summer in new zealand

2 messages
20/01/2012 at 20:30
seems a lot of overseas people heading to the new zealand outdoors in summer expect... well summery weather.

they head off on hikes with gear only suitable for hot conditions.

problem is, new zealand weather isnt entirely like that in summer.  it's more likely to be warm than cold but cold wet weather even freezing wet weather can blow through at any time of year.. people die of hypothermia here in the summer sometimes.
check the forecasts before you head outdoors  metservice.com
the weather can often change fast. southerly parts of new zealnd can get snow at any time of the year, there has just been a reasonable dump.
the forecast isnt always right, sometimes its badly wrong, always pack wet weather gear and some warm clothing.
i've seen a lot of people doing overnight trips with very thin sleeping bags, no spare warm clothes if they get wet. even no wet weather gear.... softshels and down jackets arent waterproof....
its often windy in summer, umbrellas often arent good enough.
if it rains there's a good chance it will make you cold, avoid wearing cotton.
brochure pictures dont tell the full story, fiordland is the wettest place in the world at sealevel. the rest of westland isnt far behind,, the rain doesnt stop for summer..... when it does rain in summer it can rain more than in winter....
juste because the lord of the ring charactars are fictitious doenst mean you are free from risk of getting maimed in New zealand.
that innocent creek bed you want to follow that is either dry or has little water in it can quickly turn into a whitewater kayakers dream in heavy rain.
if you are patient it can quickly revert back to that peaceful stream after the rain stops...
our tracks can be rough, open toed footwear can end up with stubbed and or cold toes....
I dont care how far you can walk in your own country on a good track, a lot of our tracks can be rough to extremely rough and slow going, don't expect to cover 30 plus kilometres a day on all the tracks you see here....
it might look like a small island compared to whre you come from but people still get lost here. the temperature extremes might not be as big as where you are from but people still suffer from heat stroke and die from hypothermia and can suffer frostbite here.
the mountains may not be among the highest in the world but they can still be very steep and dangerous in places.
mount cook national park doe look nice, but that hasnt stopped 200 people dying there.... and numerous more getting injured there.
get advise on track conditions, what may be a straightforward walk in good weather can become dangerous in bad weather.. tussock might look great to hang onto when you're climbing a slope, but if its wet and you're on a steep slope it's perfect for sliding downhill at high speed until some large probably hard object stops your decent rapidly.

20/01/2012 at 20:51
Yep, we had plenty rain and snow (-end of NZ summer). We went prepared just the same way that we would for a cold wet Scottish summer and got it just about right.
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