New Zealand is a favourite destination for many vacationers because of the climate and amazing views. The mountain tops look magical when covered in snow and the pristine beaches seem to stretch on forever.
Winter in New Zealand falls between June and September, with July being the coldest. The topographical differences in parts of the country make the weather vary; that is why some areas are extremely cold. Areas like Bay of Plenty and Auckland which are in the north are the warmest with an average temperature of 7 to 15°C. Southern areas like Ophir experience temperatures as low as -21.6°C. Generally, the North Islands are warmer while the South Island is dry and cold in winter.
The best time to visit if you have winter sports at the back of your mind is between July and August, as there will be enough snow, though low visibility is always a challenge in July and might make it impossible to ski. Areas with high altitudes, mostly on the South Island, experience snowing from June to August while warmer coastal areas hardly do.
If you are considering taking a trip to New Zealand to enjoy the beautiful scenery and all the perks of winter vacationing, these tips will guide you.
1. Pack the Right Clothes
The activities you have planned should determine the clothes you would pack. Although finding shops that would cater to your clothing needs is quite easy, but you don’t have to buy new clothes if you already have clothing that would suffice. You should pack a jacket, preferably one with fleece lining, gloves are also necessary, thermal underwear, hiking pants and long-sleeved shirts are also needed. Protect your head from the elements by packing beanies. Bathing costumes should also be brought along in case you wish to spend time in a hot pool.
2. Sort out Your Accommodation
Most tourists visit New Zealand in summer, so, the cost of accommodation is lower during the winter months. It is important that you look for accommodation options while planning your trip and make a reservation beforehand. You can find out via the internet which hotels offer the best accommodation deals. Another thing to bear in mind while deciding on a choice of accommodation is its proximity to the places you intend to visit. This would save you the stress and energy of having to make a long commute.
3. Have a Well-defined Vacation Plan
New Zealand offers a wealth of attractions, most of which are natural. Focus on the things that interest you. Visiting during winter gives you the liberty of trying out activities that would be impossible at other times of the year.
One of such activities is mountain hiking. New Zealand’s Mt. Ruapehu has two fields named Whakapapa and Turoa; it is a volcanic mountain and is one of the most popular ski areas in the north. It is quite affordable to hike this mountain and also safe as volcanic activity is closely monitored.
If you are a fan of wildlife and animals, you should consider visiting Kaikoura; a coastal town in the South Island. The abundance of food in the water near the town is the reason why different species of sea animals are easily spotted there. You can sign up for a whale watching tour as you are sure to spot different species of whales during this period.
4. Make Transport or Shipping Arrangements on Time
Self-driving tours are another way to enjoy the scenery in this great country, especially if you’re coming with your family. Websites like The Met Service will guide you on the driving conditions to stick to, while you can also ship your car, boat or bike and other family belongings. You can consider renting a car or even driving your own car if you live in a country close to New Zealand, although this would require that you plan ahead of time.
5. Identify Your Preferred Destination
Queenstown is a wonderful place to visit if you love skiing. It has amazing slopes with sceneries that would take your breath away.
Areas like Hammer Springs which are close to Christchurch have hot pools and thermal baths. The pools are open all through the week. These pools are said to have a positive effect on a person’s wellbeing. Find the best hot pools in New Zealand here.
Glacier hiking, photography and stargazing are also activities that you can indulge in during your trip to New Zealand, although you might need to set up a tripod for photography to capture the scene perfectly.
Finally, try to backup important information like copies of your visa (if you need one), passport, driver’s licence and pictures online; in case of emergencies. It would also do to have extra emergency cash stashed somewhere too. Be sure to take along extra memory sticks or cards for your camera as well.