Best Time To Visit Queenstown

Whether you’re coming for sightseeing or adventuring, Queenstown is one of the most ideal holiday destinations in New Zealand year-round.

What month or season gets you fantastic weather and great deals? The truth is, it’s always the best time to visit Queenstown! Choose the dates of your next trip with our helpful Queenstown travel guide.

The best time to visit Queenstown is...all-year-round!

Things to Consider when Visiting Queenstown

A mesmerising sunset shot of Cecil Peak in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Image credit: @celinegranel

Queenstown Weather and Seasons:

When planning your Queenstown trip, considering each day’s average temperature is essential. Check with the local meteorology service to stay up-to-date.

Cost and Prices:

Booking in Queenstown’s shoulder seasons is a great way to take advantage of off-peak season prices.

Where to Stay:

Queenstown offers luxurious town-centre hotels, authentic rural B&Bs, backpacker hostels, and family-friendly motels. Book early to get the best deals.

Queenstown Autumn

Image credit: @wee_adventurer

Months: March, April and May

Temperature: 6-16°C

Rainfall: 30-50mm

For a quieter period with sunny weather, the best time to go to Queenstown is in autumn. However, make sure you bring plenty of layers to stay warm with the ever-changing weather in Queenstown.

Ride the Skyline Gondola:

Gondola with Queenstown and the Remarkables in the background on a slightly cloudy day.
Image credit: Skyline Queenstown

Take a scenic ride in the Skyline Gondola up to Bob's Peak, where you can expect jaw-dropping views of Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, and Queenstown.

Go on a Hike:

A lady kisses her dog with beautiful view of Bob's Cove, Queenstown behind them.
Image credit: @pilot_nz

Queenstown is an ideal base for hiking the Great Walks of New Zealand. Hike routes include the Routeburn and Milford Tracks and the iconic Ben Lomond. If hiking isn’t your thing, take a bike ride along the Arrowtown to Gibbston Valley trail.

Go Ziplining, bungy jumping, or do a Canyon Swing:

Brave Bungy jumper diving off 134 metre high platform in the Nevis Canyon in Queenstown.
Image credit: Everything Queenstown

Autumn is one of the best times to visit for ziplining, bungy jumping, and canyon swinging. Get your adrenaline on and feel the rushing autumn breeze in New Zealand’s Adventure Capital.

Arrowtown Autumn Festival:

Arrowtown in all its Autumn beauty, with a Hot Air Balloon flying in the background.
Image credit: @otagophotos

The vibrant Arrowtown Autumn Festival events include an art exhibition, juggling workshops for kids, gold panning championships, and more.

Queenstown Winter

A stunning photo of Queenstown covered in snow all the way down to lake level.
Image credit: @thomasgreenphoto

Months: June, July and August

Temperature: 2-6°C

Rainfall: 30-60mm

Cool, crisp, and sometimes a little wet, winter is not always ideal for outdoor activities. But, toward July, ski season is in full swing.

Skiing, Snowboarding, and Snowmobiling:

Crowds of people enjoy a night ski at Coronet Peak.
Image credit: Miles Holden

Queenstown’s cold weather is a great time to enjoy world-class ski fields. All are within easy access, offering quality snow and terrain for all skier, snowboarder, and snowmobiler levels.

Queenstown Winter Festival:

Crowds of people running down snowy mountain with their dogs at the Annual Dog Derby Winterfest event in Queenstown.
Image credit: adventuremagazine

The Winter Festival is an action-packed event offering live entertainment to celebrate the snowy season.

Go Star Gazing:

Great astro photography shot with the milky way, only found while star gazing in Queenstown.
Image credit: @undersoul_photography

Head to Skyline for a unique stargazing tour with complimentary hot chocolate or mulled wine at the Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar.

Relax at Onsen Hot Pools:

An Onsen hot tub is illuminated by candles with a stunning view of the night sky as the view.
Image credit: @yurikiddo

Enjoy a touch of pampering between adventures in a soothing hot pool at the Onsen Hot Pools Retreat & Day Spa. Relax in private tubs with spectacular views over the Shotover River.

Queenstown Spring

A group of mountain bikers descend the Coronet hill side in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Image credit: QueenstownNZ

Months: September, October and November

Temperature: 8-13°C

Rainfall: 30-70mm

Spring is the quietest time, where the sun starts to rise around 8 am and sets at 7 pm. However, you can still get some winter sports action and see snow on the mountains in early spring.

Explore Milford Sound:

Stunning Milford Sound picture with overnight boat departing on a tour.
Image credit: theboatchoices

Join a coach tour or a more intimate scenic flight to witness stunning glacier-carved valleys, snow-covered alps, alpine lakes, and ancient forests.

The Jazz Festival:

Man plays the trumpet at the Arrowtown Jazz Festival in Queenstown.
Image credit: Stuff

The Jazz Fest provides over 40 free events and ticketed concerts featuring smooth blues, big band swing, and funk bands.

Scenic Flight over the Wakatipu Basin:

Excited person about to take a scenic flight over Queenstown.
Image credit: @Hamoon_kute

Helicopter flights will reveal incredible views of imposing mountain peaks, dramatic glaciers, and the stunning Lake Wakatipu.

Cherry Blossoms in Bloom:

A stunning photo of Lake Hayes in spring with cherry blossom trees in the foreground.
Image credit: @curious_camera_co

The Village Green, Queenstown Gardens, Lake Esplanade, and Walter Peak Homestead offer incredible views of flowering cherry trees bursting with colour in spring.

Queenstown Summer

A group of friends go on a guided horse trek through rivers and mountain passes.
Image credit: @lighthorse_adventures

Months: December, January and February

Temperature: 14-18°C

Rainfall: 20-80mm

With warmer weather, summer is the most popular time to visit, especially for crazy adventure sports and activities. Be aware of the summer school holidays - refer here for dates.

Explore the Lakes and Rivers on a Jet Boat Tour:

A jet boat cruises Lake Whakatipu in summer with views of The Remarkables mountain range behind.
Image credit: @real.newzealand

Enjoy summer days on Queenstown’s waterways with a jet boating tour. Experience fast-paced thrills and delightfully near misses as you hurtle through narrow canyon walls.

Swim at the Beach:

People swimming at the Queenstown lake front on a Summers day.
Image credit:@ _travelingnext

Take a refreshing dip during daylight hours in warm weather. Visit Queenstown Bay beach, Sunshine Bay, Kelvin Heights beach, or Bob's Cove.

Whitewater Rafting and Canyoning:

A group of customer follow their guide up stream as they prepare to go canyoning in Queenstown.
Image credit: @canyon.explorers

The Shotover River offers some of the best whitewater action. Ride the rapids on this grade 3-5 river and float through a 170m-long tunnel.

Discover more amazing things to see and do in Queenstown

Visit Skyline’s blog page for more of the best activities to fill your days and nights here in Queenstown.

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