The Best Queenstown Festivals for 2016

Located in the South Island of New Zealand, Queenstown sits on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and is set against the dramatic Southern Alps.

Being the adventure capital of New Zealand, Queenstown has the expectation to be able to throw one hell of a party. And they do. Year after year Queenstown shows the rest of New Zealand how it’s done with their awesome Winter festivals and Autumn parties. Located in the South Island of New Zealand, Queenstown sits on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and is set against the dramatic Southern Alps. It’s known for it’s keen outdoor adventure lifestyle, with the home of the AJ Hackett bungy just around the corner, NZONE Skydive, the home of the tandem skydive, and is known for being the jetboat capital of the world.

Below we list Kiwi Experience’s best Queenstown festivals to attend in 2016.

Queenstown Winter Festival

When: 24 June - 3 July 2016

If there’s one winter party that all backpackers in New Zealand make sure they’re at, it’s this one. The Queenstown Winter Festival is the largest winter celebration in the Southern Hemisphere, and there’s no better way to kick off the ski season in Queenstown than with this epic 10-day festival. Get amongst the live street music, opening party fireworks, the extreme Bikes on Snow race and even check out the annual Birdman competition. This is where contestants dress in elaborate costumes and attempt to ‘fly’ off the pier into Lake Wakatipu below in a bid to win prizes.

Gay Ski Week

When: 27 August – 3 September 2016

Regardless of either your ski ability or your sexual orientation, if you are a traveller who loves a great party that you should be heading to Gay Ski Week down in Queenstown this winter. You need to pack your most sparkly fancy dress outfit (or your tamest if you feel like going low-key) for fun times at the karaoke night, the famous foam party or the carabet spectacular. More after-dark revelry will continue but you must head on down to Queenstown in August to find out! Travel with Kiwi Experience for easy transport, accommodation and bookings.


Arrowtown Autumn Festival

When: 21 April – 25 April 2016

If you’re after something a little less vibrant than Gay Ski Week, you must partake in the Arrowtown Autumn Festival. The leaves have turned the most spectacular shades of red and gold and when the sunlight hits them at the right light you feel as though you’re in another world. Enjoy the stunning autumn scenery with the crowds that head to this historic gold-mining village on the outskirts of Queenstown for its market, delicious gourmet pies, festival parade and free guided tours of the historic town.

Rhythm and Alps

When: 30 December – 31 December 2016

Rythym and Alps in the famous Cardrona Valley between Queenstown and Wanaka, is a famous new years festival among both the locals and backpackers in New Zealand. Each year Rythym and Alps hosts a lineup of international and amazing local artists, chilled vibes, onsite camping along with insane mountain views. What better way to wake up to the new year than being among the New Zealand mountains with epic people.


Queenstown Marathon

When: 19 November 2016

After you’ve spent some time partying in Queenstown and soaking in all the goodness it has to offer, think about attending an event that will take you back to nature and get the blood pumping. The Queenstown Marathon really is a stunning route. It takes you by rivers, mountains and lakes including Lake Hayes, the beautiful Lake Wakatipu and the Shotover River. You’d better find a way to take your camera! There are 21km and 10km options for those people, there are always many, that are more keen on the stunning views than on the tough run.

Are you ready to start planning your trip to Queenstown? Kiwi Experience bus tours transport you there, help with your accommodation and will book in your activities for best price guarantee. Check out our bus passes here and customize your travel.

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