The saying ‘four seasons in one day’ is often used to describe the climate in New Zealand. Packing for the seaside areas can prove troublesome with wild variations expected even on the calmest of days. But not Queenstown.
Standing as an exception to the rule, the South Island resort town is surrounded by mountains which form a protective barrier from the harsh wind which blusters in from the southern seas. The unique positioning makes Queenstown’s weather highly predictable, meaning it’s easy to choose your preferred season and get the most out of your visit.
Here’s a quick guide on what to expect:
Queenstown in the warmer months means long, sunny days and fresh alpine air. The energy of the downtown area is buzzing with a cosmopolitan mix of people from all around the world. The best place to soak up the summer vibes is out on the water of Lake Wakatipu. Options include racing along with one of Queenstown’s four jet boat operators, parasailing, kayaking, or taking a leisurely lake cruise on a vintage steamship or luxury yacht. Fill your day with adventure and activities or relax on the beaches and go swimming in the lake and surrounding rivers.
While temperatures are cooling down, the leaves are changing colours and the landscapes turn into an autumnal rainbow of red, orange, yellow and green trees, contrasted against blue lakes and skies. An ideal climate for wine tasting, fine dining and taking long strolls through the picturesque landscapes, autumn is the unsung hero of the Queenstown seasons.
Perhaps the most famous season of the bunch, the incredible, winter snow dumps on the surrounding mountains is what originally brought visitors to this region of Otago. With world-renowned ski fields and a thriving nightlife, winter is all about embracing the mountain lifestyle. There are three main ski fields – Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Cardrona – each with their own terrain parks for snowboarders, learner skiers, and challenging runs for the experienced snow bunnies among us. Locals have long said that the beer tastes better after a day on the slopes, and there have been no reports that overturn this claim.
Bluebird days can make some of the best ski conditions possible in Spring, however some years the sun shows itself a bit too much and melts the snow early. This makes way for lush green valleys, blooming fields of flowers and raging rivers. Making hay while the sun shines is the motto of spring – and this is when the adventure capital of the world really comes into its own. Bungy jumping, white water rafting, mountain biking, jet boating, and skydiving are just a few of the adrenaline inducing activities on offer.
So whether you like warm or cold, active or cozy, long days or early sunsets Queenstown will truly put it on for any visitor!