School holidays & mixed bag weather: Stay safe this Easter weekend

6th April 2023|2min
Media Release | For immediate release   

It’s that time of the year when the holidays align offering an extended amount of time for outdoor activities. However, this alignment coincides with the onset of colder and frequent changing Autumn weather. Understanding the weather forecast and having flexible plans is important for this time of year, says the NZ Mountain Safety Council (MSC) and MetService. 

With Easter weekend, ANZAC Day and school holidays looming, many people will be planning to make the most of this extended break to tick off a final summer-like adventure. Knowing how and when the weather could impact any planned outdoor adventures is all the more important. This also means that having a plan B could be one of the most valuable decisions you make this holiday break.  

MSC insights show that historically, Easter weekend sees twice the number of tramping injuries and search and rescues (SAR) compared to a regular weekend and it is the third highest public holiday weekend for total tramping injuries and SAR.  

MSC Chief Executive Mike Daisley says the end of daylight savings is always an indication that shorter days and the change in season is upon us. Trampers need to be prepared for more wintry conditions and to ensure they aren’t caught out in the dark.  

“Packing warm layered clothing, a rain jacket, a warm hat and gloves, a head torch and an appropriate emergency communication device are the absolute minimum regardless of the weather forecast and length of trip,” he says.   

“It’s important to understand your capabilities and skills and make sure you have a ‘plan B’ if something, such as the weather, changes.”  

MetService meterologist John Law says there’s a few ways to get the best out of the forecast this Easter weekend.  

“The New Zealand weather changes very quickly and same goes for the forecast, especially when looking several days into the future, so stay up to date with the changing forecast and weather warnings,” says John Law. 

Depending on where you’re spending Easter can depend on what forecast you need to be watching. MetService has both their parks and mountains forecast, and regional forecasts are perfect for those Easter walks away from the main centres. 

“MetService meteorologists use a whole range of information from weather observations to complex computer models to write their forecasts. Also check the spot forecasts as a guide to temperature, windchill and freezing level.” 

All eyes this Easter will be on an area of low pressure sinking in from the north which is likely to bring some windier and wetter conditions across the North Island from tomorrow. With the potential for heavy rain and strong winds in the mix it’ll pay to keep a close eye on the forecasts and any severe weather warnings issued.   

The South Island will see a ridge of high pressure bringing fine, dry and settled weather for many but keep an extra layer on hand for those early morning hikes as temperatures will be on the cool side on Friday and Saturday, Law says.  

The second half the weekend sees a rather showery set up for much of New Zealand. 

Using the Plan My Walk app can help hikers and trampers of all levels to find the right track for their abilities, check for any track alerts, see MetService weather warnings, and a suggested gear list that can be sent to group members and emergency contacts. Plan My Walk also includes the most applicable weather forecast for each track, so it’s an easy way to quickly establish what the forecast will be.   


These three short yet important NZ Mountain Safety Council videos, called ‘Ready Set Go’, will help you to prepare for the Easter weekend adventures:  

NZ Mountain Safety Council and Macpac how-to videos provide expert tips on how to be ready for all weather, layering, taking care of your gear, fitting your pack and more. This is an ongoing series so make sure to check out the full playlist.  

For more information and media comments:  

Contact MSC Communications Advisor Rebekah Wilson at for any more information.

Header photo: Powell Hut, Tararua Ranges. PHOTO/REBEKAH WILSON