What is it Like to Travel New Zealand in June?
Welcome to New Zealand winter! Yes, June is the start of winter in New Zealand and there are heaps going on during this time. (“Heaps” is a Kiwi slang term for “a lot”, learn more about the lingo here). Needless to say, you will need to wrap up warm especially if you are spending time in the South Island. While June is the beginning of the snow sports season in New Zealand, for other regions away from the snow, June is actually one of the cheapest months to travel New Zealand.
In this quick and simple guide to travelling New Zealand in June, we’ll go over the typical weather in June, typical prices in tourism, June events, as well as some awesome activities to do in June in New Zealand. Not to mention, some June travel tips for New Zealand.
For more advice on when to travel in New Zealand, take a look at When is the Best Time to Go Backpacking in New Zealand?
Travel Tips for New Zealand in June
When travelling New Zealand in June, here are all the things you need to know.
- Wrap up warm. As well as packing a rain jacket, pack yourself some thermal layers made from wool or polypropylene to take the chill off.
- If you are coming to New Zealand purely for the snow sports, then we recommend coming in July, August or even September. Although June is the start of the winter season in New Zealand, this is when the snow only starts falling so not many areas of the ski fields will be open until later in the season.
- Apart from towns near ski fields, you will not need to worry too much about making bookings early for travelling in June. June is a quiet season in New Zealand so this gives you more flexibility without the stress of finding accommodation or activities are fully booked.
- On the other end of the scale, in some situations, you may be the only ones doing a tour in the quieter areas of New Zealand so at least give one or two days’ notice to make sure the tour is running for you.
- If you are planning to drive over mountain passes or to ski fields, hire or buy some snow chains. Otherwise, you will likely not need them in other areas of New Zealand.
New Zealand Weather in June
As it is the start of winter, it goes without saying that you should pack some warm winter gear. Along with that, pack some waterproofs, especially if travelling the North Island. The Auckland region particularly receives a lot of rainfall during winter. The South Island experiences less rainfall so expect some clearer days down there. High mountain regions start to get covered in snow during June too.
North Island Temperatures: Highs of around 15C or more, and lows of 3C.
South Island Temperatures: Highs of around 13C and lows of -2C.
June Events in New Zealand
June is significant in New Zealand for two reasons. First, it is the start of winter, which is more famously celebrated in Queenstown with the Queenstown Winter Festival. This is a week-long festival with lots of events and competitions to attend beginning and ending with fireworks.
Second, June is the beginning of Matariki, which is the Maori New Year. This is when a star compilation appears in the sky and marks the New Year for the Maori people. During this time there are cultural events happening throughout the country. Find out how you can join in on the celebrations in our guide to Matariki.
The Activities That are Best Done in June
As we’ve already mentioned, June is the start of the winter season in New Zealand. There are 24 ski fields in New Zealand, some on volcanoes in the North Island, while the rest are spread out along the Southern Alps of the South Island. See which island is best for you in Ski Season in New Zealand: North Island or South Island? If you plan on hitting the slopes, there’s no need to take up precious luggage space with gear as there are plenty of rental opportunities in and around the ski fields.
Although June is the winter season, don’t but put off by thinking there is nothing else to do other than snow sports and natural hot pools. Many outdoor activities in New Zealand can still be enjoyed during the winter from anything like bungy jumping and skydiving to hiking and canyoning. If you are in a rainy region, why not try activities where you’re going to get wet anyway, like surfing or white water rafting? The opportunities are endless!
Typical Prices in June
June is considered the low season in New Zealand, meaning it is one of the quietest seasons for tourism. This is with the exception of areas surrounding ski fields where they experience a high season during this time. Nevertheless, June is one of the cheapest times to travel New Zealand with promotions on activities, low car rental prices and low accommodation prices.
Flights to New Zealand in June
Flights to New Zealand during June tend to lower than other seasons with the exception of landing in Queenstown Airport which is a popular ski resort town. However, other factors do influence the prices of flights such as where you are flying from, how far in advance you book and how you book. All of that and more is covered in our How to Book a Cheap Flight to New Zealand.
Vehicle Rental in June
June is one of the cheapest months to rent a car or campervan in New Zealand (make sure your campervan rental includes a heater). Prices typically start at around NZ$20 per day for a car but there are plenty of promotions running through this time to get a great deal on vehicle rentals. Find out more about other things to budget for when renting a vehicle in How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Car in New Zealand?
Accommodation in June
Hostels tend to keep the same prices year-round at around NZ$21-$32 per bed in a dorm, but June often brings few hostel promotions where you may be able to find half price or multiple nights for a reduced price. As for holiday parks, their prices will be at their lowest, usually around NZ$10 to $20 per powered site for a campervan.
Activities in June
Most activity operators stay open during June, often running promotions during this low season, so keep an eye out for those. Some operators do close for winter though. As for snow sports, the larger commercial ski fields charge around NZ$95 for a day lift pass not including rentals and transport.