New Zealand enjoys four distinct seasons with a myriad of activities and attractions to enjoy in each. The cooler winter temperatures bring snow turning the mountains and high country into a snow sport enthusiast’s paradise, with skiing, snowboarding and cross-country options available across the South Island’s resorts.
There are a number of reliable weather forecast services, with Metservice being the most popular one. Each of the resorts also offers detailed snow reports and mountain status updates, which you can check during your holidays.
The ski season in New Zealand opens in early June and runs through until the mid-October, with many resorts offering spring time skiing options during the school holidays. You can find out the exact opening dates for each resort here.
June and July are some of the colder months, and can offer good powder conditions. August is the peak month in which to ski & ride, and depending on the weather, there is a variety of weather in September and October, from spring conditions to wintery powder.
Skiing, snowboarding and other winter sports are all popular activities in New Zealand, so if possible, try to plan your winter holiday by taking into account the school holiday periods.
New Zealand’s location in the South Pacific, does not always give it a tropical island climate. The weather is variable – commonly described as “four seasons in one day”. Therefore, when travelling to New Zealand, it is important to pack clothing for any type of weather conditions – from sun to wind to hail to snow. Layering your clothing is a good option – frosty mornings often turn into warm, sunny days.
Depending on what part of the country you are in the weather conditions will vary with different terrain. The north of the North Island is sub-tropical, with often warm humid weather. The south of the South Island, in contrast, is the first port of call for Antarctic blasts. But it is New Zealand’s unique climate that makes it one of the most picturesque and diverse countries in the world, offering alpine ranges, tropical rainforests and golden beaches, all in one compact place.
Despite these variable weather conditions, New Zealand’s climate is moderate. During the winter you can expect highs of around 15 degrees Celsius, and lows between 0 and 10 degrees (depending on which part of the country you are in). In summer, highs of between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius, and lows in the mid-teens can be expected.
New Zealand also has one of the highest UV ratings in the world. Our clear, clean environment makes the sun extremely harsh. It is important to wear sunscreen and a hat whenever you are spending extended periods of time outdoors, no matter what time of the year or weather conditions. New Zealand sun can burn even on a cloudy day.