When you get to live in a place that’s postcard perfect year round, it’s nearly impossible to imagine life anywhere else.  Queenstown is outrageously beautiful in the summer, in the autumn, in the spring and most definitely in the winter.  It’s truly incredible to see the place transform over seasons from a hot weather, lakeside paradise, through the changing of the leaves and into a magical mountain town.

Once winter hits, Queenstown is like a magnet for powder-chasing ski bums far and wide.  Snowboarders, skiers, dog sledding mushers and backcountry adventurers wait patiently for the time of year that converts hiking territory into a snow bunny’s playground.  There’s something wonderful in the air when winter hits Queenstown and I think I know what it is…

If you’re interested in doing a winter season in Queenstown, not only do I highly recommend it, but I’d also say your bucket list is amiss without it.  If the snowcapped peaks of the Southern Alps aren’t enough to convince you to get your snowflake-loving tush down to Otago, here are six reasons I think living in Queenstown for winter is just plain awesome.

Winterfest

Winterfest is possibly one of the greatest events in New Zealand regardless of season or location.  The team that puts on Winterfest puts a level of attention and detail into the multi-day event that would blow you out of the water.  From beachside concerts to extreme snowboarding showcases in the middle of town, there is no end of entertaining events at this Queenstown winter festival.

Queenstown Winter Festival Fireworks

The vibe around Queenstown during Winterfest is unlike anything that I’ve experienced.  Everyone everywhere is talking about which events they’ll be at after work or what they’ll be attending on their weekend.  The buzz is contagious and the energy just runs rampantly through the streets.  Every bar, restaurant, shop and pub has something going on from special offers to parties to exclusive snowboarding movie premieres.

                          

Mulled wine

I had never tried mulled wine before I got to Queenstown, but I’ll tell you, it’s a staple now in colder months.  Wherever you walk in Queenstown, everyone is advertising mulled wine.  There are loads of different styles and I have yet to find one that has let me down.  This flavorsome elixir will keep you warm as you wander through Queenstown Gardens or take a much needed break on the slopes.  I honestly look forward to the cold weather knowing mulled wine will keep me toasty and happy no matter how low the wind chill.

Après ski

From Wet Jacket Winery to Sundeck in the middle of town, there are loads of places you can head to after a long day on the mountain.  Your dogs will be barking, but there’s no shortage of toasty fireplaces and drink specials you can find to put your feet up and relax after dominating the black diamonds.  Everyone comes by, still in his or her ski/board gear, grabs a drink and chats about the funny happenings of the day on the slopes.

If you rock up in your mountain layers, you can usually get a discount on drinks just for being a ski bum.  Most places offering these post-mountain specials have a vibe that the slope-goers live for.  If you’re here for the season, you’ll starting seeing some of the same people at après ski spots and it’s a chance to make lifelong friends.

Bluebird day up Remarkables Ski mountain Queenstown. Friends throwing snow in air.

Night Skiing at Coronet Peak

Coronet Peak night snowboarding If you haven’t been night skiing, you need to get your butt to Coronet Peak ASAP.  Locking into your skis  or strapping up in your board at night feels crazy different if you’re a blue bird kind of person.  Under the incredible New Zealand night sky, you’ll find yourself glowing with adventure as you race up and downthe mountain enjoying the well groomed, well lit runs.  After a few hours on the glittery hill, you can post up at the base to enjoy the tunes of a local DJ or even get down on the dance floor if your legs can handle it.

 

Luma 

Oh, LUMA, you wonderful, magical minx of the night. Queenstown would be lost without you.

If you want to see something that’ll tickle your imagination with a wow-factor even the moon would be jealous of, you need to see LUMA, a Southern Light Project.  During a weekend in June, the Queenstown Gardens and adjacent beach area is lit up with unique light fixtures created by some of the most innovative minds of our time.  This lightshow changes its features every year and truly makes Queenstown sparkle with creative and artistic personality.

You can find all sorts of crafted radiance like a forest full of interactive illumination or a prism of refracted colours that will light up and reflect on your face.  There might be archways of stars, floating balls of light, a band stand that appears to be put together by light projections and so much more.  Iridescent fairies roam the gardens as light is manipulated in crazy configurations to put on a show for people of all ages.  You’ll seriously have a LUMA FOMO if you skip this event during a Queenstown winter.  Once you see the photographs people capture, you’ll be riddled with envy.

Accommodation

Are you looking for long term accommodation? Or are you on a working holiday and needing a home for 6 months? Then Co-Live Queenstown Property Management is your answer!

Co-living is about sharing a home, common spaces, resources and daily activities. Co-living means you can be part of a community every day, even if it’s as simple as having someone to chat to when you come home. Co-Live Queenstown offers private bedrooms, fully furnished homes with cleaning included and utilities paid for on your behalf.  What can get better than that throughout your stay in beautiful Queenstown? Get in contact today to find out more.

Co-live Queenstown friends having dinner. Laughter, fun and good food.  Co-Live Queenstown house. Furnished beautifully with modern decor.

Well, there you have it!  Six epic reasons you need to live in Queenstown during winter.  You’ll never be short of fun activities, tasty drinks, good music, and special memories.  So, take my word for it and come spend at least six months in this wonderful mountain town to see what the buzz is all about.  If a winter season doesn’t suck you into the brilliance Queenstown has to offer, then call me a fool, because I bet you a mulled wine you’ll fall in love and never want to leave.

Article by Kelsey Powell– Tenant of Co-Live Queenstown