Subject: NZ in June or July
Hi Janet,

>Thanks for the wonderful information. No problem, glad that I can be of service

>We are planning a trip to NZ in June or July of '01. I agree with Pat travelling in the dead of winter does has its advantages plus unfortunately, disadvantages. One of the obvious good points, that is if you are a skier, there is usually a good base of snow on the fields during these months. I used to do a lot of tramping and shooting in the high country all year round and during the winter snow was sometimes heavy on the ground. As I was younger then, the conditions did not seem to worry me, or that is how I remember it anyway. You can get some great photographs in the winter. Where I live, Christchurch, you get some very heavy frosts but normally, if you can get over the initial shock of seeing the ground covered in frost, the days are bright with clear blue skies, if a little crisp. You get much less wind in the winter. Clothing is something that you have to be careful about, you should dress in layers, so that you can peel each article of clothing off as the day gets warmer. The top of the North Island, known as the winterless north, is a lot warmer in the winter, but they tend to get a higher rainfall. As you travel down the centre of the North Island the conditions become very sever with very heavy snow falls, the main Desert Road has to be closed sometimes. The east coast of the North Island, round the towns of Napier and Hastings, temps. tend to be a lot more on the pleasant side. Wellington, our capital city, can be nice and very unpleasant in the same day. You can have a very nice day in the morning, and then a howling southerly can blow, bringing very cold and wet conditions. I must be honest here, except for Wellington and Waiouru(a small area where the army has a camp - I spent 8 weeks there doing my basic training) I have not travelled during the winter months. I am going on what people have told me and what I have read. The top of South Island, round Nelson and Marlborough, can have some great weather during winter, I can vouch for this as I played a lot of Rugby in these areas. On the west coast of the South Island, temps. are generally reasonably mild, although having said that, they do experience quite a bit of rain. Down south in the provinces of Otago and Southland, as you might expect, temps are quite a bit cooler and you get a lot more frost and snow. I lived in the small town of Gore, 70kms north of Invercargill, way down at the bottom of the South Island and I loved it. Although the nights were very cold, the days were generally bright and fresh. In my younger days I have done a lot of Deer culling in the Fiordland area and you do tend to experience a lot of rain, but it rains a lot right throughout the year.

>Is one month better than the other? I don't think that there is much difference, but if I had to make a choice, I would go for June.

>Perhaps we should postpone the trip until'02 when no such constraints apply. As Pat has quite rightly stated, travelling in NZ during winter is not that bad and as for coming the following year, well that is up to you. My own personal choice is to travel late spring and early summer(November) or late summer and early autumn(April).

After reading what I just written, I don't know if I have helped you or confused you even more, but I hope it has been of some assistance.

Regards, Richard Bloomfield.(New Zealand)