When you think of New Zealand, what immediately comes to mind? Pristine lakes, majestic mountains and stunning beaches? You certainly wouldn’t be wrong.
New Zealand can, however add another string to its impressive bow. In winter (June-September) those majestic mountains become pistes and the South Island transforms into a winter wonderland.
Often when people think of a winter destination, they think of Europe and the Alps. Log fires, wooden cabins, roaring fires and heaps of the powdery stuff often conjures up images of Switzerland, France and Austria but let us tell you why New Zealand can deliver all of those things and so much more.
1. World class skiing and snowboarding
New Zealand offers the longest season in Australasia and a huge variety in terms of terrain. High quality snow invites all levels to enjoy the pistes, from beginner to advanced. All ski resorts are also within a short drive of each other so you can don’t have to choose one resort and stick to it – you can experience them all!
2. Hot springs
A visit to New Zealand wouldn’t be complete without visiting one of the geothermal hot springs. After a day on the slopes what could be better than easing those aching muscles and slipping into a naturally heated thermal bath? Both the North and the South Island offer a plethora of options to take advantage of this natural phenomenon such as Hanmer Springs on the South Island.
3. Beach time
Yes, it may be winter but don’t discount a day at the beach. New Zealand’s coastline is spectacular and a windy walk along some of the stunning beaches followed by a cosy campfire is not to be missed. Another bonus is you also escape the summer crowds and can often have the beach all to yourself!
4. Queenstown Winter Festival
Backpacker and party central – Queenstown doesn’t fail to deliver on both excellent skiing and a ton of après ski! The beginning of the winter season is celebrated by a 10 day extravaganza including fireworks, parties and plenty of fun and festivities!
It can be so disappointing going on a whale watching trip and not actually spotting what you have been so excited to see. June and July are prime whale watching months as this is right within the middle of the migration period so you can almost guarantee you will be spotting quite a few whales. Kaikoura on the South Island is a perfect spot for this activity as well as being a beautiful waterfront town.
Sporting activities draw a huge crowd in New Zealand and winter is the perfect time to experience several games. The All Blacks have a lot of games in the winter so try your luck at scoring a ticket to experience an amazing sporting atmosphere.
7. Money Saving
Who doesn’t like to get a bargain? The cost of travelling to New Zealand is quite a bit lower than at other times of the year so if you keep checking airfares you will probably be able to get a really good deal on a flight. As well as getting to New Zealand being less expensive in winter, the money you will spend when you get there will also be less than if you visited during summer. Everything from accommodation, trips and food will be considerably cheaper.
Where else in the world can you ski minutes away from some of the world’s greatest vineyards? Spend your morning on the pistes and your afternoons sipping Sauvignon Blanc in the wine regions.
9. It’s not that cold!
Despite the snow and mountains, it isn’t actually that cold in winter. New Zealand has a temperate climate year round and even though you might feel a little chilly, compared to most parts of the world in winter, it is a lot more temperate.
10. Great food
As previously mentioned, with things being slightly less expensive in winter, you can really go to town on sampling New Zealand’s fabulous cuisine! New Zealand cuisine features locally sourced produce, immense flavour and being near the water, amazingly fresh seafood.
So what are you waiting for? Book your New Zealand winter holiday with Gevio Tour (www.geviotour.com) who will make sure you sample all of the above and more! A budget, middle & luxury private tour will cater to exactly what you want to do and go at your pace whilst making sure you get the most out of all New Zealand has to offer.