When to visit
New Zealand has something special to offer every month of the year - there is never a bad time to travel to New Zealand! It just comes down to what is it that you are after from your holiday; whether it may be hiking, skiing, less crowds, access to lots of adrenalin sports or seeing the spring blossoms or autumn foliage. We have made it easier for you by breaking it down to what each season offers:
Summer Months: December to February
Average temperature 21-25°C
Travelling during these summer months will give you some of the best weather, it’s a great time to visit beaches and to participate in outdoor activities such as hiking & kayaking. It’s also the busiest season as the locals are on holidays and so are international tourists, this results in higher prices and crowds. You should plan to book well in advance if you wish to travel in the summer months.
December is the optimal time for penguin viewing in the South.
Autumn Months: March to May
Average temperature 17-21°C
Autumn is the best time for hiking as temperatures are starting to cool down however the days are still long. Locals have gone back to work, so the trails aren’t as crowded. During this time of the year, you will see the leaves changing into the stunning autumn foliage; the bright orange, yellow and red hues are a beautiful sight. This is also a great time for Self-Driving holidays as the roads are less busy (around the Easter Holidays of course). March is when many vineyards see an abundance of lush grapes, so it makes for the perfect time for some wine tasting – keep in mind it can be the wettest month of the year.
May is when the temperatures really start to drop so make sure to remember to pack some more layers.
Winter Months: June to August
Average temperature 12-16°C
The ski season usually runs from June through to the first week of October and attracts lots of keen and beginner skiers. Once you get away from the mountain areas, the winters are relatively short and mild. There will be many days or nights where you will have clear, crisp skies. Driving throughout the high country can be hazardous due to the snow, however the snow rarely makes it down to the lowlands. The North Island tends to see more rainfall during the winter months than the South Island.
There’s also plenty of festivals to keep you busy during this season.
Spring Months: September to November
Average temperature 16-19°C
New Zealand during the spring months is in full bloom; hiking and outdoor activities become popular again as temperatures start to warm up. The white peaks are still visible on the mountain tops, creating the picture-perfect backdrop to any photo. For adventure seekers, this is the perfect time for whitewater rafting as the snow is melting from the mountains, which creates strong and high rivers.
September is New Zealand’s windiest month so make sure to pack and windproof jacket!