Follow QNews as we join our friends and neighbours at Winter Pride in Queenstown. 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.
As day two dawns, I realise that I will need to pace myself with the jam-packed schedule of festivities ahead of me! On-mountain ski events by day, and multiple parties in town by night, there is always something on!
Today at Winter Pride, one of the country’s most famous ski mountains, The Remarkables plays host to the Pride Charity Fun Run. And this gorgeous mountain range and ski field in Otago absolutely lives up to its name.
The main event for today is the Pride Charity Fun Run. Open to all skill levels and those who wish to join, take yourself to the top of the mountain to participate in this ski run to raise money for Wakatipu Youth Trust and The Spectrum Club, awesome local charities doing great work in the youth and LGBTTQIA+ space.
Another great perk is during Winter Pride, both The Remarkables and Coronet peak offer Pride Guides from 9.30am. These are free guided group tours for skiers and boarders meet to explore the mountain with the help of a remarkable expert (see what I did there?).
Mixing it up
After a few hours on the slopes (and after years not on them), my muscles were in desperate need of TLC. Enter, Body Sanctum Massage and Day Spa. When I say that this was the best spa treatment I’ve ever had, this isn’t an exaggeration. A one-hour massage and facial (not that kind) which felt like it lasted hours and worked out some stubborn knots is what I call exceptional.
After my afternoon of rejuvenating my body, it was time to rejuvenate my soul (an un-rejuvenate my body) with a few negroni’s at Winter Pride’s Speed Mixer. An event for those new to Winter Pride (me) and who are travelling alone (double me). This free event was new to Winter Pride requested by previous attendees. A fantastic opportunity to meet new people without having to scream “SO WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING?” over the loud music of a party.
While these events can be a bit hit and miss, this one was absolutely a hit! Hosted by the Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa, this event offered all the successful ingredients a successful mixer needs. A relaxing and charming atmosphere. Check! Friendly staff and hosts. Check! And a room of eager travellers. Check, new mates! I even met a ski buddy to meet up with on the slopes the next day. Now sufficiently socialized and befriended, it was time to head off and prepare for Rooftop WP.
Raise the Rooftop
As the name suggests, Rooftop WP is on the Sundeck Rooftop Bar. This corner rooftop that embraces its patrons with warm fires, a sky of stars and Spanish-style gins (aka. Big f**kin’ glasses of gin). Already sold out and with waitlist, I knew I was in for a special evening.
Packed with Winter Pride goers, this party was the kind of party I enjoy most. Intimate, cozy, and full of open and friendly guests. The drinks were flowing, the music was on point, and I must have chatted to a few dozen people before the night was done. Wrapping up at midnight, all us Cinderellas, Cinderfellas and Cinderfolk made our way home. You know what they say – “always leave them wanting more.” And lucky for us there are still three more days of Winter Pride parties to go!
I’m not even half-way through my experience in Queenstown and there is still so much more to see and experience. The cute and cuddly Onesie Day is sure to be an absolute blast on Cardrona. Queenstown’s Got Talent is set to serve up a star-studded list of drag performers. Hosted by Nova Starr and Miss Geena, with performances from RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under Queens Kita Mean, Kween Kong and Beverley Kills and more fabulous performers. This day of fabulous fun will be followed by Winter Pride’s famous MSM (men who have sex with men) Underwear party and WLW (women loving women) Ladies Night events. And that’s all just in one day!
- QNews Winter Pride Day 1: Kia ora Queenstown
- QNews Winter Pride Day 3: Onesie in a Million
- QNews Winter Pride Day 4: Feasts from the table and of the flesh
- QNews Winter Pride Day 5: Final Days, Eternal Gays
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