Queenstown in winter

The Southern Hemisphere’s biggest winter party, the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival, is back from June 24 to July 3, 2011 to start the winter season off with a bang in New Zealand’s world-renowned lake and alpine resort town.

Queenstown’s magnificent snow capped mountains, crystal clear lake and buzzing cosmopolitan resort town provide the perfect backdrop for the internationally acclaimed festival.

Each year tens of thousands of locals and visitors take to the streets and slopes for 10 days of non-stop fun featuring live music, fireworks, glamorous balls, crazy races, comedy, charity punch ups and loads of family fun.

Destination Queenstown owns the 37-year old festival and CEO Tony Everitt said that now the focus is shifting toward the winter season, anticipation is building strongly for this year’s event which promises to be a hit.

“Winter Festival has always been the town’s way of declaring Queenstown is open for winter and celebrating it with a really good party – and the more people who come the merrier,” Everitt said. “It’s the perfect time for visitors to experience Queenstown and enjoy the festivities as part of their winter holiday.  

“The festival is fantastic for the town – it unites the community, entertains our visitors and starts the winter season with a bang.”

Over the years the success of the Winter Festival has snowballed, earning it a solid national and international reputation – so much so that it’s been ranked among the world’s Top 10 ‘must-do’ festivals by major Australian website Yahoo!7 Travel.

Festival Director Simon Green said while the Winter Festival’s programme of free and ticketed events is inherently Kiwi – and Queenstown – in nature, it appeals to a broad global audience.

“As organisers, we inject new events into the programme each year but have always stayed true to the festival’s roots – celebrating winter and Queenstown’s unique culture and community,” Green said. “This formula is a big drawcard for our festival visitors because they get a chance to experience Kiwi culture at its best and mingle with the locals.”

For more Winter Festival information visit www.winterfestival.co.nz