As rainbow flags and posters begin to pop-up all over town, we’re reminded that it’s that time of year again – Winter Pride! This annual 10-day festival includes a series of events all centred around the LGBTTQ+ community. It is about acceptance, inclusion, and all-around just plain fun!
This year, there is more planned than ever! From daily on-mountain events to nightly parties to special one-time events (like the Pride Cruise Party or Queenstown’s Got Talent) there are activities and entertainment for everyone.
Winter Pride in Queenstown is known as the most popular pride festival in the southern hemisphere and draws people from all over the world! So, if you’re lucky enough to call Queenstown home or visiting Queenstown during Winter Pride (30 Aug – 8 Sep), here’s everything you need to know about this special event.
Winter Pride is about having fun – but it’s also about so much more than that. Queenstown is “a small town with a big heart.” While we’re already a welcoming community, Winter Pride and the Pride Pledge aims to make Queenstown even more safe, inclusive and visible for LGBTTQ+ community.
The Pride Pledge is about committing to the ideals in which Winter Pride operates:
- All LGBTTQ+ people should have the freedom to be safe, healthy and visible.
- We will use our voice and influence to support visibility, safety, tolerance, love, diversity and inclusion of all LGBTTQ+ people.
At Southern Discoveries, we recognizse the importance of this initiative and commit to taking the Pride Pledge annually. The Pride Pledge is for everyone, so if you can get behind these ideals you too should take the Pride Pledge.
Events during Winter Pride
There are multiple events happening every single day during Winter Pride! To make things easier, the events have been divided into three categories: On-Mountain, Off-Mountain, and Pride Party
The On-Mountain events are all about hitting the slopes! In winter, Queenstown is the perfect place for skiers and snowboarders and Winter Pride gets that! There are daily Pride Buses to get you up the mountain, Pride Zones, DJ’s on deck, as well as Pride guided groups. Expect themed days like Onesie Day and Pride Ski Parade Flag day!
Winter Pride On-Mountain series
The On -Mountain events take place at a different ski field every day but include Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, and Cardrona! Be sure to check out the On-Mountain Series event schedule online.
Off Mountain Series
Let’s face it, snow and winter sports aren’t for everybody. Winter Pride has a huge range of off-mountain events catering for everybody! To be honest, there is more going on than we can write about here, but there are a few unique events that are worth a mention:
- Hike for Pride – On two different occasions, there are group organized hikes departing from Queenstown. This is the perfect way to get some exercise, meet new people, and take in the best views from the peaks around Queenstown!
- Queenstown’s Got Talent – A showcase of Cabaret and talent for everybody to enjoy. The show takes place on Wednesday, September 4 at 7:30pm in Winnies.
- All Men Speed Dating – A speed dating event exclusively for men. Skycity is hosting the event from 6:30pm on Saturday, August 31.
- ASB Pride in the Park – This public celebration is for all ages and promises to be a heap of fun right on Queenstown’s lakefront. It is an annual favourite and offers stages of music, dancing, and food.
Winter Pride 2018 Pride in the Park
See everything else that’s going on Off-Mountain during Winter Pride on their online schedule.
Last, but certainly not least, is the Pride Party series! Different bars all around Queenstown host the Pride Party nightly. There is everything from Games Night to a Leather & Lace Party and everything in between.
We are super excited to be hosting one of the Pride Party events for a second year running, on Spirit of Queenstown! On September 3 at 8.00pm it is all aboard the vessel for the Pride Cruise Party. This inclusive event welcomes anyone over the age of 18 to join us as we cruise Lake Wakatipu and enjoy music, drinks, and amazing views!
Spirit of Queenstown ready for the Pride Party Cruise!
The Pride Cruise Party is a ticketed event so be sure to buy your ticket in advance to avoid missing out!
Other Things to do in Queenstown during Winter Pride
If you’re in town for Winter Pride you need to make sure you not only enjoy the festival events but also check out some of the best activities Queenstown has to offer. Some must-do things in Queenstown this winter include:
- Day trip to Milford Sound – Visiting Milford is easily one of the best things to do in New Zealand and it can be done in one day from Queenstown. Take our coach, enjoy a scenic flight, jump on a cruise, or even go kayaking – we offer a range of ways to experience Milford.
- Jet Boating – An adrenaline-filled activity offering amazing mountain views. KJet offers hour-long rides that explores Lake Wakatipu as well as both the Shotover and Kawarau Rivers.
- Mt Nicholas Farm Experience – For those who love animals and want to explore one of the lesser-known areas around Lake Wakatipu, our Mt Nicholas Farm Experience is perfect.
- Wine Tour – There’s nothing better than a glass of red on a cold winter day. A wine tour from Queenstown will take you around to some of the best wineries in Central Otago offering tours and tastings.
- Day trip to Glenorchy – Located only 45-minutes from Queenstown, Glenorchy is a cute town surround by mountains. The drive to Glenorchy from Queenstown is said to be one of the most scenic in all of New Zealand.