The new 'ice bucket challenge': Three freezing destinations winter-lovers should put on their bucket list

Denali National Park
Denali National Park Photo credit: Getty Images

The Antarctic blast that's hitting New Zealand right now has the country divided, and not only geographically.

While the South Island freezes at temperatures at or around zero, Aucklanders are struggling with a daytime high of around eight.

It's also dividing those who love the cold, and those who don't. So, instead of tempting readers to a tropical island escape, here are some holiday destination options for lovers of the cold.



He's making a list and checking it twice.
He's making a list and checking it twice. Photo credit: Lapland

What a unique place Lapland is.

Located north of Finland, it's one of the greatest places to see the Northern Lights, and contrary to popular belief, it is the actual home of Santa Claus.

Those who have visited the district's most famous resident have been left in no doubt Lapland is indeed the home of the world's most magical man.

In the city of Rovaniemi, you can visit Santa's office, enjoy a private chat with him and enjoy the cosy, enchanted atmosphere. 

Santa was once quoted as telling reporters, "I visit people's houses every year, what kind of man would I be if I didn't let them visit mine?"

You can also meet those responsible for shipping more goods every year than Amazon,  the famous reindeer.  There's Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen…..ahh who are the others? Wolf Blitzer and of course Rudolph! I think that's all of them.

Before you book, you should decide if you want lights on or off. In December, Lapland has just 1.5 hours of sunlight. That gradually increases in summer where the sun shines for 22.5 hours a day.

The warmest month is July with an average maximum temperature of 19C. The coldest is January with a maximum of - 10 degrees.

Denali, Alaska, United States of America

A rather large mountain.
A rather large mountain. Photo credit: Getty Images

It's rather difficult to sum this place up in just a few lines as it's more than 24,000 square kilometres in size.

In summer it gets as warm as 33 degrees, but that drops to 11 in December and January.

It's also home to Denali, a mountain formerly known as Mount McKinley. It's the highest mountain peak in North America, rising to 6190 metres.  To put that in some local context, Ruapehu is 2797 metres high and Aoraki is 3724 metres. Mount Everest is of course the world's tallest, at 8849 metres.

Wiki Travel warns of "massive hordes of blood-thirsty, man-eating, baby-snatchers," and that's just the insects. Let alone the wild animals you'll find in the massive national park. It's always important to remember, this is their world and we are just living in it.

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Temperatures get as low as -30 in Mongolia.
Temperatures get as low as -30 in Mongolia. Photo credit: Getty Images

Mongolia is one place I always fail to locate on a world map. But when you work out its location, it may come as no surprise that the country and this city in particular has a wide range of temperatures throughout the year.

In January we are talking highs of -16, and overnight lows of -29. In June, the summer months, the city can hit highs of 22 during the day, dropping down to 8 overnight.