New Zealand’s adventure capital attracts adrenaline seekers, nature-lovers and holidaymakers alike, all year round. Visit between June and August to see Queenstown transformed into a winter wonderland – think stunning snow-capped mountains, epic adventures and plenty of fresh mountain air.
If you’re not skiing or snowboarding, there are heaps of winter activities in Queenstown for all ages and adventure levels, both indoors and outdoors.
Whether you’re taking a day off the slopes to rest your legs, or aren’t into winter snow sports, here are five of our favourite winter activities in Queenstown for non-skiers:
1. Take a Hike
While you might not traditionally think of hiking as a winter activity, there are many short walks close to Queenstown that make for the perfect winter off-the-slopes activity – plus, the trails are likely to be quieter than the summer season, and it’s free!
Queenstown Hill, Queenstown Gardens, Bob’s Cove, the Tiki Trail and the Frankton Track are some of the Ziptrek team’s favourite ways to get out and experience the fresh mountain air.
Just ensure you watch out for icy spots and that you have enough daylight hours to complete your chosen trail.
Tip: if you’re headed to Queenstown Gardens why not pick up a disc on your way and try your hand at frisbee golf? There’s an 18-hole disc golf course nestled within the gardens. The nearby Queenstown Ice Arena hires discs for Frisbee golf for $6.00 each.
2. SOAK IT ALL UP
Image: Destination Queenstown
Sore legs from a day on the mountain? Or are you just aching for a moment of zen?
A soak in the Onsen Hot Pools is the perfect way to soothe sore muscles and relax the mind and body on a winter’s day.
Located in Arthurs Point, their cedar-lined hot tubs overlook the Shotover River canyon – the panoramic views provide the perfect background for that ‘gram pic.
Be sure to book well in advance as this popular winter (and summer) activity is known to sell out!
3. ENJOY SOME WINE TIME
Image: Appellation Wine Tours
Did you know that Central Otago produces some of the best pinot noir in the world?
There’s no better way to sample the best wine Queenstown’s surrounds have to offer than on a wine tour.
Our friends at Appellation run daily all-inclusive wine tasting tours departing daily during the winter. Hop aboard their ‘Classic Wine Tour to spend an afternoon exploring (and tasting!) your way through the “Valley of the Vines” aka, the Gibbston region. Check them out here.
4. ZIP THROUGH THE TREES
Image: Ziptrek Ecotours
Take on high-speed tree runs… but on a zipline!
Whether you’re seeking an adrenaline rush, or want an activity the whole family can enjoy together, ziplining through the trees is the perfect winter off-the-slopes activity for everyone.
In the winter, we recommend rugging up as if you’re going skiing as Ziptrek Ecotours zips daily in all weather conditions – rain, shine, and yes, snow!
You’ll be treated to epic views over the snow-capped Remarkables mountain range, Lake Whakatipu and surrounding peaks as you zip from tree to tree. All Ziptrek tours depart from the Ziptrek Treehouse at the top of the Skyline Gondola. Learn more here.
P.S. For something super special, join a PM departure and experience the magical and thrilling sensation of zipping at night on our Twilight Tours.
5. ZOOM AROUND
...the Skyline Luge.
While you’re up at Skyline, before or after your Ziptrek tour, make the most of your gondola ticket by taking advantage of the fun to be had on the Skyline Luge!
Race your friends and family around the over 900m of thrilling luge tracks. During the winter months, the Skyline Luge lights up from dusk for the ultimate fun night out.
Tip: Bundle your Skyline Gondola ticket and luge rides together to save!
There you have it, five of the best winter activities in Queenstown for non-skiers. Which will you try first?