New Zealand Guide

Best time to visit Queenstown – Find the right time for your trip

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Queenstown is an all-year-round travel destination. No matter when your travels are bringing you over to Queenstown, you will be blown away by her beauty! In the summer, you can swim in the lake and in the winter you go ski down the mountains with snow as far as the eye can see – amazing! There are 4 seasons and all have a magical something to them. However, if you came to ski, you must come during wintertime! If you came for watersports, picnics and swimming, summertime is your season. Hiking and mountain biking? Why not try Autumn or spring? Let’s zoom into all 4 seasons, what you can expect and what to do:

Summertime and the living is easy

Queenstown Summer

Oh yes, Summertime is full on happening in Queenstown – the Adventure capital of the world. Clear blue skies, warm but not too hot, beautiful surroundings and you can still see snow on the mountain tops. It is amazing as if having stepped right into a scene of Lord of the Rings!

Summer in Queenstown, New Zealand: December – February

Summertime in Queenstown runs from the beginning of December until the end of February. The hottest months are January and February. In the summer, the average temperature lingers between 25 and 32 degrees Celsius and there is little to no rain at all. Perfect! Twilight kicks in pretty late around 10 pm, lots of daylight for those long-lasting summer BBQs! Yay!

Things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand in Summer

Summer activities Queenstown New Zealand

  • Swimming in the lake
  • Fishing
  • Kayaking
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Bungee jumping
  • Rafting
  • Horse riding
  • climbing

Related: Things to do in Queenstown: 10 activities you should not miss

Autumn leaves are falling down

Autumn in Queenstown
Photo by Joel Staveley on Unsplash

The golden sunlight of the autumn prepares Queenstown for the wintertime that is to come. Autumn is beautiful with all of its enchanting colours and the temperature is very pleasant. There is fresh air and the conditions are perfect for walking, cycling, hiking, horse riding and more outdoor activities. In the daytime, it can still be nice and warm but in the evening, you will probably want to have a nice warm sweater. If you are in Queenstown during this season, be sure to go and check out the autumn festival in nearby Arrowtown! Autumn is also the season where the wine grapes are harvested.

Autumn in Queenstown, New Zealand: March to May

Autumn runs from the beginning of March until the end of May. The average temperature is 16 degrees. The weather is quite unpredictable, and it can rain a lot so be prepared!

Things to do in Queenstown in Autumn

Autumn in Queenstown

  • Hiking
  • Horse riding
  • Mountain biking
  • Lake cruises
  • Experience the wine harvesting
  • Visit the Autumn Festival in Arrowtown

Winter is here

Winter in Queenstown nz
Credit: Bernard Spragg. NZ

During wintertime, Queenstown is one of the most sought-after ski destinations in New Zealand. There are 4 ski fields nearby, great for beginners, intermediate and advanced winter sports addicts. The beauty of Queenstown is striking once again with all of the snow around, like a truly unspoiled winter wonderland.

Winter in Queenstown, New Zealand: June – August

Early June, wintertime kicks in and it sticks around until the end of August. Lots of time to hit the ski fields! In town, the ambience is heartwarming and cosy with fireplaces, mulled wine, great food, crafts beer and all the good stuff that comes with the cold outside. It is the time to snuggle up, have hot chocolate milk and watch a movie in your private villa after a day spent in the snow. Everyone will love it!

Things to do in Queenstown in Winter

  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Dinner by the fire
  • Wine & craft beers
  • Hiking
  • Ice skating

Related: 8 Restaurants in Queenstown, New Zealand You Must Try At Least Once

Spring is here

New Zealand spring Queenstown

It is always a happy time when the snow starts melting and the world start blossoming in full colours (unless you are one of those ski freaks, of course!) but even for the ski freaks among us, your heart will melt to the beauty of springtime in Queenstown. The warming sunshine on your skin, you could even go for a dive in the lake if you are really missing the cold. It is time for sunshine picnics, hiking and all kinds of outdoor sports. Visitors should definitely pack warm clothes and also be prepared for rainfall.

Springtime in Queenstown, New Zealand: September to November

Spring begins in September when you can still head up to the ski fields. It lasts until the end of November when the lake is very swimmable. Springtime in Queenstown has got strong winds, making it perfect for windsurfing and yacht cruises on the lake.

Things to do in Queenstown in Spring

  • Windsurfing
  • Yacht cruises
  • Hiking
  • Skiing (September and early October)
  • Swimming (diehards, only!)
  • Horse riding
  • Mountain biking
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