Winter Queenstown Tips 2018

Some places you wouldn’t want to visit in the winter. Queenstown is not one of them. Think crisp blue skies and snow capped mountains reflected in crystal blue lakes. Queenstown, as many of you probably already know is home to some of the best Skiing and Snowboarding in the Southern hemisphere. However, don’t be put off if your not a naturally talented winter athlete, there are plenty of alternative Queenstown winter activities that will see you planning your next trip pronto. At Crowne Plaza Queenstown hotel we have made a list of the best winter activities Queenstown has to offer.

Not A Skier? Not A Problem!

“If you can walk, you can Snowshoe” is how the popular tagline goes. For those that don’t want to hit the slopes freestyle but are still keen to enjoy the snow then Snowshoeing could be a great option for you. Follow your experienced guide high up into the mountains, before you start your journey you will be issued with top-of-the-line slimline snowshoes – it’s never been easier to walk in the snow. You have the option to book a half day and 3/4 day adventures through the mountains and even the option to Heli Snowshoe, taking you to higher peaks inaccessible by coach.

Sky High

For those adrenaline junkies that want to ski or snowboard in style, try one of the many Heli Skiing companies operating out of Queenstown like Heliski tours . This is not for the ‘never skied before’ or ‘mostly unbalanced’ of the population, but for those of you proficient in the art of snowboarding/skiing backcountry trails, there is nothing to compare. You have the option to book multi day tours and choose your difficulty level. With access to some of the most incredible runs in the Southern hemisphere no winter activities Queenstown list would be complete without it.

Hit The Slopes

You probably hadn’t thought of this one. Our winter activities Queenstown list could not not mention the great skiing and snowboarding available in Queenstown – that would have been sacrilege. You are spoilt for choice when it comes to ski fields in Queenstown. Think Coronet PeakCardronaThe Remarkables and Treble Cone Ski Area. The Ski fields tend to open June-October, so plenty of time to master your moves.

Luma Light Festival

An Award winning light festival based in Queenstown featuring sculptures and artwork from local and international artists. Luma has been attracting guests for four years now and it’s attendance grew to 35,000 people in 2017 (that is quite a few). At Crowne Plaza Queenstown hotel we have one of the best locations to take advantage of the Luma Light festival. We look out over the Queenstown Gardens where this event is held and is only a quick 15 minute walk away. Book a Lake View room for your own personal light show. This festival takes place across Queens Birthday weekend, for four nights.

queenstown winter activites

[Photo Source: LUMA Queenstown Facebook]

Real Journey Queenstown Winter Festival

Celebrate the chilly season with the Real Journey Queenstown Winter Festival. For 2018 the festival will run from the 21st-24th June. Come along and experience great food, music, arts, comedy, street parties, fireworks and the alpine atmosphere. Whether you are a local, or your travelling with friends and family, there’s something for everyone.

[Photo Source: Winter Games NZ Facebook]

Audi Quattro Winter Games

One of the world’s top five winter sports competitions is coming to our little corner of the world for the fifth year running. New Zealand’s largest reoccuring sports event will see Queenstown and nearby regions packed with Winter olympic, Paralympic and X Games stars all looking to make their mark on our Southern Alps. It’s an adrenaline pumping, fast paced, high competition atmosphere and it is free to watch. Grab your cameras and head out to capture some of the action, you’ll have to be quick though. With plenty of music, live entertainment and food, the Audi Quattro Winter Games are just another reason to love Queenstown.

With so much happening this in Queenstown this winter, it would be criminal to miss out. Whether you are a nature lover, a pro or barely adequate skier, a festival lover or just looking for a winter break, Queenstown is the town to visit.

Spend Some Time In Queenstown this Autumn – Concierge Corner

Autumn in Queenstown
Queenstown in Autumn


As seasons go, the summer we have just had is going to be pretty hard to beat. The weather has been nothing short of amazing! Days filled with sunshine and scorching temperatures has made the summer of 2017/2018 a season to remember. There has been the odd spot of rain and cloud here and there, but mostly dry hot long days. As Autumn draws in, so do the clouds and cooler temperatures, the wineries are certainly enjoying a good long drink now we are having some rainy days, perfect timing for a bumper crop for the annual wine harvest in March/April.
After the huge buzz of people flocking to Queenstown to soak up the summer vibes, there is no better time to visit than now. There are still plenty of sunny days to have, and when that sun is out, it sure is warm! Autumn is a magical time of the year in Queenstown, with beautiful browns, yellows and reds colouring the landscape like a painting, what a perfect backdrop to wake up too.

Festivals For Everyone

The quaint mining town comes alive in Autumn, kicking off with the annual Akarua Arrowtown Autumn festival, starting from the 19th of April, this 10 day festival is
especially loved by locals and is a surprise and delight to passing tourists, so if you’re travelling through Central Otago during this time it is not to be missed.
 With Art exhibitions, music concerts, vintage car shows, and who could forget the huge street parade, there is only one way to celebrate Autumn! Arrowtown is truly spectacular and attracts photographers from far and wide and is just one of the places that will take your breath away during this time.
queenstownin autumn

[Image Source:]

If you love speed and all things motorised, Highlands Motorsport park is celebrating the Festival Of Speed from the 6th to the 8th of April. For those that are unfamiliar, Highlands Motorsport Park is nestled in the stunning area of Bannockburn near Cromwell and features some of the top muscle cars available today. It’s a place made for families with  go-karting, a dinosaur park, and a vintage car museum for all the cars enthusiasts.  You can really spend an entire day out there and during their Festival of Speed you are sure to be blown away with some of the best classic modern racing you will see in New Zealand.

Autumn Sale

[Image Source:]

No mention of festivals is complete without a shout out to the Luma Light festival. A recent addition to Queenstown‘s long list of events, Luma is quickly becoming more and more popular as the years go on and this year it is back bigger and better than ever. Beginning on the 1st of June, this incredible light show finishes off  Autumn in style. Located in the Queenstown Gardens, Luma showcases a vast array of local, national, and international talent. From light shows, to live music, to outdoor movies, this is a celebration of light and you are sure to be in awe of the dazzling colours and lights that dance across the gardens crafting shadows of their own that make the place truly come alive, it’s a stunning sight to behold that will entertain the family for hours!

What’s hot this autumn – food wise ?

There is never a dull moment in Autumn here in Queenstown,  the fun never stops and there is always something going on. You’ll find yourself wandering the streets soaking up all the hospitality this town has to offer. With hundreds of restaurants and fantastic flavours to choose from, it’s never-ending.  Due to open soon, is Hawker and Roll, a fast-casual restaurant, dishing up Malaysian inspired street-eats with vibrant and authentic flavours. Part of the Madam Woo family, this extension on the ever so popular eating spot will offer easy, quick food-on-the-go, perfect for that walk around the gardens during Luma.
Whatever your plans this year, you should seriously consider Queenstown this Autumn. Its action-packed with festivals, food, drink, and of course, all your favourite activities are still running, there is no better time than now to enjoy them. Our very helpful concierge team can point you in the all the right directions and make you sure you don’t miss anything during your stay!
All the best,
Chris Jones,
Concierge Manager Crowne Plaza Queenstown.

Concierge Corner – Your guide to the Summer Months in Queenstown

Calling All Lovers Of Sunshine And Adventure.

The cloudy days are over; summer has arrived with a vengeance – finally!  Say hello to long, languid evenings spent outdoors imbibing your favourite Central Otago Pinot Noir and enjoying a little live music from some local talent (keen for a spare dollar or two).  In the words of Charles Bowden (an individual somewhat more eloquent than myself) “summertime is always the best of what might be”.  Queenstown puts it best espadrille clad foot forward for the sunny season. From numerous farmers markets, too music festivals that celebrate summer and the New Years, all the way back to the classic – albeit terrifyingly enjoyable – adrenaline activities Queenstown’s famed for. I couldn’t mention any Queenstown activities without including the gem that is Arrowtown. Without a doubt worth a visit any season. Read on for my Queenstown Summer activities picks. Let the magic of middle earth’s summer transport you to another world.

A Whole Lot Of Farmers Markets

Take a moment away from the adrenaline packed activities that we know are beckoning you come hither and slow things down. I know farmers markets are not all unique to summer, but, as far as Queenstown summer activities go, they rank up there. Try one of the many markets that come alive with the warmer weather. The Creative Queenstown Arts’n Crafts Market celebrates the vibrancy of summer with an array of visual and performing arts. Or maybe head a little further afield to the Arrowtown Farmers Market. Fresh produce, live music and hand crafted candles are among the goodies that you will find at the Remarkables Park Markets.

Summer Festivities

Queenstown plays host to a number of summer music festivals – as a side note these are not for the sound shy among you. From SHUCKAFEST to the Julian Temple band, these are a few of the  Queenstown attractions unique to the summer months.

Do you ever find yourself pondering deep, deep thoughts… like, what to do in Queenstown on the 31st December 2017? If so, there is only one Queenstown Festival to consider, New Years Eve 2018 . Be among the first in the world to greet 2018. The festival takes place on the lakefront; enjoy delicious food, live music and great company. From locals too international visitors, this promises to be a wonderful night, celebrating new beginnings, in one of the most beautiful locations on the planet – this is a scientific fact (maybe).

Crowne Plaza Queenstown

Scream, Yell, Repeat

Most people will tell you the best things to do in Queenstown are the adrenaline packed ones and they would not be wrong. While you can do these activities all year round, the many water based activities really take centre stage in the summer months because you are less likely to lose a toe from frost bite. From Kayaking Milford Sound, too ‘Funyaking’ with Dart River Adventures through Mt Aspiring National Park. There are so many water based activities to entertain this summer.

It would be sacrilege to talk about Queenstown activities and not mention Jet Boating. For many visitors it can feel like we have more Jet Boat operators than you can count on two hands. Confused? Don’t worry; I have the insider knowledge to set you right.  The best Jet Boat in Queenstown would have to be the most iconic, the Shotover Jet. However for scenic value alone the Dart River Jet is phenomenal. Honorary mention goes to Skippers Canyon Jet – exploring the Shotover River; this is a great family run operation with that authentic Kiwi feel. As a side note, despite the warmth of summer, Jet Boating is still on the extremely chilly side – word to the wise, dress warm!

Fill Your Stomachs

Our threesixty Restaurant  is a great place to spend a long summers evening. Relax with one of our summer cocktails, why not try some Frose?? Enjoy some mouth wateringly good food and watch the sun kiss the day farewell as she sets over Lake Wakatipu. Threesixty is always abuzz with excitement as day worn travellers recount their latest adventures. You might even discover a new Queenstown activity you hadn’t yet considered.


Honorary Mention

Arrowtown is the most idyllic little gold mining town at any time of the year. In the 1800’s miners from all over the world flocked to this little corner of the world to make their fortune. The Arrow River was reported to be teaming with gold. Through careful preservation and clever development, Arrowtown has maintained its historic significance and embraced all things modern. It is a place for foodies, history lovers, adventure junkies and shopping addicts alike. For a unique dinning experience I would recommend Postmasters Arrowtown. Once the Postmaster’s residence this delightful cottage will transport you back to the glory of the 1800’s while giving your taste buds something to celebrate.


My fellow concierges and myself live and breath all things Queenstown. Between us we are a veritable encyclopedia of knowledge, all of which we love to share with our great guests. If you are looking for some insider tips and tricks, then come see us in the lobby of the Crowne Plaza Queenstown hotel. We will have you exploring like a local in no time at all.