The biennial competition attracts the best of the world’s winter sports athletes and is a major event on the international winter sports circuit, as competitors prepare for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Running from August 15-25 this year, the Winter Games features six FIS World Cup events. Olympic and Paralympic medallists and athletes will compete in snowboard slopestyle, snowboard halfpipe, freestyle ski halfpipe and freestyle ski slopestyle at Cardrona Alpine Resort and the IPC Alpine Adaptive Slalom World Cups at Coronet Peak ski area. Coronet Peak also hosts slalom and giant slalom racing, plus cross-country skiing takes place at the Snow Farm near Wanaka and curling is held at Naseby’s Maniototo International Curling Rink.
All the sporting events are free to watch – and there’s plenty of action in downtown Queenstown and Wanaka with Winter Games’ off-snow festival.
Kiwi music legends the Phoenix Foundation headline a concert on August 17 at Queenstown Events Centre. Tickets are $35 and they’re definitely worth going to see.
If you’re wanting to catch a glimpse of New Zealand’s best skiers and snowboarders bust out their best tricks without heading up the slopes, then the Parklife Invitational at Queenstown Recreation Ground on August 17 is a must-see. It’s when the mountain comes to town and a specially-designed set of rails is erected with snow from The Remarkables ski area – and you’ll get to watch some pretty impressive action. A team of international FMX riders will also be performing some gravity-defying demos throughout the evening.
Meanwhile, there’s daily entertainment at the interactive Lotto Villages, open from 10am-8pm in central Queenstown. Medal ceremonies will also take place there.