Plan for the Weather in Queenstown
The main tourist hub on New Zealand’s glorious South Island, Queenstown is a destination with each season presenting its own charms. In winter, it’s a ski town while summer is the perfect time to tour the wineries and do outdoor adventure experiences. So whether you’re planning a summer vacation or a ski trip, this Queenstown weather and climate guide will get you ready for whatever the skies throw at you. Find out what is the weather like in Queenstown.
By the way, don’t miss The Complete Travel Guide to Queenstown to plan more of your trip. Plus, don’t forget to book a place to stay from The 50 Best Accommodations in Queenstown.
The Seasons in Queenstown
The below guide to the Queenstown weather and climate will refer to the seasons of summer, autumn, winter and spring. These seasons in Queenstown fall under the following months:
- Summer – December, January and February
- Autumn – March, April and May
- Winter – June, July and August
- Spring – September, October and November
For a more in-depth look at the seasons, check out The New Zealand Seasons and Climate.
Temperatures in Queenstown
In the southern centre of the South Island, surrounded by mountains, Queenstown experiences a mix of cold temperatures during the winter to mild temperatures in summer. With very little wind compared to New Zealand’s coastal cities, temperatures can feel hot, especially in summer when the sun is shining with high UV levels.
Average Daily Temperature Month by Month
- January – 14-18ºC (57-64ºF)
- February – 15-18ºC (59-64ºF)
- March – 13-16ºC (55-61ºF)
- April – 9-12ºC (48-54ºF)
- May – 4-6ºC (39-43ºF)
- June – 2-4ºC (36-39ºF)
- July – 1-3ºC (34-37ºF)
- August – 4-6ºC (39-42ºF)
- September – 8ºC (46ºF)
- October – 9-11ºC (48-51ºF)
- November – 13ºC (55ºF)
- December – 14ºC (57ºF)
Check out What is the Weather Like in New Zealand? to see more temperatures month by month around the country.
The Climate of Queenstown: Rain, Sunshine, etc.
Queenstown is much drier than other towns and cities in New Zealand, especially in summer. Winter is when more rain occurs, falling as rain in the town and snow on the surrounding mountains. The area experiences a mix of clouds and sunshine, with an average of 1,921 sunshine hours per year.
Average Monthly Rainfall
What to Pack for Queenstown
Packing warm clothing is essential for a trip to Queenstown for most months of the year, especially a warm jacket that’s waterproof and windproof.
In summer, long layers are also advised so you can put them on when the sun is behind the clouds, but warm weather clothing, such as shorts, T-shirts, etc. are comfortable in summer.
Be sure to protect yourself from the high UV levels with sunscreen and a sunhat in summer.
Queenstown Packing List
- Pants (jeans, leggings, hiking pants, etc.)
- Shorts/skirt (summer)
- Sneakers (casual shoes for town walking)
- Hiking shoes (if you plan on doing any walks/hikes)
- Tops (T-shirts, shirts, singlets, etc.)
- Light long-sleeved top (sun protection in summer)
- Mid-layer (sweater, cardigan, hoody, etc.)
- Thermal underlayer (tops and bottoms made of wool or polypropylene – only needed around winter)
- Warm jacket (late spring, winter and early autumn)
- Rain jacket
- Underwear and bras
- Swimwear (hot pools, water activities or lake swimming)
- Sleeping attire (pyjamas)
- New Zealand Dollars
- Passport (proof of age for buying alcohol)
- Reusable travel shopping bags
For a more complete packing list for travelling around New Zealand, see New Zealand Packing List: What to Pack for New Zealand, as well as our seasonal packing lists: