Thousands of revellers are gathering in Queenstown as the 38th annual Winter Festival kicks off.
Started in 1975 by locals, the festival has become a celebration of Queenstown's unique culture and community.
Organisers say 50,000 people are expected to attend the celebrations this year, proof that despite a sluggish tourism sector the resort town is in good health.
"It has been challenging," says Graham Budd, Destination Queenstown CEO.
"We've all been facing the effects of the Christchurch earthquake and other events, so we're having to be smarter and more targeted with our marketing activity."
Festival Director, Simon Green, told ONE News the festival is designed for all members of the family.
"We've got 69 events in 10 days and there's a little bit of something for everybody."
Green says the festival programme is comprehensive and streamlined to make the most of the two weekends.
"Once again this is about fun. It's about celebrating who we are and where we are and sharing that with our visitors."
Dates for the Queenstown Winter Festival 2012 are Friday June 22 - Sunday July 1.