The ultimate Aotearoa winter bucket list

Winter’s crispest, clearest days are upon us, making it the perfect time to get out and explore this beautiful country of ours. From snowy peaks to glassy lakes and breathtaking landscapes, we’re ready to discover Aotearoa at its finest. 

Exploring your own backyard and all its hidden treasures and forgotten terrains is a pleasure us Kiwis often take for granted. Ask anyone overseas and you’ll be reminded that living in New Zealand is a luxury, after all. We have iconic landscapes, adventures and experiences to keep you on your toes, as well as world-famous hospitality and friendly locals willing to share their knowledge with visitors from all over. So pack your winter woollies and get planning – we've collated the very best that New Zealand has to offer for this winter’s most memorable getaways. 

Stay & Experience 

Mount Cook Ski Planes & Helicopters 

Aoraki/Mount Cook, also known as Lord of the Rings’ Lonely Mountain, is one of New Zealand’s most astonishing natural wonders. So why not take a closer look? Indulge in the ultimate winter weekend package with two nights’ accommodation at the incredible Hermitage Hotel and an all-day entry pass for two at Tekapo Hot Springs. Take a flight over the mountain tops to magnificent Brass Peak and enjoy a stunning, sumptuous picnic on the alpine ridgeline, or ski the Tasman Glacier – New Zealand’s longest glacier at a whopping 11km. The ultimate adventure in the snow, it's a winter escape you’ll never forget. 

Chateau Marlborough 

Boasting French flair and alpine elegance, Chateau Marlborough offers peak winter chic against the stunning backdrop of Aotearoa’s treasured wine country. Explore the region’s famous vineyards on a half-day wine tour with Sounds Connection, then kick back and relax at your luxurious hotel accommodation. With breakfast included and a two-course dinner at Quench Restaurant & Bar, make the most of the mountain as you un‘wine’d and recharge.

Winter To-Do List 

Mount Hot Pools 

Relax, rejuvenate and relish the very best that Mount Maunganui has to offer with an activity that’ll really warm your toes this winter – a daytime or evening soak at The Mount Hot Pools. Experience the healing properties of heated saltwater and the serene calmness that accompanies a good open-air soak, nestled right at the base of Mauao. The pools’ wonderful Winter Escape Package includes pool entry plus a one hour massage, 30 minutes in a private pool and free towel hire for just $200 per couple.

Franz Josef Wilderness Tours 

Looking for a trip the whole family can enjoy, while getting the kids (and for that matter, the adults) away from their screens? Experience Aotearoa via water with an incredible kayak tour on Lake Mapourika. Promising some of the best paddling conditions in New Zealand, take in the mirror-like reflections on a morning kayak and the breathtaking backdrops of Franz Josef Wilderness, all while making memories your family will treasure forever.

Unique Accommodation 

The Huts 

Take it back to basics and stay at The Huts – a group of wholesome dwellings overlooking Shipwreck Bay in Northland. Exuding serenity and simplicity and inspired by the art of living slow, this unique accommodation is designed for those missing a taste of the laidback lifestyle and the great outdoors. Let yourself enjoy the little pleasures with local produce, well-made coffee in handmade ceramics, natural beds, luxurious linen and beautiful showers. Why not take advantage of their winter offer, where you can pay for three nights and stay for four?


Satisfy your wanderlust without breaking the bank thanks to Fable’s winter warmer deal, offering 22% off all accommodation, a fully cooked breakfast, $100 dining credit and a Fable signature winter drink upon arrival. A true luxury experience for a fraction of the price, the hardest part will be deciding which fabulous Fable location to visit. From Auckland to Christchurch to Dunedin, escape the mundane this winter with a quirky hotel experience that’s just as perfect for vacationing as staycationing. 

It’s All About The Journey 


Experience one of the world’s most scenic train journeys with an unforgettable TranzAlpine package. Exploring the South Island’s spectacular landscapes via rail, the train departs from Christchurch and travels through the vast Canterbury Plains, the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River, past the snow-covered peaks of the Southern Alps and stunning Arthur’s Pass National Park before disembarking in the West Coast town of Greymouth. With unbelievable vistas by day and luxury comforts at night, this quirky journey is made all the more memorable with huge panoramic windows, an onboard licenced café, and GPS-triggered in-seat audio commentary for history lessons and highlights along the way. It’s relaxation, stimulation and education in one.

Britz Campervans 

Explore our country the old school way – via campervan! It’s on so many of our travel bucket lists, and now’s the perfect time. Pack every one of your travel essentials (zero luggage restrictions!) and take a cruise around the country, perhaps travelling between the North and South Island and making spontaneous stops at places that take your fancy. With collection depots in Auckland and Christchurch, we thoroughly recommend jumping on this Britz deal for the ultimate cross-country adventure. An added bonus? Get your last two days free when you book a 10-day trip. An awesome way to get to know NZ, let Britz Campervans provide the wheels for a winter adventure like no other. See for full T&Cs.

Plan your next trip with 100% Pure New Zealand for the perfect winter adventure.