June 8, 2023

Winter activities in New Zealand range from sports to film festivals

When the Matariki star cluster rises in New Zealand from late June through late July, it signals a month-long celebration of the Maori New Year.
One of the largest winter sports events outside of the Winter Olympics attracts world-class athletes from 36 countries across the globe who gather to cap off the cold weather season in New Zealand. Set against the picturesque backdrops of Lake Wanaka and Queenstown, Winter Games New Zealand includes 14 days of action-packed sporting events and a film festival from mid to late August.

It’s just one of the many activities and events that make a trip to New Zealand in the winter a special vacation indeed.

Another is the popular Dunedin Cadbury Chocolate Carnival, which takes place in mid-July and includes a variety of chocolate-themed events. Chocolate tours, painting with chocolate, and chocolate facials are highlighted along with the famous Cadbury Jaffa Race during which 25,000 giant Cadbury Jaffa candies hurl their way down the world’s steepest street.

During the third week in June, Queenstown comes alive with 45,000 people during its annual winter festival featuring one of the world’s largest street parties. The festival began in 1975 when some locals decided that winter was as good of an excuse as any for a party. Madcap mountain races, sweet treats for kids and entertainment for the whole family round out the weeklong event.

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