What’s on in Queenstown this winter!
Winter is our favourite season here in Queenstown. Our events calendar is positively bursting with fun activities, making it a truly fantastic time to visit! We love a good celebration and we mark the official start of winter here in style—you‘ll never be short of things to do in Queenstown in June. To help with your winter plans, we’ve listed some of our top recommendations below including live music, skiing, fireworks, light shows, markets and more!
Queenstown Gardens are set to light up this June with the famous LUMA Light Festival. LUMA comes alive after sunset, showcasing spectacular artwork, sculpture and performances all radiating colour and energy on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. LUMA is a great Queensland winter activity for the whole family—this year kids will be wowed by the large glowing mushroom sculptures by artist Amigo and Amigo and neon squiggle trees by Angus Muir Design. The festival runs for four days only, from Friday 4th June to Monday 7th June, and lights come on daily at 5pm. The best part? You won’t need to worry about parking as all this is taking place just a ten minute walk from our Queenstown apartments. More information on featured installations and everything you need to know to get the most out of your experience can be found at luma.nz.
Coronet Night Ski
The first of Coronet Peak’s popular night time ski sessions takes place from 4pm - 9pm on Wednesday 30th June, and they’re kicking it off with a bang! If you only attend one night time ski session this year, we recommend you make it this one. There will be DJ's, live music and fireworks on the slopes, and pizzas and drinks available to sustain you and your friends as you ski and socialise your way through the evening. Plus, anyone who has done it before will tell you that there’s no better vantage point to see the sun set in spectacular fashion behind the snow-capped alps. Sound like your thing? Book your lift pass online now.
Welcome to Winter
Queenstown’s Welcome to Winter Festival runs from 2nd to 4th July, celebrating everything there is to love about winter in beautiful Queenstown. Friday kicks off with live music, a mid-winter market and fireworks in the evening, then Saturday includes a gala, film festival and superhero/ice princess party for the kids! On Sunday there’s a full fun-day of events up at Coronet Peak, and the weekend ends on a high note with Ladi6 performing live at the Sherwood Hotel. Some of these events are free and some are ticketed, but there’s definitely something for everyone at this Queenstown winter event! For news and updates, you can follow the Welcome to Winter Festival on Facebook.
If you’re looking for a self-contained suite perfectly positioned to give you easy access to the best things to do in Queenstown this June, check our vacancies at Stay of Queenstown to see how we can help.
The top 10 things to do in Queenstown this winter!
Visitors flock to Queenstown from far and wide for its iconic ski season, but what if the thought of hitting the slopes doesn’t appeal to you? Skiing, snowboarding and other snow-based activities certainly aren’t for everyone. Well, in Queenstown, not all our winter activities centre around the white stuff! Whether it’s a glorious sunny day, pouring with rain or overcast with an icy chill, there’s an abundance of activities waiting for you to try in Queenstown.
Rise early for a hot air balloon ride
That glorious, sunny day we mentioned? Why not make the most of it with a peaceful hot air balloon ride over Queenstown at sunrise?! From 6000 feet in the air, you’ll have the most spectacular views imaginable of glistening Lake Wakatipu and surrounding mountains, rivers and landmarks. With Sunrise Balloons, you can help your crew prepare and inflate the balloon, learn all about how it works and even enjoy a celebratory breakfast champagne upon landing. What a way to start the day!
Try jet boating
You’re likely to get a bit wet with this one, so who really cares what the weather is doing?! Queenstown has a number of different jetboating experiences, racing across the Shotover and Kawarau Rivers to give you an exhilarating, fast-paced look at the region’s scenic waterways. The Shotover Jet is one for those who love an adrenaline rush – it shoots through narrow canyons at over 85 kilometres per hour!
Find the best mulled wine
What better way is there to warm up and embrace the winter holiday spirit than by exploring the local restaurants and wineries? Most Queenstown establishments have a mulled wine on the menu over the winter months. If you are game, you could even take to the town centre on an afternoon mission in search of the very best.
Take a 4 wheel drive tour
Queenstown’s rugged back country is ideal for a 4WD adventure. Enjoy the jumps, bumps and squeals of a four wheel drive expedition, climb up steep hills and see the surrounding sights from hidden vantage points. If you’re a movie buff, some of the local 4WD tours like Nomad Safaris can take you to visit notable filming locations from The Lord of the Rings and other famous films.
Take a walk in Arrowtown
While only a 20 minute drive from Queenstown, Arrowtown is remarkably different. Parts of the old gold mining town appear untouched, featuring quaint heritage buildings that date back to the 1800s. Take a walk through the main street, exploring the old buildings, shops and cafes then stroll down to the scenic Arrowtown river trail.
Board a scenic flight to Milford Sound
This is a real bucket list experience! A scenic flight with Milford Flights or True South Flights will take you high above majestic landscapes, waterfalls, mountains and some of New Zealand’s great walks from above. You can incorporate a cruise too if you wish—a truly amazing way to spend the day.
Cruise to Walter Peak for lunch
Walter Peak High Country Farm is situated on the other side of Lake Wakatipu. It’s an operational sheep and cattle station with enviable views and plenty to explore. To get here, board the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw and enjoy a hearty BBQ lunch expertly prepared by the farm’s on-site chef.
Warm up at Onsen spa
Just a 10 minute drive from Queenstown is Onsen Retreat and Day Spa - the ultimate haven for relaxation. With wine in hand, step into a steamy hot tub overlooking the shotover river and complete your experiece with a relaxing massage or a facial.
Buckle up for the Hydro Attack ‘Shark’ ride
Queenstown is one of the only places in the world where you can try this ride—a thrilling combination of floating, flying and diving through Lake Wakatipu at speeds of up to 80kmph. They say it feels like a cross between a fighter jet and a torpedo… If that doesn’t sound exciting, what does?!
Wander around Queenstown Gardens
Queenstown Gardens are a short walk from central Queenstown on Lake Wakatipu. The tranquil setting is perfect place for a picnic or an evening stroll, there’s a small kids playground on the northern end and an 18 basket frisbee golf course too.