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New Zealand's winter weather

New Zealand has four distinct seasons, however the weather can vary greatly through the seasons depending on what part of the country you are in.

The ski season runs from early June through to mid-October (ski field opening dates vary depending on snow fall), with the best time of year for skiing generally falling in late July through  to the end of August.

Some great spring skiing can be had in September, as well as the occasional spring powder dump!

If you're planning to head over for a ski holiday, you will most likely be heading to one of three main ski regions: Queenstown Lakes, Canterbury or Mt Ruapehu.

The average maximum and minimum temperatures in winter for the main ski regions are as follows (remember to take these with a grain of salt, because if there is one thing that is certain in New Zealand, it's that the weather is not!)

Average monthly max/min temperatures (degrees Celsius)

       June          July       August   September   October 
Queenstown 15/-5 14/-6 15/-5 20/-3 22/-1
Wanaka 16/-5 15/-4 15/-4 20/-2 22/-1
Taupo/Mt Ruapehu 16/-3 15/-4 16/-4 18/-1 20/-3
Methven/Canterbury 18/-2 15/-3 17/-3 22/-1 22/0

When dressing for a New Zealand winter, layers are your best option. It can quite often be very cold in the morning before warming up considerably once the sun comes out. Be sure to bring a good, thick coat (down or wool jackets are the best) to keep the cold out on those frosty mornings. A good set of thermal underwear is also recommended to wear underneath your regular clothes or ski clothes.