When to visit
The region has four very distinct seasons, each providing its own special reason for visiting.
In winter (June to August) people come from around the world come to enjoy the snow-capped vistas, crisp blue-sky days, easy access to some of New Zealand's finest skiing, and be part of the buzz the season brings. The ski season usually kicks off in June and there are plenty of choices for all ages and abilities with five international standard ski areas close by, heliskiing, and an après ski culture to match.
Spring (September to November) combines the best of both worlds - warmer temperatures, longer days and fresh, bright colours transform the landscape but there’s still plenty of snow on the mountains for great spring skiing until early October.
Summer (December to February) is hot and dry and the long days and twilights are perfect for alfresco dining, lakeside BBQs and getting outdoors to enjoy the lakes, rivers, and trails. At the height of summer, dawn is as early as 5 am while the sun sets around 10 pm.
Visit in autumn (March to May) and enjoy the world-famous spectacular change of seasons as the landscape bursts into a blaze of red and gold. The warm days are great for getting outdoors while the cold nights are perfect for snuggling up by a fire.