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Top 5 Thrills in the Big Chill

Majestic Mountains of Kaikoura, New Zealand

With the big chill moving it's way out to make way for the sweet sights, sounds, and smells of spring, it's the last chance for any winter thrill seeker to catch a slice of the adrenaline junkie madness that New Zealand's winter has to offer. VroomVroomVroom has compiled a list of our top five big thrill in the chill zones to go tobogganing, sledding, skating, skiing, snowboarding, or anything that hits your action sweet spot.

New Zealand's Winter Wonderland is a thrill seeker's dream drive in a hire car

Mother and son skiing together at Tongariro National Park
Skiing at Tongariro National Park
Address: Manawatu-Wanganui 4691, New Zealand

There are  three stunning peaks to choose from: Mt Ruapehu, Mt Ngaruhoe and Mt Tongariro. Both the ski fields of Whakapapa and Turoa on Mt Ruapehu offer discover ski packages, including lift-passes, hire gear and a lesson for about $115. A stunning landmark in the area is the luxurious Chateau Tongariro hotel. How does that fit into a cheap as chips story? After a fresh snowfall, the hotel's expansive front lawn is filled with travellers pulling off the main road to play in the snow, and build snow-people. Tongariro is an hours' drive from Taupo, or a four hours from Auckland, both great places to pick up your hire car.

Naseby Ice Luge at the Maniototo Ice Rink Inc
Address: Channel Rd, Naseby 9396, New Zealand

Sitting around two hours drive from both Queenstown and Dunedin, this is a winter treat not to be missed. If you are looking to base yourself in either Queenstown or Dunedin, booking your rental car from these two cities gives you the freedom to drive out to Naseby and take a little spin on the natural ice luge track. Naseby also has an outdoor ice-rink, and a curling rink. The rink only opens on winter season.

Fireworks display at Earnslaw Park for Queenstown Winter Festival
Dunedin Midwinter Carnival at the Octagon
Address: Dunedin 9016, New Zealand

This year, the carnival falls on the 24th of June. It is a night of fun, wonder, and flare with the parade of thousands of people, and hundreds of lanterns both intricate and simple. Quite the sight to behold, these festivities are a family favourite and a definite must do for those who are in Dunedin city. Park your rental car, wrap up warm, and get among the action.

Queenstown Winter Festival at Earnslaw Park
Address: 68 Beach St, Queenstown 9300, New Zealand

From June 22 to 25, experience yet another winter treat in Queenstown.  Many of the activities on the programme are free, such as the opening party and fireworks display at the park. If you are a dog lover, make sure to check out Monteith's Dog Derby and Dog Barking competition. The Winter Festival is hugely popular, make sure you book your car well in advance.

Enchanted Garden at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens
Address: Rolleston Ave, Christchurch City Centre, Christchurch 8013, New Zealand

The former Tea Kiosk and Botanic Gardens will transform into an enchanted garden filled with larger-than-life flowers and fruits this winter. The exhibition will run until June 30 and is open daily from 10am to 4pm. Be amazed by the stunning fabric creations of local costume artist Jenny Gillies at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens Kiosk Gallery.

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