Christchurch's climate is quite temperate and dry, with cooler temperatures experienced throughout all four seasons. This means that summers in Christchurch aren't likely to get extremely hot, largely due to the city's location to the equator. On the other hand, winters and autumns in Christchurch can be quite cold, with freezing temperatures recorded in winter. This doesn't necessarily mean that Christchurch is overcast and rainy all the time, though with the city still enjoying roughly 2,100 hours of sunlight every year.
There's no specific 'best time' to travel to Christchurch with each season offering multiple activities to enjoy. If you don't want it to be too cold, summer, and more specifically January and February, is the time to go as the weather is nice and sunny.
Does it snow in Christchurch?
On average, it does snow in winter in Christchurch at least once a year however, multiple years can go by without seeing any snowfall. If it does snow, the temperatures aren't cold enough to keep it around for long, with most snow melting away within a day or two once touching the ground. Having said that, the surrounding mountain ranges do get snow on them during the winter.
However, sleet and hail are much more common in winter than snow.
What to do in Christchurch in winter
Despite the cold temperatures in winter, Christchurch actually offers a lot for travellers to enjoy, from He Puna Taimoana hot pools to skiing at the nearby Mt Hutt. Located roughly 90 minutes from the city centre, Mt Hutt offers the largest ski area for sports enthusiasts to play around on and even has the longest vertical drop in the South Island at a whopping 683 metres.
If snow sports aren't your thing then there are plenty of other things to do in Christchurch during winter (that you can also enjoy during other seasons) including exploring local markets, dining out at the best restaurants, hitting the city's shopping districts, and embracing Christchurch's nightlife.