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Why you should be thinking about Winter in NZ

Published April 18th, 2019

We know, we know, you’ve barely had time to hang your swimmers out to dry as the last summer sunset drifted over the horizon and you waved it a solemn goodbye. Even if it doesn’t ever get below 5 degrees in your part of Oz and there’s more chance of meatballs falling from the sky than snow in winter, we can tell where there certainly is going to be snow (glorious snow) this winter—in New Zealand, of course!

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Keen to experience winter in New Zealand? Here’s the lowdown on the best time to visit New Zealand for the ski and snowboarding season. And, don’t forget those steamy New Zealand hot springs! Yewww!

When & where to visit

Winter has the best of both worlds in New Zealand, you can ski and snowboard on some of the world’s finest slopes, and still enjoy all the stunning panoramas of snow capped mountains, expansive lakes and picturesque winding roads that you’ve always dreamt about.

The party gets started on the South Island in Queenstown in June, kicking off with the annual Winter Festival, the 2019 festival runs from June 20-23.

Even if you miss the fireworks, the winter wonderland vibe continues right through the winter months in Q-town with a pumping apres-ski scene every night of the week. So when you’re not tackling the off-piste by day, you can throw down your freestyle tricks by night.

Tips for first timers

Dust yourself off and try again
In the famous words of 90s musical artist, the late Aaliyah— if at first you don't succeed, then dust yourself off and try again (you can dust it off and try again, try again). This needs to be the soundtrack to your first ski holiday. You will fall over—lots—that’s okay.

If the boot fits
It’s all about getting the right fitting boots and not having socks that are too thick. Too thick socks or doubling up on socks can restrict circulation,making your feet cold, oddly enough. You want boots that allow you to wiggle your toes but not be able to wiggle your feet side to side within the boots. When hiring boots, take inspo from Cinderella and be sure to find the perfect fit.

Sink in & Chill Out

When your skis or your board are starting to feel like you’ve become one and you’re ready to rest your muscles, you’ve come to the right place. Not only is New Zealand a winter wonderland, it’s a hot springs haven. Sink into a thermal bath at the Onsen Hot Pools Queenstown and enjoy the steamy views over Shotover River and that iconic NZ alpine scenery.

Around 2 hours outside of Queenstown and enroute to Mount Cook, you can get in touch with nature at Hot Tubs Omarama. Surrounded by snow in the winter, this is one soak you’ll never forget!

Fuel Up

All that skiing and snowboarding can work up a mighty appetite (not to mention a mighty thirst). It’s a good thing New Zealand comes prepared with a host of great foodie spots all over the place, especially in the best skiing regions in Queenstown and Wanaka.

There’s something for every budget, though we have a feeling you’ll be thinking about your very burger-some reward at the end of a big day on the slopes at Queenstown’s famed burger joint, Fergburger.

Taste for yourself why they are touted as the world’s best burgers! Open from 8am to 5am seven days a week, you’re bound to visit more than once if you base yourself in quintessential Queenstown.