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16° & RAINY ON MONDAY 20 AUGUST IN AUCKLAND
TRAVEL & LEISURE

Real Journeys Queenstown Winter Festival

The country's biggest winter festival is back for its 44th year with live music, snow tubing, wharf jumping and a whole heap of dog-friendly events.
By Stephen Heard
May 14, 2018
  shares

Real Journeys Queenstown Winter Festival

The country's biggest winter festival is back for its 44th year with live music, snow tubing, wharf jumping and a whole heap of dog-friendly events.
By Stephen Heard
May 14, 2018
  shares
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The festival known for encouraging mountain adventures with canines and rocking undergarments in sub-zero temperatures is back for its 44th year. The 2018 Real Journeys Queenstown Winter Festival is the country's biggest winter festival. This year it returns to the picturesque lakeside village with a fresh approach and new host mountain.

In line with the Māori new year, a traditional powhiri greeting and fleet of waka will kick off the four-day festival on Thursday 21 June. It will follow a guided torchlight procession through the streets of Queenstown.

The festival stage, this year set against the backdrop of Lake Wakatipu, will host a 100-percent New Zealand music lineup, rounding up popular and rising artists including Tiki Taane, Maala, Leisure, The Black Seeds and The Feelers as part their 25th anniversary tour. New live music venues, Memorial Centre and The Sherwood Hotel, will host further local acts including L.A.B., Yoko-Zuna, Nadia Reid, Hollie Smith and the Killergrams. 

Cardrona has been unveiled as the new host mountain for 2018. The alpine resort will welcome a new mountain village experience including crowd-pleasing events like the dog derby and dog barking contest. Festival-goers can also take part in snow tubing, a snow skate slalom, snow cycling or complete a recreational loop of the ski-field in Macpac Tour de Cardies.

For those who prefer a different kind of adrenaline rush, the iHeartRadio Day on the Bay will return with wharf jumping contest, The Hits 90.4 Birdman, seeing participants launch themselves into Lake Wakatipu. The JUCY Undy 500 will see brave souls tackle an obstacle course and sprint through ice-cold water in nothing but underwear; the Go Orange Ripper Rafting will see teams battle it out in inflatable vessels; and The Legends of Steel will invite local boarders to strut their stuff on a street rail.

After dark, the program will continue with live comedy, the SKYCITY Ball and the always popular Friday night fireworks display.

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Don't miss NZ's biggest (and best) winter festival, check out the full lineup and snag tickets at winterfestival.co.nz.

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