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Queenstown Winter festival events programme announced

Queenstown Winter festival events programme announced

Holiday-makers from New Zealand, Australia and around the world can now check out the fantastic lineup of events for the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest winter party, the 2012 American Express Queenstown Winter Festival, at

The multi award-winning festival, (June 22 – 1 July 2012), first started in Queenstown 38 years ago and now tens of thousands of locals and visitors take to the streets and ski slopes for 10 days of non-stop fun to celebrate the start of winter.  There’s loads of on-mountain action, street parties, fireworks, live concerts, comedy, family fun, and a great mix of internationally acclaimed performers and home-grown acts.

New international events this year include the New Zealand movie premiere of ‘Ice Age 4: Continental Drift’ and a rare performance from New Zealand comedic export Flight of the Conchords (Oscar winner Bret McKenzie and co-star Jermaine Clement).

Festival-goers will also get the chance to be part of a live studio audience for TV3’s infamous ‘7 Days’ comedy satire show which will be pre-recorded at Queenstown’s Memorial Hall and broadcast to the nation.

As per tradition, the festival will open with a bang on Friday 22 June with a huge opening party on Earnslaw Park and a spectacular fireworks display at 7pm.


The following day, the Auckland Airport Family Fun Day and Festival Parade, and the More FM Birdman will be held in downtown Queenstown and there’s be plenty of entertainment on-mountain with events like the Mountain Bikes on Snow and the Frontrunner Golden Mile.

Following a successful debut last year, the American Express Ice Rink on the Village Green will once again provide a magical downtown hub.  The Rink will host public skating sessions throughout the festival.

Festival fun and festivities will continue throughout the week and into the final weekend with the iconic dog derby, rugby, ice hockey, charity boxing, night skiing, cyclocross and slopestyle. 

The festival will conclude on Sunday 1 July with the spectacular Auckland Airport International Mardi Gras, a big street party which celebrates the diversity of Queenstown’s community.

Festival Director Simon Green said the programme was comprehensive and streamlined to make the most of the two weekends.

“It’s all about celebrating who we are and where we are and sharing that with our visitors.

“We’re delighted with the programme line-up and invite everybody to start planning their trip to Queenstown now to help us celebrate the start of winter.”

Out of the 50 Winter Festival events, more than half are free to attend.  Ticketed events go on sale from Monday 30 April.

For full programme details check out the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival calendar at  Festival programme brochures will be distributed throughout the Queenstown region and will available at information outlets from 19 April.