New Zealand Climate & Guidelines
January - March (Summer)
These are the summer months in Queenstown. The temperatures can vary from 15C (low) to 30C (high). The summer climate in the mountains is a very dry heat and it does not rain much during these months. This period is normally a time for local holiday makers as it is the summer school holidays from mid December through to the beginning of February. It is typically the busiest time of year. There is also a summer Festival which consists of wine tasting (local wines mostly), local restaurants and music. Check the Queenstown Tourist web page for more info. This is the best time to take those long week hikes into the mountains and do some camping. Summertime is also a big time for boating. You will find lots of water sports to keep you busy and if you can get friendly with some locals you may be able to do some sailing as this is a giant sailing area.
April - June (Autumn/Fall)
These are the Autumn (Fall) months and can bring a very big mixture in temperatures from 10C (low) to 20C (high) on a good day. These months can be unpredictable so take warmer clothes such as jeans and sweaters or jerseys for those colder days. On a particularly bad day there may be snow on the peaks especially in late May and Early June. You could be laying in the sun one day and wrapped up in your winter woollies the next. This is also the harvest season for the local vineyards and it is fun to do lunch and wine tasting trips at this time of year. It is also the Roar (mating) season for the Deer and you can see plenty of "happenings" in the paddocks along the road. Be sure not to get too close as the stags are very dangerous at this time of year. This time of year is good for day hikes along the lake or up into the foothills near town, overnight camping would not be recommended at this time of year because of the changeability in the weather.
July - September (Ski Season)
These are typically the winter skiing months in Queenstown. You will experience temperatures as low as -5C below and maybe as high as 15C on an exceptional day. These months are normally very sunny and crisp, not much wind. This makes for good skiing conditions and good ski tans but the snow wears thin sometimes during these sunny periods. A fun time to go to Queenstown is during the Winter Festival in July. It is a week of celebrations both on and off the ski fields. Check out the Queenstown Tourist Web Page for more info.
There are 4 ski mountains within driving distance of Queenstown, the closest being Coronet Peak and The Remarkables, about 30 minutes to the drop points and have skiing for everybody. If you want to get away from town, I would recommend one day trips to Cardrona and Treble Cone. Treble Cone is in the Neighboring town of Wanaka but it has the most spectacular of scenery and skiing. Skiing is generally in the more expert category however. Cardrona is a smaller mountain on the range between the two towns and has a really hair raising drive in but well worth it. The road is partially sealed in places but mostly unsealed. Both mountains have less people because of the distance from Queenstown.
October - December (Spring)
This is the springtime months in Queenstown when all the lambs are being born and the flowers and apple blossoms are all out. This area is renowned for fruit growing and can be a great time to see all the blossoms out on the trees and grape vines. It is when the weather is starting to warm up and you can get some quite beautiful days. Again it is a time to pack for both warm and cold days as the temperatures can shift markedly from one day to the next as in the Autumn. Lows around 5C and highs around 20C. This can also be a particularly windy time of year and it is often that you will see new snow on the peaks.
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