July is the middle of winter in New Zealand and therefore on average the coldest month of the year. The temperature varies considerably across the length of the country, getting colder the further south you go.
In the North Island, there is often higher rainfall than at other times of the year. However in the South Island rainfall is lower than average. This makes it ideal for skiing and snow sports and other alpine activities.
Pros of Visiting New Zealand in July
- It's quiet and uncrowded: being the middle of the "off season", this is the quietest time for tourists (the exception is the New Zealand school holidays in the first half of the month, during which the ski resorts will be relatively crowded).
- Prices are lower
- Snowy areas of the South Island are especially beautiful
Cons of Visiting New Zealand in July
- It's cold: unless you have a wetsuit it's not the time to enjoy the best of the New Zealand beaches, especially in the North Island
- Some restaurants and attractions may be closed. Most businesses in New Zealand do stay open all year round. However, some of the beach towns of the North Island get so quiet that a number of restaurants and cafes may close for a few weeks' break.
- Days are shorter: plan for this for outdoor activities.
- It can be wet: weather may be unpredictable so be flexible with your plans if you are intending on exploring 'outside' areas.
Best Things to See and Do in July
- Skiing and Snowboarding, Whakapapa and Turoa Skifields
- Hot Baths, Polynesian Pools, Rotorua
- Te Papa Museum, Wellington
- Skiing and snowboarding at one of the many ski fields
- Night Skiing, Treble Cone
- Whale Watching, Kaikoura
- Hot Baths, Maruia Springs