Does it snow anywhere in New Zealand?

  • we have numerous skifields in both islands that open in winter.
  • The southern areas of the country, particularly the Central Otago plateau,  get snow almost every winter.
  • Farmers in the South Island are used to dealing with winter snows
  • Dunedin, the southernmost major city, at sea level, will often - but not always - get a couple of 'snow days' in winter.
  • Further north, Christchurch gets them too, a little less often.
  • At least as far north as Wellington you can get snow to sea level, but it's fairly rare. The hills and mountains around the city are regularly dusted with snow a few times per winter.

What we don't have (except in alpine areas) is a snowy 'season', where snow can be reliably expected to arrive and remain for a period of time each and every winter.

It never, ever snows in the town where I live, except once.

Snow? New Zealand? Of course!

In addition to the ski fields of Mount Ruapehu on the North Island and The Remarkables and Southern Alps of the South Island, there are reported snow falls through out the country.

Important for those venturing into the back country and up the various mountains, is that the temperatures can drop quickly at higher elevations resulting in snow or freezing rain. Tongariro Crossing and Mt Taranaki can report snow any time of the year depending upon the prevailing weather conditions.

While often the storms are short, sharp events, with the falling snow quickly melting, it's still possible to be caught out.

Generally, snow is not a common experience for North Islanders, and the children typically are delighted for a chance to play in it.

It can snow just about anywhere in the South Island, but guaranteed to snow in the mountainous areas of the Southern Alps, but also other mountainous or high altitude districts. There are many excellent ski fields in the South Island. Snow in the North island mainly falls on the Central Plateau and its range of volcanoes. Also on Mt. Taranaki (Mt.Egmont), which is a cone similar to Mt. Fuji. There are excellent ski fields in these areas. Snow can also fall in the Wellington area and in the south-east of the North Island.

New Zealand markets ski holiday packages both locally and overseas. It would be illegal to do so unless there are ski fields. The answer is yes, and some of the ski fields are spectacular.

Come and visit the South Island of New Zealand over the next four months and you'll find out!

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