Queenstown is one of New Zealand’s best tourist attractions, boasting drool worthy weather throughout the year for snow bunnies and summer lovers. If visiting this tourist hub is on your wish list then it is time to make it a reality.
However, depending on what you want to see and do and what temperature you would prefer to do it in depends on which season and month you visit in. This Queenstown Season Breakdown article will break down each season to give you an idea of what you can expect and when in this beautiful, bustling city.
Queenstown in Summer
Months: December – February
Average Temperature: 20 – 30 degrees Celsius
Visiting over Christmas and the New Year? Well, you’re in for a treat, as Queenstown is bursting with a range of things to see and do that take full advantage of the beautiful weather on display. Adrenalin junkies are in their element with bungy jumping, swings, skydiving and jet boating some of the most popular past times.
If you’re an outdoorsy kind of traveller be sure to pack your hiking boots and lycra cycling gear as the various hiking and walking trails are a go-to outing for both locals and tourists alike. Providing some spectacular views of the region, the trails wind through some of the best parts of the region quenching the thirst of both adventurers and scenery lovers.
If all of that just sounds a little too intense or active for your upcoming holiday then fear not, there are many picnic and lounging spots around town that have your name is written all over it, especially the popular Queenstown Gardens. So pack your swimmers, shorts, singlets and hats because the summer weather in Queenstown is begging you to come outdoors and enjoy yourself.
Queenstown in Autumn
Months: March – May
Average Temperature: 12 – 25 degrees Celsius
With warm days and cooler nights, autumn in Queenstown offers visitors the best of both worlds in terms of classic New Zealand weather.
The region is flourishing with hues of red and gold as the leaves change turning the backdrop into a dreamy, romantic and relaxing setting. You can spend the day enjoying the outdoors on one of the many hikes or bike trails and curl up in front of a fire with a large glass of red wine in the evening.
Early autumn sees the grape growing community begin their harvest, so visitors can expect to taste some of the best wines in a range of boutique wineries and restaurants. In terms of events, there is a bevvy of festivals to attend including the Gibbston Wine and Food Festival and the Queenstown Bike Festival. Pack a handful of your summer favourites as well as some coats and warmer clothes for the evening.
Queenstown in Winter
Months: June – August
Average Temperature: 0 – 8 degrees Celsius
One of the most popular seasons to visit Queenstown, winter sees all of the avid ski and snowboarders from around the world come to dominate the slopes. From early June until early October the ski season is in its prime with four international standard ski resorts open to the public.
If you’re a lover of winter but not snow sports then try your hand at a range of other activities in the area including ice-skating or ice climbing. If none of those options appeals to your wanderlust, then you can simply enjoy the beautiful weather and the cold township by dining out and simply exploring the region.
The Queenstown social scene is also a buzz in the cooler months with packs of people coming for not only the wonderful snow opportunities but also the vibrant atmosphere. The famous Queenstown Winter Festival is an annual highlight for the region and a major drawing card with thousands of visitors flocking to the region over the 10-day festival.
The festival runs from the 24th of June until the 3rd of July and includes fireworks and live entertainment at the opening, arts and crafts markets, dodge ball tournaments, a street parade and plenty more for the whole family to enjoy.
Queenstown in Spring
Months: September – November
Average Temperature: 8 – 22 degrees Celsius
If the weather accompanying the snow is a little too much for you to bear, the spring scene is just right. With a little bit of snow still lingering, skiing and snowboarding might still be enjoyed at the beginning of the season if weather permits as Queenstown has the longest ski season in the entire Southern Hemisphere.
If you’re not visiting for the snow, you’ll be quite pleased with the show spring in Queenstown puts on. The perfect t-shirt weather all day, the sun is out but the air is still cool making hiking, biking, fishing and golfing all incredibly enjoyable activities.
As the snow melts the social scene also defrosts with a smoother tone than it had in winter. The annual Jazz Festival is a big highlight for the region as it attracts a number of international musicians and audiences from around the country.
The Queenstown International Marathon is also a great drawing card for fitness-buffs with entrants and spectators taking part from around the country and around the world. Be sure to pack your warmer clothes as well as a few light clothes for when the days are graced with the warm sun.
In addition, if you’re looking for things to see and do in and around Queenstown, visit our full catalogue with a range of tours, activities and attractions.