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When is the best time to visit New Zealand? A common question with a simple answer – all year round! Seriously, it's incredible here all the time, but depending on what activities you'd like to do and where you would like to visit, it's worth deciding on a season to visit. Read on below, and we'll go into a bit more depth around what it's like during the different seasons, and what activities we recommend for different times of the year.
One pro tip though, the New Zealand shoulder seasons are becoming a more popular time of year to visit in recent years, and there's a good reason for it. So have a good think about visiting during Autumn or Spring…
As you might expect, summer in New Zealand is incredible and popular to visit for visitors from all corners of the globe. The days are long, the weather is excellent, and there's plenty of fun to be had! The average daytime temperature ranges between 20 – 25°C (68 – 77°F) and the days can be nearly 16 hours long depending on where in the country you are. This means its great conditions for a range of activities, especially those that rely on good weather!
We recommend going hiking in one of our thirteen incredible National Parks or enjoying the beautiful beaches in areas such as the Bay of Islands, Tutukaka Coast, Coromandel peninsula and the Abel Tasman National Park. Why not make the most of the warmer water and go diving, snorkeling or kayaking? The Poor Knights Islands offer some of the best diving and snorkeling in New Zealand, and the Abel Tasman National Park (among other spots) offers incredible kayaking opportunities. If you'd prefer to spend time on a boat, have a think about sailing in the Bay of Islands, whale watching in Kaikoura or sightseeing in Fiordland.
There are far too many incredible activities on offer in New Zealand to cover here. However, if you need any recommendations, feel free to get in touch with our New Zealand travel experts!
In Autumn you might expect the temperature to drop and the days to get shorter. While true to some degree, the start of Autumn often provides some of our best weather for the year! Particularly in the northern parts of the country, the weather is settled, the days are still long, and it’s still warm enough to enjoy swimming or relaxing on the beach. In southern parts of the country, many of the trees start to change to beautiful shades of orange and red as the leaves prepare to drop, and it's nice to do a few activities that might simply be too hot and sweaty during summer! The average daytime temperature ranges between 17 – 21°C (62 – 70°F) and daylight hours average 11 – 13 hours per day.
One of the bonuses of visiting during one of our 'shoulder' seasons is there are fewer visitors, so it's much easier to get away from the crowds! In the Northern parts of the country, the weather is still great for just about any activity and the water is warm enough to enjoy the beaches and boating through until late April consistently. In late Autumn we expect to start getting the first snowfalls on the mountains, but in general hiking conditions are fantastic through most of Autumn as it's not too hot but not yet cold enough to put people off!
We love Autumn, our favorite ravel months are March and April, we seriously recommend visiting during the start of Autumn. Have a look at our tours to explore your New Zealand travel options or simply get in touch for more ideas!
Winter puts some people off, but for others, it provides incredible opportunities, and New Zealand is no different! As expected, it’s our coldest time of year and the days are at their shortest, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing! We get our highest amount of snowfall in the mountains, which makes for incredible sightseeing and snow activities. Temperatures drop to an average of 12 – 16°C (53 – 61°F) across the country and our daylight hours are usually between 9 – 10 hours per day depending on where you are.
Naturally, winter is the prime time for skiing, snowboarding, and some other alpine based activities. We have dozens of fantastic ski fields around the country; if you're in the North Island, Mount Ruapehu is definitely the place to go. The South Island has a broader range, but Queenstown or Wanaka provides an excellent base for access to some of the country's best fields. On top of the extra activities that come in winter, it also makes for spectacular scenery. Regions like Fiordland, Central Otago, and Canterbury are absolutely stunning with snow-capped mountains in all directions. We're also lucky to be very geothermically active; this means we have hundreds of natural geothermal hot pools around the country. The perfect place to relax during chilly winter months!
If you're interested in visiting New Zealand during winter, there's plenty of options available! Contact our expert team for any advice you need or merely some of our favorite recommendations.
Spring is stunning in New Zealand, the trees and flowers are in full bloom, there's still a little snow on the mountains to provide postcard scenery, and it's getting warm enough for all sorts of activities! Temperatures are warming up again with averages around 16 – 19°C (61 – 66°F) and the days are getting longer with average daylight of around 12 – 13 hours per day.
One of the benefits of visiting in Spring is that it's one of our 'shoulder' seasons so there fewer visitors in New Zealand. Spring weather can be a little 'hit and miss' one day it feels like summer and the next it feels like winter again! However, the nice days are absolutely stunning; it's a great time of year for hiking, mountain biking, and plenty of other land-based activities. With a little snow around and everything in full bloom the scenery is spectacular, so if you're looking for a more relaxing holiday, you might simply want to sit back and admire the view. During the end of Spring, it can be beautiful weather for the beaches and activities on the water, but it varies year to year so be open to trying a range of different activities when you visit!
Get in touch for more advice or have a look at our tours – Spring can be the best time for some of our hiking adventures!