THE glitz and glamour of Mardi Gras may be fading into the distance for another year, but that’s no excuse to curl under the covers when it gets cold.

So, why not experience Queenstown, New Zealand this August? 

Gay Ski Week QT, the official gay ski week event of NZ, is back again for another fabulous year. The largest winter pride event in Australasia, the always-anticipated week of skiing, snowboarding and partying is back from August 29 to September 5.

Local couple and event organisers Sally and Mandy of Glam Enterprises Ltd are taking the event into its fourth year and couldn’t be more excited. Since rescuing the event back in 2011, they have transformed it into one that has grown from strength to strength. So much so, it was recently identified by Lonely Planet as a must-do event in Queenstown.

Don’t be mistaken — Gay Ski Week QT is more than just a week of parties. The options are endless in this alpine town from hot tubs and body scrubs, to bungy jumping and other extreme sports. Explore the picturesque Queenstown like grandpa or sit back and relax with a glass of the local pinot noir wine like a queen. In short, it’s a fantastic playground to enjoy a week of spring ski, plus more. Who wouldn’t want to attend?

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This year’s Gay Ski Week QT events go into overdrive with something on offer every night. For another year, the popular MoreFM Opening Party is part of the event line-up, SKYCITY Queenstown Karaoke will be hosted by Miss Ribena (Family Bar) and for the first time, the Caluzzi girls from Auckland will be hosting The Caluzzi Queens Cabaret Dinner event. This event always sells out so don’t miss out.

If you felt you couldn’t shine on the slopes, show that special someone how fabulous you are at random knowledge with Queer Quiz Night at Ballarat Trading Co. Do buffalos have wings? If you answer that right then you are bound to score yourself one of the many prizes on offer.

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Migrating south, like a shag to water the girls from Family Bar in Auckland will host a fabulous penultimate night, Life’s a Beach, with Special guest DJ Adam Love. Featuring exclusively for the first time at Gay Ski Week QT is the LYC Wet and Wild Foam party, if that isn’t hot enough for you, then get hot and bothered behind the wheel of a Porsche Cayenne Taxi with speed dating at Highlands Motorsport Park for an adventure day to remember.

At the end, why not dust off the evening wear and head to The Rees for a True South Dining Experience overlooking Lake Wakatipu, where your taste buds will be indulged with some of New Zealand’s finest over a five course degustation dinner with matching wines.

If you had to pick one event not to miss, it’s the Once Upon a Time closing party. Featuring Australia’s own queen of the turntables, DJ Kate Monroe, pushing the limits to bring the week to a close.

Another year, another great line up of DJs that are regular headliners at Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and many other LGBTI festivals around Australia. There are still more great DJs to be announced, and the best way to keep up to date is to join the Gya Ski Week QT’s Facebook page.

This winter, don’t hibernate and watch reruns of Judge Judy, fly over to Queenstown for Gay Ski Week QT. Whether you are regular or a virgin to this event, you won’t want to miss out.

Details and tickets: gayskiweekqt.com or facebook.com/gayskiweekqt

Travel packages to Gay Ski Week QT start from $495 per person through Kirra Holidays. For more information visit kirraholidays.com

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