New Zealand in Winter?

Just wondered if anyone had experience of New Zealand in their winter months. Of course we can Google but there’s nothing like first hand experience if anyone has any advice. We are trying (everything crossed) to be in NZ in April 2022 for about 4 months, after (again hopefully) 3 months in Australia. Appreciate we will take the right gear… It wouldn’t be easy to change our visiting plan as so close or would anyone say we should really try to visit NZ later in the year and see it at its best. Our plan is to have a mix of house sitting and renting.

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We housesat in New Zealand from March through June in 2018, so we were there in the fall and getting into winter. It was at the point where even if it wasn’t super cold outside, it started feeling cold inside the house and central heating really isn’t a thing there it seems.

One of the houses we stayed in the South Island (Timaru)had some wall units we could use and that was okay. The last month (mid may to mid June) we were about an hour outside Wellington on the North Island. It felt a little raw at times and it gets windy. They only had a fireplace in the living room and we used it most nights and it was comfortable so long as you stayed there.

If you like being warm and toasty at all times and in all rooms, it might not be ideal. I remember the bathrooms especially being very cold during this time, and two of the houses had a heat type fan you could turn on when you were in there and it helped a bit.

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We’ve been in NZ for 19 months and have been house sitting and traveling from top to bottom in this country. Kiwis are a hearty bunch and no matter how cold it is outside there will always be a door or a window open for “ventilation”, and they’re wearing shorts, jandals and a down vest! We have spent 2 winters here. From my perspective, the winters are fairly mild. We are from the upper midwest in the US and we would get heaps of snow for months at a time so it seemed delightful here. Not sure where you will be coming from in Oz, but I’m pretty sure it will be hot. In my experience NZ does not get as hot as Oz so you will definitely want to pack layers and some rain gear for your time here.

We spent April, May and June of 2020 in Picton and the Marlborough Sounds. June was generally very mild with blue and sunny skies. It did rain 2 or 3 times per week but it was not an all day event. July we were in Auckland and surrounds and August we spent in Northland. We had mostly great weather with a few rainy days per week. Again, not all day events. This year we spend the winter in Auckland and Northland with a little bit of time in Waikato. In May 2021 we were in Golden Bay, Canterbury, Lake Tekapo, Aoraki/Mt. Cook, Kaikoura and Picton on South Island. The weather was chilly but absolutely stunning!

I dont mean to burst your bubble but I would be very surprised if the borders were fully open by April 2022. I wouldn’t book anything that you can’t cancel.

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Thank you so much, that’s very helpful :pray:

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Thank you so much, that’s all very helpful :pray:. its great to know with the right gear on the NZ beautiful scenery is not to be missed even during their winter months. The experience will be amazing. Omg didn’t realise the opening up could be that far away. Definitely won’t book anything until we know for sure or that we cannot cancel. I do need to curb my expectations and try to be more patient. It’s the Sydney bit we are more than desperate to get to, a first grandson born last January and we should have been there then, so he’s going to be at least one year old before we see him, we are hoping we can enter there this coming Jan and have our 3 months, but its all so uncertain, I walk around with my fingers crossed) :grinning: (Sorry, you may already know that bit, I am always banging on about getting to oz and can’t wait to meet him). Fortunately we are keeping in touch with a Sydney THS owner that wants to visit the uk just as desperately so as soon as borders are open and we can both fly we can confirm a 5 week house sit, Thanks again for all your helpful info.

I have not HS that however being an Aussie, I have back packed NZ, staying in Hostels in Winter to Ski and Snowboard.
Dress in layers, thermals and have a good “Cold” weather coat, gloves, beanie, socks and Snow/Walking Boots. Forget Fashion, okay a going out outfit, however make sensible, you are not impressing others, so just stay warm and comfortable.
Enjoy it is a truly beautiful Country and the locals are pretty good too.

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Hi @Julie we lived in NZ for 12 years so plenty of first hand experience! The winter weather really varies depending on what region you are in. We lived in Arrowtown in the South Island and the most beautiful season there is autumn - March/April has cold, crisp, dry mornings, but beautiful blue sky days, May can be the dull month with snow on the way and more grey skies; ski season usually starts around mid-June through to end September. Houses often have little central heating so be prepared for that, but lots of log burners. The climate differs dramatically on the north of the north island, much milder, but much wetter too. Each region really can have their own micro-climates - coastal, mountain, desert, will all vary.
My only concern is that Jacinda may not be ready to let you in by April 2022, make sure you can cancel/change any bookings without penalty.
It is definitely the most beautiful country and well worth a visit when you have plenty of time - you will stop at every corner you come around in awe!
Enjoy.

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Thank you that’s so true and great advice :purple_heart:

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Thank you so much :purple_heart: that’s all so great to know, we’ve e noted lots down, thank you for your time and info :purple_heart:

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We have a granddaughter born in Auckland at the end of Feb 2020 that we haven’t met yet either. We were hoping to head to NZ some time after the New Year but no idea when their borders will actually open. The last I read, they were planning to reopen “early 2022”, but it will be gradual depending on what’s happening in the country people are coming from. At this point, I suspect our grandkids will be able to visit us in Canada next summer, before we can go back to NZ…

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Oh I really feel for you :hugs::heart: I know how you must be feeling. So many families missing each other. I hope you get to see your granddaughter soon. who thought it would go on this long. I will absolutely burst when I get to see little Frankie. Keep in touch!

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Great info shared here-thanks all!!! Can’t imagine how difficult it’s been for folks not reconnecting with families in other countries. While we’ve been visiting periodically (grandkids Chicago/Boston), the simple travel of the past, has been changed drastically. Missing the opportunity to hold a new grand baby is almost too much to bear. My heart goes out to all the grandparents separated from new little ones, who are longing for some normalcy. Thank goodness for all the advanced technology and our ability to keep in touch virtually!

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Just an update on my Post. Hi and thank you to those who replied to me. Oh my we are so excited! at last we (@theglobalpetsitters) have our NZ Housesitting travel plan up and running. With flights booked to. Australia 11/12/22 - we are housesitting again for 3 months in the Sydney area and then flying to Christchurch on 22/2 and after an amazing road trip we are seeking House/pet sits in Christchurch area, Queenstown (the month of May already booked - a house/pet sit in Dunedin). Then we hope to get House/pet sits in North Island for June and July (appreciate it will be colder - warm coats! ). Just applied for an Alpaca sit, hope we weren’t too late. We desperately want to have a farm sit with Alpacas :llama::smiling_face_with_three_hearts:
With flights booked, car rental, our initial accommodation etc all booked we have just read that NZ required an outbound flight booked, we didnt. really want to do that as we wanted to keep our options of where we travelled to next flexible but if that is what we have to do. Also, Julie now has a low dosage painkiller she is taking for a shin splint pain that still will not go (Gabapentin) - she’s going to try to wean herself off them (btw not anything like an opioid) but even so, doesn’t look like we can take more than a months supply into NZ. So hopefully not too expensive to buy in NZ if she has to. We’re just going to have to find a way to make it all happen, which we will. Thats what we guys have to do don’t we.
Happy Housesitting travels to you all!
@KC1102 @Knowmad @Manda @SchindlersOnTour @Kelownagurl @Joanne

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This info might help regarding the prescription.

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thank you so much :pray:t2: thats so helpful of you!

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@Julie be careful what you wish for regarding a farm/alpaca sit in NZ :grinning:
We managed to do two of these in 2019 and they were full of adventure, shenanigans and the unexpected. If you and your partner are practical, resourceful and flexible you will probably be OK. Plus it makes for great storytelling :wink:

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We live not far from Cch so whilst you’re here in NZ, happy to help if you need anything.

In terms of meds, you may be offered a different brand but same thing.

@RadarInc Canterbury/South Canterbury winter’s been horrible with all the rain. I was chatting to a farmer’s wife the other week & their animals have struggled with the wet weather.

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@Julie,

I have just finished a sit for a Kiwi lady who had spent her summer in wintery Christchurch, NZ.

I saw her packing in the middle of June. She packed exclusively winter boots, winter jackets, and warm sweaters.

Every day I was getting weather reports from her … rain, rain, rain. If it wasn´t raining it was pouring. Showers could go on for days.

Right now, middle of August, I am in Melbourne. Similar climate. Rain, rain, rain. 80% of the time, if not more. The temperature at night is 7C and during the day 11-14. The temperature in the house is 14C which was a total shock to my system. There is some sort of heating here which I turned on and am now stressing about the expenses.

Dog walking can also have its challenges due to muddy terrain. Thus, rubber boots and breathable rain gear are a must.

But, as “they” say “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes” :wink:

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:grinning: Hi, well we hope we have those 3 qualities and like an adventure but we certainly now will be looking more closely at Sits we see, asking more questions in the hope of no surprises. Sounds like you have some fun stories to tell, perhaps more funny now after the events :wink: thanks so much for your reply.

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Omg that’s a lot of rain! Australia/NZ seems to have been affected the most with climate change too. It seems we may not be able to rely on what the weather normally is month by month. You’re right we’ll have to choose our clothing well. We were hoping our first 3 months SI from 22/2 would be pleasant temps and then not too bad for our last 2 months , June July, NI, but we’ll go prepared. Thank you :pray: