Macs Adventure, Tips & advice, Walking

Best time to visit New Zealand

6 Mar , 2019  

New Zealand’s rugged beauty and varied landscapes makes it a wonderful year-round destination.  Since it’s the Southern Hemisphere their seasons are a bit different from what we are used to.  Most people who visit New Zealand usually go during summer season, which is December through February. When it’s snowing in the UK it’s probably at least 25 degrees in New Zealand which makes it a perfect winter-escape for Brits!

Summer: December to February

This is the most popular time to visit. It’s also when a lot of kiwis take their holiday to rest and enjoy the sunshine. You can expect long, bright and sunny days ideal for visiting the scenic beaches or lakes. The average high temperatures range from 21c to 25c, the days are hot without being humid. Walking trails such as Abel Tasman book up 8-12 months in advance so we would recommend planning your trip carefully.

Abel Tasman is known as New Zealand’s most relaxed Great Walk

Autumn: March to May

It’s a stunning time to visit as the leaves on the trees change color and the first sprinkle of snow arrives on the hills. Long, sunny days tend to linger long into New Zealand’s Autumn, and with average high temperatures of between 18C and 25C, you’ll hardly notice short and t-shirt weather has ‘officially’ ended. Nights begin to get chilly around mid-April. Because it’s no longer high season, you won’t encounter the busy crowds of summer. If you want to escape the busiest season on the trails, then Autumn is perfect for hiking one of the Great Walks.

Nelson Lakes on the South Island is beautiful in Autumn

Winter: June to August

This is when New Zealand becomes a magical winter wonderland. Imagine a snow skiing trip in July? Visiting a place that embraces the great outdoors and nature as much as New Zealand can be inspiring in winter. Take a hike on the Franz Josef or Fox glaciers or visit the hot springs at the South Island’s Tekapo Springs where you will be in awe looking out to Lake Tekapo and the snow-covered Southern Alps. June through to September are likely to bring snow to the South Island as well as some of the North Islands mountainous areas.

A popular skiing destination in winter

Spring: September to November

It’s an exciting time for kiwi’s when the clocks spring forward, the sun warms up and the days are longer. The landscapes are beautiful with daffodils and fruit trees blooming. Explore world-class vineyards in Hawke’s Bay as well as their prestigious Food and Wine festival.  There are not many visitors at this time of year, so if you are looking to capture great photos or enjoy the trails to yourself this can be a brilliant time to visit.


Spring is a perfect time to explore the country’s wine regions

We hope you find this useful if you need any help planning your dream trip to New Zealand, you can contact our destination specialists. We would love to make your trip one to remember!

Click here to discover all of our New Zealand trips

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Sinead Cunningham By
A member of the Macs Adventure Digital Marketing team. Since joining Macs, my never-ending list of places to travel has expanded. When I'm not day-dreaming about travel you can find me exploring the social-buzz of Glasgow ie. finding the best places to eat, and drink coffee!