Weather in Queenstown is a bit on the unpredictable side, which can make planning your itinerary a challenge. The city sits in a very temperate area that is regularly quite cool and prone to frequent snowfall (especially higher up the mountains).
Here’s a handy guide on what to expect from each season so you can have a clearer idea of what to organise prior to arrival. To put it simply, though, you’ll need warm outfits no matter what time of year you visit – particularly if you plan on hitting the slopes!
Summer is one of the milder local seasons. The Queenstown rainfall finds its lowest ebb for the year and the temperatures rise to an average high of about 16°C. This makes it the perfect season for hitting the water on a jetboat or kayak, getting out for fishing, or heading into the air for skydiving.
Appropriate clothing: A jumper and warm pants.
Don’t forget: Sunscreen – it’s cool outside but you can still get sunburnt.
Autumn sees the Queenstown temperature begin to plummet towards its winter averages, dropping from 15°C in late summer down to an average of 8°C. As the cold begins to build, the average rainfall begins to rise. This means you may run into a few wetter days, which could hamper your outdoor plans.
Appropriate clothing: Warm clothes and layers.
Don’t forget: Your scarf – it’s easy to leave it behind in a nice heated bar.
This is the coldest time of year, but it’s also the best time to travel to Queenstown for some people because this is when the ski season really kicks into high gear. The slopes are at their most glorious, there’s fresh powder every day, and for those who live for snowboarding and skiing, Queenstown has become paradise.
Appropriate clothing: Snow gear/heavy winter wear.
Don’t forget: Your goggles and gloves for when you’re on the slopes.
As the colder Queenstown seasons come to an end, the mercury begins to rise again – and so too does the rain return as the winter snow becomes water once more. Rain is heaviest throughout October on average, but it clears as the summer months arrive. This is the perfect opportunity to visit the many Queenstown galleries and other indoor attractions.
Appropriate clothing: Warm clothes, maybe a raincoat.
Don’t forget: Some solid waterproof shoes if visiting in October.