Queenstown has an array of activities and experiences on offer all year round. Like many destinations, Queenstown experiences bustling periods and quieter times throughout the year. Peak travel times typically coincide with weather, school holidays, public holidays, and major events.

While many believe summer and winter to be the best times to visit Queenstown, they're also peak season. Equally, many visitors prefer the variety of activities on offer in spring or the vibrant colours and quiet hiking trails in autumn, and you're likely to get a better deal on flights and accommodation during these quieter seasons.

Whether you’re planning your visit to Queenstown, New Zealand around the best snow, spring blooms, autumn leaves or swimming weather, here’s the rundown of the best times to visit.

Aerial of QueenstownQueenstown from above

Visiting Queenstown in summer (December – February)

In summer, the average daily temperature in Queenstown ranges between 20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F). Summer is peak season in Queenstown. The days are long and warm – it’s the best time to visit to enjoy the outdoors.

Top Queenstown summer activities

  • Soak up Queenstown’s summer scene and get a taste of local flavour by dining al fresco

  • Explore over 130kms of scenic cycle trails along the Queenstown Trail

  • Brave a dip in chilly Lake Whakatipu or enjoy a picnic by the waterfront

  • Play a round of golf at one of Queenstown’s four internationally renowned championship Marquee courses

  • Hit up one of Queenstown’s epic mountain bike trails

  • Push your limits with an epic adrenaline activity

Discover more with our guide to 10 Things to Do in Summer in Queenstown

Family and bikes on the beach in Queenstown in summer, boys playing on the pontoon.Queenstown Bay

Visiting Queenstown in autumn (March – May)

Autumn sets in from March, bringing the start of cooler temperatures and a dramatic display of red and gold foliage. Average temperatures range between 5°C to 25°C (41°F to 77°F).

It’s the season that invites you to indulge all senses. It’s the best time to visit for those wanting to take in the autumn colours, sample local seasonal food and beverage and rejuvenate with active relaxation and wellness experiences.

Top Queenstown autumn activities

  • Sample local produce at one of Queenstown’s 150 bars and restaurants

  • Get involved in a local community tree-planting day

  • Take in the display of autumn leaves at the Queenstown Gardens or in Arrowtown

  • Refresh and unwind at a boutique day spa, hot pool, or yoga retreat

Discover more with our guide to 10 Things to Do in Autumn in Queenstown

Two people enjoying wine in a outdoor garden dining aera in autumnMora Kitchen and Wines

Visiting Queenstown in winter (June – August)

Winter sees the region transform into a winter wonderland. Wondering how cold Queenstown is in winter? Daily temperatures typically range between -4°C and 8°C (24°F to 46°F) and snow rarely makes its way to ground level. The days are short and crisp but provide incredible blue skies and fresh mornings. It’s the best time to visit if you enjoy snow sports or want to experience New Zealand's winter wonderland.

Top Queenstown winter activities

  • Ski or snowboard at one of Queenstown’s four world-class ski fields

  • Experience Queenstown’s vibrant après-ski scene at a stylish bar or craft beer pub

  • Connect with locals at a winter event. There’s always something happening – from art installations to music festivals on the slopes

  • Ski under the stars at Coronet Peak Night Ski

Discover more with our guide to 10 Things to Do in Winter in Queenstown

Skiers watching the sunrise at Coronet PeakCoronet Peak Ski Area

Visiting Queenstown in spring (September – November)

Spring in Queenstown brings green valleys bursting with blooms, surrounded by snow-capped peaks. Temperatures range from 8°C to 22°C (46°F to 71°F). It’s the best time to visit if you want to get a taste of everything Queenstown offers – the days are longer so you can use the extra hours to explore more.

Top Queenstown spring activities

  • Take in blossom-lined avenues and gardens along the lakefront and the Queenstown Gardens

  • Discover the award-winning Pinot Noir region, Gibbston by bike or wine tour

  • Ski in the morning and either golf, mountain bike or hike in the afternoon

  • Immerse yourself in Queenstown’s natural surroundings with a short walk, day walk, or multiday hike.

Discover more with our guide to 10 Things to Do in Spring in Queenstown

People walking through native bush on the Routeburn TrackRouteburn Nature Walk