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When is the Best Time to Visit New Zealand

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New Zealand is located in the southern hemisphere so the seasons are in direct contrast to Europe. It’s also around the same size as the UK, so the climate can vary between North and South Islands.

In New Zealand, the weather can also vary on a daily basis, and it’s very common to experience four seasons in one day.

Deciding on the best time of year to visit this fascinating country depends on what you want to see and do, whether it’s sightseeing, skiing, outdoor adventure pursuits or a combination of activities.

To help you decide, here’s an overview of the seasons in New Zealand.


As the snow season comes to an end, the natural world reawakens and flowers and fauna begin to bloom. The lush, green landscape is stunning and gardens are at their very best. The gardens and parks of Christchurch, also known as ‘Garden City’, are a delight to visit during this time.

Lake Wanaka on South Island, with its magnificent backdrop of snow-capped mountains, is spectacular to visit at this time of year.

As the days become warmer, adventure seekers will find plenty to do. Whitewater rafting is particularly popular at this time of year, as the melting mountain snows and warmer temperatures create optimal rafting conditions.


Summer offers the warmest and most reliable weather. However, it’s also the long school holidays in New Zealand, so it’s peak season for local and international tourists. This inevitably means that prices are higher.

It’s the best time to visit the Bay of Islands where you can swim, sail, surf or go on a dolphin safari and swim with the dolphins.

Queenstown is the adrenaline capital and the number one summer destination for thrill seekers. It’s the perfect time of year for bungee jumping, jet boating and skydiving.


If you want to see New Zealand at its most colourful, visit in autumn. The colour changes in the leaves from yellow and gold to russet and red are spectacular, especially in Wanaka and Otago in the south and Hawke’s Bay in the north.

There aren’t so many crowds in autumn and prices are more reasonable, while it’s still warm enough to wear your summer clothes and eat out alfresco.


If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to ski in July, then come and experience it in New Zealand. The ski season runs from June to the end of October and New Zealand offers world-class skiing fields and ski schools.

Feeling the cold? Winter is the best time of year to take a relaxing dip in the hot thermal springs at Rotorua in the north or Hanmer Springs in the south.

June and July are peak months for the whale migration period and the best time to see a variety of whales including sperm, humpback, pilot and southern right. The stunning snow-covered ranges and crisp blue skies make Kaikoura the perfect place for whale watching in the winter months.

For more information and expert advice on the best time of year to visit New Zealand, contact True Travel today

About the Author

About the Author

"My time working in the luxury travel industry started 13 years ago following a backpacking trip around South East Asia and Australia. At the time of joining the world of luxury travel, I was working as a worldwide travel consultant arranging trips anywhere and everywhere."

Director of Global Sales


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