The best things to do during the Christmas holidays in Queenstown
With hot weather and long summer days, Queenstown is one of the best places in New Zealand to be over the holiday period.
There’s so much to see and do – for all ages and budgets.
Family fun with Santa, outdoor theatre, and music festivals plus lazy days on the lake make Queenstown a hive of activity at this time of year.
Join in the community Christmas spirit with a fantastic event, theShotover Jet Christmas Show. Held at the Queenstown Events Centre in Frankton, Santa Claus will be joined by more than 150 local entertainers during this event on December 3, an eveing of Christmas carols and cheer. Enjoy an evening of family entertainment, fun and fireworks. Tickets range from $5-$15.
For those of you not wanting the stress of preparing a Christmas feast while on holiday, there are plenty of restaurants in downtown Queenstown that are open and offering delicious 3 course set menus for Christmas Day, including theWakatipu Grill 3 - course lunch.
Queenstown really goes off over the New Year period. New Year’s Eve celebrations include live music and an incredible fireworks display on the lakefront, attracting thousands of revellers – the whole resort goes into party mode.
The new year signals the start of the Summer Festivals and events –
During the first week of January, Glenorchy hosts the wildly-popular Glenorchy Races. This race day is like no other – it’s rough, wild, and hugely entertaining, on and off the track. It’s held at the Glenorchy Recreational Grounds. Glenorchy is a 35-minute drive from Queenstown.
And if you want to experience a bit of rural life, visit theLake Hayes A&P Showon January 13. Held at the picturesque Lake Hayes Showgrounds, there’s livestock, equestrian events, arts and crafts and family entertainment.
For a comprehensive guide to what’s on in Queenstown over the summer holidays, check out and Destination Queenstown’s events guide.
For your perfect festive holiday, you also need the best accommodation. Whether you’re sharing Christmas joy with extended family or a group of friends, we have the luxury self-contained accommodation to suit your needs. Our private, spacious apartments are situated close to central Queenstown or in a resort-style setting in the Kawarau Village.