June in New Zealand represents the beginning of our southern hemisphere winter. The next three months of cold and rain can strike cabin fever into the best of us and lead to a nasty case of the winter blues.
The best remedy for this affliction is to hit the road and take in some of New Zealand’s spirit-lifting winter festivals. Today we’re going to feature what we consider the four most notable 2019 festivals while pointing out some of our nearby roofed and cosy Kiwi Holiday Parks and Accommodation (KHPA) venues.
1. Queenstown Winter Festival 2019
Let’s start with one of the classics. Running since 1975, the Queenstown Winter Festival is a staple of New Zealand’s winter event circuit. Almost 50,000 people attended and had a ball in 2018 and the 2019 edition looks set to be a real barnburner.
Happening June 20–23, the four days of free live entertainment will include fun events like the Steamer Wharf Hospo race that puts the resort town’s hospitality workers to the test, a Matariki Torchlight Hikoi, a suitcase race on the snow at Cardrona ski field and the Monteith’s Dog Derby. Check it out.
Where to stay
Staying in Wanaka on the other side of the Crown Range to Queenstown is a good idea to give yourself refuge from the crowding and overpriced accommodation that can occur in Queenstown proper during the Winter Fest’. You’ll also be handy to the alpine events taking place at Cardrona Ski Field. Try the Wanaka Kiwi Holiday Park & Motels for a warm and comfortable base. Some of the two-bedroom units even have open fireplaces for a rustic feel!
2. Hawke’s Bay Food and Wine Classic (F.A.W.C)
Running 7–30 June, F.A.W.C is an annual showcase of Hawke’s Bay’s world-famous fine wine and fresh produce. The culinary festival has more than 60 culinary events taking place over four weekends at some of the region’s most delectable locations.
Where to stay
Our Napier Beach Kiwi Holiday Park and Motels park will make the perfect base camp for F.A.W.C. Four-star motels and self-contained units will shelter you from any inclement weather and the Bay View location is handy to many of the event venues.
3. Taupo Winter Festival
The Malcom Flowers Insurances Taupo Winter Festival takes place in ‘the heart of winter’ from 4–14 July. These dates also happen to be school holidays, so this event is ideal for families looking to get out of the house and recharge their batteries.
Kids are well served at the community spirited Taupo event by activities like the ice rink and giant inflatable snow globe with real snow trucked in from Mt Ruapehu. For the parents there is live music, “world-class theatre” and comedy performances.
Where to stay
Set in a canvas of large trees, the Taupo All Seasons Kiwi Holiday Park is a five-minute drive or taxi ride from the Tongariro North Domain, one of the main sites of the Taupo Winter Festival. The park has plenty of roofed accommodation to keep you warm and dry, while the thermal plunge pool, gas barbeques and games room add value to boot.
The Maori name the cluster of stars known as the Pleiades, Matiriki rises in mid-winter and signifies the start of a new year for many Maori. Referred to as ‘Subaru’ in Japan, the celestial event is recognised throughout Aotearoa with different Iwi celebrating Matariki at different times dependent on when its return can be seen from their area, or rohe.
Lots of cities observe Matariki with Maori culture workshops and art exhibitions, kite flying, Haka competitions and pop-up performances. Learn how to find Matariki and which events you can attend, here.
Where to stay
Seeing that Matariki events take place nationwide, you can choose the event and region that suits you best and stay at one of our Kiwi Holiday Parks and Accommodation locations around New Zealand. During winter months our roofed accommodation options are popular. These options include self-contained motel units, bathroom cabins, kitchen cabins and standard cabins — all with heating. Which option is right for you?
Embrace winter by exploring NZ
We’re spoilt for choice in New Zealand with an abundance of regional diversity and stunning scenery just waiting to be explored. So, don’t let the winter blues get to you. Embrace the big chill by jumping in the car, exploring the land of the long white cloud and exposing the whanau to an event you haven’t seen before.
And, don’t forget the sweet savings you can make on KHPA accommodation, ferry crossings, and a host of activities and attractions with your very own Kiwi Card. Happy winter!