A small, secluded island in New Zealand, Queenstown is famous for its annual winter carnival, the Queenstown Winter Festival, and has been a prime tourist spot for party lovers worldwide for several years. The carnivalesque event was first conducted in 1974, with subsequent editions only growing more extensive than its predecessor. The festival usually happens in June, when winter sets in and blankets New Zealand.

The Queenstown Winter's biggest winter festival could be a way to embrace winters the way they deserve, a four-day long fiesta ranging from grooving music fests, mirth chuckles through stand-ups, writhing theatre shows, debates, wacky and bizarre to-dos, and various other things.
This festival brings together a mass of party lovers from all corners of the world to party like a free-spirited, gypsy-souled Queenstown. The main events are free of cost for participation, and some others require entry passes of variable cost. Few events collect money for donations and charity purposes.



The legacy stands for good a stretch of forty-five years now, the enthusiasm not slightly budget even in the current time.

The conception of this festival four decades back is a tale as goofy as the festival itself. It is said that the then town had a population of just 5000 which turned out to be conducive to organize a low key yet vibrant celebration at the beginning of winter-mid June.

The celebration was a hit the very first year that included live musical performances by local musicians, Peter Doyle. It was primarily the brainchild of Laurie Wilde who compounded the event to wider and like-minded masses.

It was like any normal winter carnival for a quiet little town but uninhibited and enthusiastic participation from its residents made it be the most anticipated carnival festival of the calendar year. 

Main Events

Dog Derby- A race along the slippery icy slopes pitting the fluffiest dogs against each other with their enthusiastic owners.

Day on the Bay- Another adrenaline rushed competition that has men and women in their swimming costumes wading their way through the ice-cold water overcoming hurdles puts on the way.

The Peak to Park Relay- The two peaks in the equation are the Coronet’s peak and The Remarkables that are trekked and skied by willing participants to take a view of the scenic landscape.

Laser light show- It is exactly what the name suggests, a laser light show to seep the air with varied hues of fluorescent shades.

Silent Disco Dancing Tour- A dance and music event where you are allowed to groove to your favorite hum without the world listening to it. You will have a headset plugged into your ears to separate you from the world’s noise to let you dance to your heart’s content.

Matariki Torchlight Hikoi- A cultural welcome to the tourists giving them a very native amalgamation of the indigenous heritage of the town by strolling through the lanes with lit fire torches.

Macpac Treasure Traverse- A treasure hunt for young people to bring about a sense of thrill and adventure.

Wheelbarrow Race down the Mall- A race by young people on wheelbarrows, 2019 of which witnessed 46 teams going at it. It gets more wholesome when money is collected for charitable purposes.

Mountain Bikes on Snow- A motor race for the wheel lovers all across to offer them just the right amount of rush into their veins on the slippery ice slopes.

Frisbee Golf- Frisbee as the focal spot with a blend of the conventions of golf wrapped around it.


The festival due to its global popularity and it being a prime tourist attraction on the international platform is dotted with several accommodation spaces, lavish or modest according to align with everyone’s financial capacity.

Best Time to Visit

Since it is a winter carnival, the essence has to experience at the very peak of the winter season there. Being situated in the southern hemisphere, winter there is in the months of June and July, therefore, the most suitable time would be the middle of June to the end of July. If the carnival is the primary objection, the dates should be planned with event dates that may vary every year

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