Snow season begins

Snow season begins

June marks the beginning of the Winter season in New Zealand, with temperatures beginning to drop below zero degrees Celsius overnight in places. You will find Kiwis layering up their clothes during the day and wearing their warm jackets and beanies in the evening. While the weather can be cold and wet in June, New Zealand’s mountain ranges are often transformed into winter wonderlands. Skiers and snowboarders look forward to the colder weather, hoping for lots of snow early in the Winter season providing a base for when the snow sports begin. Many of the ski fields open in the month of June. The beginner area Happy Valley at Mt Ruapehu’s Whakapapa ski area is due to open on June 5 and the South Island’s Cardrona is due to open on 12 June.

Queen’s Birthday

Queen's Birthday

International students can enjoy a day off from classes on Monday 7 June. The first Monday of June is public holiday in honour of the Queen’s birthday. Kiwis get a day off work or study and enjoy a long weekend. Queen Elizabeth II is the official head of state in New Zealand as she is Monarch of the Commonwealth realms. In 1952, she was proclaimed in New Zealand as “Queen of this Realm and of all her other Realms”. Her actual birthday is on April 21, but its celebrated as a public holiday on the first Monday of June.

Midwinter carnival

Midwinter carnival

Dunedin, Saturday 26 June

If you are in the Dunedin region during the last weekend of June, then the Dunedin Midwinter Carnival is a must. During this annual celebration, the streets come alive with performers and art installations who parade through the streets around the city-centre’s Octagon precinct. Wrap up warm for this special event where you will see lots of lanterns and light projections.

Surrealist Art

Surrealist Art, Te Papa

Wellington, 12 June – 31 October

Art lovers should take a trip to the national museum Te Papa in the capital city this winter. Over 180 works from famous surrealist artists will be on display in this paid exhibit. Featuring paintings, sculptures, films and photographs, this is a rare chance to see iconic works from the surrealist art movement in New Zealand, including iconic pieces like the Mae West Lips Sofa pictured above by Salvador Dalí!

Image Credit: Sailko, CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons



19 June to 11 July 2021

Matariki is often referred to as the Māori new year.  When the star cluster Pleiades appears in the cold winter skies, it signifies a time to make plans for the year ahead and reflect on the year that has been.  In the Māori tradition of Ngāti toa Rangitira, Matariki is the mother of six daughters who are together on a journey to visit their great grandmother Papatūānuku, and they are each represented in the seven stars of the cluster.   In 2021 the Matariki period runs from 19 June to 11 July, when the star cluster is visible in the sky early each morning. This is a special time in Aotearoa, with celebrations taking place around the country. International students can celebrate the Māori new year in Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) with Matariki Festival or with firework displays in Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington) and Ōtautahi (Christchurch).

Image Credit: NASA, PJ_1004, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons


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iStudent Complaints is here to help international students resolve complaints with New Zealand education providers. We are a free and independent service to resolve financial and contractual complaints, for example refund requests.

About our blog
We want international students to enjoy studying and living in our amazing country as much as we do. We’ve created this blog so you can explore and experience the best New Zealand can offer. If you would like to read previous blogs, you can find them here.