Best Time to Visit New Zealand

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Best Time to Visit New Zealand

A remote island in the southwestern Pacific which was one of the last lands where humans settled, New Zealand is now home to the fiercely proud Maori as well as the British settlers who have come together to create this gorgeous paradise on earth. Ask any Kiwi and they will tell you that the best time to visit New Zealand is now. But their pride in their country might blind them a little to the seasonal changes that others may not be comfortable with.

In fact, since New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere, seasons occur during months that you may not be accustomed to. Although you might be eager to be on your way, it’s good to know what to expect so you can pack accordingly. You don’t want to be caught without sunscreen or warm clothes as the case maybe. So, here’s a season-wise list of the best time to travel to New Zealand.

Summer in New Zealand

The months of December to February are popular among tourists as many feel it is the best time to go to New Zealand. There are scenic beaches and lakes where most kiwis come to cool off, although the weather is an extremely tolerable 21 to 25 degrees Celsius. Summer in New Zealand is extremely temperate – warm without excessive humidity – and rainfall is also not very common.

Summers are when tourists and locals can’t stay away from the water. Swimming, sailing, snorkelling, kayaking – there are so many things to do here! Summer is also when the native Pohutukawa tree comes alive in red blooms adding serious levels of gorgeousness. It’s no wonder people think this is the best time to visit NZ.  

Since this is high season, do book in advance as everything will become unavailable once the season begins. Also, don’t forget to pack your sunscreen along with your swim suit, ideally one with a high SPF as the sun can be harsh here.

Autumn/Fall in New Zealand

If you’re not keen about crowds, then try visiting in Autumn which falls in the months of March to May. It could well be the best season to go to New Zealand because not only is the weather gorgeous, everything around you is lit up beautifully in colours of molten gold. Summer may have ended but sunny days still linger, and the average temperature is around 25C.

The colours of fall are simply mesmerising. This is the perfect time to go on a cycle trail or go hiking. New Zealand is simply marvellous for walks but if it gets too warm, then take a dip in the ocean. It’s not very cold yet and it can be quite refreshing.

Autumn is when the Hokitika Wildfoods Festival is celebrated, a quirky time indeed where you have to allow your palate to be a little more adventurous. After all, where else will you get to taste huhu grubs and whitebait patties?

Also, if you’re in Wellington at this time, you could be lucky enough to spot a dolphin at the coast. Indeed, this might be the best time to visit New Zealand.

Winter in New Zealand

Winter lasts from June to August although most parts of the country experience just mild winters. While the North is relatively free from cold, the South is known to have heavy snowfall. So, obviously, skiing is a fantastic activity if you happen to be in New Zealand during the winter.

If you’re enthusiastic about snow, then surely this is the best time to go to New Zealand. Skiing is one of the favoured sports, especially in Queenstown and Wanaka. If you’re travelling to Auckland, you might even get some sun, but you could use the crowd-free time to hike up the dormant volcano Rangitoto.

Another favourite activity during winter is taking a dip in the geothermal pools. You’ll feel refreshed and rejuvenated in no time at all! If you’re looking for festivals to enjoy, then the Matariki festival, a celebration of the upcoming year is held at this time, as it’s an important period in the Maori calendar.

Spring in New Zealand

In New Zealand, spring is mild weather accompanied by some rain showers and it occurs between September to November. Waterfalls seem to become all the more luxuriant now and if you’ve always wanted to see where Middle Earth was filmed in the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies, this is indeed the best time to visit New Zealand. Flowers are in bloom everywhere, but the Hobbiton Film Set is very impressive during this time. Gardens are lush and green, and it does feel a bit like a wonderland.   

New Zealand’s wines are famous, and spring is the best time to explore some of the vineyards in Hawke’s Bay. Also, this is the time when the Food and Wine festival is held, so be sure to partake in that. The great outdoors also beckon if you want to enjoy the vast open skies and the beautiful trails. It’s also the best time to visit New Zealand for travelling to Lake Tekapo for adventure activities or to simply soak in the hot springs.

Although September and October are relatively easier to make bookings, you might have to do a bit of advanced planning if you want to visit in November as hotels and activities might soon get booked up.

After reading this, you might agree with the average Kiwi that the best time to visit New Zealand is now because it’s stunning in whichever season you are there. Of course, before you plan your trip, do make a note to check the SOTC website for offers and deals on New Zealand tour packages which will make your trip hassle-free and wonderful.

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