What to pack for a winter break in Queenstown

We are flying to Queenstown tomorrow for a winter break and a little skiing and I am so excited! Usually we go to Mt Ruapehu in winter but this year we felt like a little change…and one thing I think I am prepared for is how much colder Queenstown is going to be than the middle of the North Island!

We’re away for about a week and during that time our main activity is going to be skiing for a few days. We also plan to go ice skating, out to a nice lunch somewhere, maybe go swimming (somewhere indoors obviously!), and there will be plenty of time to just wander around Queenstown, doing a little shopping and eating an ice cream or two (never too cold).

Given that we are taking our ski gear on a plane for the first time in a long time, as well as all our usual clothes etc., toys and books for Amelie, and also considering that Coronet Peak is quite a bit colder than Ruapehu, I thought really carefully about what I was packing. Here’s what I went with:

For days sightseeing in Queenstown

I am bringing two pairs of jeans – one classic blue, one black – both on the skinny side. I know, I know! I’m such a millennial. But skinny jeans are just easier with boots and I might have already mentioned it’s going to be cold? The more heat I can trap next to my body, the better.

I also have an assortment of long-sleeve t-shirts including, of course, my striped faithfuls, and a few jumpers – one black, one cream, and one big woollen one that kind of looks like a fluffy picnic rug but is very warm and lovely. I’m throwing in a last-minute addition of a few camisoles because they are thin enough to go under any top and actually make a surprising difference in warmth.

For outerwear, I’m keeping it simple with a Macpac down jacket, a beanie, gloves, and a big fluffy scarf. I considered this gorgeous long woollen coat I have (not actually the one linked as I bought it over a decade ago, but very similar!) but ultimately decided that Queenstown is casual enough that the puffer jacket works anywhere. If we do end up somewhere fancy it’ll be warm and I can take it off – but we are in an outdoorsy place and I suspect I’ll see more than a few down jackets around town!

And finally, boots – my Sorel snow boots, some flat brown boots, and some heeled black boots. All super-comfy to walk in, of course!

For nice lunches or dinners

Ummmm, see above. Especially the note about Queenstown being casual! In all seriousness we will probably not be anywhere super fancy, and I am yet to dine in a restaurant in New Zealand where you’d be turned away for wearing (nice) jeans (I think that’s a good thing). I feel confident I won’t need a dress, and packing one just in case would honestly be a waste of space.

For skiing

For skiing, I wear ski socks, North Face ski pants, a Kathmandu polypropylene underlayer, a fleece, and top it off with a very warm and waterproof ski jacket, goggles, and a helmet (vital). I have all my own gear now but have rented in the past and that is definitely a good choice if you’re not ready to lay out all that money yet – far better than wearing something not designed to keep you warm and dry in the snow particularly.

For other exercise

I’m bringing a swimsuit in case we end up swimming or spa-ing, a couple of pairs of my favourite Lululemon running leggings, sports bras, running singlets, sneakers, and a lightweight running jacket. I also have my ski fleeces if I end up needing something a bit warmer. And I’ve also got a yoga mat in the suitcase! I know it seems to go completely against what I said earlier about packing light, but it is a considered addition – I do yoga every day and I’m going to need it even more after skiing and ice skating.

For travelling days

I’m one of those lucky people (I think it’s lucky!) who is quite comfortable flying in jeans, so…what I listed above is what you get. I do have this really nice Tuckernuck poncho that is ideal for plane travel, but you can’t layer a jacket over it and it’s not warm enough to wear on its own in Queenstown, so it didn’t make the cut.

With all three of us going we also had to bring Amelie’s carseat, toys and books for her, warm clothes for all of us and of course, all the ski and snowboard gear, so despite my attempts to pack light we still have quite a bit to travel with. Hopefully I have packed enough to stay warm! I’ll let you know upon my return what I needed, whether I wish I had brought anything additional, and whether there was anything I brought that I didn’t need…watch this space (and wish me luck!).

2 thoughts on “What to pack for a winter break in Queenstown

  1. Wow…what will excess baggage be!! Do not find jeans warm at all. I saw temps for QT last night…. Brrrr…nail be brilliant! Alana and I enjoyed ice bar… if you run out of things to do. Arrowtown makes for best shopping!

    Los of places have half price cocktails after 5

    Really Enjoyed Blue Kanu restaurant. So many to choose from!

    Have fun! Photos!

    Xxx Laurel Judd

    Laurel Dzigna Knitz Phone: (06) 844 8621 Mobile: 021 134 8787 32 Trigg Cres Taradale Napier 4112

    http://www.laurel.co.nz http://www.laurel.co.nz/ Visit me on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/laureldzignaknitz



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