Winter hotspots on New Zealand’s South Island
Seeking a snowcapped adventure? This is the place!
Once seen, forever smitten; no destination will steal your heart quite like New Zealand, our stunning next-door neighbour. Breathtakingly beautiful with a seriously playful side, the ‘land of the long white cloud’ is calling your name this winter. On the spectacular South Island, you can hit the slopes, hike pristine wilderness, conquer a glacier, soak in sublime natural hot springs and sample world-class wine and cuisine while you’re doing it. Time to cross this one off your bucket list!
Hanmer Springs is a picturesque alpine village famous for its healing mineral hot springs. A soak in one of the openair hot thermal pools is just the tonic after hiking winding hillside trails! Getting there Just over 90 minutes’ drive from Christchurch Airport. There is also shuttle transport available. Find out more hanmersprings.co.nz
Flowing from the Southern Alps on its 12km journey to the sea, Fox Glacier provides a unique stage for winter fun and games. In the rugged hills, the tiny Fox Glacier township is
the place to kick-off an unforgettable outdoor adventure. Ice hiking anyone? There are also helicopter flyovers, offering amazing views of the glacier. For the less daring, the beautiful Lake Matheson is nearby. Getting there The Fox Glacier township is located off the scenic Haast Pass, also known as Haast Highway. It’s approximately three hours’ drive from the town of Wanaka, itself a mecca for galleries, shops and cafes. It’s also more than five hours from Christchurch. Find out more glaciercountry.co.nz
Arguably the most famous winter destination in the southern hemisphere, stunning Queenstown has plenty to do besides bungee jump (though that’s worth a try too!). It’s a hub for adventure, plus luxury accom, upscale dining and a vibrant street scene abuzz with cafes, boutiques, galleries and spas. If the ski slopes don’t beckon, simply dress the part and enjoy the après-ski anyway!
Getting there Air New Zealand, Jetstar, Qantas and Virgin Australia fly to Queenstown. Direct flights depart from Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne and Sydney. Find out more queenstownnz.co.nz
The deep blue waters of Lake Tekapo exquisitely reflect the surrounding snowcapped mountains. For a moment of absolute serenity, take a seat in the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd and look out at the view. Stay in a lakeside cabin and ski or snowboard the family-friendly fields at the nearby Roundhill or Mount Dobson resorts. Back in town, Tekapo Springs has a 150m downhill tube ride to get your heart racing! Afterwards, visit the divine Tekapo Springs Glacial Spa for a rewarding massage. Getting there About three hours’ drive south of Christchurch, Lake Tekapo is halfway between Christchurch and Queenstown. Find out more tekapotourism.com
Coronet Peak, Queenstown
The Ledge, 400m above Queenstown
Hanmer Springs Fox Glacier