The 42nd annual American Express Queenstown Winter Festival is shaping up to be one of the best yet. From the 24th June to 3rd July, locals and visitors will be embracing the cooler months in what has been described as the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest celebration of winter.
The first event was held by in 1975 by two Kiwis who believed winter was the perfect time for a party. From here, the event has grown to attract more than 45 000 attendees and recirculates a substantial $57 million back into the NZ economy.
Making a debut this year is the Mitre10 Mega Raft Race, which will see a group of home grown (and daring) raft builders competing in a race across Queenstown Bay. Raising money for Coastguard Queenstown, this event is sure to attract a few laughs and draw upon true community spirit.
If rafting isn’t for you, the Winter Wonderland Ice Rink is an activity that will suit all ages and skill sets. After you’ve had a go at skating, stay around to attend the ‘Stars on Ice’ fundraising even and watch local celebrities soar or stack in the rink.
If you love good music and a party atmosphere, The Winter Boat Party with DJ P Money is sure to be a hit. This event coincides with the opening of night skiing on Coronet Peak so despite the cold weather many will be out and about.
The Avalanche NZ: Know Before You Go awareness evening is a more serious however extremely valuable event for skiers, families and residents of snow bound areas. Held at the Queenstown Memorial Centre, this events aims to educate people about how to avoid the destructive power of avalanches.
The festival program is full with interesting, inspiring and entertaining events which support the tourism industry as well as local community businesses. Embrace the chill and get involved.
To purchase tickets and read about detailed program information visit the official festival website.
When: June 24th – July 3rd
Where: Various locations around Queenstown, NZ including Queenstown Gardens, Earnslaw Park, Coronet Peak and the Village Green.
Source: Mountain Mayhem Suitcase Race, Queenstown Winter Festival Media