Queenstown and Southland Winter

New Zealand is the go to destination for winter enthusiast when the Northern Hemisphere starts its summer and the Southern Hemisphere blankets with snow.  Queenstown is frequented by travelers worldwide for the winter activities.  Winter starts from June and ends in August.

It is equally stunning when visiting during the Summer season.






The Flight

One can get from Auckland to Queenstown by flying with Air New Zealand and Jetstar.  By this time there might be some other airlines probably operating in this route.  It will take just under 2 hours to reach Queenstown airport.  Winter time is the busy season as there are direct flights from Australia in line with the Winter Festival.



There are several accommodation in Queenstown.  Backpackers are the main lodging for budget traveller.  Other would lodge in a hotel.  For bigger parties, bach houses will be good.  Since there are four of us, we decided to go for backpackers in Absoloot Value Accomodation situated at the heart of the city overlooking the lake.  The room has it’s own toilet and bath.  Kitchen and dining are shared with the rest of the backpackers.



The best way to roam around Queenstown and the neighbouring towns is to rent a car.  Jucy NZ is one of the cheapest rental car companies in town.  There are available public buses also.



It’s Queenstown.  The food is not that cheap really.  Either go for the fast food and take-aways. Or just buy from the dairy and cook your own food.  Restaurant wouldn’t hurt once in a while.  Do  not forget the ever famous Ferg Burger in the city which opens until the wee hours in the morning to cater the customers waiting in the long queue.



You go there for the snow.  So make sure to layer up.  As it is New Zealand, the weather is crazy.  It changes throughout the day.  The stunning beauty of the place is better witnessed on a cloudless day.  The white snow peak and the blue lake plus the blue sky makes a picture perfect scene.  Also snow is one of the factors of delayed flights.  Make leeway for your travel time.



There are heaps of things you can do.  Ski on all the 4 snow mountain peaks namely the Cardrona Alpine Resort,  Treble Cone, Coronet Peak, and The Remarkables. Select from the 3 bungy jump locations: Kawaru, The Nevis and The Ledge . Go up and down the Skyline.  Paragliding is worth a try.  Check out the site http://www.queenstownnz.co.nz for more activities.

While you are already there, make sure to visit the nearby places.  Or do a long drive down south to Invercargill.  Milford Sound is a must see.  We were not  able to visit it as the road is closed due to snow when we reached Te Anau.  Another plan needs to be set just to visit Milford Sound.

Below is the breakdown of expenses and activities we did last winter.  Bungy jump is not listed as I have tried that last summer.  Essentially all activities done in summer is no longer repeated during the winter.


The Driving Route

Southland Driving Route
Southland Driving Route


Below is the breakdown of expenses during the 6-day winter travel.

Six Days Escapade in Queenstown and South Otago
Six Days Escapade in Queenstown and South Otago


Panoramic view of Queenstown Lake Wakatipu
Kawarau Bungy Jump towering at 43 meters.
Ferg Burger opens until dawn.
Queenstown City Centre
Fiordland National Park, Te Anau
Eely Point Recreational Reserve, Wanaka
Snow Farm at Cardrona, Otago
The Remarkables
Lothlorien Woods of the Lord of the Rings. One of the location shoot in the woods up in the Paradise Road.
The Paradise at Te Wahipounamu, Glenorchy
Cookie tasting at General Store Glenorchy
Glenorchy Park, Glenorchy
Snow peaks seen from Lake Wakatipu along Mount Creighton going to Glenorchy.
Stirling Point, Bluff.  The southernmost town in New Zealand.  It is where the seasonal bluff oysters are harvested from the bottom of the sea.
Queenstown Lake Wakatipu
Arrowtown,  where the snow mountain peak shines reflecting the afternoon sun.
Arrowtown,  where the snow mountain peak shines reflecting the afternoon sun.