The good news is that in New Zealand, winter is considered to be the 'off season' for tourists - so you'll find a number of accommodation deals, and escape the crowds at the same time. If you're not sure where to visit during your winter holiday in New Zealand, read more about these popular destinations.
Lake Wanaka is known for its crystal clear waters - perfect for jet boating, sailing and kayaking. The surrounding region features a number of attractions including hiking, fishing, canyoning, climbing, skydiving, and snowboarding or skiing at Cardrona, Treble Cone and the Harris Mountains. Even in winter, travellers will often get the chance to enjoy clear blue skies and stunning views of this mountainous South Island region.
Popular with backpackers and tourists from all over the globe, Queenstown is known as one of the top adventure destinations in New Zealand. Surrounded by majestic mountains and nestled on the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown offers a number of outdoor activities including skiing, snowboarding, cycling, fishing, walking, bungy jumping, skydiving, white water rafting and jet boating. Queenstown is also home to a number of beautiful wineries so don't forget to sample the incredible food and wine on offer.
Located in the Huinui District 130 kilometres from Christchurch is Hanmer Springs - the home of New Zealand's most well known alpine hot pools. The Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa complex offers a range of pools including twelve open-air thermal pools, a freshwater heated swimming pool, three sulphur pools and six private indoor thermal pools, as well as a sauna/steam room. While you're there you can also enjoy a relaxing massage or pamper treatment - perfect for a relaxing winter escape.
Ohakune is the town at the southern gateway to the Tongariro National Park World Heritage Site and Mt Ruapehu's ski fields. It's a great base for those looking to go skiing or trekking the Tongariro Crossing and while you're there, you can also enjoy other activities like mountain biking, or canoeing on the Whanganui River.
Those in the Ohakune region may also want to visit the nearby Lake Taupo. This popular tourist destination boasts the largest freshwater lake in Australasia - a great trout fishing spot or opportunity to go kayaking, sailing or jet boating. Other Taupo activities include visiting the Hukafalls, river rafting, Skydiving, quad biking, or visiting the nearby geothermal attractions including bubbling mud pools and thermal springs.
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