Queenstown in Winter is a interesting beast. I’ve had a few of them now and thought I’d get my tips down for you newbies. How to get by, where to go for the cheapest stuff and some helpful things to get you through.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not the best person in winter.
I get cold. I moan.
I like to wear so many layers I don’t see my pasty skin for about 2 months. “Oh skin, I forgot about you. You’ve been hiding”.
I usually end up drinking far too much red wine but you know “it’s winter” (I can see my mother shaking her head already).
So last year after another winter finding that the only conversations I was having were “what’s your source of heating”, “do you get pine or macrocarpa” (it’s a very important question) I decided I should plan my winter and all it’s delights.
Queenstown Gets Cold
Last year wasn’t too bad (climate change anyone) but coming from the Northern hemisphere where we have things called radiators I wasn’t prepared for the Winter’s here all those years ago. About three years ago we were looking at -10 most mornings so getting prepped is imperative.
The Warehouse (Five Mile) do great fleece blankets, get another duvet (yes have two) and buy buy buy a hot water bottle. Honestly makes such a difference.
If you’re living in a house where you can hear the wind whistling through the walls there are some things you can chat to your landlord about: plastic sheeting to go on the windows works a treat is you’re only in a single glazed house. (Mitre Ten Glenda Drive do a good one). Those strange door sausages your grandma used to have along the bottom of the doors to keep out drafts also work a treat (try charity shops or Happiness House
). An extra woollen blanket or two also is a treat for ontop of the bed.
Wood. Shop around for the best as there’s been some horror stories about wet wood in the past. Ask a few people or even put an add of Queenstown Trading
asking for opinions. Look to spend up to $90 a cubic metre for wood (good solid, long burning stuff) and get in early to stack, sort and get really dry whilst Autumn days are here.
If you’re new to the area it’s often hard to meet newbies like you but fear not, there’s tons of free stuff to do and get involved in. The Thursday night running group has been going forever! Thursdays at 5.30pm from the Ice rink carpark.
is another running group to get your teeth into. 6pm and they advertise here they go on their FB page.
The Queenstown Events Centre has a plethora of groups; netball, climbing, badminton, triathlon swim club and the like. Check out their website here
Food is expensive here BUT you can be clever and economical. If you’ve never heard of a crock pot, slow cooker before they’re brilliant for keeping things cheaper, using all the food in your fridge and you get the smell of a hot dinner waiting for you when you get in. Some amazing soup recipes from clever people in Queenstown are here! It also means there’s usually left overs for lunch the next day! Ding ding!
Potatoes are epic-ly versatile and if you’re a meat eater the cheaper cuts of meat do really well in the slow cooker.
If you live in a shared house and you’re all in at the same time for meals why not share out the dishes between everyone (and the bill if you’re on speaking terms).
There’s a ton of free things
to do in this town (especially if you’ve got children) but also groups running all over the place:
is a great evening of speaker sessions at Fluid Rooms.
Queenstown also have heaps of free yoga at their store. Check out the board inside.
There’s also SO much going on here in winter that’s not just about being a dude and wearing your trousers around your undercrackers. So I’m getting right into it. Dates for you diary:
Creative Fashion Show
is an award winning arts and cultural festival literally lighting up Queenstown!
21st-24th Queenstown Winter Festival has been a part of Queenstown’s history for a while now and this smaller but no less exciting festival will get you ready for Winter.
16th Coronet Peak ski field opens / Cardrona ski field opens
9th Remarkables ski field opens
28th Treble Cone ski field opens (Wanaka)
8th Peak to Peak
Race. Standard craziness of a race. Start at the top of Remarkables Ski field and ski, bike, run, kayak all the way to Coronet Peak. Muchos admiration to all.
1st Gay Ski Week
begins. Dancing, cabaret, skiing, parties and generally being fabulous. This has it all.
7th Aoraki Mount Cook Classic Cycle Race with Active QT
Just a smattering of stuff on in the next couple of months. If none of that floats your onion, let me know of your events, going’s on and general tom-foolery that I can add here, or on any of these networks. Get in touch here!