South Island boasts majestic snow-dusted mountains and peaceful alpine villages that invite exploration. A guided tour, like those offered by MoaTrek, allows you to fully immerse yourself in your winter activities without worry for anything other than enjoying them!
NZ ski fields tend to be family-owned and known as club fields, making them less crowded than larger resorts.
Queenstown is a destination of unparalleled adventure in all four seasons, but winter brings its own special magic as an eclectic community of skiers and adrenalin junkies descend upon it to share in the fun times.
Queenstown boasts three major ski fields (Remarkables, Coronet Peak and Cardrona), all easily reachable within driving distance of its town centre. Queenstown offers an abundance of activities and accommodation to fit all budgets – budget hostels to waterfront hotels and luxury apartments are available – offering endless days on the slopes for fun apres ski action!
One of the best ways to experience Queenstown’s breathtaking scenery is a Lake Wakatipu cruise. Enjoy panoramic mountain vistas while sipping a glass of wine on deck; or choose Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa and indulge in post-ski pampering!
Be it an expert or simply curious, there are numerous tours to help you explore Queenstown region’s top-class wines. Choose between self-guided bike wine tours, hop-on/hop-off bus wine tours or even super luxurious helicopter wine tours; each will meet your specific preferences and provide the ideal wine tasting experience!
Wanaka is the place for snow sports enthusiasts! This charming lakeside town draws together an exciting community of adventurous locals and international visitors who come here to shred and sip. Boasting incredible lake and alpine views, an array of wineries and restaurants and easy access to New Zealand’s premier ski fields, Wanaka makes an unmissable winter destination.
Wanaka offers many activities during the summertime, such as hiking, biking and swimming. When winter arrives however, its mountains become a snowboarder/skier paradise! Wanaka offers many skiing/snowboarding tours including guided mountain adventures led by experienced guides.
Or you could try something a bit more relaxing like taking a cruise on Lake Wanaka – perfect for seeing #thatwanakatree from a different perspective and enjoying happy hour drinks while admiring views of the Southern Alps!
Wanaka offers several activities to celebrate Matariki, including community gatherings, Maori cultural performances and guided meditation sessions to help reflect on past experiences. Furthermore, poetry readings or lessons on fire culture may also be available.
Rotorua, located on its namesake lake in north central New Zealand’s North Island, is famed for both geothermal activity and Maori culture. Te Puia’s Whakarewarewa Valley features bubbling mud pools and the 30-meter Pohutu Geyser, which erupts multiple times daily, along with living Maori villages and the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute with traditional wood carving and weaving schools.
Winter in Rotorua brings its own set of hot springs that make a statement, as steam billows out from beneath thick layers of snow and cool air. Soaking in natural thermal pools is a must in New Zealand during this season – and Rotorua offers some excellent geothermal pools to experience the magic.
Mokoia Island lies at the center of Lake Rotorua and plays an integral role in Maori culture and mythology. Legend has it that two lovers, Hinemoa and Tutanekai, who kept their romance a secret crossed Lake Rotorua to come together on this sacred island and meet.
Nearby, the National Kiwi Hatchery(opens in new window) hatches and rears up to 120 kiwi per year for release into the wild, helping ensure only top quality specimens make it. Visitors to this hatchery pay an admission fee and will enjoy an outstanding backstage tour to witness this process in action.
Auckland consistently ranks as one of the world’s most liveable cities, boasting vibrant culture and outdoor life. Locally known as Tamaki Makaurau, this bustling metropolis features picturesque beaches, towering skyscrapers, volcanic islands and magical hikes for an exciting city experience.
City residents also take pride in its thriving hospitality scene, including luxurious hotels and an abundance of restaurants and bars to choose from. Smith & Caughey’s department store can be found here too, which features both designer fashion brands as well as homeware items from their selection.
Auckland art lovers are invited to experience the Auckland Art Gallery’s expansive collections, which boast more than 17,000 works and sculptures from contemporary pieces like Yayoi Kasuma’s Instagram-friendly Obliteration Room to classic masterpieces like Monet, Renoir and Magritte, this gallery has something for everyone.
Shopping in Auckland is equally impressive, featuring an expansive Westfield mall and boutiques lining Newmarket and Parnell streets. Gastronomy fans will appreciate Auckland Food Markets which takes over Aotea Square during winter for an evening of food and wine; other markets and retail outlets can be found throughout the city as well as farmers’ markets; tipping is not expected but many diners add a small gratuity when ordering meals out.