The Real Journeys Queenstown Winter Festival is nearly upon us. This is not a drill people.

For those who have never heard of the Queenstown Winter Festival (where have you been??!!), it’s one of the biggest festivals on the New Zealand calendar and is a celebration of the start of the winter season. Organisers are promising that “‘Welcome to Winter 2022’ is going to be an action-packed four days, celebrating all there is to love about the snowy season ❄️⛷️”

The festival started out way back in 1975 with a few community events and has since gone on to become a bucket list festival here in NZ. This year promises to be bigger and better than ever with loads of free and ticketed events taking place across the four days. In 2019, the event welcomed 57,000 and with the opening of borders, it is hoped that Queenstown will welcome close to that number of visitors once again this year.

Let’s find out more about some of the events taking place at the 2022 Real Journey Queenstown Winter Festival.

Queenstown Winter Festival Dates – 7-10 July 2022

Image of the Opening Party fireworks at the American Express Queenstown WInter Festival
Opening Party fireworks. Credit: Queenstown Winter Festival

After the cancellation of the 2020 festival and a much quieter event in 2021, the anticipation for the 2022 Winter Festival has never been so high and with only a few weeks to go until the start of the four-day festival, excitement is starting to build in and around Queenstown as they gear up to welcome thousands of locals and visitors alike.

The four-day festival is absolutely jam-packed with events and activities for the whole family and whether you’re a ski or snowboard junkie, or you just enjoy a good festival, Winter Festival weekend is one of the best weekends of the year to spend down in Queenstown.

Here are just a few of the things you can get involved with:

Thursday 7 July

The 2022 Queenstown Winter Festival will kick off on Thursday 7 July with the Welcome to Winter Skyline Business Lunch at the Stratosfare restaurant:

Welcome to Winter Skyline Business Lunch
12 pm-2 pm, Skyline Stratosfare Restaurant
Ticketed Event

Friday 8 July

Image of two young kids on the ice rink at the Audi Quattro Winter Games in Queenstown
Children enjoying the ice rink at the Winter Festival. Credit: Queenstown Winter Festival

The main festival will kick off on Friday 8 July and this is the first day that most people will get involved and get stuck into some of the amazing events being held throughout the day. Some of the activities include:

Winter Wonderland Markets
4 pm – 8 pm, The Mall
Arts, Crafts, Food & Festivities
TomTom Sound Stage
4 pm – 9.30 pm, Earnslaw Park
Featuring headline act Mitch James
Tipi World Bar + Food Trucks
4 pm – 8.30 pm, Earnslaw Park
Food & Bar
Ziptrek Fireworks Ziplining Tour
5.45 pm – 8.30 pm, Ziptrek
Southern Discoveries Fireworks Cruise
6 pm – 7.30 pm, St Omer Wharf
Ticketed Event
FIREWORKS!
7 pm, Queenstown Bay

Saturday 9 July

Image of Two ladies dressed up in white ball gowns for the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival Ball
Two ladies dressed up in white ball gowns for the Winter Festival Ball. Credit: Queenstown Winter Festival

Saturday is another busy day at the Winter Festival, kicking off with the Winter Wonderland Markets and finishing up with one of the highlights of the entire weekend – the Coronet Peak Night Ski – live music and skiing under the stars.

✨Whakatipu Legend Winter Swim
12 pm, Queenstown Bay
✨Winter Wonderland Market
12 pm – 8 pm, The Mall
Arts, Crafts, Food & Festive Atmosphere
✨TomTom Sound Stage
4 pm – 8 pm, Earnslaw Park
Featuring headline act Stellar with vocalist Boh Runga
Tipi World Bar + Food Trucks
12 pm – 8 pm, Earnslaw Park
Food & Bar
✨Skyline Lunch and Luge
12:30 pm, 12:45 pm, 1 pm, 1:15 pm, Skyline Stratosfare Restaurant & Bar – & Luge Track
Ticketed Event
✨Coronet Peak Night Ski
4 pm – 9 pm, Coronet Peak Ski Area
Night ski & live music

Sunday 10 July

Macpac Mountain Bikes on Snow at the Queenstown Winter Festival. Photo credit: Queenstown Winter Festival
Macpac Mountain Bikes on Snow at the Winter Festival. Photo credit: Queenstown Winter Festival

The final day of the four-day festival is still undergoing some final planning so it’s best to keep an eye on the official Facebook page for the latest updates.

✨Queenstown Preschool & Nursery’ Great Family Treasure Hunt
10.30 am – 12 pm, Queenstown Gardens
Image of The crowd having a laugh at one of the comedy night at the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival
The crowd having a laugh at one of the comedy night. Credit: Queenstown Winter Festival

We’re super-excited for the return of the Queenstown Winter Festival in 2022 and we hope to see lots of our GO customers down in Queenstown and enjoying one of the highlights of the Queenstown events calendar.

We expect further additions to the schedule as we get closer to the start of the festival, some make sure you keep an eye on the official festival website.

See you there!

Queenstown Complete Guide

Updated: 24 May 2022