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When is the best time to ski in Queenstown?

Keen to hit the slopes in this picturesque South Island town? Read on to find out the best time to go.

Queenstown is well worth a visit year-round. But the city does get all four seasons, so if you’re planning to hit the slopes at The Remarkables or Coronet Peak while in town, make sure to visit when the conditions are just right.

When is the best time to ski in Queenstown?

  • Overall best time: Early July and September
    • Why? Just on the cusp of the peak of peak season, you’ll get the best combination of conditions and prices at this time.
  • Best conditions: July and August
    • Why? Right in the middle of winter, you’ll likely get the coldest weather and the most snow during these months. That said, it’s also the most expensive time to go.
  • Cheapest time: June and October
    • Why? The shoulder seasons – just before and just after the coldest time of the year – don’t guarantee the best conditions and prices for accommodation and, sometimes, ski passes can be lower because of this.

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When is the overall best time to ski in Queenstown?

Early July and September is just before peak-season starts and before the large crowds coming in from overseas descend upon the slopes.

By early July, the lifts would have been running for up to a month and a decent base should coat the slopes, with most of the terrain open.

Similarly with September, this is toward the end of the season, but most runs are still open at this time. Since the peak months are mid-July and August, most of the crowds should have dissipated by now.

If you’re not a teacher or travelling with kids, we also recommend coming before or after the July school holidays. These will be some of the busiest weeks both in town and on the slopes, which drives demand for accommodation way up. You’ll find this is the most expensive time to go.

When should I go skiing in Queenstown for the best conditions?

Mid-July to the end of August bring the best conditions to Queenstown’s ski resorts. This is mid-winter, when the temperatures are at their lowest, meaning there’s less of a chance of slushy or icy conditions.

Compared to surrounding months, July sees the least number of days with precipitation, so you’ll have the greatest chance of bluebird days by travelling then.

Keep in mind July school holidays will be the busiest time.

When is the cheapest time to go skiing in Queenstown?

June and October, the beginning and end of ski season in New Zealand are the cheapest months to travel while you can still hit the slopes. However, this may mean fewer runs open and slushier conditions. If conditions aren’t ideal once you’re there, you could still be in luck – late-June is also when the Queenstown Winter Festival is on.

While lift pass prices may not change much throughout the season, there’s less demand for flights and accommodation in Queenstown right at the beginning and right at the end of the ski season. This usually brings a drop in prices as well.

The best time to ski Queenstown…

  • Heli-skiing. Heli-skiing is a popular activity for thrill seekers visiting Queenstown. The best time to go is between August and early September, as this is when the snow is deep and the weather is fairly clear.
  • Coronet Peak. As one of New Zealand’s most popular ski destinations, Coronet Peak usually opens in early June
  • The Remarkables. The Remarkables ski resort offers terrain for all ski levels and usually opens in early June
  • Cardrona. Cardrona is another popular ski resort in New Zealand, which is closer to Wanaka than it is to Queenstown. Cardrona usually opens in early June as well

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