In New Zealand, winter starts on June 1st (not at the solstice) and lasts until the end of August. I spent this winter 2018 working in Auckland, not the most fun 🙄.
Weather in New Zealand
Auckland (and overall north island)
The Auckland winter is not very cold … But rather very rainy! In general, the weather is rather capricious in Auckland because of its enclave between two oceans. Winter is still relatively rare to have a full day without rain (the last 30 days, only 5 were without any rain). Temperatures are between 8 and 17 degrees during the day. The major disadvantage is that here insulation and heating are not standard yet 😪. And if there is an indispensable accessory it’s the :
PS : plan in a sturdy to resist gusts 🙄 (you’re welcome)
The rest of the North Island (except the mountains where there is snow) and also quite rainy.
However, towards the end of winter especially, the sunny days can be warm enough to picnic in tee shirt 😍.
The South Island is colder, there are even glaciers! If you like skiing you can also practice in the local Alps! It does not prevent rain from falling but less than in Auckland (11 days without rain in Queenstown during the last 30 days). I went twice (Christchurch and Nelson) and was able to enjoy every time (just an mixed day in Akaroa).
In any case, remember that the weather may change from one day to the next from what was announced (it is very common). It is difficult to predict in advance the sun during your activities. If you must plan, plan and go 😉(rain or shine). The ideal being to have time and wait for the sun for the desired activity!
My activities at Auckland
In general, winter I hibernate! But at the other side of the world I had to move a minimum to visit 😊
In August I decided to swap my old Canon 450D by the Canon 80D. Once received, I had to go and test it 😉. The weather in August arranged a bit on Auckland (at the beginning of the month at least), it allowed a few sunny days during the weekend. I had not yet had the opportunity to see the volcanic black sand beaches of the west coast. That’s sublime 😍. I advise you to go at low tide, so you can have more beach to walk around. And the small rivers formed by the tide are a real pleasure for the eyes.
If you want to be a real aucklander, it’s Mission Bay that you have to go to 😉. I took advantage of a sunny Sunday to buy food to take away (fuel burger, I recommend!). And after I went eating in the grass in the sun (it works with the beach as well, just without too much wind to not eat sand 😅).
Being rather tired at the moment, I decided to test an offer seen on bookme: float session. It is a one hour salt bath (at body temperature). This relaxes all muscles and you can even sleep as you float 😉.I enjoyed this relaxing moment. It did not really stop my fatigue due to lack of sleep but I really felt my muscles completely relaxed! I tested two centers: Botany and Ponsonby.
In Botany, the center does just that. This is where I got the book me offer. The room is really good, shower nickel, hair dryer for the end, vaseline (for small wounds) and ear protection “external”. So no need to get anything in the orifice for those who do not like. By cons in the end, the machine that cleans / filters the water makes a horrible noise. I advise you to remove your ear protections at the very end so as not to be disturbed during your shower.
In Ponsonby, the center also does massages. You can also buy beauty or relaxants products. There is not the horrible cleaning noise of the end (I think they do it only when the customer leaves). By cons the shower is a little less great, there is no mirror, no hair dryer, no vaseline provided and the earplugs are “classic”. Another small point, we can not obviously stop the small music “relaxing” from the beginning (ten minutes), I prefer the silence personally but it is the tastes of each!
It’s a all year activity, not just winter, but really feel free to sign up for classes or activities related to your passions, even if you only stay temporarily in a city. It does not always fit backpacker budget but honnestly it’s just happiness! And it’s always interesting to see things from another point of view and with a different culture than in France. Well my teacher is English, not super local but frankly his way of teaching will miss me and he made me a lot progress!
At the end of June I went to Christchurch. To avoid repetition, I invite you to read my article 😉. The weather was nice, I even eat on the terrace at noon. On the other hand, one feels the heat of the sun only a few hours. As soon as it goes down it’s cold again!
The weekend of July 14 (it could have been another date but I found it symbolic) I went to Cable Bay near Nelson. I needed a weekend of rest and looking for a hotel a little “luxury” on booking I came across Cable Bay Nest. I admit that the bath has greatly tipped the scales 😉.
The departure was quite unusual for me, in fact, Nelson airport is not equipped to scan luggage, so they are not scan from Auckland as well! Whenever I think I have seen all the “quirks” of New Zealand I discover more 😅.
The owners are charming, they are full of advice on the area. And before I left they showed me Nelson’s main spots! Saturday was perfect! Breakfast in terrace with view, stroll along the bay in the sun, chill in the studio and foam bath. In short, it made me feel better!
I don’t forget the running even if with the fatigue and the little winter blues it’s not easy every day to motivate!
In early August I went to Rotorua (I had already had the opportunity to go there in 2016) run in the Redwoods forest. The setting is really beautiful (despite the rain 😢). But I think the trail race in nature is not necessarily my favorite way to run. I feel like I’m missing something by not taking my time! Unfortunately the rain will prevent me from (re) visiting other places.
This weekend I’m planning a race in New Caledonia (where I stay a week for the occasion!). I’ll tell you all that soon 😊