Best time to visit New Zealand
The Best Time to Visit New Zealand – When to Go and When to Avoid!
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It can be difficult to decide when to visit New Zealand. The pros and cons of each of the four seasons in New Zealand will help you choose the best time to visit.
Lake Pukaki – Lupins in bloom
New Zealand is home to four distinct seasons. Each season has its own unique appeal.
In the spring, you’ll find all sorts of flowers in bloom; in the summer, you can enjoy festivals, outdoor activities, and adrenaline-pumping activities; in the autumn, there will be vibrant foliage; and in winter, powdery snow and a great ski season awaits.
New Zealand is located in the Southern Hemisphere. The seasons are opposite to those of the North.
New Zealanders bask in long, sunny days during the warmest months.
New Zealanders enjoy the change of leaves as we watch flowers bloom.
New Zealanders celebrate spring in full bloom while the northern hemisphere is raking up leaves and preparing for winter.
New Zealand is a wonderful winter destination for those in the northern hemisphere because they can trade in their puffy jackets and heavy boots for flip-flops and sunshine (or jandals, as the Kiwis refer to them! ).
This begs the question…
When is the best season to visit New Zealand?
The best time to visit New Zealand,, in general,, is between January and March when temperatures are warmer, the days are longer, and the weather is sunny.
Your answer may change depending on the purpose of your trip. You can use this guide to decide when is the best time to visit New Zealand.
Start by answering these questions:
- Do You Mind Hot Weather?
- What do you think about the cold weather?
- Do you get easily annoyed by crowds of people?
- How many hours of your day do you plan to spend outside?
- Would you prefer to see lupins blooming or fall foliage in color?
You can start by deciding when you want to go to New Zealand based on your answers to the questions above.
- New Zealand: Our Experience
- New Zealand geography overview
- New Zealand weather
- Summer in New Zealand
- Falling in New Zealand
- Winter in New Zealand
- Springtime in New Zealand
The BEST time to visit New Zealand
Want a quick recommendation? Click down to read our advice on the best time of year to visit New Zealand. We’ll also share the times of year that we would avoid visiting New Zealand.
- Our recommendation…
Tip : After you have determined the best time of year to visit New Zealand, check out our itinerary for the perfect New Zealand trip . This will ensure that you see the highlights and make the most of your vacation.
We visited New Zealand between November and December
When: mid-November – mid-December (2018)
- We had beautiful weather for nearly every day during our month-long journey.
- One morning we woke up in Queenstown to a thin layer of snow, but it did not last. We only had one day when it was very windy and rainy, which made travel difficult.
- In some places, hats and puffy jackets were needed at night.
- The weather on the North Island was much warmer and more sunny.
Do you recommend visiting New Zealand during November or December?
Absolutely! There is no better time to travel! We were there before the tourist season peak, but we still had great weather. The prices were higher in high season, but we enjoyed many more activities and hikes.
New Zealand geography overview
Mount Cook South Island Drive
New Zealand consists of approximately 600 islands located in the southwest Pacific Ocean. North and South Islands are the two main islands.
New Zealand is not a very large country, but it does span about 1,600 km from the top of the North Island to its bottom. The islands have a variety of topography, from sandy beaches to mountain ranges. There are also fjords and rolling hills.
We will focus our attention on the two largest and most popular islands of New Zealand for this article.
New Zealand weather
With such a variety of terrain, you can expect different temperatures and weather patterns.
The climate of New Zealand is hugely variable. There are a wide range of temperatures in New Zealand, from subtropical to dry.
You can experience New Zealand’s four seasons in just one day. Be prepared.
New Zealand’s climate is mild, despite its unpredictable nature. In most regions, the difference between winter and summer temperatures is only 10degC. In any part of the nation, temperatures rarely drop below freezing (0degF/0degC) or rise above 86degF/30degC.
New Zealand is not prone to tropical storms due to its low temperatures and lack of extremes. The fact that it is situated on two significant plates means that there are a lot of earthquakes.
Statistics on New Zealand weather and seasons
- The warmest months of the year in New Zealand: From January to February
- The coldest month in New Zealand: July
- The wettest months of the year in New Zealand are July, December, and March (central Otago).
- The hottest months in New Zealand are: February, Wellington, and Christchurch; February & Queenstown
- The most crowded month of the year in New Zealand in January
- The least crowded month of the year in New Zealand in May
What are the temperatures in New Zealand like?
Isthmus Peak hike
It is difficult to answer this question because it depends on the part of the country that you are planning to visit.
This would be like asking what is the temperature of Europe in January. Scotland will have a very different climate from Barcelona.
Or, what is the temperature of the USA in April? Miami’s answer will be different from Seattle’s.
The Bay of Islands, in Northland, has subtropical weather, while mountain towns at the southern tip of the South Island may experience a much more severe and colder climate.
The New Zealand Tourism Guide has listed the average temperatures for the day in New Zealand.
Psst! You can check the average temperature for each region here if you already have an itinerary. This will help you to get a better understanding of what you should expect.
Summer in New Zealand
Beach on the Truman Track
The summer is New Zealand’s peak tourist season. It is the hottest time of year but also the most crowded. Many New Zealanders are off during the school holidays, and many businesses and restaurants may be closed for several weeks.
Booking in advance is an excellent idea if you plan to visit New Zealand at this time of the year.