4 Places to Explore in New Zealand During Winter

The winter is a busy season in certain parts of New Zealand. Both locals and foreigners flock to the snowy mountains to ski or take some time off. But whether you want to ski or are not a fan of the cold weather, there are several places that you can visit in New Zealand during the winter. Here are a few of them.

1. Kaikoura

If you love exploring the outdoors, Kaikoura is an ideal destination. During the winter, Kaikoura gets covered in snow.


The place is also known for whale and dolphin watching. You can join a tour at any time of the year. You can also go fishing, kayaking, walking, or biking. In case it’s raining, you can still watch the seals at the coastal rocks.


Once the weather gets better, take a walk at the Peninsula Walkway. Just be sure to check if the trail is open before you go. Whatever your type of adventure is, you are sure to have something to do in Kaikoura.

2. Hakatere

Hakatere is popular for the film series, Lord of the Rings, but apart from that, it’s also home to breathtaking mountains and lakes.


The Hakatere Conservation Park offers a scenic view everywhere. You can set up your own tent and camp in the area. Note, however, that you need to take a 4wd car that can handle the rough roads.


It can also get very cold, especially at night so layer up. If you’re looking to explore further, you can climb Mount Sunday and see the snow-capped mountain tops. But even before you reach the top, you’ll already be mesmerized by the beauty of nature around you.

3. Queenstown

Another ideal winter destination in New Zealand is Queenstown. For your convenience, consider renting a car. You can go to as many places possible at your own pace.


Whether you want to ski, curious how the ski resort looks like or would like to enjoy a meal and great wine beside a fireplace, there’s a ton of adventure that awaits you. There are four ski areas that can be reached within a 20-90 minute drive.


For more options, you can also check the region’s tourism website for a schedule of events lined up for the winter season.


Plan ahead, especially if you’re using a car hire service from the Queenstown airport, which is considered as a prime location (as the case with other airports).

4. Lindis Pass

If you want to continue your road trip adventure, consider a scenic drive through Lindis Pass. Be aware, though, that the road can be foggy. And since it’s an exposed area, the weather can be unpredictable. Wear appropriate clothing and footwear.


To enjoy the scenery, check the weather forecast prior to your trip. If the weather is fine, you’ll be rewarded with the relaxing views of the mountain slopes and grasslands around you.


The entire Lindis Pass is 63-km long. There are picnic spots if you would like to stop and pull over, bike, or take short walks.


Ready For Your New Zealand Winter Adventure?

There you have it and these are only four winter destinations to consider going to.  Even if you’re using cheap car hire services in New Zealand, chances are the staff will be happy to assist you with your itinerary. There are more places that you can explore so if the time you have is limited, remember you’re always welcome to come back.