Winter in Queenstown: A Comprehensive Guide for Snow Enthusiasts

Nestled in the Southern Alps of New Zealand, Queenstown is a winter wonderland that attracts snow enthusiasts from around the world. 

With its stunning alpine scenery and world-class ski resorts, this charming town has become a mecca for those seeking an adrenaline-filled winter adventure. 

From skiing and snowboarding to snowshoeing and ice climbing, Queenstown offers a wide range of activities for all levels of snow lovers.

As the Southern Hemisphere’s premier winter destination, Queenstown experiences a snowy paradise from June to August. 

The region’s top ski fields, such as Coronet Peak and The Remarkables, boast pristine powder snow and well-groomed slopes that cater to both beginners and seasoned skiers alike. 

Beyond the slopes, visitors can also indulge in après-ski activities like hot air ballooning, wine tasting, and soaking in natural hot springs. 

In the upcoming sections of this article, we will delve into the key takeaways for snow enthusiasts visiting Queenstown, including must-visit ski resorts, off-piste adventures, and tips for making the most of your winter getaway.

Winter in Queenstown

What you should know

  • Queenstown, New Zealand is a premier destination for snow enthusiasts, boasting four popular ski resorts with a variety of runs for all skill levels. 

Visitors can also enjoy a range of activities such as snowboarding, heli-skiing, and snowshoeing.

  • The winter season in Queenstown typically runs from June to August, with July being the peak month for skiing and snowboarding. 

It is important to pack appropriate winter clothing and gear, as temperatures can fluctuate throughout the day.

  • 3. Accommodation options in Queenstown cater to all budgets, from luxury hotels to backpacker hostels. 

It is advisable to book in advance during the winter season, as accommodations tend to fill up quickly.

  • 4. Beyond skiing and snowboarding, Queenstown offers a range of off-mountain activities such as visiting the Onsen Hot Pools, taking a scenic helicopter ride, or exploring the charming town centre with its shops, cafes, and restaurants.
  • 5. To fully enjoy the winter season in Queenstown, consider purchasing a multi-day ski pass that provides access to multiple ski resorts. 

Additionally, check the weather conditions and snow report before heading out to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience on the slopes.

Best Time to Visit Queenstown for Snow Enthusiasts

The best time to visit Queenstown for snow enthusiasts is during the winter months of June to August. 

This is when the region experiences the most snowfall, creating ideal conditions for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities. 

The ski season typically runs from late June to early October, giving visitors plenty of time to enjoy the snow-covered mountains and picturesque landscapes.

Queenstown is known for its stunning alpine scenery, with snow-capped peaks and crystal-clear lakes providing a breathtaking backdrop for winter sports. 

The town itself comes alive during the winter months, with cosy cafes, bustling bars, and vibrant nightlife adding to the festive atmosphere. 

Whether you’re a seasoned skier or a first-time snowboarder, Queenstown offers something for everyone during the winter season.

For those looking to avoid the crowds, early June and late August are also great times to visit Queenstown. 

These shoulder seasons offer quieter slopes and more affordable accommodation options, making it a perfect choice for those seeking a more relaxed winter getaway. 

No matter when you choose to visit, Queenstown is sure to provide an unforgettable winter experience for snow enthusiasts of all ages.

Top Ski Resorts in Queenstown

Queenstown is home to some of the best ski resorts in New Zealand, offering a wide range of slopes for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. The most popular ski resorts in Queenstown include:

Coronet Peak: Known for its stunning views and varied terrain, Coronet Peak is a favourite among locals and tourists alike. With a mix of beginner, intermediate, and advanced runs, this resort has something for everyone.

The Remarkables: Just a short drive from Queenstown, The Remarkables offers some of the best powder in the region. 

This resort is perfect for freestyle skiers and snowboarders, with terrain parks and half pipes to challenge even the most experienced riders.

Cardrona Alpine Resort: Located between Queenstown and Wanaka, Cardrona Alpine Resort is known for its wide-open slopes and family-friendly atmosphere. 

With a mix of groomed runs and off-piste terrain, this resort is a great choice for skiers and snowboarders of all ages.

Whether you’re a beginner looking to learn the basics or an expert seeking a new challenge, Queenstown’s ski resorts have something for everyone. 

With world-class facilities, stunning scenery, and plenty of snow, it’s no wonder why Queenstown is a top destination for snow enthusiasts from around the world.

Winter Activities in Queenstown

In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Queenstown offers a wide range of winter activities for visitors to enjoy. 

From ice skating and snowshoeing to heli-skiing and snowmobiling, there’s no shortage of ways to experience the winter wonderland of Queenstown. 

Some popular winter activities in Queenstown include:

Snowshoeing: Explore the backcountry on snowshoes, taking in the pristine beauty of the snow-covered landscape.

Heli-skiing: Experience the ultimate adrenaline rush with a heli-skiing adventure, accessing untouched powder in remote mountain ranges.

Ice Skating: Lace up your skates and hit the ice at one of Queenstown’s outdoor rinks, enjoying a fun-filled day of skating with family and friends.

No matter what your interests or skill level, Queenstown has something for everyone to enjoy during the winter months. 

Whether you’re seeking thrills on the slopes or a peaceful retreat in the mountains, Queenstown is the perfect destination for snow enthusiasts looking to make the most of the winter season.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best activities to do in Queenstown during winter?

Winter in Queenstown offers a plethora of activities for snow enthusiasts to enjoy.

Some of the best activities to do in Queenstown during winter include skiing or snowboarding at one of the nearby ski resorts such as Coronet Peak or The Remarkables. 

You can also try snowshoeing, snowmobiling, or even take a scenic helicopter ride to get a bird’s eye view of the stunning winter landscape.

What should I pack for a winter trip to Queenstown?

When packing for a winter trip to Queenstown, it is important to pack warm clothing such as thermal layers, a waterproof jacket, gloves, hats, and scarves. 

Don’t forget to pack sturdy snow boots and sunglasses to protect your eyes from the glare of the snow. 

It is also a good idea to pack a camera to capture the breathtaking winter scenery in Queenstown.

How can I get to Queenstown during winter?

Queenstown is easily accessible by air, with regular flights from major cities in New Zealand and Australia. 

Once you arrive at Queenstown Airport, you can take a shuttle, taxi, or rental car to get to your accommodation. 

If you prefer to drive, you can also reach Queenstown by car from other parts of New Zealand, although it is important to check road conditions and weather forecasts before embarking on your journey.

Are there any special events or festivals in Queenstown during winter?

Yes, Queenstown hosts several special events and festivals during winter to celebrate the snowy season. 

The Queenstown Winter Festival is a popular event that features live music, fireworks, and winter sports competitions. 

There are also food and wine festivals, art exhibitions, and cultural events that take place throughout the winter months in Queenstown.

What are the best places to eat in Queenstown during winter?

Queenstown is known for its vibrant food scene, with a wide range of restaurants, cafes, and bars to choose from. 

Some of the best places to eat in Queenstown during winter include Fergburger for delicious burgers, Rata for fine dining, and Vudu Cafe for a cosy brunch. 

You can also warm up with a hot chocolate or mulled wine at one of the many cafes and bars in town.

Is it safe to drive in Queenstown during winter?

Driving in Queenstown during winter can be challenging due to icy roads and snowy conditions. 

It is important to drive carefully, obey speed limits, and be prepared for changing weather conditions. 

Make sure to carry snow chains in your car and check road conditions before setting out on your journey. 

If you are not comfortable driving in winter conditions, you can also take a shuttle or taxi to get around Queenstown.

What are the best ski resorts near Queenstown?

Queenstown is surrounded by several world-class ski resorts that offer excellent skiing and snowboarding opportunities. 

Some of the best ski resorts near Queenstown include Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, and Cardrona Alpine Resort. 

These resorts have a variety of runs for all skill levels, as well as facilities such as ski schools, equipment rentals, and on-mountain dining options.

Can I go hiking in Queenstown during winter?

While hiking in Queenstown during winter can be challenging due to snowy and icy conditions, there are still plenty of hiking trails that are accessible year-round. 

Some popular winter hiking trails in Queenstown include the Queenstown Hill Walk, Ben Lomond Track, and Bob’s Cove Track. 

Make sure to wear appropriate footwear and clothing, and check trail conditions before heading out on a winter hike.

9. What are the best accommodations in Queenstown for winter travellers?

Queenstown offers a wide range of accommodations to suit every budget and preference. Some of the best accommodations in Queenstown for winter travellers include luxury hotels such as Eichardt’s Private Hotel and The Rees Hotel, as well as cosy bed and breakfasts, holiday homes, and backpacker hostels. 

You can also choose to stay in a ski-in/ski-out accommodation at one of the nearby ski resorts for easy access to the slopes.

Are there any guided tours or activities available in Queenstown during winter?

Yes, there are plenty of guided tours and activities available in Queenstown during winter to help you make the most of your snowy adventure. 

You can book guided skiing or snowboarding lessons, snowshoeing tours, heli-skiing adventures, or even take a scenic cruise on Lake Wakatipu. 

There are also guided wine tours, photography tours, and cultural experiences that you can enjoy during your winter trip to Queenstown.

Best Time to Visit Queenstown


Queenstown stands as an unparalleled winter destination for snow enthusiasts, offering a plethora of activities and experiences amidst its stunning alpine landscape. 

From world-class ski resorts like Coronet Peak and The Remarkables to off-mountain adventures like heli-skiing and snowshoeing, there’s something for everyone to enjoy during the winter months. 

Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping thrills on the slopes or tranquil moments surrounded by snow-capped peaks, Queenstown delivers an unforgettable winter experience.

Beyond the exhilarating winter sports, Queenstown’s vibrant atmosphere comes alive with cosy cafes, bustling bars, and cultural events, providing ample opportunities for relaxation and exploration. 

With accommodation options catering to all budgets and preferences, coupled with a range of guided tours and activities, visitors can tailor their winter getaway to suit their desires.

Whether you’re carving through powder on the ski slopes, indulging in après-ski delights, or immersing yourself in the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape, a winter trip to Queenstown promises memories that will last a lifetime. 

So pack your winter gear, embrace the chill in the air, and embark on an adventure to discover the magic of Queenstown’s snowy wonderland.