Downtown Queenstown and the surrounding mountains have been blanketed in snow this morning, following a bumper overnight snowfall, giving local ski areas a good boost before the start of the winter season.
With Coronet Peak scheduled to open on the 7th June and other local ski fields set to open in the following weeks the snow has set the scene as Queenstown gears up for winter.
Destination Queenstown CEO Graham Budd says the fresh snowfall signals winter is fast approaching and the resort had been transformed into a winter wonderland over the last 24 hours.
“There’s a real buzz in the air now as everybody around town starts getting excited about winter.”
Locals and visitors will officially welcome the start of Queenstown’s winter season on 20 June when the annual American Express Queenstown Winter Festival kicks off. 2014 will be extra special as the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest and brightest winter celebration marks its 40th anniversary. The multi award winning festival (20-29 June) will celebrate with a calendar of activities that includes fireworks, live music, street parades, comedy, quirky races, mountain mayhem and some new attractions that specifically recognise the 40th anniversary.
Mr Budd says Winter Festival celebrates the start of winter and is a great excuse for both Kiwis and Aussies to plan a trip to Queenstown.
“It’s a short flight to Queenstown from New Zealand’s major centres and only three hours from Australia which makes it very accessible for a winter break. With increased flight scheduling this winter, both domestically and trans-tasman, it has never been easier to get here,” says Mr Budd.
Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia are operating an additional 40,000 seats to and from Queenstown over the peak winter period, Qantas has boosted services between Sydney and Queenstown with daily flights over peak ski season and Jetstar has added an extra 16,000 seats from Sydney and Melbourne into Queenstown over winter.
“Queenstown is the Southern Hemisphere’s leading four season resort, the skiing is world-class and the range of activities in Queenstown itself are second to none. It really is the ultimate winter holiday destination for all ages,” says Mr Budd.