Queenstown Winterfest – the Kiwi answer to Snowbombing and the BRITS

Started in 1975 as an excuse for a good party, the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival is now in its 41st year and is well-known for being the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest winter party. Ocean Belcher tells us all!

American Express Queenstown Winter Festival

Dates24 June – 3 July 2016

Nearby ski resortsCoronet Peak, The Remarkables, Treble Cone and Cardrona.

For those of you lucky enough to be heading to New Zealand for the Southern Hemisphere winter, why not kick off your trip with the Queenstown Winter Festival this season. Originally started by a bunch of rowdy locals who were looking for an excuse to party, Winterfest is now the hottest party of the season. It even ranks higher than Oktoberfest and the New Orleans Jazz Festival on Yahoo! Travel’s Top 10 ‘must-see’ festivals.

This year it all kicks off on Friday 19 June with a massive opening party and fireworks display over Lake Wakatipu, featuring The Remarkables mountain range as a picture-perfect backdrop.

American Express Queenstown Winter Festival 2015 opening party &

The American Express Queenstown Winter Festival 2015 opening party & fireworks was opened by NZ Prime Minister John Key

The following 10 days feature outrageously fun and uniquely kiwi themed events including street parties, competitions, comedy and jazz acts (both local and international), lakeside attractions and social outings. One such golden-oldie is the early-morning skinning trip. Keen skinners will head up Coronet Peak in the early morning to catch the spectacular morning sunrise from the summit (with prizes for the most speedy skinners).

For those who follow the international slopestyle events you could head to The Remarkables for the Slopestyle Invitational, watching New Zealand’s best skiers and snowboarders dish out their bag of tricks. Or even better – if you’re after a bit of (slightly mad) fun you could visit Coronet Peak for the Auckland Airport Suitcase Race, where the young and young-at-heart race down the snowy slopes in suitcases. Count us in!


The Remarkables make for an epic festival location

The evenings are even more fun-filled and family friendly with nights full of music including the Sony Mobile Evening Sessions at Earnslaw Park, where heaters and Gluhwein will keep punters warm while they’re being entertained with movies, DJs, local bands and solo artists.

Or for those of you looking for a good belly-laugh, check out the American Express Comedy Debate featuring some of New Zealand’s best comedians and personalities. The comic goal for this year is to hash out whether a good adventure should be fun or slightly dangerous.


Click here for more information on the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival.






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