10 Reasons Why New Zealand is a Year Round Affair…

Sunday, 11th October 2015

Destination Specialist

new zealand lake wanaka lakeshore autumn slt

When looking into booking a holiday to New Zealand, you will hear from discerning travellers and tour operators alike that visiting the Land of the Long White Cloud in their summer months of January – February will reward you with endless of sunshine days and little chance of rain. Yes this is of course true, however travelling in the peak months also has its downsides and exploring Aotearoa outside of these months offers visitors a different experience and one we at Discover the World highly recommend.

We asked our accredited Kiwi Specialists, Lauren and Bruno, to share some of their favourite NZ experiences and when’s best to enjoy these.

new zealand driving through vineyards sc

1. Exploring larger than life scenery on the open road

“With fewer tourists on the roads during the spring, autumn and winter months, you can make the most of your surroundings at a pace to suit you. Travel for miles without seeing another car, admire the beauty of New Zealand at your own pace and stop to snap at endlessly beautiful vistas to your hearts content.” Lauren

new zealand fiordland key summit

2. Perfect temperatures for ‘tramping’ – the Kiwi equivalent of a hike!

“If you’re an active explorer, spring and autumn temperatures of around 19-21°C can make for more comfortable hiking conditions than the heat of high summer. Alternatively if you are into ice-climbing or winter sports, visit in New Zealand’s winter and make the most of the plethora of ski fields and enjoy a wide range of winter activities.” Bruno

new zealand lake wanaka lakeshore autumn slt

3. Spectacular autumnal colours

“Travel between March-May and witness vibrant hues of gold and amber, as the autumn leaves begin to fall. To see the very best of New Zealand’s striking autumnal surrounds, head to the Southern Lakes region of Wanaka, Arrowtown and Queenstown.” Lauren

new zealand mt cook petes lookout mcmc

4. Dramatic mountain scenery and astonishing turquoise Alpine lakes

“Spring is the perfect time to visit the soaring mountain peaks and stunning natural landscape in and around Mount Cook National Park as the winter snow recedes” Bruno

new zealand western north island rhododendrons vt

5. Stunning flora

“From cherry blossoms in Christchurch, rhododendrons in Dunedin and lupin around Lake Tekapo, September – November are wonderful months to see New Zealand in bloom.” Lauren

new zealand bay of plenty dolphins bopt

6. Whale and dolphin watching, Kaikoura

“If you’re on the look-out for bottlenose or common dolphins, travel between April-January is highly recommended. In order to maximise your chance of seeing New Zealand’s migrating whales make sure you visit between june and july where migrating species such as humpbacks, southern and blue whales pass can be seen in the waters of Kaikoura most days.” Bruno

new zealand kapiti island pohutukawa tree kia

7. See New Zealand’s ‘Christmas tree’

“Properly known as the pohutukawa, and with a vivid red bloom, New Zealand’s Christmas tree flowers from November – January. Catch a glimpse of these around Coromandel, Auckland and Northland before the flowers die-out in early February.” Lauren

new zealand western north island cyclists sunset vt

8. Long sunny days

“Perfect for explorers, December offers the longest days of daylight.” Bruno

new zealand wildlife yellow eyed penguin tnz
Yellow Eyed Penguin

9. Penguin spotting

“With an abundance of wildlife on the South Island, heading out to see the enchanting Fiordland Crested penguins (or tawaki) in spring is an absolute must. The penguins breed from July-December and by the second week of December, the chicks are ready to leave the nest and head out to sea for the next six months – only to briefly return to shore between February-March to moult.” Lauren

new zealand canterbury plains hot air balloon tnz
Hot air balloon over Canterbury Plains

10. Experience more with the money you save travelling outside of the peak period!

“From lower air fares to excellent deals on accommodation and even car rental – travelling outside of peak summer season could cost considerably less, meaning that the money you save could be put towards seeing even more of this wonderful country!” Bruno

New Zealand’s Seasons

  • Spring: September – November
  • Summer: December – February
  • Autumn: March – May
  • Winter: June – August

Read more about the best time to visit New Zealand


Feeling inspired?

For help with planning your New Zealand adventure, contact our Travel Specialists, or make an enquiry.

See all New Zealand holidays

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