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 remains a popular destination for snow seekers and holidaymakers alike with a wide range of activities still on offer. It is presently welcoming domestic visitors and looking forward to receiving overseas travellers to its international airport as soon as possible.
One of the most popular ski towns in New Zealand, Queenstown has so much to offer the entire family. As well as the downhill action on the slopes, there is a lot of other entertainment on offer. Queenstown is a well-established ski resort town renowned for its adventure sports, fun activities and happening nightlife. Now is a great time to plan a visit with discounts offered on many of the main attractions.
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. Explore 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 this amazing spot to shoot scenes for the famous films. The majesty of The Remarkables mountain range is really appreciated from the best vantage point in the Alps and a helicopter flight with snow landing is a must-do on your holiday itinerary to take in the grandeur of your location.
While the boys get out for the day, the girls can have time for some indulgent TLC. Queenstown has an array of luxury temptations to help you indulge. 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 heading out to the Queenstown Wine Trail boasting 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 waters while overlooking the 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.
The soon to reopen, other must do is Skyline Queenstown for the memorable Gondola-ride and dining experience. Enjoy incredible views from the Gondola up to Bob’s Peak before enjoying a meal at the award-winning restaurant Stratosfare. You’ll find a range of activities at the peak, including an exhilarating downhill Luge ride, Maori cultural show and Kiwi Haka, mountain biking, walking trails and a stargazing tour.
Super pints of homegrown brew, great value food and live music make the Pub on Wharf a popular destination, while the kids menu means the littlies can tag along and feel welcome. 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. 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 adults, with a smattering of great bars and beautiful restaurants offering 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. 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. Self-service wine tasting at The Winery provides a great experience for couples and groups alike.
Villa Getaways lists some outstanding luxury properties available to rent during your exciting holiday to Queenstown.