A new frozen attraction due to open at Coronet Peak in July is going to set Kiwi social media feeds on fire.
Ice Castles, a fairytale world of frozen caves, ice slides and towers, is being built entirely by hand using hundreds of thousands of icicles, which will be hand placed by professional ice artists. Visitors can explore the castles, tunnels and caves, and whizz down the slides made entirely from ice.
At night, the attraction is illuminated with colour-changing LED lights embedded inside the ice.
Ryan Davis, Ice Castles' CEO, says they are excited to bring the attraction to New Zealand. Already popular in six locations in North America and Canada, this will be the first time they have ventured to the Southern Hemisphere.
"With New Zealand's winter occurring during North America's summer, we are able to give more people around the world an inexpensive way to enjoy the outdoors together and freeze time with their families year round," Davis says.
Construction began on Coronet Peak in late May, with a projected opening date in early July. Tickets will be available soon at icecastles.com/new-zealand
Each ice castle is built by hand and takes thousands of man-hours to create. Each day, ice-artists must grow up to 12,000 icicles that are harvested by hand and individually sculpted.
Ice Castles was founded in Utah by Brent Christensen, a father of six who wanted to enjoy the outdoors with his family, even in winter. Creating an ice cave in his front yard, it was soon attracting more than just his own children, causing a stir in his neighbourhood.
Now, the six North American locations attract huge crowds, from Instagram travel bloggers, to Frozen fans re-enacting their inner Elsa, to couples posing for wedding photographs.