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?
Things to do in August in New Zealand
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.
You could also go on scenic drives if you are into self-driving to see winter scenery. Remember to carry snow chains if you go driving in winter just in case you need them.
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.
Places to visit in August in New Zealand
There are several places you can go in New Zealand to see snow but the most popular places are Queenstown and Mackenzie Country (Lake Tekapo, Lake Benmore, Lake Ohau, and Mount Cook National Park).
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 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.
New Zealand weather in August
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.
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 8:05 a.m. at the beginning of August and between 6:50 a.m. and 7:20 at the end of August.
The sun sets between 5:25 p.m. and 5:40 p.m. at the beginning of August and between 5:55 and 6:15 p.m. at the end of August.
So you have approximately 9.5 to 11 hours of daylight in August.
The times mentioned above are for Wellington and Queenstown and may vary depending your location in New Zealand.
This article falls under Travel Guide.
Note: This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm all details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.