June, July and August – Temperatures between -2C and 8C
Queenstown becomes an entirely different destination in winter, as snow blankets the mountains and foothills, and regularly even makes it way into the township itself. But it certainly doesn’t keep visitors away, as skiers and snowboarders descend upon the town in July and August, helped by New Zealand and Australian school holidays at this time. A true alpine town, Queenstown boasts three skifields within 30 minute’s drive, and a fourth just a further 60 minutes away in Wanaka. Each has runs for every ability, but do chat with our concierge to find which would best suit you. Most of Queenstown’s other attractions do still operate in winter also, keeping the non skiers can still throw themselves off a bungy bridge or ride the gondola. Find exquisite merino jerseys in the towns shops, and warm yourselves with delicious mulled wine by the fireside in the local bars and restaurants.
September, October and November – Temperatures between 2C and 17C
The snow retreats to the loftiest of mountain tops and the regions orchards and flower fields burst into life as spring arrives in Queenstown. The days are sunny and warm, but the chill does return in the evenings as the sun goes down. This is the best time for wildlife lovers to visit as New Zealand’s rare native birds emerge from the rainforests, and adorable lambs appear in the paddocks. The working dogs are put through their paces as sheep are rounded up for shearing. Further afield on the rugged coastline of Fiordland, the last of the penguins can be seen before they head south for summer. All of the adventure activities such as bungy jumping, skydiving, ziplining and quad biking open their doors in spring.
December, January and February – Temperatures between 8C and 22C
Summer is without a doubt the busiest and most popular time to visit Queenstown. The sun-drenched countryside slowly turns to shades of yellow and brown as the mercury regularly soars past the 30 degree mark during the day. In the evenings prepare for dinner along Queenstown’s lakefront boardwalk and extended after dinner cocktails as the sun doesn’t set until 10:00pm at night. This is the ideal time for those wanting to embark on one of New Zealand’s Great Walks or take in some other kind of multi day back country adventure. Water lovers will find rivers and lakes filled with white water rafting, kayaking, and thrilling jetboat experiences.
March, April and May – Temperatures between 2C and 15C
Autumn in Queenstown is one of New Zealand’s best kept secrets, and it’s one of the few parts of the country that experiences the majestic changing of colours, particularly around Arrowtown, as trees and vineyards shed their leaves and prepare themselves for winter. You can still expect fairly long days bathed in sunshine, but you will be reminded that winter is just around the corner as the chill returns as soon as the sun sinks in the evening. This is an excellent time for cycling the Central Otago Rail Trail, tasting the last of the regions vintage in the Central Otago vineyards, and those wanting to take advantage of lowered shoulder season rates at most accommodations.