Lithology, pollen, macrofossils, and stable carbon isotopes from an intermontane basin bog site in southern New Zealand provide a detailed late-glacial and early Holocene vegetation and climate record. Glacial retreat occurred before 17,000 cal yr B.P., and tundra-like grassland"shrubland occupied the basin shortly after. Between 16,500 and 14,600 cal yr B.P., a minor regional expansion of forest patches occurred in response to warming, but the basin remained in shrubland. Forest retreated between 14,600 and 13,600 cal yr B.P., at about the time of the Antarctic Cold Reversal. At 13,600 cal yr B.P., a steady progression from shrubland to tall podocarp forest began as the climate ameliorated. Tall, temperate podocarp trees replaced stress-tolerant shrubs and trees between 12,800 and 11,300 cal yr B.P., indicating sustained warming during the Younger Dryas Chronozone (YDC). Stable isotopes suggest increasing atmospheric humidity from 11,800 to 9300 cal yr B.P. Mild (annual temperatures at least 1°C higher than present), and moist conditions prevailed from 11,000 to 10,350 cal yr B.P. Cooler, more variable conditions followed, and podocarp forest was completely replaced by montane Nothofagus forest at around 7500 cal yr B.P. with the onset of the modern climate regime. The Cass Basin late-glacial climate record closely matches the Antarctic ice core records and is in approximate antiphase with the North Atlantic.