Indulge in a winter wonderland these July school holidays in Queenstown on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Set against the Southern Alps of New Zealand’s South Island, Queenstown has its own airport, making it a popular destination for powder hounds.
One of the most popular ski towns in New Zealand, Queenstown has so much to offer the entire family. Whether you’re after some downhill action on the slopes, off-piste powder or après entertainment, Queenstown is a well-established ski resort renowned for its adventure sports and nightlife.
Choose from a great selection of ski resorts that surround Queenstown, with Coronet Peak, which is great for intermediates and beginners, being the closest at only 20 minutes drive from the town centre. The Remarkables, set in the breathtakingly beautiful mountain range of the same name, offers some awesome drops and appeals to freestylers with its impressive terrain parks. Drive just over an hour from Queenstown to Wanaka for family-friendly Cardrona, a relaxed ski resort that provides plenty for the snowboarders, while Treble Cone is the largest ski area on the South Island with the longest vertical rise at 700m.
For the Adrenalin Junkies
While skiing and snowboarding are the main attractions in winter, there is plenty of off-terrain action to get your heart rate up. For great value, try an activity combo and pack in as much exhilarating action as you can, including the Shotover Jet white-water jet-boating experience. Activities also include skydiving, bungy jumping, white-water rafting and a canyon swing to really get your blood pumping. Get high above the crowds with an Alpine Heliski experience to ride or ski spectacular untouched powder and enjoy a taste of freedom!
The Scenic Route
A great way to see the local area is a 4WD tour to the main tourist attractions. Tour the nearby wine country, renowned for its pinot noir and chardonnay grape varietals, or take part in the Lord of the Rings tour to see why director Peter Jackson chose the amazing spot to shoot scenes for the famous films. The majesty of The Remarkables mountain range is only appreciated from the best vantage point in the Alps, a helicopter flight with snow landing is a must-do on your holiday itinerary to take in the grandeur of your location.
Let the lads out for the day and grab your girlfriends for some indulgent TLC time. Queenstown has an array of luxury temptations to help you while away the hours. A day spa and wine experience will have you feeling pampered and relaxed by starting off your day with a massage, facial and foot spa before you’re off on the Queenstown Wine Trail with a year-round wine tour. A trip to the ski fields isn’t complete without a dip in the relaxing and revitalising Onsen Hot Pools. Bask in the healing warm water while overlooking magnificent views of Queenstown and breathing in the fresh mountain air. This soothing experience is available in the evening so you can soak away your cares under the stars.
Another must-do is Skyline Queenstown for the Gondola-ride and dining experience. Enjoy incredible views on the Gondola ride up to Bob’s Peak before enjoying a meal at award-winning restaurant Stratosfare. You’ll find a plethora of activities at the peak, including an exhilarating downhill Luge ride, Maori cultural show and Kiwi Haka, mountain biking, walking trails and stargazing tour.
Super pints of homegrown brew, under-$20 grub and live music make the Pub on Wharf a popular destination, while the kids menu means the littlies can tag along and won’t feel unwelcome. ThreeSixty and Prime Waterfront offer food with views over the lake and mountains, with ThreeSixty boasting a ‘down to earth’ food philosophy using super-fresh local ingredients, while Prime offers sensational chargrilled steak and seafood – you can even BYO freshly caught fish. Blue Kanu tiki house is a stylish dining experience mixing traditional Maori, Pasifika and Asian flavours, while Madam Woo serves up delicious modern Asian meals at its Mall location. For yummy pizza and pasta, you can’t go past iconic Winnies, which will help you soak up the ale for some late-night partying.
Queenstown is full of après entertainment for the adults, with a smattering of great bars and beautiful restaurants with fine food and worthy wine lists to spoil yourself. Check out The Bunker for its selection of hot house music and cocktails, ironically boasting a rooftop terrace with fireplace. The best novelty picks are either of Queenstown’s two ice bars, with Below Zero° Ice Bar being the largest of its kind in Australasia. Enjoy an elegant stem or two at the classy Bardeaux bar, with its sumptuous furnishings and cosy open fireplace. Check out the DJ lineup and hit the dance floor at Surreal, acclaimed by Australian Vogue and The Sunday Star, or head to Queenstown’s live music hub Sherwood for a dose of well-known acts, while Pig & Whistle is a great British-style pub that offers big-screen rugby and cover bands. Self-service wine tasting at The Winery is a great experience for couples or groups.
Villa Getaways lists some beautiful luxury properties for rent during your exciting holiday to Queenstown.
Glenorchy Villa 676
An hour away from Queenstown you’ll find picturesque Glenorchy, set on natural Wyuna Preserve, along with this stunning residence made from natural materials. This stylish four-bedroom, five-bathroom home is fabulous for entertaining with a central courtyard, outdoor and indoor fireplaces.
Queenstown Villa 673
This light-filled lakefront property is nestled in the golf course community of Jack’s Point. Comfortably sleeping eight people, this four-bedroom property is ideal for family or friend getaways. Close to The Remarkables ski field, this luxury villa combines private tranquility with action-packed adventure.
Queenstown Villa 605
Spectacular views mixed with complete privacy make this one-bedroom lovers retreat an ideal location for your next romantic holiday. This luxury lodge is set on a 9-acre property with landscaped grounds and winding stream. Rooms overlook the nearby pine forest providing the ultimate in serenity.