Learn what August in New Zealand has got to offer, what the weather is like, where to go, and what to do in this late winter month.
August marks the end of winter in New Zealand and displays some signs of spring in the form of early spring blossoms.
Because the winter holiday for New Zealanders in July has come and gone, August is not a very busy month to visit New Zealand for skiing, although the ski fields do tend to fill up then with international visitors to New Zealand.
Most ski fields are still open in August, and because August is known to bring periods of huge snow dumpings, the mountains are almost guaranteed to have snow.
Coronet Peak near Queentown holds several winter events and competitions every year until the end of August. Professional skiers and snowboarders visit New Zealand and take part in these events. So the snow must be good, right?
The same winter activities you can do in July, you can do in August. This includes skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.
August is one of the best months for skiing or snowboarding in New Zealand. However, you do not have to be into skiing to visit New Zealand in August.
Ben Ohau Range with snow in New Zealand
Except for the occasional snow dumping in August, the snow tends to stay high up on the mountains, since the temperatures are higher in August than they are in July.
So the roads should be clear of snow, except for immediately after a winter storm. However, look out for icy roads in the early morning hours.
Note that while it might be cold in winter, this does not mean that every place is closed for business. You can still do lots of other activities that do not necessarily involve snow such as going on a scenic flight, hot air ballooning, biking, off-roading, kayaking, jet boating, river rafting, or more relaxed activities such as boat cruising and visiting hot pools.
The activities mentioned in this article have been limited to winter activities because August is one of the months in which it snows in New Zealand.
You don’t have to limit your visit to the South Island, though. Mount Egmont National Park on the North Island of New Zealand is a nice place to visit in August, since Mount Taranaki should have snow on it too.
And if you are into winter activities, do not forget that there are also ski fields on the North Island on one of the volcanoes – Mount Ruapehu – in Tongariro National Park.
Taupo lies about an hour’s drive north of Tongariro National Park – you can find driving distances on the North Island driving distances and times page – and has several hot pools and thermal areas you can visit. The hot pools may be particurly relaxing to soak yourself in after a busy day of skiing.
If you are on the South Island and want to ski and then visit a hot pool thereafter, you may want to choose a place like Hanmer Springs to go skiing, since Hanmer Springs has thermal pools and spas you can visit.
August brings much warmer temperatures to New Zealand than July despite the occasional cold snaps and snow dumpings.
Temperatures tend to fluctuate between -5 and 20 degrees Celsius (23 – 68 degrees Fahrenheit), depending on where you are located in the country.
You can expect temperatures on the South Island to be lower at night than on the North Island.
Typically, temperatures fluctuate between 2 and 18 degrees Celsius (36 – 64 degrees Fahrenheit) on the North Island.
Snow-covered mountains in winter in New Zealand
August is a rainy month but it does not rain excessively. If rain falls, it will fall in the form of snow in colder areas or normal rain with hail in warmer areas.
And although flooding is uncommon in August, it can take place. This includes slips, which can close roads and highways.
You must see August as a month in which the weather tends to be all over the place, trying to adjust itself for spring. So you can expect anything in August, from cold chilly nights to gorgeous, sunny days.
The days are much longer in August than they are in July with the sun rising between 7:30 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. – depending on the location in New Zealand – at the beginning of August and between 6:45 a.m. and 7:15 at the end of August.
The sun sets around 5:30 p.m. at the beginning of August and around 6:00 p.m. at the end of August. So you have approximately 9.5 to 11 hours of daylight in August.
Note: This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm all details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
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