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New Zealand's winter?

Southern Finland
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New Zealand's winter?

Hi. Me and my mate are gonna go around New Zealand with bicycles on 2012. We even got a few sponsors so the trip is basically free. The problem is that I have to start my studies in September so we would have to make our trip in winter time.

We come from Finland so "winter time" here means heaps of snow, -30c° temperatures and pitch black darkness so I was wondering what is the winter like in New Zealand. Mainly I'm interested on the condition of the roads (are they covered in ice and snow) and how does the winter differ from the north- and south island? Thanks.

Auckland, New...
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1. Re: New Zealand's winter?


Welcome to the New Zealand Forum,

You may find the following link helpful:


The winters in New Zealand will be nothing like as severe as you experience in Finland. Generally roads are free of snow and ice in the winter but in the higher areas and mountain passes roads there will from time to time be snow and ice but usually only for a few days at a time.

Again in higher areas there can be frosts and there may be black ice on roads but this usually clears by mid morning.

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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2. Re: New Zealand's winter?

Our winter days are not as short as yours either (down south perhaps 7/8 am to 4/5 pm) and the shortest day of course is in June so by July/August they are already getting longer ;-). To allow for ice you'd probably not want to start riding before 9 or 10 am so you're limited to about 6 hours a day.

Wellington, NZ
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for Wellington
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3. Re: New Zealand's winter?

If you cycle in Finland in the winter, you won't have a problem here. Bring good quality wet weather gear as our winters are wet.

One thing to bear in mind though is that there aren't many cyclists on the roads during winter outside of the cities. Make yourself as visible as possible by wearing high vis gear, and it might pay to get yourself a super bright rear LED and have that going during the day.

New Zealand
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for South Island
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4. Re: New Zealand's winter?

The main difference between the North Island and South Island winter is that in the North, expect more rain and grey days.

In the central South Island expect low rainfall, clear sunny skies but far lower overnight temps. And yes, the roads will be frosty - best not to begin riding before 10am. However shady bits of road and bridges could remain frosty all day. Up here in Nelson, the winters are mild, the days sunny, the beaches deserted.

And as mentioned, our roads can be quite narrow, twisty and steep, often with no sealed verges, so the more you are visible, the better for all.

You also might enjoy the Otago Rail Trail - though through the winter some accommodation closes www.otagocentralrailtrail.co.nz/index.htm

happy travels :)

5. Re: New Zealand's winter?

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