New Zealand experiences winter from June to August, but things get really cold only in the mountains only. North Island is wetter during these months, but the rest of New Zealand is crisp and clear most of the winter season. The ski season begins in June and extends to the first week of October, making the winter a great time for skiers to visit New Zealand. Traffic is thin during this time, and snowfall is occasional. Therefore, the country is excellent for long drives.
If you’re predominantly a lover of summer but don’t mind fresh yet mild winters, then you must visit New Zealand in the winter months. First off, since the weather is less harsh, there’s more to do – which means, as a typical globetrotter, sightseeing is right at the top of your list. But before setting off on your adventure-filled journey, you need to deal with jetlag. And let’s be honest, it can be a B-word. Our advice is for you to take a couple of days to chill out in your hotel or hostel. Perhaps playing some easy casino game – your Kiwi friends will confirm there are quite a few no deposit bonuses for NZ. Then, once you’ve got enough rest, you can get back on track!
Here are a few reasons to visit New Zealand during the winter.
1. Stay at a Ski Resort
Do you love skiing? Why not visit a ski resort in New Zealand? There are ski resorts in North Island and South Island, catering to the requirements of skiers with different proficiency levels. Trained guides are available to help you through those first difficult days. Some of the best sky resorts in New Zealand are Mount Ruapehu in North Island and Treble Cone, Mount Hutt, and Cardrona in South Island.
2. Visit Milford Sound
Enjoy the picturesque landscapes of Milford Sound in the absence of the crowds. You can also watch the birds that emerge during the winter season.
Also, they keep the tracks near Routeburn open during the winter, but the surfaces are slippery. But remember that the darkness falls earlier during the winter.
3. Go Whale Watching
Visit Kaikoura to watch majestic whales, which migrate in June, July, and August. You can be fortunate enough to view several species at the same time. Other well-known places for whale watching in New Zealand are Picton and Wellington.
4. Taste Some of the Best Wines
Taste some exquisite wine in the winter. Explore the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail, extending from Hawkes Bay in North Island to Marlborough in South Island. You can also visit the wine regions of Central Otago, close to the skiing hubs of Lake Wanaka and Queenstown.
5. Celebrate Matariki
Matariki is an ancient festival that celebrates the start of the winter solstice, the appearance of the constellation Pleiades in the southern skies, and the end of the harvest season. Various NZ communities celebrate the festival with cultural shows, art exhibitions, dawn ceremonies, and other exciting events.
6. Visit Rotorua for a Hot Spring Experience
Rotorua in North Island is an excellent place to experience Maori culture and take a hot water bath. Visit Rotorua after a ski session and enjoy its hot water springs, spa therapies, and mud pools. Rotorua is the best NZ destination to rest, relax, and rejuvenate.
7. Enjoy Winter Festivals
Winter in New Zealand marks the beginning of the festive season. Join the festivities held in various parts of the country, such as the Steampunk Festival in Oamaru and the Winter FAWC in Hawke’s Bay.
Remember, Winter isn’t Consistent Throughout All of New Zealand?
The winter is mild in most parts of New Zealand, although some parts of the country experience rain and cooler weather. The average temperature ranges from 10℃ to 16℃ in North Island, called the winterless north because of its sunny days and mild temperatures. However, keep in mind it can also get a few rainfalls at this time. So we advise you to pack a raincoat, just to be on the safe side!
Winters are colder and snowier in the South Island with temperatures ranging from 7℃ – 12℃. The Mackenzie Basin and Central Otago are the coldest regions, with temperatures dropping below zero on most days. Expect heavy snowfall and frost in South Island during this time of the year. The wettest part of NZ during the winters is the West Coast of South Island.