Media Release: Making the most of Matariki, outdoors 

22nd June 2022|2min

The Matariki long weekend provides an exciting opportunity for people to connect and reflect together in New Zealand’s outdoors. Whether you are star-gazing, going on a day walk or staying in your favourite backcountry hut, NZ Mountain Safety Council has some key advice so you are prepped for the winter conditions and make it home safe. 

MetService predicts Friday and Saturday mornings as the best opportunities of viewing the Matariki cluster before fog and cloud get in the way, so making it to a backcountry hut could be the perfect way to celebrate it.  

While the new public holiday celebrating Matariki offers another opportunity to connect with family and friends in the outdoors over a long weekend, the wintry weather is something important to consider. As June’s days are shorter and cooler, solid planning and packing makes for a successful adventure. 

MSC Chief Executive Mike Daisley says that while the public holiday can be seen as a good chance to get outdoors, it’s important to pack and dress for the conditions. 

“Whether it’s a short walk, a day trip or an overnight tramp, the bare essentials regardless of the forecast should be: warm clothes – insulation layers and thermal base layers, a rain jacket, head torch, extra layers and appropriate emergency communications device.” 

“Temperatures cool down faster with a clear sky, so when star gazing, ensure you have those extra layers, a beanie, and gloves to have an enjoyable time. Don’t forget the binoculars and a thermos too!” 

MetService meteorologist Lewis Ferris says the long weekend is more of a mixed bag of weather, leaving Friday and Saturday mornings in central and eastern parts of the country as the pick of the bunch for quality Matariki star-gazing for most of the country.  

“Friday morning is looking to be the clearest morning of the long weekend, generally unsettled weather approaches from the west later in the day and most places will see rain at some point during the weekend,” Ferris says.  

“These long nights under high pressure aren’t just perfect for freezing conditions but also fog formation, especially in basins. If your place is prone to winter fog, then perhaps you’ll need to incorporate a decent high elevation vantage point to see the rising stars.  

“Next week is looking like a mixed bag with changeable conditions so keep up with the forecast if you’ve not had your fill of stargazing,” he says.

 ENDS

Contact Communications Advisor Rebekah Wilson at rebekah.wilson@mountainsafety.org.nz with any other queries.