Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by majestic mountains, Queenstown is the Southern Hemisphere’s premier four-season lake and alpine resort.
It’s known for its breathtaking scenery, the vast range of experiences available, a cosmopolitan vibe and friendly locals. You can do everything from trying adrenaline-pumping activities to exploring the majestic landscape or enjoying great local food and wine.
The region’s four ski areas, all within a handy 25 to 90-minute drive of Queenstown, are all now open and offer a range of terrain for all levels.
Here’s a list of the bright new things you can expect if you’re planning to head to New Zealand’s South Island this winter season. The list includes a mix of new places to stay and eat, and new experiences to explore.
Where to stay
The Carlin Hotel Queenstown (opened March 2022)
The Carlin Hotel is a one-of-a-kind, boutique luxury hotel. You will enjoy an exceptional level of service and the hotel offers a variety of world-class features such as private spas, in-room dining options, cocktails on arrival, live music and stand-up comedy evenings. Don’t miss the decadent afternoon high teas.
Driftaway Queenstown (opened March 2022)
Driftaway Queenstown is located on the Frankton foreshore and aims to redefine the holiday park experience. The architectural cabins, spacious camping sites and new hub housing bathrooms, kitchens, laundry and more, will give you a completely unique experience in an idyllic lakeside setting.
There are also three hot tubs available, each in its own private unit where the front glass and roof open up to make you really feel like you are surrounded by nature. Suitable in any weather, soak away the aches from a day on the slopes or just let your mind and body relax.
Sudima Queenstown Five Mile (opened December 2021)
Sudima Queenstown Five Mile is a new 4.5-star hotel in the bustling Frankton area within the Five Mile retail precinct. With views of the surrounding landscapes, comfortable and functional rooms, a restaurant, bar, bike and ski storage and free parking, it covers style, comfort and value. The location also makes it a perfect base for exploring the township and beyond.
What to do
Te Atamira (opened May 2022)
Queenstown’s newest dedicated arts and culture space has opened at Remarkables Park. The venue offers a wide-ranging program of exhibitions, workshops, classes, performances, events and talks designed for you to be creative, every day.
There are 22 purpose-built spaces, including an art gallery, dance studios, performance spaces, a recording studio, music teaching and rehearsal rooms, a pottery studio, art workshop and a community project space.
Skyline Guided Walks (started April 2022)
Designed for walkers of all ages and abilities, Skyline is offering two guided walks – the Ben Lomond Saddle Hike and the Ben Lomond Summit Hike. Led by expert local guides, guests will be taken on an unforgettable journey discovering the region’s history, geography, fauna, and flora. The trips include a return gondola ride, a packed lunch, and hiking poles.
Miller Road Fragrance Studio (opened November 2021)
Miller Road provides perfumery workshops where guests can make their own personalised fragrance derived from any of Miller Road’s 60 fragrance notes. Workshops run for 2.5 hours with in-house scent design hosts guiding guests through the process to create their own perfect scent.
Queenstown Gin Tour (started 2021)
Altitude Tours runs New Zealand’s first gin tour. Transported in luxury to three different and unique cellar-door experiences, you will learn all about the world of gin. With some tastings thrown in, of course.
Where to eat and drink
Queenstown Ice Bar (opened February 2022)
Located in the new Upper Village precinct next to Kingpin, Queenstown’s newest Ice Bar is ready and waiting to welcome you. The Scandinavian-inspired cocktail lounge, built from 25 tonnes of hand-carved, glass-like ice architecture, is a truly unique place to enjoy a cold drink. Luckily the provided luxurious winter coats will keep you warm.
Royalburn Farm Shop (opened March 2022)
MasterChef New Zealand 2011 winner Nadia Lim and partner Carlos Bagrie have opened Royalburn Farm Shop in Arrowtown. Most of the store’s items – organic greens, honey, eggs, fruit and grains, garlic, lamb products, wool blankets, cold-pressed sunflower oil and, in season, sunflowers – come from their farm, Royalburn Station. Connecting people with where their food is grown.
The store interior is a little slice of history. Everything from the corrugated iron walls to the timber display shelves is made of recycled materials from the farm’s past buildings and machinery.
ORO (opened March 2022)
ORO is a sophisticated modern restaurant in The Carlin Hotel celebrating the best seasonal produce. You’ll be able to explore the cuisine of Executive Chef Thomas Barta who has earned Michelin Star experience working in the kitchen of Gordon Ramsay.
Where to play
Coronet Peak Open from 17 June to 25 September 2022.
The mountain celebrates its 75th year of operating as New Zealand’s first commercial ski area in 2022. Over five epic days in August (17–21), the mountain will hum with live music and festivities.
Other events include a gala function featuring live storytelling and footage, the iconic ‘Dash for Cash,’ a retro day featuring a straight ski race, an alumni après ski function, the Meadow Fresh Dog Derby and the G H Mumm Champagne hosted brunch, long lunch and fashion show.
Heidi’s Hut, a local’s favourite tucked away in Rocky Gully, has also been refreshed for this winter season. The addition of a new veranda provides the ultimate on-mountain après experience.
The Remarkables Ski Area Open from 18 June to 16 October 2022.
The Barista Bar has been upgraded and the mountain is also offering new top-of-the-line rental equipment to ensure guests ride at their peak potential.
The high-speed Sugarbowl six-seat chairlift opened in 2020 and provides access to longer and wider runs.
The Peak to Peak is the South Island’s biggest winter multisport event. It attracts a strong field of multi-sport competitors from around the South Island and will be held on 10 September.
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