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Students playing in the  snow at Mt Ruapehu

5 Tips to Help You Survive Winter in New Zealand

Out of all the new things you are about to encounter in New Zealand, the winter season will be the hardest.

A little preparation in advance will make this experience a memorable one and gradually, like me, you’ll start loving winter in New Zealand.

Winter season

The temperature starts to fall in the month of May and officially the winter season commences from June and lasts till September. Therefore, you will experience the lowest temperatures in the months of June, July and August. 

One of the interesting facts about New Zealand is the climatic differences between the North and South. Winter in the North Island is usually milder than the South Island with more rain. The lowest temperature in the winter season can be up to 5 degrees for the North Island while it can go down to minus 5 degrees in the South Island.

Here are some tips that helped me get through winter in New Zealand: 

1. Heat your room

I found a heater for my room was essential. Use some of your savings to buy a heater. It doesn’t cost much to buy an electric heater although a heater with a dehumidifier is best as it’s a little tough to heat the damp air. 

Common heaters to look out for are fan heaters and oil column heaters. Fan heaters are best for small spaces whereas an oil column heater will heat a larger space. For safety, keep the heater away from hazardous stuff and buy one with a tip-over switch as it will turn off the heater if it overturns.

2. Bring or invest in proper clothing

I brought and invested in some winter clothing to keep me warm. In an effort to beat the low temperatures, it is best to focus on your own body temperature. And this calls for the need for proper warm clothing. 

Don’t leave any part of your body exposed to the cold air except for your face. Use gloves, wool socks, a scarf and buy a proper winter jacket if you need to. And layer your clothes to keep warm: one over the other, starting with thermals. 

3. Use the sun for warmth

I kept my curtains open during the day for extra warmth. Always remember to make use of the sunlight during the day time hours. The sun may not be strong enough but you can definitely make the most out of it by opening up your curtains during the day and saving up the little heat by closing them as soon as it gets dark.

4. Put in some physical effort

Exercise really helped me to feel better. Winter is that time of the year which makes you feel a little lazy. Say goodbye to the excuses like 'its too cold outside' and start working out in your room or even go for a walk. 

Exercising keeps the body and mind in the right condition. It may be cold outside but a walk by swinging your arms can be a perfect solution to the cold. Don’t lock yourself in your room and follow a healthy routine.

5. Stay healthy

I ate well and kept a hot water bottle in my room! Being new to a climate increases the probability of falling ill; getting flu, a cold or even a fever. So, take a little more care of yourself and increase your hygiene levels. Keep up a regular intake of hot food and tea/coffee/hot water.

And lastly, don’t forget to maintain a positive mindset as surviving winter ain't that hard which is what I have been trying to say throughout this whole article!

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Study in New Zealand blog Aashin

By Aashin ThampyPostgraduate Student

Updated 5 months ago

Aashin Thampy, from India, is studying for a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing at Auckland University of Technology. Aaashin was working as Senior Digital Marketing Manager for MNC-Sweans Technologies, headquartered in the UK before he shifted to Auckland to gain international exposure.

*Views expressed are the blogger's own

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