Queenstown in Spring: Our Favourite Springtime Activities
Ah… spring. How we love you.
After the cold days of winter, spring brings us warm weather, long days and new life bursting from all the trees. There are spring clichés everywhere; new-born lambs, daffodils sprouting from green grass and dazzling displays of cherry blossoms.
So, if you’re visiting New Zealand in October, November or December, you’re in for a treat.
Spring is an exciting time of year in Queenstown. The mountains still have a perfect dusting of snow, but the days are no too cold. If you’re heading to Queenstown and looking for spring-time activities, here are a few of the best things to do in Queenstown over spring.
AL FRESCO DINING
On the last Sunday in September, the clocks go back, and we all get one less hour of sleep. But there’s no complaining because spring daylight savings means an extra hour of daylight in the evenings. And long evenings are perfect for al fresco dining. As things warm up and the daylight lingers a little longer, there’s no excuse not to head into town and enjoy a meal overlooking the lake, or in the Queenstown Mall.
You’ll find a huge range of restaurants offering outdoor dining, just take a walk down The Mall, Searle Lane or along Steamer Wharf. Most restaurants have blankets or heaters if you find things cool down too much.
QUEENSTOWN JAZZ FESTIVAL
The Jazz Festival is the major event on the spring calendar in Queenstown. The popular event runs for four days from October 21 - 24 with events running from 12 pm until late every day.
The event features world-class musicians from around New Zealand and around the globe covering all genres of jazz. Whether you’re into big band swing, Dixieland, funk or traditional jazz, you’ll find something to get your foot tapping. There are plenty of free events throughout the programme. For the full programme and to purchase tickets, see the Jazz Festival website (link: http://www.queenstownjazzfest.co.nz/)
TAKE A FARM TOUR
Why not get up close and personal with a spring lamb? Both Real Journeys and Southern Discoveries offer farm tour experiences that give you access to working sheep stations. Real Journeys offer the unique experience of travelling across Lake Wakatipu on the ‘lady of the lake’, the TSS Earnslaw.
Southern Discoveries offer the authentic Mt Nicholas High Country Farm experience. Catch their boat, the Spirit of Queenstown, across the lake before stepping into the heart of a high country merino sheep farm. A 4WD tour takes you around this stunning property on the lake’s edge. You’ll learn about the story of Mt Nicholas Station, one of a handful of family-owned high country stations that supplies wool exclusively to the world-renowned Icebreaker clothing company.
If you see people stopping in the middle of the street to take a picture of the vegetation, there is probably a cherry blossom tree nearby. The stunning blossoms burst into colour at the start of spring and dazzle locals and visitors alike with beautiful displays. On a perfect blue-sky day, the pink and white blossoms are striking and inspire photographers of all abilities. Captured up close up, the cherry blossoms show a subtle mix of colours on each petal.
Just make sure you’re quick. The delicate blossoms don’t last long. Spring weather is fickle and often the wind or rain will put an end to the flourish of colour.
You can find cherry blossoms just about anywhere around Queenstown, but one of the best places to catch them is the Queenstown Gardens.