How lucky are we to live in paradise? Not only is New Zealand an amazing place to visit during the warm summer months, but it also delivers some serious winter vibes as well.

Whilst our pristine beaches, stunning lakes and warm waters may be well publicised, those who choose to venture to our shores in the winter months will not be disappointed.

As we head into those winter months, with the start of ski season just around the corner, we thought we’d take a sneaky peek at some of New Zealand’s most photographed winter destinations and dare you not to fall in love…we already have!


May as well start with the biggie. Queenstown is without a doubt our most popular drawcard in the winter months and whether you’re here for the skiing or just to check out the breathtaking views, you won’t be disappointed. From the tops of mountains to the edge of lakes, there are some truly stunning photo opportunities out there. If you have never visited before, there has never been a better time to GO local. Queenstown puts on an absolute show in the winter months and this year promises to be bigger and better than ever for Kiwis exploring their own backyard.

After two years of hit-and-miss ski seasons, this is the first year that Queenstown should be fully open to Kiwis and Aussies (as well as some other international visitors) and that means it is going to be party central this winter.

If you are planning a trip to Queenstown, make sure you check out the latest deals on hire cars in Queenstown and find out why we’re one of New Zealand’s favourite car rental company.

From great deals to amazing scenery, Queenstown is the place to be this winter – here are a couple of photos to inspire you:

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Milford Sound

Another perennial favourite on the New Zealand tour itinerary, Milford Sound is perhaps even more spectacular in the winter months than in summer. The backdrop seems even more unreal and when you get a blue sky day in the middle of winter, there is nowhere quite like it in the world. Milford Sound is another destination that relies on international tourists so why not tag on a day trip to your Queenstown adventure. This is the one time where you will be able to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of Milford Sound with a lot fewer visitors than usual so take advantage and go and explore this absolute New Zealand treasure – you’ll not regret it.


The Tongariro Crossing attracts thousands of walkers every summer, however, it’s also a really cool hike to take on in the winter. Pack your warmest clothes and your best boots and head off through the snow to explore this winter wonderland. An awesome day out rewarded with a glass of red in front of a roaring fire when you finish.


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Like Queenstown, Wanaka is preparing for the winter ski season but there are of course plenty of other reasons to visit Wanaka this winter. A favourite of ours is to take on the challenge of climbing Roy’s Peak – the path can get a bit hairy in places but the adventure is always worth it – the views are the best reward you can imagine!

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Mt Cook

Mt Cook will often be seen with snow on its upper peaks all year round, but there’s something super-special about this place in the winter. The mountain just looks at home completely covered in snow and it makes for a spectacular backdrop to pretty much every photo you take. We love it here!


Another summer favourite is also an amazing place to visit in the winter months. There are ski fields within close proximity but it is worth the trip here just to see the amazing colours of the water during the winter months. If you think you have seen turquoise, you ain’t seen nothing yet!


Dunedin is a destination often overlooked come summer or winter. Those who do take the road less travelled are never disappointed, no matter what the season. Winter, however, is a spectacular time of the year to explore Dunedin. Larnach Castle covered in snow is one of the finest sights in the country and there is plenty to see and do down these parts during the winter months.

Feeling Inspired?

Hopefully, these amazing images of New Zealand in winter have inspired you to make a trip this year and see for yourself just how beautiful New Zealand is during the winter. Winter is considered to be New Zealand’s off-season, however typically we still welcome thousands of visitors for skiing as well as just enjoying the beautiful winter landscapes.

This year is a great year to get out and explore New Zealand during the winter months and some of the amazing destinations listed above should be the starting point for your bucket list of places to visit in New Zealand this winter.

We’d love to hear from our GO Explorers out there – if you are heading off on a road trip this winter, make sure you send us your best photos from your adventure so we can keep our post updated and also so we can inspire more people to get out there and enjoy the New Zealand winter.