibe is contagious. Now add an outside Mumm champagne lounge on finals days at Cardrona and prepare to feel the buzz.

The North Face Frontier events during the games of 2017 were the hottest place to be as big mountain skiing icon, Kiwi Sam Smoothy, and local snow aficionado Tom Brownlee put on a comedic MC'ing show as snowboarders and skiers took on the extreme chutes and terrain at The Remarkables.

Crowds watching the action. Image Pete Meecham

Crowds watching the action. Image Pete Meecham

3) It's Free to Watch

You read that right. All the events take place on the ski resorts so you can ski or snowboard over to the event course, cheer on your favourites, then keep skiing your favourite runs. The competition is free to watch for all. 

4) It is Spring

Longer days, sunshine, smiles and good vibes. Spring skiing in Queenstown means a mix of mountain and valley fun. Lucky for you the Audi Quattro Winter Games has a thriving program both on and off the slopes so you can ski in the morning and check out the competition and still have time to hit a winery, a jet boat, a bungee jump in the afternoon before joining the festival by night.

Opening Night of the Winter Games. Image Iain McGregor

Opening Night of the Winter Games. Image Iain McGregor

5) The Festival

What's an international sports competition without a party? From the awards ceremonies to downtown Corona parties, Red Bull DJs, Mons Royale launch soirees and a JUCY Meltdown concert you'll be hard pressed to know where to turn up first. So, bring your best party face, it’s going to get loud.

Queenstown at night during Spring

Queenstown at night during Spring

6) It's in Queenstown

If there is one word that epitomises adventure glitz then it's Queenstown. The alpine resort town is perched on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by an amphitheater of soaring mountain peaks that provide a natural stage for next level après skiing. Add over 150 licensed establishments in one square kilometer and a plethora of adventure activities from canyon swings to luge and more. Did we mention the world’s best burgers, Otago’s award winning wineries and helicopters to take you where no one else can go. 

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