New Zealand in July© Martyn Williams - Tourism NZ
New Zealand in July

New Zealand in July

© Martyn Williams – Tourism NZ

What is it Like to Travel New Zealand in July?

New Zealand in winter: you’re either travelling in New Zealand in July to shred the slopes or experience the slow (and cheap) pace of life in New Zealand during its low season. (Or it’s literally the only time you can come to New Zealand and we should stop making assumptions). Nevertheless, July in New Zealand means wrapping up for the winter yet still enjoying the awesome outdoors experiences this country has to offer.

In this quick and simple guide to New Zealand in July we’ll go over the weather in July in New Zealand, July events, typical prices in July, and what activities are best done in July. What’s more, we’ll include some July travel tips.

For more advice on when to travel in New Zealand, take a look at The Best Time to Visit New Zealand.

Travel Tips for New Zealand in July

When travelling New Zealand in July, here are some things you will need to know.

  • Wrap up warm! Did we say that already? Not only will you need a rain jacket but you should pack some wool or polypropylene layers to take the edge off the chill.
  • If coming to New Zealand for the winter season, note that there are plenty of places for rentals on and off the mountains so there is no need to go over the luggage weight limit.
  • July is one of the low seasons in New Zealand, meaning it is less busy. Don’t worry too much about making bookings way in advance, as the low season allows you to be a bit more flexible.
  • The weather is highly changeable in New Zealand, especially in July. Always be prepared and equipped when doing outdoor activities. For more information on staying safe, take a look at Outdoor Safety When Hiking in New Zealand.
  • If driving on mountain passes or to ski fields, hire or buy some snow chains. Otherwise, most other areas of New Zealand don’t tend to receive snow or close roads which have received a lot of snow.

New Zealand in July© Camilla Rutherford - Tourism New Zealand

New Zealand Weather in July

July is mid-winter in New Zealand which means you need to wrap up warm, especially if you are spending time in the South Island or mountainous regions of the North Island. Otherwise, areas of the North Island, especially Auckland, are frequently rainy during July. On the other hand, July tends to be Central Otago – the Queenstown area’s – driest month. All in all, be prepared for any type of winter weather.

North Island Temperatures: Highs of around 14ºC (57ºF) or more, and lows of 2ºC (36ºF).
South Island Temperatures: Highs of around 13ºC (55ºF) and lows of -3ºC (27ºF).

For a packing list to match the weather in July, see the Packing List for Winter in New Zealand.

Pexels© Pexels

July Events in New Zealand

July is a bit of a quiet one in terms of events in New Zealand. There are often events and competitions occurring in the mountains during the winter season.

For the rest of us, we can cuddle up in front of a good movie at the New Zealand International Film Festival. Now’s the time to see something different from your everyday blockbuster. Film events happen all over New Zealand between July and September.

New Zealand in July©

The Activities that are Best Done in July

Needless to say, July is when the winter season starts to get into full swing. You have options of the skiable volcanoes in the North Island and the beauty of the Southern Alps ski fields in the South Island. There are commercial ski fields which are fully equipped for a fun and easy day on the slopes, or you can try the more challenging “nutcracker” style of the New Zealand club fields. Find out more in Ski Season in New Zealand: North Island or South Island?

July is also a good time to do many outdoor activities from white water rafting to hiking to bungy jumping. Why not take a scenic train ride through the snowy mountains on the TranzAlpine or see Milford Sound under the snowy peaks? New Zealand looks particularly stunning during winter.

Pexels© Pexels

Typical Prices in July

July is considered as part of the low season in New Zealand meaning it is less busy for tourism. If you prefer the feeling of having a country to yourself and want to save some money on your trip then July would be a great time to come to New Zealand. See some other benefits of the low season in the 11 Reasons to Travel in the Shoulder and Off-Season in New Zealand. The exception to this low season is, of course, in the areas with ski fields. In fact, for the winter season, July tends to be the busiest month as it is the New Zealand school holidays. Budget for your trip using the prices mentioned in How Much Does it Cost to Travel New Zealand?

Flights in July to New Zealand

July tends to be one of the cheaper months to fly to New Zealand with the exception of flying into Queenstown Airport which is in the middle of a ski field resorts. However, many other factors will influence the price of flights to New Zealand, including where you fly from, how far in advance you book, and what method you use to book. For more information on all of that, check out How to Book a Cheap Flight to New Zealand. Plus, wise up on the arrival process in our Airport Arrival Guide.

Renting a Vehicle in July

July is one of the cheapest seasons to rent a vehicle in New Zealand. Expect prices to be around NZ$20 per day for a standard small car. Remember about the additional costs of renting a car or campervan to include in your budget.

Accommodation in July

While prices may be higher for accommodation near ski fields during July, the rest of the country keeps their prices at a low. Expect to pay around NZ$21-$32 per bed in a hostel dorm, while holiday parks are usually around NZ$10-$20 per powered site for a campervan.

Activities in July

Large commercial ski fields in New Zealand usually charge around NZ$95 for a day pass excluding rental and transport. As for other activities in New Zealand, during July there are plenty of promotions to grab a good deal on activities. Expect tours to have smaller group sizes and there’s less of a rush to book tours early.


Robin C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before calling New Zealand home. He has now spent over a decade in the New Zealand tourism industry, clocking in more than 600 activities across the country. He is passionate about sharing those experiences and advice on NZ Pocket Guide and its YouTube channel. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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