Queenstown in October: Your weather and travel guide for 2023

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Curious about the best time to visit Queenstown? Well, if you’re planning a trip in October, get ready for a remarkable spring experience in this beautiful New Zealand destination.

Queenstown in October is a dream come true as the weather gets a bit warmer. The vibrant landscapes of New Zealand begin their transition from winter to spring and Queenstown emerges as a prime destination for travellers seeking a unique blend of natural beauty and thrilling adventures.

The scenery in Queenstown becomes colourful and lively. You certainly don’t have to worry about a shortage of things to do as the snow melts!

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll delve into why Queenstown is an absolute must-visit in October, and you’ll have all the essential information to make the most of your journey.


Weather in Queenstown in October

Now, let’s talk about the weather in Queenstown in October.

Queenstown’s weather is as diverse as its landscape. Nestled in the Southern Alps of New Zealand’s South Island, Queenstown experiences four distinct seasons.

Spring runs from September to November so with October falling in the midst of spring transitioning into summer, you’re in for a mix of climatic surprises. In general, spring in New Zealand is known for being particularly rainy and windy but don’t let that scare you off.

Make sure you pack a warm jacket and other cold-weather essentials so you’re prepared for any cold snaps and protected from the wind. Don’t forget your raincoat either!

The ski season in Queenstown ends mid-October so it is still possible to hit the slopes before the snow melts.

queenstown-in-july


Average Temperature in Queenstown in October

In October, Queenstown experiences an average daytime temperature range of 9°C to 15°C (48°F to 59°F). This mild climate provides an ideal environment for outdoor exploration.

Expect cool mornings and evenings with daytime highs that can be pleasantly warm on a lovely sunny day. Layering your clothing will ensure comfort throughout the day and that you’re prepared for whatever the unpredictable spring weather might throw at you.

While the warmer spring days may begin to melt the snow in some places, snowfall can actually occur as late as November!


Can you swim in Queenstown in October?

Well nobody’s going to stop you if you really want to take a dip…but the water in October is still pretty chilly. Some adventurous souls do take a dip in Lake Wakatipu so I’ll leave this one for you to decide!


Does it rain in Queenstown in October?

If you’re planning to travel to Queenstown in October, it’s best to be ready for any kind of weather!

While October in Queenstown is relatively dry with only a few sporadic showers, as mentioned above, spring in New Zealand is known for being unpredictable so it’s good to be prepared, no matter what the weather forecast says.

October sees an average rainfall of about 101mm (4 inches) so pack accordingly. Layered clothing and an umbrella will come in handy to keep you warm and dry.


What time does the sun set in Queenstown in October?

queenstown-lake


If you’re a sunset lover, you’re in for a treat. In October, the sun usually sets around 8 pm, providing mesmerising sunset views, particularly from Lake Wakatipu.

In October the days are starting to get longer as we creep towards summer so later in the month you’ll find the sun sets closer to 8.30 pm.

Queenstown in October enjoys around 14 hours of daylight (or more if you visit late in October), giving you ample time to explore the stunning landscapes and engage in various activities.


Events and things to do in Queenstown in October

Now let’s delve into some of the events and activities you can enjoy in Queenstown during October:


1. Take part in Cyclorama

Cyclorama is New Zealand’s first e-bike festival and takes place in Arrowtown over Labour Weekend. With 8 different trail rides, there’s something for everyone!

Cruise around Lake Hayes, go stargazing in a Gibbston vineyard or enjoy a cold beer at Hop Trail at Altitude, Queenstown’s most famous craft brewery. The different trails are designed for you to have a whole heap of fun.

Either bring your own e-bike or rent one from one of Cyclorama’s preferred stores. You don’t need to be experienced either, Cyclorama is enjoyable for everyone, even those who haven’t e-biked before.

After your ride, relax with a drink and enjoy some live music back at the Cyclorama Festival Village. Food trucks are also operating throughout the day so no need to go hungry.

Bookings are required so don’t miss out!


2. Go skiing or snowboarding

Skiing or snowboarding through the enhanced winter scenery of Queenstown is a dream come true for many people, drawing travellers from all corners of the globe. If you’re planning to come to Queenstown in the first half of October then you’ll make it just in time for the end of the season.

Coronet Peak and The Remarkables are two premier ski fields located in close proximity – Cardona Valley and Treble Cone not far behind at just an hour’s drive away! Truly, there is no shortage of options to make your skiing experience one-of-a-kind here.

If you’re not a fan of snow sports, don’t worry! The mountains are still stunning enough to make the drive worthwhile. Plus, exploring New Zealand’s majestic Remarkables mountain range is an absolute must-do experience.


3. Skyline Queenstown Gondola

queenstown gondola 2


From the beautiful snow-dusted peaks to the stunning landscape, Queenstown really is a winter wonderland! With Skyline Gondola located just five minutes away from downtown Queenstown, you can ascend 480 metres into the clouds and bask in its majestic beauty.

This accessible activity is one of New Zealand’s best gems that should be enjoyed year-round – don’t miss out on this amazing experience!


4. Get your adrenaline pumping

Queenstown is the adventure capital of the world. Try bungee jumping, skydiving, jet boating, or white-water rafting for an adrenaline rush like no other.

Queenstown’s skydiving experiences offer you a bird’s-eye view of the stunning landscapes that will leave you breathless, in the best way possible. Zooming down narrow canyons is a ton of fun also! Skim the crystal-clear waters of Lake Wakatipu, and spin 360 degrees.

For those who crave a wild aquatic adventure, white-water rafting is where it’s at. Navigate the roaring rivers and tackle those rapids head-on. It’s a team effort that’ll have you paddling, laughing, and occasionally screaming your way through Mother Nature’s thrill ride.

So, whether you’re a thrill-seeker in your element or someone who wants to conquer their fear of heights or speed, Queenstown has got the recipe for an adrenaline rush.


5. Savour the flavours of Central Otago

wine tours queenstown new zealand 1


As the weather warms up, it’s the perfect time to embark on a wine-tasting tour in one of the most famous wine regions in New Zealand. Explore the local vineyards and indulge in wine tasting, particularly the renowned Pinot Noir, in the heart of Central Otago.

The easiest way to explore the nearby vineyards is by booking a group tour as then you don’t have to worry about transport – you automatically have a sober driver!

I wrote an entire post on the best wine tours in Queenstown, but to save you time, the best wine tour is the Central Otago Wine Tour from Queenstown because you visit 4 vineyards, lunch is included and it has many excellent reviews.

Sample local flavours and learn about wine-making as you explore stunning scenery nestled amongst rolling hills – it will be an unforgettable experience! You’ll relax in an air-conditioned vehicle as you enjoy the stunning scenery and sample some of New Zealand’s finest wines on this exclusive small group tour limited to just 12 people.


What to wear in Queenstown in October

October in Queenstown is all about layering so you’re prepared for the changing weather conditions. In spring you’ll find that throughout New Zealand the saying “4 seasons in 1 day” tends to be thrown around a lot.

Be sure to pack lightweight, moisture-wicking base layers, insulated mid-layers, and a waterproof outer layer.

If you’re heading up into the mountains – thermals are also recommended underneath your regular clothing. You’ll also want to choose shoes with good grip if you plan on navigating the trails or slopes. Any rainfall or melting snow can make things a bit slippery.

So if you’re looking to take in Queenstown’s beauty during the month of October, make sure you’re dressed appropriately and ready for whatever adventures await!


Queenstown in October: FAQ


What is the best time of year in Queenstown?

Wondering when is the best time to visit Queenstown? Well, let me break it down for you. Queenstown has something incredible to offer no matter when you decide to visit. It all depends on what kind of experience you’re looking for.

If you’re a fan of winter wonderlands and thrilling winter activities, then June, July or August is the perfect month for you. The crisp days and snow-covered landscapes will leave you in awe. It’s an unforgettable experience you won’t want to miss!

On the other hand, if you prefer sunny and dry days, then the summer months are your best bet. Queenstown transforms into a whole new world with plenty of outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, and mountain biking. You’ll be immersed in the beauty of this region and have the time of your life!

There’s no limit to what adventure awaits you when visiting Queenstown during the warmer season.


What is the wettest month in Queenstown?

October and March tend to be the wettest months in Queenstown, with precipitation of approximately 80-90mm (3.5 inches) on average. If you plan to visit during these months then it’s good to ensure you are well-prepared for your trip, take into account that New Zealand’s weather can be very unpredictable – Queenstown included!


What is the driest month in Queenstown?

queenstown lake wakatipu


Despite the fact that July is winter in Queenstown, it has been known to be one of the driest months with a mere 65mm of precipitation. However, this is primarily due to snowfall rather than rain as summer remains an ideal time for sunnier days.

With mild temperatures and some rainfall throughout the year, don’t let this deter you from visiting during any month: Queenstown will not disappoint!


What is the hottest month in Queenstown?

January is the warmest month of the year in Queenstown, with an average high temperature of 22°C (71 Fahrenheit). Its sunny skies make it ideal for nature lovers and adventurers alike – basking in a generous helping of sun rays each day!


What is the coldest month in Queenstown?

In Queenstown, the chilliest month is usually July with an average temperature of 4°C – 8°C. As snowfall frequently happens during winter in this location, so pack those extra layers to keep cosy if you plan on visiting at that time.

No matter which month you choose, Queenstown will always welcome you with open arms and unforgettable experiences. So go ahead and plan your trip. Adventure awaits in this beautiful destination!


Queenstown in October: Travel Guide

queenstown in october


Queenstown in October transforms into a kaleidoscope of colours and experiences, making it an ideal time to explore this enchanting destination. The spring season ushers in a unique charm that captivates every traveller.

In October, Queenstown unveils landscapes that are nothing short of breathtaking. The snow from the winter months begins to recede, revealing lush greenery and blooming flora. Nature’s hues create a picturesque setting that’s perfect for your getaway.

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie seeking heart-pounding adventures or someone who prefers a leisurely pace, Queenstown caters to all. Thrilling activities like bungee jumping and jet boating coexist harmoniously with serene moments of relaxation by Lake Wakatipu.

Just remember to pack those extra layers because temperatures can dip quickly during this time of year!


Is Queenstown worth visiting?

Is Queenstown worth visiting? Without a doubt! This remarkable destination beckons with its awe-inspiring scenery and a diverse array of activities that span all seasons.

From skiing on pristine slopes to indulging in world-class wines, Queenstown promises an extraordinary experience.

The scenery here is absolutely exquisite, and the options for things to do are endless. That’s why Queenstown is one of my favourite destinations in New Zealand.


Is Queenstown safe to travel to?

Travelling to Queenstown is generally safe, but as with any location, vigilance is key. When exploring the town at night, especially if you’re solo, taking extra precautions is wise.

However, Queenstown’s bustling daytime atmosphere ensures ample opportunities for exploration and discovery.

With some smart strategising and awareness during your stay, you can have an unforgettable journey while ensuring your safety throughout.


Where is Queenstown, New Zealand?

Situated in New Zealand’s stunning South Island, Queenstown graces visitors with its majestic vistas of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains. Nestled within this breathtaking landscape, Queenstown stands as one of the most captivating towns in the country.


Best place to stay in Queenstown

Kamana Lakehouse Queenstown
Image via Agoda

The best part is that Queenstown caters to all budgets. If you’re seeking an exquisite experience, Kamana Lakehouse or QT Queenstown are top-notch options.

If you’re looking to save some money, Pinewood Lodge and Queenstown Top 10 Holiday Park offer excellent accommodations without breaking the bank.

Best luxury Queenstown accommodation

Best budget Queenstown accommodation


How many days do you need in Queenstown?

You can explore Queenstown in as few as three days if you’re short on time. However, to truly experience the very best of what this town has to offer, it’s recommended that you stay for 5-7 days.

This will give you ample time to enjoy all the amazing activities and attractions while also allowing for some skiing or snowboarding adventures.


How to get around Queenstown

There are multiple ways to get around Queenstown. For ultimate flexibility renting a car is the best option. Each time I’ve travelled to Queenstown I’ve rented a car and it’s been worth it every time as it gives you the opportunity to explore Queenstown’s surrounding beauty – hello drive to Glenorchy!

Alternatively, the local bus network offers convenient and affordable transportation for those who prefer not to drive.

Taxis are also readily available, making it easy to get around the town and its outskirts but of course, this is a more expensive option and may not suit everyone’s budget.


When can you see the southern lights in Queenstown?

If you’re hoping to witness the awe-inspiring Southern Lights in Queenstown, plan your trip during winter, between May and August. However, don’t discount the shoulder seasons such as March, April, or September, as you might still have a chance to witness this incredible natural spectacle.

For the best viewing experience, be prepared for a midnight sky watch. Bundle up in warm clothes and venture out of town to escape light pollution. Lake Tekapo is considered a great spot to catch a glimpse of the lights.


Conclusion: Queenstown in October

As you plan your journey to Queenstown in October, keep in mind the remarkable blend of seasons (even though it’s technically spring – another unpredictable weather reference once again!), the thrilling adventures and the enchanting landscapes that await you.

With the right preparations and a spirit of exploration, Queenstown in October promises an unforgettable experience. Don’t forget to bring your layers for those chilly mornings and nights, as well as an umbrella to be prepared for any surprises nature may bring.

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, a nature enthusiast, or a culinary connoisseur, Queenstown welcomes you with open arms.

So, pack your bags and get ready for a month of discovery, adventure, and natural beauty in this enchanting corner of the world.