QNews Winter Pride Day 1: Kia ora Queenstown

Kita Mean posing with ski's in front of Booking.com car
Image: Booking.com

Follow QNews as we join our friends and neighbours for a week of on and off-mountain festivities celebrating the LGBTIQ+ community with love, diversity, visibility, safety, and inclusion, thanks to Winter Pride ’23 and Booking.com.

It’s that time of the year again, the temperature has dropped and the snow has fallen on Coronet Peak, Cardrona and the Remarkables. Winter Pride has officially kicked off by the shores of Lake Wakatipu. As snowboarders and gay men alike prepare with a wax, 4,000 LGBTTQI+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, takatāpui, queer, and intersex) divas flock to Queenstown to celebrate the largest winter pride festival in the southern hemisphere. This year, QNews are strapping on their snow boots and hopping across the ditch to join the party as for Winter Pride.

Reporting live from Queenstown for five days, QNews will be covering all the fabulous festivities, hottest events, coolest bars & restaurants, coziest accoms and best ski runs to curb any snow-boredom and for all those with FOMO back homo.

Things are off to a great start before Winter Pride events even start, with a seamless booking of direct flights, accommodation, and hotels transfers through Booking.com. Even better, there were no issues with any reservations to add to my famous blend of overpreparation and travel-induced anxiety.

Party on the slopes at Winter Pride
Image: Supplied

Our journey begins

The QNews journey to Queenstown started much like any other, arriving at Gold Coast Airport at 3am in the morning. After a hop, skip and direct flight later (and lots of coffee), I arrived in Queenstown ready to sleigh Winter Pride ‘23.

The Queenstown experience began as soon as the plane flew over the Otago region. Countless snowcapped mountains appeared, causing literally every passenger to be glued to their windows. The jawdropping views continue with a short taxi ride downtown to check into the Crowne Plaza. Upon arrival, my initial thought was “I’m smack bang in the middle of a glorious three-way.” The participants being waterfront views of Lake Wakatipu, 360-degree mountain views, and the epicenter of the Winter Pride festivities. Thanks again, Booking.com – let’s make it a foursome.

The first day of my Winter Pride exploration starts with just that; an exploration! Walking through town I can’t tear myself away from the gorgeous lake and buildings flanked with snowy mountains. Almost as delicious as the scenery are the local restaurants. After enjoying a light meal by the lake, I watch the TSS Earnslaw sets off for an evening steamboat cruise, set to the background of a sunset over the mountains. I then decided to check out one of the local Winter Pride hangouts for the festival – The Sundeck Rooftop Bar. Perfectly contrasted to my quaint afternoon by the lake, The Sundeck was BANGING, packed with Winter Pride goers (and a few confused heterosexuals).

Western AF Party, Winter Pride 2023
POV: Beverly Kills’ Wig

Western AF

My first night at Winter Pride concludes with an appropriate event for this Queensland-based magazine, Western AF. With the  dress code of “Western Realness” there is only one option. I break out my finest fringed cowgirl hat and prepare for a night of boot-scootin’ fun. Yeeeeehaw!

After the first half an hour at this hoe-down, the first thing I noticed was the friendly Winter Pride crowd. Plenty of fabulous folk from around New Zealand and Australia were up for a chat and a dance. Brisbane Drag Queens Vollie LaVont, Mandy Moobs and Beverley Kills all took to the stage and made us proud performing for the rowdy audience. The “whatever-a-county-equivalent-of-a-cherry” on top was Vollie hitting play on Australia’s unofficial national anthem, Tiner Turner’s “Nutbush City Limits.” And did the audience get into it? Did they? I’m literally asking because it was too crowded to see any fancy footwork.

All in all, QNews’ introduction to Winter Pride had everything. Gorgeous views of Queenstown, delicious food and drinks, and one hell-of-a party requiring a greasy breakfast the following morning.

With five days to go of Winter Pride, there is still so much more to see and experience. Checking out the Speed Mixers to meet new mates and potential dates. Getting all dressed up (or down) for the Leather and Lace and Underwear parties. Not to mention all the on-mountain events for all the snow babes to show their pride on the slopes.

Read more:

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Mitch Broom

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

No Comment

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *