Spring (September – November)
Gardens A fantastic show of blossoms, bulbs and other blooms in regions known for their gardens, such as Taranaki, Hamilton and Christchurch. Skiing There’s still snow on the slopes, but temperatures are starting to warm up, making this a popular time for skiing and snowboarding. Sightseeing Blooming gardens, fine days and al fresco cafés make this a pleasant time for city sightseeing before the summer heat really kicks in.
New Zealand’s temperate climate produces amazing gardens. If your clients are interested in gardening, suggest they visit a selection of the best public gardens, join a tour of private gardens not normally open to the public or attend a garden show. Your clients might not have considered the possibility of skiing or snowboarding at this time of year. If they are interested in this activity, plan their itinerary to ensure they are visiting the key ski regions before October, when most ski areas close.
Summer (December – February)
High season It’s holiday-time for New Zealanders and high season for tourists, but this means beach resorts are humming and plenty of events and activities are on offer. Beaches Warm summer days are perfect for exploring New Zealand’s beaches and enjoying water sports in areas like the Bay of Islands, The Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Nelson and Marlborough. Events Summer is the busiest time on New Zealand’s events calendar – food and wine festivals, cultural, arts and sports events are options.
Booking ahead is essential during the summer high season. Book inter-island ferry travel, rental cars/campervans, flights and accommodation for at least the first two nights of travel. Find out your clients’ interests and plan their travel to include one or more summertime events. Pay a visit to whatshotnewzealand.com for a comprehensive calendar of New Zealand events.
Autumn (March – May)
Shoulder season Summer crowds disperse but the weather usually remains settled and warm, making this a good time to visit. Walking and hiking Settled weather and smaller crowds make this an ideal time for hiking the Great Walks and other popular trails. Autumn colours In some areas, such as Central Otago, the changing colours of the leaves are a spectacular sight and a popular drawcard.
For those seeking to enjoy a range of outdoor activities but wanting to avoid the height of the tourist season, autumn is a good choice for travel to New Zealand. Autumn is a good time for hiking, with temperatures milder than the height of summer. The Abel Tasman, Heaphy and Queen Charlotte Sounds Walkway are open year-round, but the Milford and Routeburn Tracks close for the season in April.
Winter (June – August)
Skiing and snowboarding New Zealand’s ski season generally runs from June to October and this is the busiest season for snow destinations such as Ruapehu, Canterbury, Mackenzie, Wanaka and Queenstown. You’ll need to book in advance. Whale watching Although whales inhabit New Zealand waters year-round, winter is prime whale-watching season as migratory species such as Humpbacks, Southern and Blue Whales pass by on their way to winter feeding grounds further south. Hot pools Soak in a steaming geothermal hot pool amongst a snowy winter wonderland.
As long as they dress warmly, visitors can enjoy many of New Zealand’s outdoor activities year-round – bungy jumping, jet boating and whale watching are all on offer. New Zealand’s climate offers a distinct advantage for skiers and snowboarders – off the mountains, a range of other activities are available to keep things interesting on non-skiing days.
Regional Temperatures – Climate Chart
Mean daily maximum/minimum temperatures in Celsius and Fahrenheit
(September – November)
(December – February)
(March – May)
(June – August)