Need to Cool Off from the Summer Heat? Get Away for Some Winter Fun in New Zealand

Need to Cool Off from the Summer Heat? Get Away for Some Winter Fun in New Zealand
Travelers looking to embark on a non-traditional summer vacation can head for some snow-filled fun down under in New Zealand. From speeding on an ice luge through the Naseby Forest or catching the world-famous Winter Games in the Southern Alps, to celebrating the Matariki Maori New Year and feasting at the Food Show in Auckland, the destination that's known for serious adrenaline thrills has something for all.

Ditch the sand and grab the gloves for these 2013 winter activities and events throughout New Zealand:

American Express™ Queenstown Winter Festival – This annual 10-day event kicks-off June 21, 2013 and is packed with excitement from nonstop live entertainment, to comedy events, the Casino Royale Ball and more. Named by Yahoo! Travel as one of the world's “Top 10 Must See” festivals, it is guaranteed to attract and entertain all visitors.

Celebrate the Maori New Year during Matariki – From June 22 through July 2, 2013, this month-long event celebrates the traditional significance to welcome new life and new beginnings surrounded by festivities focused on food sharing, hospitality, arts and crafts, cultural workshops, traditional Maori games, concerts and more.

Hit the slopes to watch the action of the famous Winter Games NZ – Excitement kicks off Aug. 15 where the Southern Alps are transformed for the 11-day World Cup event covering alpine skiing, cross country skiing, freeskiing, snowboarding and curling. Competitions take place in New Zealand's top southern alpine resorts and includes off-snow fun with festivals, adventure films, live music and entertainment throughout Queenstown and Lake Wanaka.

Delve into the gastronomic pleasure of New Zealand at The Food Show in Auckland, Aug. 1 – 4, 2013 – The Food Show pleases the palates of foodies as they taste delectable treats, learn the latest in food trends all combined with renowned wine and beer tastings. Celebrity chefs offer live demonstrations and share tips and special recipes. Top chefs featured include Peter Gordon, Sean Connolly and Simon Gault.

Glacier Exploring – for adventure-seekers, walk or climb Franz Josef and Fox glaciers on the South Island's West Coast. Experienced and professional guides will accompany travelers on the glaciers where they can ice climb or walk across.

Naseby Forest - offers thrill seekers a fast paced adventure on an ice luge journey barreling through the 400m track with speeds up to 70kmph.

For information on additional winter activities, such as snow-shoeing, snow tubing, and helicopter flights, visit

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