What is the Weather Like in July in New Zealand?
Welcome to New Zealand in winter! While most travellers choose other “sunnier” seasons to see the country, July is actually a fantastic time to experience New Zealand. Not only is the country quiet during the low tourist season, but the landscapes look all the more magical under the snow. Speaking of which, you’re probably going to want to know what the New Zealand weather in July is like so you can plan accordingly.
In this guide to New Zealand weather in July, we’ll go through the typical temperatures across the country, other weather patterns and other tips to make your July trip a great experience. For more tips on planning your trip around the weather, see What is the Weather Like in New Zealand?
Tips for Visiting New Zealand in July
Here are some handy tips to make travelling in July all the easier!
- July is the low season for tourism in New Zealand so don’t worry about activities, accommodation and transport being fully booked (except in towns near ski fields)
- Always check the for road updates on the New Zealand Transport Agency website, for instance, before hitting the road, as the possibility of landslips and snow on roads increases during winter
- If you plan to drive to ski fields or in mountainous regions, make sure you have some snow chains which are either readily available to buy in towns where snow is frequent or to hire with your vehicle rental company
- While some hiking trails and Great Walks are easily accessible in summer, some should only be attempted in winter with the appropriate alpine gear! Be prepared or choose an alternative walk
- If you are planning to do some weather-dependent activities like skydiving, heli-hiking, etc. then plan a few days in these locations in case you experience bad weather and your tour is rescheduled.
For more tips, see our 10 Essential New Zealand Travel Tips.
Typical Temperatures in July
July in New Zealand is during the mid-winter season so unsurprisingly this is the coldest month in New Zealand in most regions. New Zealand experiences slightly different climates across the country, so take a look at the list below to see the average temperatures in July in the destinations you will be visiting.
Northern New Zealand (Northland, Auckland and Tauranga) – 11ºC (52ºF)
Central North Island (Hamilton, Taupo and Rotorua) – 7ºC (47ºF)
South-West North Island (New Plymouth, Palmerston North and Wellington) – 9ºC (49ºF)
Eastern North Island (Gisborne, Napier and Wairarapa) – 9ºC (49ºF)
Northern South Island (Blenheim and Nelson) – 7ºC (47ºF)
Western South Island (Westport, Hokitika and Milford Sound) – 5-7ºC (41-47ºF)
Eastern South Island (Kaikoura, Christchurch and Timaru) – 7ºC (47ºF)
Inland South Island (Lake Tekapo, Queenstown and Alexandra) – 1-3ºC (34-37ºF)
Southern New Zealand (Dunedin and Invercargill) – 7ºC (47ºF)
Other Weather Patterns in July
July experiences a mix of weather: snow, sun, rain, wind and fine days. Don’t expect it to be just one type of weather throughout the day though as the saying, “Four Seasons in a Day” especially holds true in July.
July is also when New Zealand has its shortest daylight hours. The sun rises between 7.45am and 8.45am and sets around 5pm. The sun hangs low on the horizon throughout the day making for some amazing hues across the landscape on a clear day.
Finally, is it really that snowy in July? Only in some mountainous regions of the country like inland South Island and around the Central North Island volcanoes of the Tongariro National Park. Otherwise, the maritime climate experienced over much of New Zealand means that snow is rare in areas closer to the coast.
Rainfall in July
For some regions, July is the wettest winter month especially in the North Island, while it’s the driest winter month in regions of the South Island like the West Coast. Because some regions have a wetter climate than others, take a look at the list below of the average rainfall in each area of New Zealand.
Northern New Zealand (Northland, Auckland and Tauranga) – 150mm (6″)
Central North Island (Hamilton, Taupo and Rotorua) – 110mm (4″)
South-West North Island (New Plymouth, Palmerston North and Wellington) – 140mm (5.5″)
Eastern North Island (Gisborne, Napier and Wairarapa) – 90mm (3.5″)
Northern South Island (Blenheim and Nelson) – 90mm (3.5″)
Western South Island (Westport, Hokitika and Milford Sound) – 250-450mm (10-17.7″)
Eastern South Island (Kaikoura, Christchurch and Timaru) – 80mm (3″)
Inland South Island (Lake Tekapo, Queenstown and Alexandra) – 20-50mm (0.7-2″)
Southern New Zealand (Dunedin and Invercargill) – 70mm (2.7″)
The Best Places to Visit in July
July might be the tourist “low season” but that doesn’t mean the country hibernates for the winter. In fact, New Zealand’s most popular activities are open year-round so enjoy them while it’s quiet! What’s more, July is one of the best months for snow sports. Nevertheless, if you prefer to escape winter, there are awesome road trip destinations in the North Island and geothermal parks that will make you forget all about the cold.
Queenstown – The winter season for skiing is well and truly underway with the ski field trails all being open by July. The bustling town also has a great apres-ski vibe after a day on the slopes.
Northland – If you want to escape the cold temperatures, take a road trip of the “Winterless North” including Cape Reinga, Whangarei, the Bay of Islands and much more!
Franz Josef – During the West Coast’s driest winter month there’s a better chance of doing those “weather dependent” activities on the bucket list like heli-hiking and skydiving. Plus, the Glacier Hot Pools will warm you up after a day adventuring.
Lake Tekapo – Skiing, relaxing in hot pools, ice skating, wonderful snowy mountain views: Lake Tekapo is a stunning place to be this time of year with plenty of winter activities to do.
Taupo – Surrounded by geothermal activity, Taupo has some amazing geothermal parks that look all the more dramatic during winter. Plus, many of the adventure activities in Taupo are still available to do during winter, like skydiving, bungy jump, jet boating and more!
For events in July, take a look at New Zealand in July.
July Packing List
Here are some things not to miss off your packing list for a trip to New Zealand in July!
- Warm mid-layers
- Thermal underlayers
- Wool socks
- Waterproof hiking shoes
- Swimwear (for the hot pools)