Queenstown Winter Festival

The annual winter festival started on Thursday and finishes tomorrow. Events are in Queenstown and Wanaka. They include fun events on the snow, music, comedy shows and fireworks. The event opened on Thursday with 3 waka (large Maori canoes) being paddled across the lake. This was followed by a parade of people carrying fire torches.

There are many crazy events during the 4 days like snowboarders and skiers on the first day who demonstrated how clever they were doing tricks on snow downtown in Queenstown. The dog racing down the slopes of Cardrona ski field yesterday was another fun event. It was followed by a dog barking competition. The judge had to decide which was the best noise or perhaps it was judged on the length of time the dog could bark.

Teams of 5 people in rafts competed to grab flags with most people falling into the water at some stage. And there was the Undy 500 competition with competitors dressed only in their “undies” (underwear) to find out how cold the water is in the lake.

Tomorrow is the mountain bike race down the ski slopes on bikes. An event for children and others is the duck race where decorated plastic ducks race in a small river.

This year there is plenty of snow for the events and the weather has been fine but cold! Tomorrow, Sunday, the temperature should reach only 5 degrees and there may be some rain.