Top 10 things to do at Queenstown Winter Festival

11/6/2014 | Posted in Discover Queenstown

Queenstown is counting down to the biggest 10 days in winter, with the Queenstown Winter Festival just around the corner

Snow, family fun, and exciting nightlife in Queenstown are about to intensify with the biggest annual winter party – Queenstown Winter Festival – about to begin.


The Queenstown Winter Festival kicks off on Friday, June 20. It’s an action-packed event with fun for young and old, families and partygoers alike. Not to mention plenty of snow on the ski fields, Coronet Peak and The Remarkables.


This year, Queenstown Winter Festival turns 40. It’s a pretty special milestone and is proof that its popularity gets bigger each year.


At Staysouth.com, we love Winter Fest. It’s an awesome time of year. So we’ve picked out our Top 10 things to do at Queenstown Winter Festival. 

1. American Express Opening Party and Fireworks: Friday, June 20
This is a free event and symbolizes what partying in Queenstown is all about. There’s live music – this year Kiwi rock legends The Exponents play on the stage at Steamer Wharf, as well as talented local acts, followed by an impressive fireworks display over Lake Wakatipu. Wrap up warm and get there early to secure a good spot. Starts at 5.30pm.

2. American Express Festival Street Parade: Saturday, June 21
The streets of central Queenstown become full of colourful and fun floats, created by local community groups, businesses and children. Starts at 12pm. Free.

3. Skycity Narnia Ball: Saturday, June 21
This glamorous winter soiree celebrates the magic of the season. Kiwi entertainers Jackie Clarke and Frankie Stevens perform and you’ll enjoy a three-course meal. Held at the Queenstown Memorial Centre. Starts at 7pm. Tickets are $159. R18.

4. iHeartRadio Day on the Bay: Sunday, June 22
This is a hilarious free event that you mustn’t miss, held at Queenstown Bay. It kicks off with the infamous Birdman competition, where people bring their crazy contraptions specially designed to take flight off the Queenstown Pier and into the icy Lake Wakatipu.  Starts at 12pm. 

5. American Express Comedy Debate: Sunday, June 22
This is a hugely popular event that sells out fast. Some of New Zealand’s sharpest comedians and wittiest commentators will keep the audience roaring with laughter. Held at Queenstown Events Centre from 7pm. Tickets are $69-89.

6. Comedy Night: Tuesday, June 24
Another event not to be missed if you enjoy a laugh. Featuring top Kiwi comedians, this R18 event is held at Queenstown Memorial Centre from 8pm. Tickets $69.

7. Downtown Day: Wednesday, June 25
This free event normally draws out plenty of locals as they come to see their colleagues and friends taking part in the crazy activities. Keep an eye out for the Drag Race – where local blokes dress in drag and charge round a dodgy obstacle course. Starts at 12pm at Earnslaw Park.

8. Thriller in the Chiller: Saturday, June 28
This charity boxing event is a huge hit and is regarded as the corporate and social event of the year. Local contestants have been training for this for weeks and put their skills to the test in the ring at Queenstown Events Centre. Doors open at 7pm. Tickets are from $69.

9. Mountain Mayhem: Saturday, June 28
Head up to Coronet Peak for crazy games and races, including the Dash for Cash and the Suitcase Race. Held at the base building, it’s a free event from 12-1.30pm.

10. Auckland Airport Community Carnival: Sunday June 29
A good old-fashioned street party that celebrates the cultural diversity in Queenstown. Held in downtown Queenstown, there’ll be music, flavours and performances from all corners of the world. Starts at 4pm. Free.

Queenstown Winter Festival is when the locals come out to play – but it also attracts thousands of visitors from around New Zealand and the rest of the world.

Accommodation in Queenstown books up fast for Winter Festival. At Staysouth.com, we’ve still got some luxury Queenstown apartments available – including some in central Queenstown. Talk to us today if you want to come and join the party.