Free Events at the 2018 Queenstown Winter Festival

by | May 17, 2018

For the past 43 years the Queenstown Winter Festival has been New Zealand’s biggest party, offering a raucous 4 day celebration to herald the start of the winter season. This year’s fest, sponsored by Real Journeys, promises to be the best yet, offering a stellar line-up of New Zealand’s hottest musical acts plus a whole host of events, competitions and activities the entire family can take part in.

Here are some of the best FREE-TO-ATTEND venues and events for this year’s festival, in no particular order:

Festival Village at Earnslaw Park (June 21st to 24th) – this venue is the central hub for Winterfest and is open at noon every day. Festival goers can sample the fine food and drink on offer at the venue, as well as enjoy live music and take part in activities. Highlights at the village include the four day Macpac Treasure Traverse as well as an interactive ‘live screen printing’ experience.

Real Journeys Queenstown Winter Festival Welcome (June 21st) – experience the official start of the festival with a traditional Waka Ama canoe race and Powhiri greeting ceremony at Marine Parade followed by a free open-air concert on the main stage at Queenstown Bay

Old Mout Dodgeball Champs (June 22nd) – not for the faint of heart, this event will test the dodge, dip, dive and dodge skills of even the most skilled dodgeball athlete. Event will be held at the Festival Village and is free to enter (with prior registration) and free to watch.

Winter Festival Snow Tubing (June 22nd) – slide down the side of a mountain on an inflatable tube, what more needs to be said? Event is free to enter at the Cardrona Alpine Resort, this year’s festival host mountain.

Real Journeys Friday Fireworks (June 22nd) – Lake Wakatipu lights up with a spectacular fireworks show at 7pm in Queenstown Bay. The fireworks show is followed by a free concert at the Bath House stage.

iHeartRadio Day on the Bay (June 23rd) – the fun never ends on this day jam packed with events and excitement, all of which are free to the public. Events include the always hilarious Go Orange Ripper Rafting, followed by the JUCY Undy 500 underwear marathon and the exhilarating lunacy of The Hits 90.4 Birdman icy-cold lake water diving contest.

Mitre 10 MEGA Easy as Kids Workshops at Festival Village (June 23rd) – here’s one for the kids! These workshops teaches kids the joys of working with their hands by giving them the opportunity to build their very own toolbox they can bring home. Workshops are free to attend, but space is limited so prior registration is recommended. Suitable for kids aged 5-12, parental accompaniment is mandatory.

For more information on more events for this year’s festival, please visit