Win­ter hotspots on New Zealand’s South Is­land

Seek­ing a snow­capped ad­ven­ture? This is the place!

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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

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

FOX GLACIER

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

QUEEN­STOWN

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

LAKE TEKAPO

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

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