Cardrona, Lake Wanaka Cardrona, Lake Wanaka – Image courtesy of Lake Wanaka Tourism

Best time to visit Wanaka

The best time to visit Wanaka is anytime. Wanaka’s winter ski season runs from June to early October, while summer brings clear blue skies and long days to enjoy the region’s many adventure activities.

Winter, from June through August, sees an average temperature between -2°C (28°F) and 8°C (46°F), with generally frosty mornings, clear blue skies and cold temperatures.

With six international ski areas open from early June until early October, winter is best for skiing, snowboarding, tubing, snowshoeing and heli-skiing.

Spring, from early September to late November brings unpredictable weather with a mix of sunshine and rain. Daytime temperatures ranging between 8°C (46°F) and 22°C (71°F).

Spring is still good for skiing as well as mountain biking and hiking. Rivers swell in spring making rafting and jetboating especially thrilling.

Summer, from early December to late February, sees long, sunny days with dawn breaking around 5am and dusk setting around 10pm.

Daytime temperatures range between a low of 20°C (68°F) and a high of 30°C (86°F).

Summer in Wanaka offers every adventure sport imaginable (except skiing and snowboarding, of course)

Autumn, from early March to late May, brings clear, settled days with around 10 hours of daylight. Temperatures range between 12°C (53°F) and 25°C (77°F). Autumn is still warm enough to enjoy most of the region’s summer activities.


High season: From mid-December through February, when most Kiwi families take their annual holidays.

The Easter break and school holidays in April, June to July, and September to October, also tend to be very busy.

From June to August it’s best to book hotel rooms and airline seats well in advance.

Wanaka – Monthly Weather

Ave Temp (°C) 20 20 17 14 10 6 6 8 11 14 16 18
Ave Low Temp (°C) 8 7 6 3 1 -2 -2 -1 1 3 4 6
Sunshine (Hrs daily) 7 6 6 5 4 4 4 4 4 4 6 6
Daylight (Hrs daily) 15 14 12 11 9 9 9 10 12 13 15 16
Comfort Level No heat & humidity No heat & humidity No heat & humidity Cold, no heat & humidity Cold, no heat & humidity Cold, no heat & humidity Cold, no heat & humidity Cold, no heat & humidity Cold, no heat & humidity Cold, no heat & humidity No heat & humidity No heat & humidity
UV Index 10 9 6 3 2 1 1 2 3 5 8 10
Days with some Rain 11 9 11 11 13 11 12 10 11 14 11 12
Ave Rainfall (mm) 100 70 109 90 102 94 80 85 103 114 86 101
(Wanaka, New Zealand) J F M A M J J A S O N D

Note: Meteorological data is sourced from the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), with additional historical climate data sourced from MetService (Meteorological Service of New Zealand).

More about Wanaka…

Latest update: Best time to visit Wanaka: 19 November, 2019

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