Everyone loves an all-rounder. That mate you call to help fix your car, edit your photos, bake your birthday cake, and pet sit your cat while you’re on vacay (to Queenstown, obvs). Everything they do seems effortless!
If Queenstown was a person, it would be just like that. As well-rounded and smooth as your mate, but far better looking (no offence). No matter the occasion (girls’ weekend, honeymoon, family reunion), no matter who you’re travelling with (the besties, the fam, the plus one), and no matter the season, Queenstown has it all!
We’ve partnered with Destination Queenstown to give you the low-down, highlights, and next-level escapades for every kind of traveller in every kind of season. Whether you’ve got clients planning a quick getaway, an escape-from-it-all hideaway, or a big Kiwi road trip, knowing when they’re travelling helps you create the itinerary of their dreams (and probably yours).
Look, Queenstown is a hot destination in any season. And in summer, that’s not only hot as in gorgeous (Queenstown does Blue Steel like no other destination), but hot as in summer temps. Which makes those lake swims, rafting adventures, and river surfing trips über inviting. And when we say hot, we’re not, of course, talking Darwin summer hot. Just stunning-day-beaut-temps (mid-20s) hot. Bliss.
Visiting Queenstown is like eating at a fancy 5-star buffet. You know you’re going to love everything, be going back for more (so. much. choice), and need a lie-down after you’ve crammed it all in (good job there are so many accommodation offerings).
Luckily, in summer, you have more daylight hours and incredible light nights that mean you can get more into your day. Like biking to lakes and towns and wineries on the Queenstown Trail. Or tramping one of the 21 soul-enriching hiking trails that pepper the town and its surroundings. Or cramming in as many adventure activities as you can. Plus, at the end of each gorgeous day, you get to sit in a gorgeous restaurant, enjoying a gorgeous view of the gorgeous sunset. Gorgeous.
In some destinations, autumn is pretty for a hot minute when the trees turn orange, then it becomes drudgery as the leaves turn to mush and everyone waits for the first snow to fall. Not Queenstown! With sunny, vibrant days, you get to enjoy the natural wonders of the Home of Adventure against a backdrop of golden and red foliage. By night, you then get to cosy on up and throw a log on the fire just because you love the vibe, not because it’s actually that chilly.
Queenstown’s best activities include getting out and about, including visiting the Queenstown gardens, biking around scenic Lake Hayes, and paragliding or hang gliding over the fall hues. In April, the 5-day Akarua Festival takes place in Arrowtown, possibly autumn’s most scenic historic mining town.
Wilds of Winter
Aussies don’t get to enjoy winter that much. Sure, there’s the Snowies, but Queenstown does snow like Usain Bolt does running. A league of their own, really. It’s not just the proximity of the four ski resorts (yup, four), including one you can be skiing on within an hour of landing at ZQN. Nope, it’s also the après ski, the delectable restaurants that fuel your days on the slope, the nightlife, and the stunning hot tubs dotted around the town.
There’s also Queenstown’s bevvy of winter events where you can have fun, race, and party if that’s your jam. And ski or board, of course. Winter Pride is the South Island’s premier pride event, and Queenstown’s vibrancy goes up to ‘max’ thanks to the week-long calendar of parties, parades, and pumping tunes. Winter Games is the biggest snow sports event in the Southern Hemisphere, park, pipe, freeride, cross-country, ice hockey, ski racing, all epic winter fun. Keep an eye out for Snow Machine festival in 2022, too. Aimed at a younger crowd, Snow Machine combines ski slopes, après ski, shredding, tunes, and dancing over a 3-day party-fest.
Spring in Your Step
While Queenstown never stops, the awakening of nature in the spring months brings pep to the locals’ steps. The town seems to get more stunning and vibrant as the snow melts, the rivers rage, and flora and fauna wake from its winter slumber.
You know what comes after melting peaks and raging rivers? An upgrade on the adventure thrills! Whether kayaking, white-water rafting, jet boating, river sledging, canyoning and even New Zealand’s only Fliteboard school, it’s a level-up to experience these activities in the spring months. Count us in! If a slower tempo is more your speed, the lush springtime greens of the wineries, golf courses, and leisurely bike trails await.
Did you know Queenstown’s ski season often lasts well into October (it’s the southern hemisphere’s longest season) meaning you get to maximise allllll the thrills? How does this sound: white water raft on the grade 5 Shotover River in the morning; snowboard the Remarkables black diamond runs in the afternoon. It’s totes doable!
Keeping Up with The Queenstownians
While Queenstown has four distinct weather seasons, it does not have a low booking season. In fact, it was the first to bounce back (read: thrive) when New Zealand opened domestic travel back up last year. Knowing what to book and when helps you snag the best hotel rooms, tour spots, and event tickets no matter the time of year.
Luckily, Destination Queenstown has put their heart and soul into building a knowledgeable base so you have the tools to create the best adventures for your clients. Head to the Queenstown trade page to get everything you need to plan, promote, and book any kind of Queenstown adventure, no matter the season! Their trade newsletter is worth a sign-up, too. You can also join their closed Facebook group for travel sellers. And don’t forget, as part of our Go Road Trip New Zealand series, our fun-filled Queenstown and Wanaka webinar is available for replay for all the tips.
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