By July, the winter weather has well and truly kicked in throughout New Zealand. Although in Queenstown, July is actually the driest month of the year. In Wellington, the temperate climate feels much colder when the southerly winds blow, but generally speaking the winter in the capital is short and never extreme. (And don't forget your waterproofs for that Auckland rain!)
Unmissable in July
- Pancake Rocks – Wish for stormy weather when you visit Paparoa National Park (on the South Island's West Coast). Spectacular all year round, water forced through these limestone formations makes tiny geysers and blowholes – the effect in stormy weather is even better.
- Lindis Pass – Grab your camera and follow in the footsteps of Sir Peter Jackson and film the beautiful snow-covered peaks surrounding the Lindis Pass (home to the Misty Mountains).
- Tongariro World Heritage National Park – Ski on an active volcano, whilst you marvel at the dramatic and eerie scenery of the central North Island's Volcanic Plateau.
View more of New Zealand's scenic highlights.
Safe Winter Driving
If you are on a self-drive trip in the winter months (June, July and August), then check the weather forecasts regularly. You may need to allow for icy road conditions and snowfall – especially when travelling to mountainous locations. Some places (i.e. passes across the Southern Alps) have only one access road and road closures can be disruptive. Check about the use of snow chains on your rental vehicle before you set off, ensure you have packed warm gear, blankets, shovel, torch and mobile phone in case you are forced to stop.
Enjoy the cold July weather with a warming glass of hot chocolate. Better still, head to Dunedin for the Cadbury Chocolate Carnival. This yummy festival is perfect for all the family and includes a Chocolate Fun Day, fun run, chocolate painting classes, chocolate tasting and the famous Cadbury Jaffa Race. This race sees 25,000 Cadbury Jaffas rolling away down Baldwin Street in Dunedin, the steepest street in the world. (Jaffas are balls of orange crispy coated chocolate – much loved by New Zealanders).
Weather By Month
Our overview of New Zealand's typical weather by month can help you plan your holiday, unmissable highlights for the month (e.g. events and festivals), sightseeing and activities and even your packing. But do be warned – these are not weather forecasts, so expect some of the unexpected during your stay!
|Spring Weather||Summer Weather||Autumn Weather||Winter Weather|
Weather in the Major Centres
Find out: where to expect 'four seasons in one day', where to find New Zealand's semi-tropical regions, which city is the sunniest, where to experience the most rainfall and discover which city is the country's windiest.
|North Island Weather and Climate||South Island Weather and Climate|
|Bay of Islands||Queenstown|