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Sometimes we need a little inspiration to get out and explore during winter. Fire up your inner nomad and discover some of the South Island of New Zealand’s winter pursuits.
Much of New Zealand simply needs to be seen from the air – and what better way than at 200km (124 miles) per hour with the wind rushing past your face.
One of the best locations to skydive is above the stunning scenery of Wanaka. The potential to view six lakes and almost never-ending mountains (while screaming your lungs out) can’t be understated.
Stay cool on the way up and warm on the way down in our tough Core Spun Merino apparel.
When to go: Anytime – but the mountains have considerably more snow in winter
It’s not hard to find a hot spring in the alpine environment of the south. There are plenty of remote springs that are almost untouched and a few well known ones that are worth the effort:
Come prepared with a compact towel and swimwear packing cell from our pack&GO range.
When to go: Autumn or early winter
The Canterbury province has a plethora of backcountry ski fields on offer. You’ll enjoy sensational mountain and lake views, have more square metres of snow all to yourself and even keep costs down.
A few off-the-beaten-track slopes you should tackle are:
If you simply want to head to the best, look no further than Mount Hutt. It’s a short driving distance from the winter ski town of Methven.
For a cracking winter on the slopes, grab the latest protective winter snow gear. Our extensive Styper Collection has it all.
When to go: Many ski areas are open from early-June to mid-September
A South Island winter isn’t complete without a feast of seafood.
Step up the Bluff Oyster Festival! As winter approaches, this festival featuring Bluff’s most famous export is a hearty way to kick into the coldest season.
When to go: Late May
If you haven’t walked on a glacier before, then you simply must – the blue ice will blow you away.
The Southern Alps have a multitude of glaciers but they aren’t all accessible. Two massive ones are so close to sea level, you’ll need to see them to believe them. They are:
NZ’s longest is the Tasman Glacier which is located right next door to its highest mountain, Aoraki Mount Cook.
Is you’re planning on hiking to one of these glaciers, find the right footwear for the trail.
When to go: Throughout winter
Although it’s occasionally possible to see the Aurora Australis from the lower North Island, some of the best places to view it are:
Best time to see: March to September (at around midnight)
Kick off your NZ getaway at a winter festival with a difference. Small town New Zealand shows its slightly off-beat colours at the Steampunk Festival in Oamaru.
A subgenre of science fiction that embraces the designs and technologies of 19th century industrial, steam-powered machinery, the Southern Hemisphere’s longest running Steampunk fiesta began with a party and a bronze beer mug.
When to go: Late May/Early June
Not to be missed, there are three alpine passes in the South Island and all are spectacular. However, they do have their subtle differences:
Look the part on your NZ roadie in our range of Federate gear.
When to go: When there’s plenty of snow but the road is open