Kiwis Celebrate the Arrival of Winter

Europe and America are gearing up for the summer holidays, but in New Zealand, snow has fallen and skiers have hit the slopes—it’s the start of the winter season.

Watch Kieran Read, Richie McCaw and Maa Nonu of the All Blacks. Photo courtesy of the New Zealand tourism board.

Watch Kieran Read, Richie McCaw, and Maa Nonu of the All Blacks at the DHL New Zealand Lion Series 2017. Photo courtesy of the New Zealand tourism board.

The island nation has welcomed the dropping of temperatures by indulging in its all-time favorite sport, rugby, with the DHL New Zealand Lion Series 2017 (from US$35 for adults). Hear the rallying call of the haka when the All Blacks face-off against the British and the Irish Lions on June 24 at Eden Park Auckland in Kingsland.

Opening fireworks of the 2016 Queenstown Winter Festival in Queenstown, New Zealand. Photo from the event website.

Opening fireworks of the 2016 Queenstown Winter Festival in Queenstown, New Zealand. Photo from the event website.

Tourists can also fly to the idyllic Queenstown, which will be hosting its winter festival from June 22 to 25. A four-day “Mountain of Mayhem,” the fest has fun parties, dazzling fireworks, artisan craft markets, several entertaining musical performances, hockey and golf tournaments, and a slew of dining events. Queenstown has impressive properties for those traveling from out-of-town such as the elegant Azur Lodge (from US$995 per night), which offers breathtaking panoramic views; and the Rees Hotel & Luxury Apartments (from US$306 per night), with its equally stunning vistas of snow-capped mountains and placid lakes.

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View from the Rees Hotel & Luxury Apartments. This and featured photo are from the property’s website.

In August, the whole country will welcome the thrilling Audi quattro Winter Games, where the world’s leading winter Olympic, Paralympic, and X Games stars compete for glory. Watch them in action from August 25 to September 10 as they battle for supremacy in skiing, snowboarding, and curling. Open to the public, the event will be held in different venues such as Cardrona Alpine Resort, located between Wanaka and Queenstown; and Maniototo Curling International Rink in the town of Naseby.

To know more about the winter events in New Zealand, visit the country’s tourism board website.

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