With diverse landscapes, a wide selection of outdoor activities and plenty of relaxing pastimes, there is never a bad time to visit New Zealand. From catching sight of colourful spring flowers in bloom, to drinking in stunning views as the golden autumn leaves twirl, to summer days spent hiking in the morning and swimming in clear blue waters in the afternoon - New Zealand seasons offer something for everyone.
Spring - September, October, November
With the onset of spring New Zealand removes its winter coat to reveal a colourful feast for the eyes and senses. New flowers and spring shoots – like the iconic native New Zealand silver fern – unfurl themselves to proudly lift their heads towards the sun. Rich greenery settles over the country as farmers harvest their crops ready for markets and local restaurants, bringing new season produce from land to plate. In lush green paddocks baby lambs grab the attention as they frolic among the lush spring growth.
The New Zealand weather during spring can be temperamental, with temperatures ranging from 67-41 ºF (5-19ºC) in some parts of the country, so it pays to be prepared. Visitors can expect a variety of climates ranging from crisp, clear sun-filled days to spots of morning frost. The spring weather may be changeable but the season is one of the best times to visit New Zealand, giving visitors a chance to experience some of New Zealand's food, wine, garden festivals and events without the summer crowds.
Summer - December, January, February
Summer in New Zealand is sunny and colourful. The pohutakawa tree, with its bright crimson flowers, is known as the national Christmas tree because it only blooms in December and January. When the tree turns from it’s usual green to bright red, kiwis know that it’s time to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. Summer is a time for beaches, barbeques, swimming and relaxation, with many New Zealanders enjoying their own holiday break during this part of the year. From December to February the country enjoys plenty of sunshine and longer days, with daylight lasting until around 9-10pm in some areas during the summer season. The average temperature at this time of year ranges from 50 - 77 ºF (10-25 ºC).
Summer is the time to get outdoors and experience some of the country's national parks and breathtaking beaches.
Culture and seafood are also an ever present part of summer in New Zealand, with the vast oceans and lakes providing plenty of fresh bounty. The 6th of February is also a special day to all New Zealanders as it celebrates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi - New Zealand's founding document.
Autumn (fall) - March, April, May
Autumn (fall) in New Zealand brings its own delights. Despite the cooler temperatures, ranging from 43-68ºF (6-20ºC ) the settled weather also makes autumn a great time to visit New Zealand. The crowds of summer have departed, leaving visitors the chance to experience a more relaxing side of the country surrounded by the stunning gold, orange and red hues that autumn brings.
Autumn offers a variety of uncrowded landscapes to explore while those looking to experience some unique New Zealand wildlife during the autumn season may be pleasantly surprised. Marinelife flourishes in the waters surrounding the country during this season. With temperatures still at an average high of 68 ºF (20 ºC) , in many places a dip in one of the many lakes or beaches is still enjoyable as waters holds plenty of its summer warmth.
Winter - June, July, August
Winter in New Zealand can be snowy and beautiful, but road closures and increment weather means that it's only a good time to travel if you're a ski bunny. New Zealand's South Island offers some of the best skiing and boarding in the world. Temperatures during winter range from 34-48ºF (1-16 ºC).
New Zealand with MoaTrek
Once you’ve decided on the time of year you would like to travel, you need to consider how you would like to discover New Zealand. A small group guided tour is the perfect way to get off the beaten track and discover the essence of what makes this country so special through events, festivals and true Kiwi hospitality. In a small group you'll have the chance to enjoy the company of likeminded people while exploring New Zealand at a relaxed and leisurely pace. All the hassle and organisation is taken care of, allowing you to sit back and enjoy your vacation. We're MoaTrek and have been proudly running the best New Zealand small group tours since 1971 - see our showpiece 'Kakapo' 23 day tour here, or get a free brochure now.