(1st December to 28th February) 20-30°
Long leisurely days, sunshine and spectacular alpine views, Arrowtown is the ideal spot to take time out to enjoy the finer things in life.
Summer - Officially 1 December to 28 February - daytime temperatures in the C20°s (F high 80°s - 90°s).At latitude 45° south, the summer days are long - midsummer dawn is as early as 5am and dusk around 10pm.
The attractions of clear waters, fresh air and breathtaking scenery and the many activities the area has to offer, means there’s plenty to entertain over the summer season. In December, Arrowtown gets into holiday mode as many New Zealander's traditionally migrate to town for the annual break. The laid back style and scorching temperatures of Central Otago forever etches fond memories. Several annual events are staged at this time offering the opportunity for international visitors to mingle with New Zealand holidaymakers. Walking tracks are popular in summer, Arrowtown has several great walks to suit all abilities, including a fascinating walk up the Arrow River to Macetown, which was a similarly vibrant gold mining community in the 1800's, now a ghost town.
Hot summer days are the perfect time to explore Central Otago orchards and vineyards, sample the locally made wine, honey, cheeses and the world’s sweetest stone fruits - cherries, apricots, nectarines and apples.
Rural New Zealand is celebrated at the Lake Hayes A & P Show (Agricultural & Pastoral) Arts and crafts markets are held around the region, a local Art trail is another popular activity. There are horse race meets in nearby towns, rodeos and several sporting events from fully competitive to very social.
(1st March to 30th May) 0-20°
The brilliant reds and golds of Arrowtown's main street and surrounding hillside is a breathtaking backdrop for the relaxing and recreational activities you will find in here. Autumn leaf fall carpets the town in gold once again. Walk, horse ride, go wine tasting, golfing or gold panning. Arrowtown is also a haven for artists and art lovers in these picturesque days, follow the arts trail if you don't paint yourself. Arrowtown 's weather is renown to be stable and clear with deep blue skies. It’s a great time to holiday. Warm days allow for most daytime summertime pursuits and you’ll enjoy occasional mild evenings. Come evening you’ll enjoy an open fire and maybe a glass of local red.
Autumn - officially 1 March to 30 May. Temperatures between mid 10's to the mid 20’s so bring tee shirts as well as some warm layers. Leaves normally begin to turn in late March or early April. By the end of the month fall colours are at their peak. Take a walk along the banks of the Arrow River to fully appreciate the vibrant backdrop.
(1st June to 31st August) 0-8° (or below 0°)
A magical season with snow-capped mountains and blue skies when visitors and locals alike enjoy an enviable lifestyle and stunning environments. The Southern Lakes Ski areas are renowned as the premier winter destination of the Southern Hemisphere. Winter activity in the Arrowtown centres on the nearby alpine playgrounds. It is a beautiful time of year to visit.
Arrowtown becomes a cosy base for skiers and snowboarders, the shopping is as wonderful as ever, all activity operators are in full swing and the log fires offer warmth and comfort whether the sun is up or down. The town features seven international standard snow areas and an aprés ski culture to match. Further into the region, stable weather makes winter a wonderful time to take in the rainforests and sounds of Fiordland and the vast vistas of Central Otago.
Winter - Officially 1 June - 31 August. Dress warm, as during winter temperatures seldom hit higher than 7 or 8 deg C and can fall well below zero deg C (F 32). Snowfields can open as early as the first weekend in June and are nearly always open by the last week of that month. The season can run past the last weekend in October but will generally close sometime in the last half of the month. Winter snowfalls are unpredictable but extensive snow-making at some areas generally ensures skiing and boarding throughout the season. Winter weather in the Southern Lakes region is generally stable -- the snowfields seldom close due to bad weather -- occasional storms provide large dumps of snow. While skiing and boarding can be the primary motivation to visit the Southern Lakes region during winter, plan enough time to have ‘off mountain days’ to take in the huge range of activities on offer in the area.
(1st September to 30th November) 8-15°
Golf courses, gardens, tracks & trails thaw and bloom. Fresh & fragrant clean air, warm days, cool evenings and a time when the skiing is often at its best. Restaurant tables venture out to the pavements and the river bank and lakesides re-populate with walkers and watersports enthusiasts enjoying warm late afternoon sunshine. Enjoy a café, browse the shops, hike the hillside trails, take in the new colours and scents.
Spring - officially 1 September to 30 November. Weather is unpredictable, sublime one moment, spring showers the next. Temperature range is C8 degrees to C15 degrees. Dress in layers for rapid temperature changes .
Garden tours are lovely at this time of year with an astonishing range of bulbs, annuals and perennials creating colourful displays.
Central Otago's hills are mauve with flowering herbs, particularly wild thyme - a great time to wander the vast landscape.
The low lying river fishing season opens on October 1. The alpine river fishing season opens on November 2. Low lying rivers are generally described as those flowing out of the great lakes, the alpine are those flowing in. Buy a fishing license (the price is nominal) from any sports shop in Te Anau, Cromwell, Alexandra, Wanaka or Queenstown. For full regulations, information and fishing tips, visit www.fishandgame.org.nz