Best Time to Visit New Zealand – New Zealand is a mountainous island country sitting separated in the Southwest Pacific, and so the weather tends to be quite unpredictable. That said, it suggests that you can come at any time of year and still get wonderful days!
Here at the bottom of the world (or leading, depending on how you look at it!) our seasons are opposite to the Northern Hemisphere’s and the majority of people who visit New Zealand opt to come throughout our summer season, which is December through February.
As well as, in case if you’re aiming to visit New Zealand however do unknown when is the best time to visit New Zealand, here are some things you might wish to consider when making that decision.
There are basically three things you could look at when choosing what is the very best time to visit New Zealand:
- 1. The Seasons
- 2. Avoiding the Crowds
- 3. Price of Accommodation
- Best Time to Visit New Zealand for Photography
- Best Time to Visit New Zealand for Hiking
- Best Time to Visit New Zealand for Hiking: September/October/November (Spring)
- Best Time to Visit New Zealand for Hiking: December/January/February (Summer Season)
- Best Time to Visit New Zealand for Hiking: March/April/May (Autumn/Fall)
- Best Time to Visit New Zealand for Hiking: June/July/August (Winter Season)
1. The Seasons
Certain activities you can only perform in specific seasons, so if you’re pertaining to New Zealand to be able to do a specific activity, the season may affect the time period you opt to visit New Zealand.
The seasons in New Zealand are revers of the seasons on the Northern Hemisphere.
For example, if you’re residing in the U.S.A., Canada, or the U.K.:
- When it is spring for you, it is autumn in New Zealand
- When it is summertime for you, it is winter season in New Zealand
- When it is fall for you, it is spring in New Zealand
- When it is winter for you, it is summertime in New Zealand
Best Time to Visit New Zealand: Spring Season
The clocks spring forward, the sun warms up and the days are longer. We all enjoy spring! As much as we can’t get enough of winter sports, we’re never too sorry when the springtime sun makes an appearance. With lambs bouncing around the fields, daffodils and fruit trees flowering and the longer daylight hours, there’s a definite shift in mood.
Spring is an outstanding time to visit New Zealand and while November has the tendency to be relatively peaceful on the traveler front, it’s certainly not a bad time to be here.
Being an adventure trip company, our season truly cranks up in early November, so our guides are fresh and thrilled to be back on the roadway – we have stacks of journey dates arranged throughout the season too.
- September – Late-winter, snow sports typically still going strong, with the first blooms starting to appear.
- October – A change is in the air as spring occurs! There are warmer days and longer daytime hours, and everybody gets rid of the winter cold.
- November – Mid-spring, lovely days and plenty of lambs jumping in the lush green fields. A little bit windy on celebration, but not too many travelers around.
Best Time to Visit New Zealand: Summer Season – Warm and Busy
New Zealand truly does enter into its own in the summer, as an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. Especially between the months of December to February you’ll see individuals at the beach, hiking in the forest or cycling on our cycling tracks. It’s a popular time of year for getting outdoors in nature, and experiencing life at a slower rate.
- December – The start of summer, warm weather and a buzz in the air preceeding the vacations. The days are reaching their longest hours, producing lots of time to go adventuring. Constantly a fantastic month to be in New Zealand.
- January – Warmest month, heaps going on and the joyful spirit continues from Christmas! There are lots of summer season occasions at this time of year, with races of all sizes and shapes most weekends, in addition to celebrations and shows.
- February – Mid-summer and another incredible and incredibly popular month to be in New Zealand. Races and triathlons are held throughout the nation each weekend, to take part in or simply see! Slap on the sun block and wear a hat.
Events & Festivals
- Marlborough Food and Wine Celebration (February): This is New Zealand’s longest running wine festival, right in the heart of the world-famous wine producing region.
- Rugby Sevens in Wellington (January to February): Rugby Sevens illuminate Wellington as thousands flock to enjoy the country’s preferred sporting event.
- Wellington Fringe Celebration (February to March): Wellington Fringe Celebration brings masses of entertainment through music, funny and theatre to venues throughout the city.
Best Time to Visit New Zealand: Autumn / Fall – Perfect for Hiking
If you wish to get away the busiest season on the routes, then fall months are excellent for treking. It’s a little cooler, a little quieter, but so stunning as the leaves on the trees change colour and the first dustings of snow get here on the hills. As long as you have actually got a couple of layers of clothes, you remain in for a treat due to the fact that you will have most of the hiking trails to yourself.
- March – Late-summer, warm days, summer season breezes and moderate daytime hours to make the most of being outdoors. It’s still typical to get a couple of hot days in March, so covering from the sun is still essential!
- April – Start of Fall/Autumn – sensational colours as the leaves change colour on the trees. Crisp, clear days and there might be a bite in the air some days so you’ll require an additional layer or more, but all in all it’s a lovely month and a great time to be here.
- Might – Early-winter, temperature dropping, but still some stunning days.
Events & Celebrations
- Bluff Oyster Celebration (Might): This festival commemorates the season’s oyster harvest with music, food and wine.
- Warbirds over Wanaka air program (each year over Easter weekend): This thrilling air program brings historical airplane and modern-day fighter jets to the skies in the South Island.
- Wellington Fringe Festival (February to March): Wellington Fringe Festival brings masses of home entertainment through music, comedy and theatre to places across the city.
Best Time to Visit New Zealand: Winter Season
Some people don’t understand how amazing New Zealand remains in the winter season! … apart from our Australian visitors who head across the Tasman to make the most of our winter slopes. If you’re not a skier, then it’s a fantastic time to come winter season hiking in New Zealand -the routes are quiet and the mountains all around are snow-capped.
There’s even a few hot pools that you can trek to among the mountains. There are a number of ski areas throughout the nation, however being based in Queenstown we spend the majority of our time at Cardrona, Treble Cone, the Remarkables, Coronet Peak, Ohau and Mount Hutt.
- June – Officially the start of winter and the start of the wait on the very first snow and the ski fields to open. It’s also time for Queenstown Winter season Celebration, a terrific occasion held every year with plenty of activities for the entire family.
- July – Winter – ski fields open and it’s all go on the mountain! Powder days and being initially on the slope for the morning runs are what it’s all about. At the exact same time, the treking tracks are even more serene and peaceful than typical, so it’s an amazing time of year to hike the backcountry valley tracks.
- August – Winter season still and most likely among the best months for snow sports.
2. Avoiding the Crowds
If you’re someone who attempts to prevent crowds, you may want to pay special focus on when New Zealanders are on holiday.
Camping sites and areas on and around lakes and beaches have the tendency to end up being very crowded when Kiwis are on vacation.
Parents normally take time off from work when their kids are at house. So if you desire best time to visit New Zealand, you have to avoid the crowds, avoid the periods of time when New Zealanders go on holiday, which are typically throughout the school holidays.
The New Zealand School Holidays for 2017 – 2019
- July 7, 2017 – July 24, 2017
- September 29, 2017 – October 16, 2017
- December 14, 2017 – January 29, 2018
- April 13, 2018 – April 30, 2018
- July 6, 2018 – July 23, 2018
- September 28, 2018 – October 15, 2018
- December 18, 2018 – February 7, 2019
- April 12, 2019 – April 29, 2019
- July 5, 2019 – July 22, 2019
You can also take New Zealand Public Holidays into account when planning a best visit.
New Zealand Public Holidays for 2017 – 2018
- Queen’s Birthday – June 5, 2017
- Labour Day – October 23, 2017
- Christmas Day – December 25, 2017
- Boxing Day – December 26, 2017
- New Year’s Day – January 1, 2018
- Day after New Year’s Day – January 2, 2018
- Waitangi Day – February 6, 2018
- Good Friday – March 30, 2018
- Easter Monday – April 2, 2018
- Anzac Day – April 25, 2018
And finally, individuals working in each New Zealand province likewise get a day off each year -these are called the Anniversary Day Holidays.
The main thing to note about vacations in New Zealand is that throughout the Christmas and New Year period, nearly all companies shut down for a few weeks, so you have actually got this enormous amount of New Zealanders who are on vacation in December and January.
It can get extremely congested then in some locations, specifically where there’s water -beaches and lakes- since Kiwis delight in water activities and being outdoors in the sun a lot.
3. Price of Accommodation
While New Zealand does not really have a low season -it is usually high season, practically like Hawaii- there are times when hotels and motels are more affordable.
I’ll go into each factor to consider in more detail …
May and early June can be viewed as low season in New Zealand. People do not take a trip as much, so service slows down. You can discover the best rates at hotels and motels throughout this time of the year.
The most pricey months are clearly summer throughout the peak traveler season. Booking way in advance is then extremely advised. This consists of making car rental reservations.
Another thing to note is that lodging can be slightly more pricey on Public Holidays such as Christmas, Easter, etc.
Best Time to Visit New Zealand for Photography
If you’re a photography enthusiast here are 3 highlights to concentrate on, depending upon the season:
Best Time to Visit New Zealand for Photography: Spring and The Lupins
I have to point out, lupins are a weed here in NZ, but they paint the countryside in actually nice purple colours. So get some incredible images of the lupins beside our huge milky blue lakes, however do not select any as we don’t desire it spreading out!
Best Time to Visit New Zealand for Photography: Autumn and The Altering Leaves
I’ve currently discussed this. Try the Arrowtown Fall Festival from April 10th to 19th and capture all the tones of orange among the lovely architecture and surrounding mountains.
Best Time to Visit New Zealand for Photography: Winter Season Snow-capped Peaks
Numerous fledgling photographers pertain to NZ in winter season, when the environment is clear and sharp. It prevails to get amazing purple sunsets, little or no wind and perfectly snow-capped peaks.
Anytime you come, remember to be sun smart. The sun is extreme down here in New Zealand and can frequently capture people out. Even when it’s cloudy slip on some shades, slop on some decent sun cream and slap on a huge hat!
Best Time to Visit New Zealand for Hiking
The best months for hiking in New Zealand? There’s no ‘bad’ time for treking in New Zealand– it’s possible to enjoy our national forests and wilderness locations throughout all the months of the year. However, different months do develop different experiences. Learn below which month suits you best.
Best Time to Visit New Zealand for Hiking: September/October/November (Spring)
The months of Spring ‘formally’ end in November, but Spring conditions can continue in certain places through to December. These months are characterised by flowers in blossom, longer days and warmer temperatures coming out of the winter season.
Average high temperatures around Auckland sit around 18 C (64 F), while further south, Christchurch hovers around 17 C (63 F) and Queenstown 15 C (59 F). By deciding to visit in the months of spring, you’ll beat the high season rush of summer.
Throughout September, daylight savings begins; implying lots of daylight hours for hiking. Alpine flowers flower around October and December; flowers like lupins embellishing the landscape with splashes of purple, pink and blue. However, the months of spring can be unsettled and rain is not uncommon.
Best Time to Visit New Zealand for Hiking: December/January/February (Summer Season)
Kiwis anticipate the extended periods of fine, dry weather condition that the summer season bring and a pleased summer holiday vibe spreads out throughout the entire nation. Days are even longer during this time of year– in some locations, it doesn’t get dark till 10pm. Temperature levels warm up a fair bit, with the typical summer heat in Auckland sitting around 23 C (73 F). Christchurch averages around 22 C (72 F), while Queenstown hovers at 20 C (68 F).
The summer season are your best chance of great hiking weather. It’s the warmest time of the year, but days are not normally oppressively hot, and beaches and lakes are a great temperature to swim in.
However, it is New Zealand’s ‘high’ season; there are more people around but you will not come across the busyness of places like the European Alps in high season. It’s still possible to enjoy treking during these months without the crowds, however it does pay to book ahead.
Best Time to Visit New Zealand for Hiking: March/April/May (Autumn/Fall)
The months of Autumn are a preferred time to take a trip for lots of kiwis. Days are a little cooler however still settled, and trees in southern areas like Christchurch, Arrowtown and Wanaka turn illuminate in shades of gold, orange and red. The average high throughout these months in Auckland is 20 C (68 F), while Christchurch relaxes 17 C (63F) and Queenstown is a cooler 15 C (59 F).
If you opt to prepare your hiking holiday throughout the months of Fall, you’re likely to experience settled weather without the crowds. There are less individuals around, and the colours of Autumn are breath taking. However, for flower lovers, there are less flowers in blossom than in other months.
Best Time to Visit New Zealand for Hiking: June/July/August (Winter Season)
A quieter time for treking, the New Zealand outdoors throughout the cold weather provide a clearly various experience to any other time of the year. Lots of locations are available throughout the year, and New Zealand’s native forests are evergreen so there’s still life surrounding the tracks. The average winter high in Auckland is 15 C (59 F), however Christchurch hovers around a colder 12 C (54 F) and Queenstown 9 C (48 F).
The weather throughout New Zealand’s winter months may amaze you – there are lots of crisp, clear days filled with fantastic sunshine throughout this time of year. Taking a trip in winter can also be less expensive; as long as you keep away from ski resorts, accommodation and tours typically cost less throughout the ‘off’ season.
You’ll likewise have a number of the tracks and hikes to yourself. Nevertheless, days are shorter and colder; it’s a smart idea to strategy ahead of time and be prepared for this with the best equipment. Ensure you’re going back to cosy, warm lodging and a piping hot dinner at the end of the day.
So, you choose yourself; your best time to visit New Zealand.