Queenstown is New Zealand’s home of winter.  From June, the region transforms into a winter paradise, attracting snow sports enthusiasts and winter lovers with its incredible lake and alpine scenery and easy access to some of New Zealand's finest ski and snowboard terrain that is complemented by a vibrant après ski scene.

A Queenstown winter holiday has so much more to offer than snow too. Our town is famous for its high-octane thrills and incredible views to boot, so if your clients are looking for an adrenaline rush or want to push their boundaries, there’s activities like bungy jumping, jet boating, skydiving, zip lining, paragliding, quad biking, or four-wheel-driving—all guaranteed to get the blood pumping! And, if your clients are looking for one of those once-in-a-lifetime kind of experiences, why not try a hot air balloon flight, a helicopter landing on a glacier, an exclusive backcountry ski experience or heli-skiing?

For off-mountain days that require the ultimate in relaxation why not book your clients at one of Queenstown’s spas with a soak in a hot tub and massage. Or, maybe it’s an afternoon enjoying the tastes of Gibbston Valley with a wine tour. No matter the experience you are booking for your clients, Queenstown has something for everyone.

To help you know what is new in Queenstown and prepare content for your website, socials or brochure content, we have recently launched a dedicated travel trade microsite. Agents have access to a wide range of resources and imagery to support their training and education and the microsite provides a more user-friendly experience that breaks down our core visitor segments – winter & ski, adrenaline, luxury, golf, food & drink, hiking, and biking.

Queenstown Update

We signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Tātaki Auckland Unlimited and Auckland Airport to develop a compelling proposition for North American leisure, business and incentive travellers to enjoy an Auckland-Queenstown experience. A key action is developing itineraries focused on must-dos in both regions: food, golf, luxury, outdoors, arts and culture, low-carbon experiences, and also incentives. We will collectively leverage relationships and partnerships and collaborate on joint sales calls, in-market representation, roadshows, media and travel agent visits and promotion through owned channels.

Coming soon: Winter Stream On-Demand Training. Our next stream on-demand training will be in your inbox in mid-July. If you missed the Autumn update, click here to watch.

Aviation And Travel Update

  • New Zealand’s border reopens to all tourists and visa holders from 11:59pm 31 July 2022. The maritime border reopens on the same date.
  • Everyone travelling to New Zealand by air is currently required to complete and submit a New Zealand Traveller Declaration. The online system requires travellers to upload their recent travel history and COVID-19 health-related information before arriving in New Zealand, which could include their vaccination status and pre-departure test.
  • Travellers will still need to meet all health requirements to enter New Zealand, including vaccination requirements and providing proof of a negative pre-departure test.
  • Pre-departure testing requirements currently apply until 31 July 2022. The New Zealand government has indicated that pre-departure testing requirements may be removed before this date.
  • Air New Zealand has removed the requirement for domestic travellers to show their COVID-19 vaccination status or proof of a negative test before boarding a flight. The ‘no jab, no fly’ vaccination policy for international customers was removed on 1 May 2022.
  • American Airlines is returning to New Zealand in October with a daily flight between Auckland Airport (AKL) and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). The seasonal service launches on 29 October and will operate until 25 March 2023.

Accommodation Update

Camp Glenorchy has formally rebranded to The Headwaters Eco Lodge.

Driftaway Queenstown opened on 5 March on the Frankton foreshore and offers architectural cabins, a modern facility hub, and spacious camping sites.

The Carlin Boutique Hotel is now open. Overlooking Lake Whakatipu, this 7-level terraced luxury property offers eight luxuriously appointed 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom suites along with spectacular views, expansive spaces and premium hospitality.

Activities Update

Skyline Queenstown is offering Guided Walks from 1 October. Choose the Ben Lomond Saddle Hike (4 hours) revealing views across to Mt Aspiring National Park, or conquer the peak on the Ben Lomond Summit Hike (5-6 hours). Led by expert local guides from October-April, walkers of all ages and abilities will discover our region's history, geography, fauna, and flora in a small group setting along with an all-inclusive packed lunch.

The Headwaters Eco Lodge has launched Adventures in Paradise, all-inclusive experience-based getaways taking you from airport to mountain top, busy to relaxed, stressed to peaceful! There are four packages to choose from: 5 days/4 nights - Ultimate Adventure in Paradise, 5 days/4 nights - High Country Escape, 5 days/4 nights - Fabulous Four and 3 days/2 nights - The Great Glenorchy Getaway.

The TSS Earnslaw undergoes her annual maintenance from 30 May until 9 July, meaning the steamship will not be cruising to Walter Peak during this time. Walter Peak will be open for 'Gourmet BBQ Dining' with an alternate cruise vessel from 25 June.

Crossfire Wanaka is a new family fun option within a 10-minute drive from Wānaka Central. Experiences include a locally themed mini putt (suitable for all ages), archery, golf driving range, rifle range and clay bird shooting.

The Precinct Wānaka, a former 1970s police station, is now a stylish community of thoughtful retail and hospitality in an elegant, approachable space. The site is home to Wee Tart, a coffee shop with a white-washed terrace to rival Mykonos, and The Revology Concept Store & Tea House which centres around circular design & mindful living.

Winter Update

Cardrona Alpine Resort was founded in 1980 and is New Zealand’s most popular ski area. From beginners and families, to Olympic and X Games athletes. Cardrona’s three vast basins are home to NZ’s first cabin-style lift – the McDougall’s Express Chondola and the Southern Hemisphere’s most extensive terrain parks and pipes. Wide, open trails offer some of NZ’s best snow conditions, thanks to high altitude and an innovative snow management system.
New this season: Snowmaking investment. Due to Covid-19, many of Cardrona’s passionate skiers and snowboarders still haven’t had the chance to check out Willows (opened 2021) - New Zealand’s newest inbound terrain opening up 65 hectares of additional terrain. 
Opening: 11 June – 17 October 2022.

Treble Cone is an intermediate and advanced skier’s dream, with the most challenging in-bounds terrain in New Zealand. Overlooking Lake Wānaka, Treble Cone has the country’s most spectacular ski area view, and skiers come from far and wide to experience it. Since the purchase of Treble Cone by Cardrona Alpine Resort, consistent investment has been put into the ski area to improve season length reliability, including snowmaking and power upgrades.
New this season: Snowmaking investment.
Opening: 25 June – 25 September 2022.

Coronet Peak was the country’s first commercial ski area (established in 1947 and celebrating its 75th anniversary this year). The mountain is Queenstown’s urban playground, only 20 minutes from downtown along a sealed road. Guests are treated to freshly groomed trails during First Tracks from 8am daily, right through to Night Skiing on select nights until 9pm. Coronet Peak has 280ha of skiable terrain, 1649m elevation with 462m vertical drop.
New this season: Heidi’s Hut facelift and upgraded deck, six new snow guns, functional improvements that include rental, F&B and more.
Opening: 17 June – 25 September 2022.

The Remarkables is a welcoming, adventurous ski area boasting three sun-drenched, north-facing bowls, up to seven terrain parks, and world-class facilities. Known for being one of the best mountains for progression, the ski area offers a range of terrain to suit everyone. From off-piste black runs and daring chutes to wide-open learner slopes and everything in between. The mountain is the Home of Freeride in New Zealand and annually hosts the country’s only World Freeride Qualifier events. This year, The Remarkables is also set to become home of the Southern Hemisphere’s first ever Freeride World Tour Academy.
New this season: Ten new snow making guns, a new range of rental gear, upgraded Barista Bar, extended hours for the information booth, and a carpark extension.
Opening: 18 June – 16 October 2022.

Food And Drink Update

Hidden away in a basement off Queenstown Mall, the team behind Margo’s are bringing Queenstown’s first dedicated Agaveria to life. Opening mid-July, situated below Margo’s, Little Mez offers incredible twists on classic cocktails curated from it’s large portfolio of mezcal, raicilla and tequila (Agave-based Mexican spirits). If margaritas aren’t your thing, get comfy at the bar and sip neat from a shallow Queenstown crafted clay cup.

ORO Restaurant is now open. ORO is a sophisticated, modern Queenstown fine dining restaurant celebrating the best seasonal produce that Aotearoa has to offer. The restaurant is a great venue for private events ensuring clients get delectable food and outstanding service.

Scroggin is an alpine hut themed café that prioritises locally sourced ingredients. With a Scandinavian-inspired fit out to match the mountains and adventures to be had in Wānaka, you’ll quickly understand why this coffee and eatery’s tagline is ‘Gather, feast, stay a while.’ 

b. effect brewing co. opened its brewing location and eatery, b.social eatery & taproom, shortly before the border closure and has expanded to include more seating and an upstairs events area. All housed under one roof, curious beer drinkers can get a look at the brewing process, or unwind and enjoy a cold one and brewpub classics.

Arc, a new restaurant opened by James Stapley and Sam Cooper (who you might recognise from Kika - a Wānaka fan favourite focusing on sustainable sharing plates), serves up brunch in fine dining style and global tapas in the evening showcasing produce from Central Otago and the South Island, with an extensive wine list and signature cocktails.

The Wānaka Food Truck Market has recently opened near Bullock Creek. The market features old favourites (like Burrito Craft, Firebird, and Little Black Caravan), mixed with new-kids-on-the-block (such as Coco Hut and Waffle Press). Sit in the sun at a picnic table or on the lush grass and enjoy local food truck eats.

Awards And Accolades

  • Queenstown has been selected as a shortlisted nominee in the 29th annual World Travel Awards as Oceania’s Leading City Destination 2022. Voting is open until 31 August: www.worldtravelawards.com/vote.
  • Broken Heart Spirits has been awarded World’s Best Vodka in the World Drinks Awards.
  • Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters has reconfirmed its Qualmark Gold status.
  • Jacqui Spice from Touch of Spice was recently named a Top Travel Specialist by Condé Nast Traveller for the 10th year.
  • Queenstown Holiday Park Creeksyde and Azur Lodge have been awarded TripAdvisor 2022 Travellers’ Choice Awards.

Key Dates & Events

Your DQ Travel Trade Team

Linda McIntosh
Trade Marketing Manager
+64 27 264 7533
Linda McIntosh
Alex Holmes
BD Executive
+64 27 740 8597

Alex Holmes
Kiran Nambiar
BD Director

+64 27 611 3188
Kiran Nambiar
Sarah McDonald
QCB BD & Marketing Manager
+64 27 448 8030
Sarah McDonald