As the UK is starting to enjoy its summer, here in New Zealand we are heading into our winter and to celebrate the arrival of this snowy season, Queenstown puts on a party like no other!

Back in 1975, a bunch of Queenstown locals decided that the start of winter was a great excuse to have a party.  They organized races on the mountain and in town, lollies (sweets) for the kids, beers for the grown-ups, a concert of two and a town-wide ball, all of which made the Festival a great success.  News spread quickly and the next year people came from further afield to join the festivities.

Since then the Festival has evolved into New Zealand’s biggest winter party – a ten day celebration of Queenstown’s unique culture and community with street parties, fireworks, international and local acts, jazz, comedy, a Mardi Gras, family fun and plenty of mountain madness.

This year from 22nd June to 1st July, the town will be a-buzz with 45,000 people celebrating the arrival of winter in true Queenstown style.

Festival action takes place mainly in downtown Queenstown with most of the mountain events taking place on Coronet Peak – but getting from place to place is very easy.  Queenstown is quite compact and walking is a fantastic way to get around and discover the great shopping, art galleries, bars and restaurants that make this town tick, or take one of the many shuttle buses that operate between town and the ski fields.

Events vary each day from the family favourites like the Opening Night party & fireworks,  Festival parade, ice skating etc, to the Mountain Mayhem with a day of ski field fun  and crazy antics such as the Suitcase Race (yep riding down the mountain on your suitcase!).  But no Winter Festival would be complete without the action down on Queenstown Bay as competitors throw themselves into the icy waters of Lake Wakatipu in little more than their undies!

Queenstown in winter is spectacular – with crisp clean air and often clear blue skies with sunshine and average daily temperatures of 7.7 degree Celsius.   Turquoise can provide all manner of accommodation options for your stay here, from luxury apartments in the town centre, to first class hotels and intimate bed and breakfasts, as well as we can recommend some of the finest food and wine establishments that this town boasts -so why not come and join the biggest winter party in the Southern Hemisphere!

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