When talking about the coldest time of the year, it is common to think of bad weather, negative temperatures, heavy clothes and that desire to stay warm inside with lots of blankets and a good hot chocolate. However, this is definitely not the case for winter in New Zealand!
After all, in addition to the fact that this season of the year is not as rigorous in the country as in other parts of the world – with temperatures averaging between 1ºC and 10ºC – there is no shortage of attractions and program options to see and, especially, do during the months of June. to September along the North and South Island.
To prove it, we’ve rounded up some of the top options for you to check out. Thus, there is time to plan to live all these experiences while studying in New Zealand that has emerged as one of the best destinations for those who want to study abroad.
The reason for this? In addition to the excellent educational structure, New Zealand cities are multicultural, have a high rate of quality of life and offer numerous job opportunities. Curious to know more? Then follow along!
Visit Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers
For starters, how about the opportunity to get up close and personal with not just one, but two glaciers (Fox and Franz Josef)? Both, in addition to being very close to each other and being over two thousand meters high, are the most famous in the country and attract curious people from different parts of the world.
And the best thing is that you can choose whether you want to admire them from the top of the viewpoints strategically positioned at the end of the trails in the Fox Glacier village – and which run through the Westland Tai Poutini National Park, for example, or if you want to venture in direct contact with the ice.
That’s because there are several tours carried out by professional guides who explore the place promoting hikes in the Glacier Valley and take helicopter rides to the glaciers so you can go hiking and even practice climbing in the Aotearoa region. However, a warning: you need to prepare your breath, because the routes can last up to four hours!
Play a sport in the snow
Another tip to enjoy winter in New Zealand is to practice one or more snow sports, as the South Island has no shortage of ski and snowboard stations – many, in fact, are open seven days a week due to the intense flow of visitors.
Two examples are MT Hutt – which is a 25-minute drive from Queenstown and was voted the best in the entire nation in 2015, 2016 and 2017 – and Treble Cone – which is located in Wanaka and has the largest ski area. in the southern region of the country (more than 500 hectares).
And for those who are not very good or have zero experience in both sports activities, know that, in the seasons, there are the popular snow schools, with instructors, for you to have greater mastery over the instruments during the descents and races!
Soak in a pool or hot spring in Rotorua
Want to scare away any cold sensations? No problem! You can also enjoy the experience of diving in one of the numerous pools and hot springs in the country. After all, in New Zealand there is a lot of geothermal activity due to volcanoes, especially in Rotorua, North Island.
One example is Hell’s Gate, a park that has medicinal lakes, mud pools, spas and cooking pools – which were sources historically used by the Maori people for cooking food and which today are preserved as part of the natives’ culture for visitor appreciation.
In the same area, there is also the Waikite Valley Thermal Pools, a complex with dozens of pools – some even with natural waterfalls – that also offers camping areas for those who want to get closer to nature.
Nearby is the Te Manaroa Spring, which is the nation’s largest source of heated and healing water. Also in the same region is Wai-O-Tapu, the largest national geothermal park. It’s worth visiting!
Hike one of the trails in Mount Cook
Another region that attracts many people between the months of June and September is Mount Cook, in Aoraki Mount National Park, near a village with the same name. At over 3,700 meters high, this mountain simply holds the title of New Zealand’s highest peak and has trails that connect it to open fields and snow-covered woods.
Along the way, it’s worth exploring the breathtaking landscapes and sights in the area, such as:
- the bridge in Hooker Valley;
- the secular church of Good Sherperd;
- Lake Pukaki (where it is possible to take tours in small boats);
- the many local glaciers (such as Tasmian, Bonney and Darwin);
- the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve – a planetarium where you can observe the stars and planets at night.
Observe marine animals in their natural habitat
In Otago, on the other hand, there is Nugget Point, a lighthouse built on a rock in the 18th century to help embark and disembark boats.
In Otago, on the other hand, there is Nugget Point, a lighthouse built on a rock in the 18th century to help embark and disembark boats and ships in the region. The location is perfect not only for the view of the sea, but especially for watching the sunrise and sunset. At night, he puts on a show on his own.
That’s because you can watch the starry sky while the lighthouse – which is still in operation – illuminates the coast of the small town of Balclutha. But it doesn’t end there, as the place, which looks more like a movie set, still serves as home to several animals, such as penguins, sea lions, birds and even dolphins.
Precisely for this reason, it became an annexed part of the Roaring Bay Penguins & Seals Observatory, one of the country’s marine life observation centers.
Did you see how there is no shortage of options to enjoy winter in New Zealand? Well, now all you have to do is plan to, in your free time from your study abroad, get to know more of the country’s various attractions, have greater contact with local nature and live experiences full of emotion!