Average Weather in Queenstown New Zealand
In Queenstown, the summers are cool, the winters are short and very cold, and it is wet and partly cloudy year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 30°F to 66°F and is rarely below 22°F or above 74°F.
Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit Queenstown for warm-weather activities is from mid January to mid February.
The warm season lasts for 3.4 months, from December 4 to March 17, with an average daily high temperature above 61°F. The hottest day of the year is February 4, with an average high of 66°F and low of 48°F.
The cold season lasts for 2.9 months, from May 26 to August 22, with an average daily high temperature below 47°F. The coldest day of the year is July 9, with an average low of 30°F and high of 42°F.
Average High and Low Temperature
The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the entire year of hourly average temperatures. The horizontal axis is the day of the year, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.
Average Hourly Temperature
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
In Queenstown, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences mild seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The clearer part of the year in Queenstown begins around August 14 and lasts for 7.7 months, ending around April 4. On February 10, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 52% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 48% of the time.
The cloudier part of the year begins around April 4 and lasts for 4.3 months, ending around August 14. On May 19, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 65% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 35% of the time.
Cloud Cover Categories
0% clear 20% mostly clear 40% partly cloudy 60% mostly cloudy 80% overcast 100%
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in Queenstown varies throughout the year.
The wetter season lasts 9.3 months, from September 13 to June 22, with a greater than 39% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 46% on October 13.
The drier season lasts 2.7 months, from June 22 to September 13. The smallest chance of a wet day is 32% on July 13.
Among wet days, we distinguish between those that experience rain alone, snow alone, or a mixture of the two. Based on this categorization, the most common form of precipitation throughout the year is rain alone, with a peak probability of 45% on October 13.
Daily Chance of Precipitation
To show variation within the months and not just the monthly totals, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Queenstown experiences significant seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.
Rain falls throughout the year in Queenstown. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around January 2, with an average total accumulation of 4.9 inches.
The least rain falls around July 15, with an average total accumulation of 2.8 inches.
Average Monthly Rainfall
The sliding 31-day liquid-equivalent quantity of snowfall in Queenstown does not vary significantly over the course of the year, staying within 0.1 inches of 0.1 inches throughout.
Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall
The length of the day in Queenstown varies significantly over the course of the year. In 2020, the shortest day is June 21, with 8 hours, 46 minutes of daylight; the longest day is December 21, with 15 hours, 38 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight
The earliest sunrise is at 5:52 AM on December 11, and the latest sunrise is 2 hours, 33 minutes later at 8:24 AM on June 27. The earliest sunset is at 5:09 PM on June 15, and the latest sunset is 4 hours, 26 minutes later at 9:35 PM on January 2.
Daylight saving time (DST) is observed in Queenstown during 2020, starting in the spring on September 27 and ending in the fall on April 5.
Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time
We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.
The perceived humidity level in Queenstown, as measured by the percentage of time in which the humidity comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable, does not vary significantly over the course of the year, remaining a virtually constant 0% throughout.
Humidity Comfort Levels
dry 55°F comfortable 60°F humid 65°F muggy 70°F oppressive 75°F miserable
This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.
The average hourly wind speed in Queenstown experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The windier part of the year lasts for 6.5 months, from September 5 to March 20, with average wind speeds of more than 7.7 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is October 7, with an average hourly wind speed of 9.2 miles per hour.
The calmer time of year lasts for 5.5 months, from March 20 to September 5. The calmest day of the year is July 5, with an average hourly wind speed of 6.2 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed
The predominant average hourly wind direction in Queenstown varies throughout the year.
The wind is most often from the north for 2.6 weeks, from April 14 to May 2 and for 3.2 months, from June 16 to September 23, with a peak percentage of 41% on July 25. The wind is most often from the west for 1.5 months, from May 2 to June 16 and for 6.7 months, from September 23 to April 14, with a peak percentage of 42% on May 21.
Best Time of Year to Visit
To characterize how pleasant the weather is in Queenstown throughout the year, we compute two travel scores.
The tourism score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 65°F and 80°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Queenstown for general outdoor tourist activities is from mid January to mid February, with a peak score in the first week of February.
The beach/pool score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 75°F and 90°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Queenstown for hot-weather activities is from mid January to mid February, with a peak score in the first week of February.
For each hour between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM of each day in the analysis period (1980 to 2016), independent scores are computed for perceived temperature, cloud cover, and total precipitation. Those scores are combined into a single hourly composite score, which is then aggregated into days, averaged over all the years in the analysis period, and smoothed.
Our cloud cover score is 10 for fully clear skies, falling linearly to 9 for mostly clear skies, and to 1 for fully overcast skies.
Our precipitation score, which is based on the three-hour precipitation centered on the hour in question, is 10 for no precipitation, falling linearly to 9 for trace precipitation, and to 0 for 0.04 inches of precipitation or more.
Our tourism temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 50°F, rising linearly to 9 for 65°F, to 10 for 75°F, falling linearly to 9 for 80°F, and to 1 for 90°F or hotter.
Our beach/pool temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 65°F, rising linearly to 9 for 75°F, to 10 for 82°F, falling linearly to 9 for 90°F, and to 1 for 100°F or hotter.
Definitions of the growing season vary throughout the world, but for the purposes of this report, we define it as the longest continuous period of non-freezing temperatures (≥ 32°F) in the year (the calendar year in the Northern Hemisphere, or from July 1 until June 30 in the Southern Hemisphere).
The growing season in Queenstown typically lasts for 5.3 months (162 days), from around October 30 to around April 10, rarely starting before October 4 or after December 13, and rarely ending before March 6 or after May 20.
Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
Growing degree days are a measure of yearly heat accumulation used to predict plant and animal development, and defined as the integral of warmth above a base temperature, discarding any excess above a maximum temperature. In this report, we use a base of 50°F and a cap of 86°F.
Based on growing degree days alone, the first spring blooms in Queenstown should appear around November 11, only rarely appearing before October 29 or after November 28.
Growing Degree Days
This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.
The average daily incident shortwave solar energy experiences extreme seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The brighter period of the year lasts for 3.6 months, from October 30 to February 15, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 6.0 kWh. The brightest day of the year is December 20, with an average of 7.2 kWh.
The darker period of the year lasts for 3.8 months, from April 24 to August 18, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 2.4 kWh. The darkest day of the year is June 17, with an average of 1.2 kWh.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Queenstown are -45.030 deg latitude, 168.663 deg longitude, and 1,535 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of Queenstown contains large variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 3,255 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 1,687 feet. Within 10 miles contains large variations in elevation (6,424 feet). Within 50 miles also contains extreme variations in elevation (9,908 feet).
The area within 2 miles of Queenstown is covered by grassland (40%), trees (37%), and water (22%), within 10 miles by grassland (53%) and trees (25%), and within 50 miles by grassland (54%) and trees (27%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in Queenstown, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.
Temperature and Dew Point
There is only a single weather station, Invercargill Airport, in our network suitable to be used as a proxy for the historical temperature and dew point records of Queenstown.
At a distance of 156 kilometers from Queenstown, further than our threshold of 150 kilometers, this station is deemed insufficiently nearby to be relied upon as our primary source for temperature and dew point records. Consequently, the station records are blended with interpolated values from NASA's MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis , and both are corrected for elevation differences according to the International Standard Atmosphere .
The weight assigned to the MERRA-2 value depends on the distance from Queenstown to the nearest station, increasing from 0% at 150 kilometers to 100% at 200 kilometers. In this case, the MERRA-2 weight is 11%, making the weight assigned to the weather station 89%.
All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Algorithms 2nd Edition , by Jean Meeus.
All other weather data, including cloud cover, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and solar flux, come from NASA's MERRA-2 Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.
Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .
Time zones for aiports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .
Maps are © Esri, with data from National Geographic, Esri, DeLorme, NAVTEQ, UNEP-WCMC, USGS, NASA, ESA, METI, NRCAN, GEBCO, NOAA, and iPC.
The information on this site is provided as is, without any assurances as to its accuracy or suitability for any purpose. Weather data is prone to errors, outages, and other defects. We assume no responsibility for any decisions made on the basis of the content presented on this site.
We draw particular cautious attention to our reliance on the MERRA-2 model-based reconstructions for a number of important data series. While having the tremendous advantages of temporal and spatial completeness, these reconstructions: (1) are based on computer models that may have model-based errors, (2) are coarsely sampled on a 50 km grid and are therefore unable to reconstruct the local variations of many microclimates, and (3) have particular difficulty with the weather in some coastal areas, especially small islands.
We further caution that our travel scores are only as good as the data that underpin them, that weather conditions at any given location and time are unpredictable and variable, and that the definition of the scores reflects a particular set of preferences that may not agree with those of any particular reader.